Apologise For Gukurahundi Massacres: Rights Group Demands From ED

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By Leopold Munhende

THE National Transitional Justice Working Group (NTJWG) has demanded President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his administration must apologise to the nation over the unending human rights violations perpetrated mainly by suspected state agents.

In a 2020, report on justice released this week, the NTJWG said Mnangagwa must apologise for his and government’s role in the Gukurahundi genocide that killed over 20 000 civilians in the southern parts of the country in the early 1980s.

The NTJWG warned that current efforts to resolved the disturbances were not meaningful as the government was usurping the work of National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) in dealing with the massacres.

“The Government of Zimbabwe still has not issued a sincere and public apology for the violations perpetrated in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces during Gukurahundi despite calls for an apology by survivors, victims and their families,” reads the report.

“President Emerson Mnangagwa and the Government of Zimbabwe must design and deliver an effective apology to the nation for the enduring legacies of human rights abuses.

“Apologies for victims of Gukurahundi must be both backward and forward-looking, acknowledging the legacy of the past violations but also signalling the desired future.”

Mnangagwa was a senior government minister during the Gukurahundi disturbances.

Added the report: “Exhumations and reburials of victims of Gukurahundi must be conducted with full consultations and unfettered participation of the relatives of the deceased and in accordance with their cultural practices.

“Exhumations and reburial of the victims of Gukurahundi remain a contentious and emotive issue with the Government of Zimbabwe usurping the NPRC’s functions and leading engagements on how to address this issue.

“In October 2020, the NPRC was excluded from government led engagements with civil society and traditional leaders on exhumations and reburials of the remains of the victims of Gukurahundi.”