By Audience Mutema
MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa has indicated that he is willing to assist President Emmerson Mnangagwa to apologise to Zimbabweans for the post-independence atrocities commonly referred to as Gukurahundi.
Chamisa was addressing a Workers Day event, organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) in Harare, Wednesday.
“There will never be peace in this country unless we resolve the Gukurahundi issue. You cannot circumvent the matter by using the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) to mediate.
“No, you need a bottom up approach but the first thing is for Mnangagwa to apologise to the people of Zimbabwe for what happened in this country. Without an apology you can’t repent, we can’t repent if we are not willing to say the truth,” said Chamisa to cheers from the crowd.
Unlike his predecessor former President Robert Mugabe who kept a tight lid on the episode effectively criminalising the issue, Mnangagwa has encouraged debate around the issue and allowed for reburial of victims.
However, the Zanu PF leader has not indicated whether he would want to make a public apology for the killings of more than 20 000 civilians at the hands of the army under the guise of hunting down a handful of dissidents between 1982-87.
Chamisa offered to help if Mnangagwa was finding it difficult to apolpgise.
“You must apologise. If you (Mnangagwa) are not capable, come to me, I can assist you. I can apologise on your behalf, whilst you instruct me on what exactly you need to say to the people.
“I will say it out for the sake of progress,” the youthful opposition leader said.
Mugabe unleashed a North Korean trained military unit known as the 5th Brigade into the western parts of the country in what critics said was a systematic campaign against then opposition leader Joshua Nkomo’s supporters.
The result was an orgy of violence at an unprecedented scale that left over 20 000 civilians’ dead in one of the darkest chapters in the country’s history.
In March, Mnangagwa met various civic society group from the western parts of the country in Bulawayo to open discussions around the issue, on Independence he also emphasised on the discussion of the matter in order to resolve the issue.
Until he was forced out of power in 2017, Mugabe refused to take responsibility for the genocide only coming close by describing it as a “moment of madness” at Nkomo’s burial.