Government Not Willing To End Violence- NGOs

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By Thandiwe Garusa

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has been blamed perpetuating a culture of violence left by his predecessor, the late Robert Mugabe.

This came out during interviews with NGO leaders on the during the premiering of a human rights violations documentary entitled “Untold truths in Zimbabwe: Stories of injustice through the eyes of the survivors” spearheaded by the National Transitional Justice Working Group in collaboration with the Human Rights NGO Forum.

Musa Kika, director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum – a conglomeration of rights-based NGOs – said government is benefitting from the abuses.

“No one should be a beneficiary of violence, no one should engage in violence with impunity, really it comes down to political will because the courts, police and laws are there, the national prosecuting authority is there, one wonders why perpetrators of violence are never convicted,” Kika said.

“You will realise that since the run up to the upcoming by-elections started, many acts of violence have been committed, not a single person has been convicted of an election related violence incident right now as we speak,” Kika said.

He added: “Not a single person has been convicted why? It speaks to issues of political will, perhaps some of our political functionaries being beneficiaries. Sometimes all it takes is the political leaders to be determined and show that they are really standing against violence and to mash out their supporters in that direction and unfortunately, we are not seeing much of that happening.”

“What we need to kill is the culture of impunity where violence occurs and no consequences visit the perpetrators and that is what fuels recurrences.”

In the film victims of several acts of violence from Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina and Operation Makavhotera Papi of 2008 are appealing for compensation from the perpetrators and government.

Most of these victims are now facing serious health challenges from being tortured by soldiers and Zanu PF youth militia.