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Group Blasts Peace Commission Over Gukurahundi Snub

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By Bulawayo Correspondent


PROMINENT Bulawayo based pressure group, Ibhetshu Likazulu has been left fuming after the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) last week Friday snubbed an invitation by group to discuss the long unresolved Gukurahundi atrocities.

The firebrand group has since written to the peace commission to register its displeasure over the snub.

Ibhetshu Likazulu has spearheaded a push for the Zanu PF led government to own up to the early 1980s atrocities in which an estimated 20 000 civilians died in the hands of the Zimbabwean military.

Although there has been few references to the atrocities by Zimbabwean authorities, the subject remains taboo in the country.

However, the Bulawayo based group last Friday organised a Zoom meeting under the theme “Enhancing Public Participation In Search of Truth and Justice on The Gukurahundi Genocide”.

A representative of NPRC was invited to the meeting.

Other panellists who participated during the meeting include former minister Jonathan Moyo, Zimbabwe Human Rights Association Director Dzikamai Bere, Researcher at Witswatersrand University Dr William Mpofu and Pastor Ray Motsi, among others.

In the letter of protest, Ibhetshu Likazulu Coordinator Mbuso Fuzwayo described the snub as a major setback to the peaceful resolution of the emotive issue.

“Unexpectedly, the Commission informed us that they could not make presentation as they were busy elsewhere with other more important programmes.

“We write to express our shock and displeasure at your abhorrent behaviour.

“It is sad that your office among your several Commissioners could not find a single Commissioner to speak on Gukurahundi and listen to other views that could have enriched the commission in a number of ways.

“We ask ourselves that if a conversation on Gukurahundi is not important to you and your commissioners, then what is important to the commission?” queried Fuzwayo in the letter which was delivered to the commission’s Executive Secretary Sibusisiwe Zembe.

Fuzwayo said it was regrettable that the commission failed to take advantage of the high-profile meeting to explain to the nation what the organisation was planning to address the effects of the genocide.

“This meeting was attended by hundreds and reached thousands of people across the globe. We take this as a serious matter. We feel it reveals your contempt on the matter that should and is core to national reconciliation,” added Fuzwayo.

When contacted for comment, NPRC spokesperson Commissioner Geofrey Chada said he has not yet received the letter.

“Probably this letter of complaint was delivered straight to the Acting chairperson Lilian Chigwedere. I will ask her after her meeting. I did not know about the issue until today,” said Chada.