By Bulawayo Correspondent
BULAWAYO based pressure group, Ibhetshu Likazulu has urged President Emmerson Mangagwa to release the Dumbutshena and Chihambakwe commissions reports on the 1980s Gukurahundi massacres by the Zimbabwean military.
The Dumbutshena and Chihambakwe commissions were set up by former President Robert Mugabe to investigate the massacre of over 20 000 civilians in Matebeleland and Midlands between 1982 and 1987.
Since then, the findings of the two commissions have not been made public.
Speaking during a memorial service held for the victims of Gukurahundi in Bulawayo on Saturday, Ibhetshu Likazulu secretary general Mbuso Fuzwayo praised Mnangagwa for releasing the Commission of Inquiry report on the August 1 post-election violence.
“We are happy about the release of the (Kgalema) Motlanthe commission’s findings,” Fuzwayo said of a report on the shooting of six civilians dead and the injury of dozens more by what is widely believed to be members of the army who were deployed in central Harare on the fateful day to quell wild protests over election results by hordes of MDC supporters.
Fuzwayo said President Mnangagwa should exercise the same sense of responsibility by releasing the findings on the massacres that were waged by members of the military in the 1980s.
“We hope the President will do the same with other past commissions’ findings. I think for a start, this release is a positive step in which we expect him to do the same with the Dumbutshena and Chahambakwe commission’s findings,” said Fuzwayo.
The Ibhetshu Likazulu chief said the release of the two commission’s reports will assist survivors of the horror episode and the nation at large to find closure into the country’s darkest post liberation period.
“The findings will assist the commission that is responsible for peace and reconciliation. The recommendations will assist people on how to move forward.
“It is extremely important to release the findings of these two reports because most of the Gukurahundi victims have died,” said Fuzwayo.
The commemorations started with a march from Joshua Nkomo statue in the Bulawayo CBD to Stanley Square in Makokoba high density suburb where some survivors gave testimonies on what they experienced during the period.
Some representatives of political parties and civil organisations attended the event.
The commemorations were deliberately held on Zimbabwe’s Unity Day which was introduced into the country’s political calendar to celebrate the merger of Zanu and PF Zapu in 1987.
The signing of the accord between the once bitter rivals marked an end to hostilities in the predominantly Ndebele region.