By Bulawayo Correspondent
PRESSURE group, Ibhetshu Likazulu has poked holes on the government’s proposed Gukurahundi public hearings, saying the approach is inadequate and will not produce the desired results.
Traditional leaders from Matebeleland North and South provinces met in Bulawayo Friday and resolved to establish panels of selected groups of people to conduct the public hearings on the atrocities.
The Chiefs in conjunction with the government are already in the process of mapping the public hearings and are working towards finalizing the framework in which the hearings will be conducted.
According to the framework, the long-awaited hearings will only be held in Matebeleland North and South provinces.
In an interview with Newzimbabwe.com, Ibhetshu Likazulu Coordinator Mbuso Fuzwayo queried the confinement of the hearings to only two provinces when it is known that the whole of Matebeleland and Midlands provinces were affected by the government sanctioned civilian killings.
“This government’s Gukurahundi approach has got a lot of loopholes. For example, there are a lot of Gukurahundi victims scattered all over the world particularly South Africa and Botswana. Some of the victims ran away from the country soon after Gukurahundi and they have never returned home. The issue is how are these people going to present their cases when the hearings are only confined to certain areas?,” said Fuzwayo.
The Ibhetshu likazulu Coordinator also noted that there are several Gukurahundi victims who are based in Bulawayo and even other cities and towns like Zvishavane and Kwekwe and are likely to lose out from the exercise.
“I know a lot of Gukurahundi victims who are based in Bulawayo and other areas outside Matebeleland region. Due to the economic hardships facing most Zimbabweans, where will these people get resources to travel to rural areas where these public hearings will be conducted? The government should make sure that everyone who is a victim should be given an opportunity to tell his or her own story,” he said.
Fuzwayo also maintained that the proposed hearings are elitist and will not resolve the Gukurahundi issue.
“Our position has always been that the victims of the atrocities should lead the healing process themselves. The problem is some of the traditional leaders entrusted with the healing process are compromised and our fear is they will muzzle the voices of the victims to please their handlers,” said Fuzwayo.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa who has been accused as one of the architects of Gukurahundi is ironically expected to launch the public hearings at a date still to be announced.