Legal Expert Says Zimbabwe Must Replicate Rwanda Model In Addressing Gukurahundi

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By Staff Reporter

TOP lawyer Ephraim Ndlovu says Zimbabwe can also consider the Rwandan model of post conflict resolution as a Gukurahundi redress

Although the Rwandan genocide took place years after Gukurahundi, it has since been fully addressed through the hybrid system of using the international tribunal and the local Gacaca Courts.

Ndlovu who hails from Silobela which was also affected by Gukurahundi said the issue needs a holistic redress.

The Southern parts of Matebeleland and Midlands in the early 1980s were ravaged by Gukurahundi where an esteemed 20 000 people died.

“Gukurahundi is an emotional sore at the heart of the being of our nation. I personally lost many relatives myself, but I believe we need to confront our situation and help administer healing to our communities,” he said.

He added that current efforts to address the issue are not sufficient.

“I do not believe that the measures currently underway from a Constitutional point of view are broad-based and viable. I personally do not want to prescribe the best model to deal with Gukurahundi, but in my law studies I did a lot on international humanitarian law. I believe we can learn a lot from the South African model as well as the Rwanda model in post conflict resolution,” he said.

Recently a Bulawayo based civil society organisation Ibetshu Likhazulu erected some plaques in Silobela in commemoration of Gukurahundi victims, but the plaques were vandalised by suspected state security agents.

Mbuzo Fuzwayo Ibetshu Likhazulu Secretary General said his organisation’s focus on Silobela was on forced disappearances.

Meanwhile, Ndlovu has bemoaned under development in Silobela.

“To develop Silobela,the people of this nation must fix their politics, the consequent result will be a recovering economy. Once the politics and the economy are good, a policy of development implemented by a genuine leadership can fix the problems of Siloblela at a micro level and the whole nation at a macro level. All this is possible,” he said.

“The irrigation schemes in the past benefitted a small portion of people from Silobela. For example, the people of Ruya and Gobo would benefit from the irrigation from the exchange dam. However, it could not service the broader needs of the neighbouring wards like ward 29 Donsa, ward 20 Simana and even ward 28 Nyakwathe. In short, the benefit is a drop in the ocean,” he said.