Peace Commission Calls For Dialogue To Address Gukurahundi Massacres

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By Mbekezeli Ncube

THE National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) says there is need to address Gukurahundi massacres and post-election violence crimes to promote peace and for communities to reconcile.

The NPRC was established to resolve conflicts and misunderstandings in the country while promoting peace and encouraging people to forgive each other.

Gukurahundi, a state-sponsored army crackdown that saw over 20 000 people being killed in southern Zimbabwe in the early 1980s, remains a very sensitive issue in Zimbabwe.

Post election violence has also rocked the country since 2000 following the formation of the opposition political party, the MDC.

Addressing the media on the sidelines of the provincial NPRC training in Bulawayo on Monday, NPRC deputy chairperson, Lillian Chigwedere said there was need for Zimbabwe to have a dialogue on past issues that affected people in one way or another.

“The commission embarked on a consultative process throughout the whole country because we could not just start but we needed to understand what people think and where the people are in terms of conflict.

“Interestingly, as we went around the 10 provinces, we found conflicts that are different from province to province and in some provinces, we had conflicts that are related to the liberation struggle featuring prominently,” said Chigwedere.

He also said in other provinces, they discovered that people had conflicts related to elections dating back to 2000, 2008 and 2018 where political violence was rampant.

“As you move further on to Matabeleland and Midlands, the issues of Gukurahundi were coming up so indeed the country is full of conflicts,” she said.