By Leopold Munhende
MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume says the national unity day celebrations celebrated every 22 December remained meaningless if government did not place a corresponding effort to compensate Gukurahundi survivors of who are still hurting up to this day.
“Everyone who is harmed is entitled to compensation…it is like uniting an axe and a tree after the axe has cut the tree and you say there is unity, ‘it’s ok let us move together. The past is forgotten’,” Mafume told NewZimbabwe.com on the occasion of the Zimbabwe’s unity day celebrations.
“It is bad practice. It perpetuates impunity and that is why things are repeating themselves.
“There cannot be total healing if you have not compensated. So, there cannot be total unity if you are walking with the person you have beaten up and not taken to hospital. We need that to be addressed.”
The MDC spokesperson was referring to an estimated 20 000 civilians who died and thousands more who were affected directly or otherwise by the country’s darkest post-liberation episode between 1982 and 1987 when the signing of the unity accord between the then Zanu and PF Zapu ended hostilities in the restive Matebeleland and Midlands provinces.
While there is general acknowledgement that the accord helped put a stop to the disturbances, the Zimbabwean government has remained silent about the massacres, let alone any compensation.
Then President Robert Mugabe, who presided over rape, torture, arson, murder and other brutalities associated with the holocaust, once described the period as a “moment of madness”.
He did not go beyond that as pressure mounted on him to atone for the wrongs.
The current Zimbabwean government and state security organs still have in their ranks, individuals who took part in the army killings.
President Mnangagwa, who was security minister at the time, has refused to apologise for his own and on his government’s role in the massacres.