Monday, 29 April 2019


The remains of a villager from Sipepa, Tsholotsho, in Matabeleland North Province who was killed during the Gukurahundi era that rocked Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in the early 1980s were exhumed on Sunday as part of the peace and reconciliation initiative.

Thembi Ngwenya (21) was shot and killed in 1983 and had been buried near the railway line, but her remains were now exposed.

The exhumation was done by Ukuthula Trust. National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) commissioners witnessed the exhumation.

In an interview after the exhumation, NPRC chairperson Justice (Retired) Sello Nare said they were invited to observe the exhumation by the trust and they went as part of the reconciliation process.

He however, said the NPRC had not yet started any exhumations, which are part of a raft of measures to bring finality to the ugly spot in the post-Independence history of Zimbabwe.

“We were invited by Ukuthula Trust to witness the exhumation exercise in Sipepa, Tsholotsho. Remains of one person were exhumed and they’re set for reburial,” said Justice Nare.

He said as the NPRC, their role was to inform people that people could talk about Gukurahundi, share their experiences and contribute towards the healing process. 

“President Mnangagwa said people should talk freely about Gukurahundi. This will help us move on as a nation,” said Justice Nare.

President Mnangagwa met with civic society organisations from Matebeleland last month under the banner of Matabeleland Collective, where he said Government would provide assistance to victim and communities affected during the period.

He has encouraged people to openly discuss their experiences during the disturbances while Government has come up with various measures to assist victims.

The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage will facilitate the issuance of birth certificates and death certificates for victims affected by Gukurahundi and will also facilitate the exhumation and reburial of victims.

The ministries of Health and Child Care and Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare ministries would provide medical assistance to victims of Gukurahundi.

The Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Ministry would also prioritise the completion of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water project, which is expected to unlock economic value to communities. Herald


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