Sunday 23 August 2020


THE Government will next month start exhuming and burying bodies of victims of the post-independence disturbances commonly referred to as Gukurahundi, among a host of initiatives meant to address the issue and promote national healing.

In addition, the Government will also start issuing birth certificates to children of some of the people who were killed during the disturbances and have been failing to get the documents and death certificates of those who died. The recommendations were part of a high level third meeting between President Mnangagwa and civil society groups under the banner of Matabeleland Collective at State House in Bulawayo yesterday.

Matabeleland Collective is a grouping of non-governmental organisations, faith-based organisations, community-based organisations, trusts, savings clubs and social movements from Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South.

Since he came to power, President Mnangagwa has lived to his promise to address and openly discuss issues and challenges surrounding the unrest that happened in the 1980s in order to promote national healing and development.

The President had previously held a meeting with chiefs from the Matabeleland region on the same issue as part of efforts of holding robust discussions with Matabeleland civic groups and traditional leaders stressing the need for national cohesion and collective efforts in taking the country forward.

Emerging from the State House meeting yesterday, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr Nick Mangwana revealed that one of the major outcomes of the meeting was that next month Government will work on rolling out the various agreed on projects to address the challenges faced by Gukurahundi victims.

“Today (yesterday), the issues that were discussed were the issuance of birth and death certificates to victims of Gukurahundi, exhumation of victims of Gukurahundi, Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, corruption in rural district councils, youth empowerment and increased participation of women in Government and Parliament.

“From these the outcome was that there will be a rollout in September which is going to involve the chiefs, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, Matabeleland Collective and Government. This rollout is basically the implementation of these programmes for the Gukurahundi victims,” said Mr Mangwana. 

Chairperson of the Matabeleland Collective, Ms Jenni Williams said they were happy that finally what was initially a draft proposal on paper will now be operationalised and help bring closure to Gukurahundi victims.

“This meeting was called so that we discuss the implementation matrix of our programme to address the challenges of the victims which include issues to do with exhumation and issuance of birth and death certificates. We are ecstatic that the President has reaffirmed his commitment to these programmes as we start implementing them. I must therefore assure people in the various communities that we will now be coming to them to both engage and implement these programmes,” said Ms Williams.

These developments are in line with the new dispensation’s thrust of collective engagement towards development as members of the Matabeleland Collective have been previously hostile towards the Government. In his previous meetings, President Mnangagwa has hailed the interaction which he described as the first of its kind in terms of social dialogue.

Also present at yesterday’s meeting were Cabinet Ministers, Kazembe Kazembe of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, July Moyo of Local Government and Public Works and Owen Ncube of State Security. Also in attendance was Bulawayo Metropolitan Minister of Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Cde Judith Ncube.

Minister Kazembe has also met the Matabeleland Collective as part of efforts to bring matters deliberated on into fruition.

President Mnangagwa arrived in Bulawayo on Friday and yesterday morning got the ball rolling when he held a closed-door meeting with a delegation from the Bulawayo City Council, led by the Mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni mainly focusing on the water problems in the city. 

He then also held a closed-door meeting with members of the Matabeleland Collective.

The President has emphasised his commitment to continue holding robust discussions with Matabeleland civic groups, stressing the need for national cohesion and collective efforts in taking the country forward. Apart from the issue of Gukurahundi, President Mnangagwa has expressed the need to address developmental challenges in the Matabeleland region. Chronicle


Post a Comment