Gukurahundi policy dialogue forum on cards

SOUTHERN African Political Economy Series (Sapes) Trust in conjunction with other civic organisations in Bulawayo, will on Friday host a policy dialogue forum where the Gukurahundi issue will top the agenda.

BY ALEXIS SIBANDA

The meeting organised by Sapes Trust, together with Centre for Innovation Technology (CITE),Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) and Zimbabwe Christian Alliance (ZCA), will be held at the Rainbow Hotel in the city.

The organisations will unpack the National Peace and Reconcilliation Commission Act which was signed into law by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last Friday. The law is expected to ensure a people-centred peace, truth, justice and reconciliation process for Gukurahundi victims.

Speakers such as Dumiso Dabengwa (Zapu president), Martin Rupiye (African Public Policy and Research Institute executive director), Sipho Malunga (former senior defence attorney in the Tribunal for the Prosecution of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity in East Timor), Elinor Sisulu (academic and author) are lined up for the discussion.

Ray Motsi, a pastor, theologian and peace-building expert will also be in attendance.

The event will be held under the theme Gukurahundi: Towards a National Dialogue.

CITE director Zenzele Ndebele said the event seeks to unpack contentious Gukurahundi issues.

“The coming in of Emmerson Mnangangwa as President opened a new window of opposition to talk about issues that people were not able to talk about during Robert Mugabe’s time and disclose hidden issues,” he said.

Ndebele said the government must address the Gukurahundi victims’ concerns.

“Wounds are never closed by silencing people, but all victims’ issues should be addressed because Gukurahundi cannot be ignored,” he said.

WILD executive director, Samukeliso Khumalo, said national leaders keep skirting the Gukurahundi issue, but now there is hope that the victims’ voices will finally be heard, so they can move on with their lives.

“We hope the new President will declare Gukurahundi a national tragedy and compensate communities that were affected. Some need identity documents, others shelter as their were homes were destroyed,” she said

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