President Mugabe’s remarks a threat to Peace and reconciliation.
Heal Zimbabwe expresses grave concern over President Mugabe’s utterances during a central Committee meeting at the ZANU PF headquarters on 9 June 2016 where he threatened a crackdown akin to the Gukurahundi on a section of war veterans that are embroiled in the succession debate.
What is disturbing and worrying about the President’s utterances is that he compared the annihilation of what he describes as “dissidents” during the Gukurahundi era in the 1980s to the fate that awaits the war veterans who are talking about succession. “The dissidents tried it, they were war veterans and you know what happened. Lots of trouble, lots of fighting, lots of suffering of course to our people, and these dissents activities cannot be allowed. “Do we see another rise of dissident activity?” he said
Heal Zimbabwe notes that such utterances by the President have potential of eroding the gains of the Unity Accord and inciting warring parties from within his party to resort to violence. Actions and utterances by the War Veterans in past weeks do not warrant violence as a solution. Peacefully addressing concerns of the war veterans in line with Section 90 of the constitution which compels the President to promote unity and peace in the nation for the benefit and wellbeing of all citizens is one good option the President has. Zimbabwe remains in dire need for healing and reconciliation. Scars from violent episodes such as Gukurahundi, land reform, Murambatsvina and elections particularly the 2002, 2005 and 2008 have not been addressed. Making reference to the sad violent past as a solution to dissent is a threat to peaceful coexistence.
Heal Zimbabwe posits that the President’s utterances are an indication for great need for a mechanism that deals with healing and reconciliation. Heal Zimbabwe therefore calls on the President as head of government to push the responsible Ministry to diligently come up with the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission(NPRC) replacement Bill that takes note of the concerns raised by Zimbabweans during the Parliamentary committees public hearings. Such a move paves way for a genuine discussion of episodes like Gukurahundi which up to now can be loosely used to remind Zimbabweans of potential brutality they can face if they ever exercise their democratic right of freedom of speech and expression.