Heal Zimbabwe takes great exception and applauds the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) Chairperson, Justice Selo Nare for apologizing for comments made by NPRC Commissioner, Obert Gutu earlier in the month on Gukurahundi. Commissioner Gutu, during an interview, described the Gukurahundi atrocities as a “a small, tiny fraction” of the Commissions’’ mandate.
This sparked an outrage from across the country as most people interpreted the sentiments to mean lack of sincerity and sensitivity to the depth of grief and harm caused by Gukurahundi. In a statement yesterday, Justice Nare underscored the willingness of the Commission in dealing with Gukurahundi. “So, on behalf of the commission, I apologise for those sentiments and I apologise to the nation for the words. The Gukurahundi issue has been dealt with as the Number 1 conflict in particular in this region”, read part of the statement. Heal Zimbabwe views the apology as progressive as it demonstrates the Commission’s willingness to treat all conflict episodes in Zimbabwe with seriousness they deserve. More importantly, reiterating that Gukurahundi is a key conflict issue is a positive step towards restoring public confidence in the Commission.
In light of this, Heal Zimbabwe implores the NPRC to swiftly initiate a victim centered healing process on Gukurahundi by thoroughly engaging key stakeholders in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces. Added to this, the NPRC must also spell out a clear healing and reconciliation roadmap for key reconciliation issues such as Murambatsvina and 2008 political violence among others. We refer to our research observations on the key reconciliation issues in Zimbabwe