Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo has said the national apology on Gukurahundi was long dealt with when former President Robert Mugabe and former Vice President Joshua Nkomo through the 1987 unity accord.
Moyo was speaking at the Bulawayo State House Monday during the launch of a manual to guide community hearings into the Gukurahundi massacres. ZimLive cites him as saying:
… That the national apology issue was resolved by former President Robert Mugabe and former Vice President Joshua Nkomo when the Unity Accord was signed in 1987.
That was agreed in your (Mnangagwa) discussion with the chiefs.
Moyo was presenting a summary of issues agreed upon between President Mnangagwa and traditional chiefs in Matabeleland on how the hearings will be conducted.
Gukurahundi occurred in the 1980s, in the aftermath of Zimbabwe’s independence.
Then Prime Minister, Robert Mugabe deployed the North Korean-trained 5th Brigade to “deal” with the alleged threat of “dissidents” in those provinces.
An estimated 20 000, mostly Ndebele-speaking people died in the conflict.
Government critics including the opposition have over the years been calling upon authorities to compensate the families of Gukurahundi victims and to publicly ask for forgiveness.
The Gukurahundi issue was a sensitive topic during Mugabe’s era but that changed when Mnangagwa came to power and allowed “debate” on the subject.
The issue was then assigned to the Retired Justice Sello Nare-chaired National Peace and Reconciliation Commission but was later passed on to traditional chiefs.
Mnangagwa further agreed with chiefs that Gukurahundi should be defined “as the state and organised dissidents and not a Ndebele-Shona cultural conflict so as to address current perceptions and achieve national healing and peace.”
Each chief will spearhead the resolution of Gukurahundi issues by presiding over hearings or consultations in his or her area of jurisdiction, according to a 14-page document produced by Chiefs’ Council president Fortune Charumbira.
That exhumations and reburial will be resolved on a case-by-case basis customs centric and the relevant chief should give guidance and direction.
Mnangagwa presided over the launch of the start of the Gukurahundi hearings in Bulawayo.