President Emmerson Mnangagwa has refused to apologise for the Gukurahundi atrocities and said the National Healing and Peace Commission is enough. Mnangagwa’s predecessor, Robert Mugabe set up the Dumbutshena Commission and Chihambakwe Committee which carried out investigations into the Gukurahundi massacres. The reports were never made public with Government arguing that the publication of the report could spark violence over past wrongs.
While being interviewed in Davos, Switzerland by Mishal Husain, Mnangagwa admitted that he was in a position of power when the Gukurahundi massacres took place. Mnangagwa was Minister of National Security which was responsible for the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO). He said that he was open to appearing before the National Healing and Peace Commission. He however disputed the 20 000 figure and said that the number of casualties is actually lesser than that. When told that he could just apologise for the atrocities as a starting point, Mnangagwa said there is nothing more than him signing the Peace and Reconciliation Bill into law. Said Mnangagwa:
In my view there is nothing more than me putting legislation where a commission headed by the Vice President and most eminent persons in Zimbabwe to deal with that issue and make recommendations. At the time in 1987 my former President and the president of Zapu the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo came together and signed the Unity Accord which ended that conflict…
My dear, my people and myself are determined to make sure that the acts of commission or omission in the past we have to interrogate them. Where the Government of the day was wrong we point out that that was wrong, Where the Government of the day was correct we should say so and we have put up a machinery to achieve that. I don’t know what your problem is. But this is how I am dealing with the situation.
In an interview with Alec Russell of The Financial Times, Mnangagwa said that he will not account for the Gukurahundi Massacres as an individual as former president Robert Mugabe and former vice-president Joshua Nkomo had pronounced themselves on behalf of the government of the day.
Watch Mnangagwa’s responses when asked if he will apologise for Gukurahundi: