Traditional Chiefs are willing to take a leading in solving the Gukurahundi issue and bring healing and reconciliation to the country. Most of the victims of the post-independence conflict were the inhabitants of the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.
The 1982-1987 period is one of the darkest chapters in the country’s history which former President Robert Mugabe called ‘a moment of madness’. It is estimated that about 20 000 civilians were massacred and buried in shallow graves by the Zimbabwe National Army’s North-Korean trained-crack brigade. They were accused of suporting and harbouring ‘dissidents’.
The National Chiefs Council president Chief Fortune Charumbira informed President Emmerson Mnangagwa that the Chiefs should be allowed to take a leading role to solve the Gukurahundi issue. In a meeting between Mnangagwa and chiefs in Kadoma early this week, Chief Charumbira said
In Rwanda, chiefs played a critical role in solving conflicts in their country. Learned people and judges failed to solve the issue but chiefs managed to solve the conflict and their country is now peaceful.
Today, Chiefs’ Council has resolved that as chiefs we must play a leading role in conflict resolution. Issues such as Gukurahundi are best dealt with by chiefs as they affect our communities.
In November, a Filabusi Chief, Vezi Maduna Mafi wrote a letter to the United Nations (UN) appealing for it’s for its intervention into the Gukurahundi issue. I a letter dated 13 November 2018 and addressed to the UN Secretary-general Antonio Guterres, Chief Mafu wrote
We write requesting an independent commission of inquiry be set up to investigate atrocities which occurred in Matabeleland and Midlands in Zimbabwe, Africa, between 1981 and 1987 immediately after the country gained independence from Britain (sic).
The atrocities escalated into genocide occasioned by ethnic cleansing agenda targeting the Ndebele people in the western and central parts of the country.
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Gukurahundi is a term used to refer to disturbances in Matabeleland and Midlands in the 1980s which resulted in the death of an estimated 20,000 Ndebele people. It was carried out by the North Korean trained 5th Brigade which was an elite regiment of the... Read More About Gukurahundi
Fortune Charumbira is a traditional leader in Zimbabwe and the current President of the Chief's Council. He was inaugurated as the substantive Chief Charumbira on 24 May 2000.In October 2018 Fortune Charumbira was elected unopposed as vice president of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) Bureau, representing... Read More About Fortune Charumbira
Matabeleland is a region which covers a considerable part of the south western plateau of Zimbabwe. The area is predominantly home to the Ndebele speaking Zimbabwean societies. Read More About Matabeleland