Traditional leaders in Matabeleland wrote a letter, dated January 12, to the South African Parliament asking for permission to be allowed to present their case on the 1980s massacres known as “Gukurahundi”.
The letter was signed on behalf of the Matabeleland traditional leaders by outspoken Ntabazinduna chief, Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni. In the letter, the chiefs make a request to be:
…. afforded an opportunity to be allowed to formally present the facts about the genocide that occurred in their region of Zimbabwe.
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Of concern, the genocide was perpetrated upon the Ndebele people by the government of the day.
The government of the day is still in office and evidently does not take this matter seriously.
It is blatantly obvious that this government does not wish to address this matter, hence our wish as traditional leaders to directly engage you.
As traditional leaders, we live within these affected areas, within the Ndebele nation and we are mindful that this matter of the unresolved genocide has the potential to seriously destabilise the country and indeed the Southern African Development Community region.
The warning signs are already written on the wall, just as they were in Kenya and Rwanda.
From our perspective, it is only the international arena that can do justice to this issue for it is unrealistic for a perpetrator of genocide to then investigate and prosecute themselves.