National Assembly Speaker, Advocate Jacob Mudenda, has encouraged the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) to “vigorously agitate” for a national apology to the victims of the Gukurahundi genocide in the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces.
Mudenda made the call during a capacity-building workshop for the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the Thematic Committee on Human Rights on the mandate of the NPRC in Bulawayo on Monday. He said:
Fundamentally, the NPRC must vigorously agitate for the national institutional apology for the past conflicts, especially Entumbane One and Two as well as the Gukurahundi tragedy.
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Let’s confess that era of conflict so that we go beyond the acknowledgement of ‘the moment of madness’.
Confession is a condition precedent for letting bygones be bygones. Once that confession is done, the spring of hope, national healing and reconciliation will abundantly germinate without any doubt.
Mudenda revealed that there are now three generations with no birth certificates and identity cards in the affected provinces.
Gukurahundi led to underdevelopment in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces, with most schools having no science laboratories, while roads in the provinces were bad, he said.
Gukurahundi is derived from a Shona language term which loosely translates to “the early rain which washes away the chaff before the spring rains”.