PARLIAMENTARIANS should push for the release of the Chihambakwe investigation report on the Gukurahundi massacres to find closure to the 1980s disturbances in Matabeleland, the MDC-T has said.
The Chihambakwe Commission of Inquiry was established by President Robert Mugabe in 1983 to investigate the genocide and to assuage widespread international and domestic criticism of the killings in Matabeleland and the Midlands.
The findings of the inquiry were never made public.
According to the Catholic Commission for Peace and Justice CCJP, the disturbances left about 20 000 civilians’ dead.
MDC T spokesperson Obert Gutu said the release of the report would enable Zimbabwe to find closure on Gukurahundi.
“The Chihambakwe Commission of Inquiry report was duly compiled and presented to the president,” he said yesterday.
“However, for reasons best known to the president and his team of advisors, the Chihambakwe Report has never been made public, almost 30 years after it was completed and presented to the head of State and the government.
“Consequently, there has been no closure to the highly emotive issue pertaining to the Gukurahundi genocide.”
Gutu said parliamentarians should be given access to that report and the matter debated in the legislature.
“In an endeavour to bring closure to the Gukurahundi genocide phase of our post-independence history, the Parliament of Zimbabwe should immediately be granted access to the Chihambakwe Report so that the same may be debated and the recommendations made therein either be formally adopted or rejected,” he said.
Bulawayo-based pressure group Ibhetshu Likazulu once lodged a court application demanding the release of the Dumbutshena and Chahambakwe Commission reports that contain findings of the Matabeleland disturbances during the 1980s.
The Dumbutshena Report contained the findings of a commission of inquiry into the disturbances at Entumbane and other demobilisation camps following clashes in February 1981 between Zipra and Zanla guerrillas, while the Chihambakwe Report contains findings of a commission of inquiry investigating the Gukurahundi genocide.
The two committees reported to then prime minister, Mugabe.
Their deliberations were never made public.