GUKURAHUNDI victims could soon find closure, as the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission will become operational after elections when a new President assumes power, as per provisions of the new Constitution.
The commission will likely also settle human rights violations, such as Operation Murambatsvina and the 2008 violence in the run-up to the presidential runoff, where MDC-T claims more than 200 people were killed.
Giving a key note address at an on-going conference in Victoria Falls to strengthen mechanism for violence prevention and peace building in Zimbabwe, the director in the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration director, Anna Tinarwo said the commission will be operationalised as soon as a new President comes into power after the forthcoming elections.
“The infrastructure or architecture for peace as provided through the Zimbabwe National Policy Framework for Peace and Reconciliation bestows a legacy of solving disputes through dialogue rather than violent conflict, so succeeding generations break away from the culture of cyclical violence inherited from the past epochs of history,” she said.
“Issues that pertain to reparation, restitution, compensation among other perceived entitlements, arising from violent historical epochs of our country will fall under the purview of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, as an institution, once legally established to deal with the past and future occurrences of violence.”
The commission was established under Article 7.1 of the Global Political Agreement.
More than 20 000 civilians were reportedly killed by the North Korea-trained 5 Brigade, in what researchers have described as genocide.
However, human rights activist Effie Ncube in an interview, said the closure for Gukurahundi could not be achieved as long as people that were in government since 1980 were retained in the next election.
“This can only be achieved if new people come to power who are eager to live with the culture of constitutionalism,” he said.
“As long as those who ruled the country since independence come back into the government after the elections then the issue of Gukurahundi will not be closed.”
The new development comes on the heels of calls by Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa for President Robert Mugabe to publicly apologise for Gukurahundi, saying this was the only way victims of the 1980s genocide could find closure. He was addressing the Gweru Press Club last Friday.
Dabengwa said there was need for a healing process to begin, as victims of the genocide that claimed more than 20 000 lives, cannot live in bitterness forever.