Matabeleland-based political analysts say Zimbabwe can only positively celebrate peace if the government publicly addresses gross human rights abuses perpetrated on ordinary citizens the Gukurahundi atrocities, Operation Murambatsvina and political violence that marred the 2008 general elections.
Zimbabwe joined the rest of the world to commemorate International Peace Day last Friday. This year’s commemorations were under the theme “Education for Peace”.
The day was marked three months after Zimbabwe held elections which were characterised by allegations of widespread vote-rigging and voter disenfranchisement.
Activist Dumisani Nkomo said peace would never be celebrated in this country in the absence of justice.
“There should be a way of communicating atrocities which were a gross human rights abuse,” he said.
“We cannot celebrate peace when there is no justice. People should be allowed to publicly talk about issues of violence. This is not a sign of a mutiny,” he added.
His sentiments were echoed by former Education minister David Coltart who said there was need for the government to tell people what happened during the disturbances.
“There should be acknowledgement of the things which happened,” Coltart said.
“There is need also to find out who the victims were and be apologetic about what really transpired.”
The International Peace Day comes at a time the world continues to experience rampant human rights violations from a diverse range of factors, including politics, racism, oppression, war, poverty, disease, corruption and autocratic governance.