SCORES of Gwanda youths on Thursday observed a moment of silence in remembrance of the estimated 20 000 Gukurahundi victims during a National Youth Development Trust (NYDT) meeting in the town.
The youths drawn from across the political divide were attending a NYDT meeting to discuss the proposed National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) as enshrined in the new Constitution.
The chairperson of Zapu Matabeleland South Youth Fund Mncedisi Tshabalala led the observation of the moment of silence by asking the youths to rise and honour the victims of the massacres.
“As Zapu we are the victims but we did not get the opportunity to air the people’s views about the NPRC. People need counselling so that we can move on. Let’s not play games but ensure this NPRC leads us through a process of healing our people,” said Tshabalala.
MDC Matabeleland South provincial administrator Lionel Denecker said the commission had to be truly independent because some of the perpetrators of Gukurahundi were serving in several government organs.
“There are five commissions that are supposed to be independent but they are not because government controls them,” said Denecker.
“Therefore the truth of the matter is that the commission won’t work investigating some government officials who are the chief perpetrators,” said Denecker.
He also added that the commission might have the power to investigate but would lack the power to prosecute meaning it would suffer the same fate as previous commissions.
“So this commission will end up being just a record keeping commission if people do not get justice because of corruption,” Denecker said.
MDC-T Matabeleland South provincial executive member Thandeko Zinti Mkandla also felt that the element of justice would be missing from the commission because the country’s security sector was partisan.
“Zimbabwe has been poisoned with so much partisanship and this commission will lack independence because of the people running it. According to MDC-T, the NPRC should be empowered by the law and should be led by respected and neutral individuals,” said Mkandla.