ZIMBABWE People First (ZimPF) leader, Joice Mujuru, has said past human rights violations cannot be ignored, adding Zimbabweans are traumatised and need healing.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU/SILAS
Mujuru, addressing her first public rally as an opposition leader in Bulawayo on Saturday, said Zimbabweans have gone through a lot of painful moments, and are nursing physical and emotional scars.
The ZimPF leader, however, did not mention specific incidents of past human rights violations, preferring to say there has been a lot of pre and post-independence painful moments.
“We have agreed as ZimPF that the country has gone through a lot of pre and post-independence traumas.
“Our duty is to identify those traumas one by one and deal with them to ensure healing and reconciliation. Our country has gone through a lot of painful moments, people have gone through a lot of suffering and that cannot be ignored,” Mujuru told thousands of ZimPF supporters.
Zimbabwe has witnessed past human rights violations such as Gukurahundi mass killings, violent farm invasions and Operation Murambatsvina that have left thousands dead, injured and displaced.
Elections have also been marred by violence and enforced disappearances.
Mujuru also said ZimPF frowned upon tribalism and regionalism, but did not mention any political party that propagates the two ills.
“We have a problem where some people look down on other tribes and regions. These are matters that ZimPF will look into in power. That is why, as a party, we preach peace and inclusivity,” she said.
But, secessionist, Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) said Mujuru should have specifically cited Gukurahundi because of its significance to people in Matabeleland and Midlands regions.
“She should have used the opportunity to tell the people about her role during the dark hour (Gukurahundi) in the lives of the people of Mthwakazi,” MLF’s acting spokesperson, Chrispen Nyoni told Southern Eye yesterday.
“Mujuru’s hands are as filthy as those of the entire Zanu PF leadership that orchestrated the Gukurahundi genocide. The country has been skating on thin ice for the past 15 or so years, where was she then?”
He said Mujuru’s failure to talk about her role in the Gukurahundi during her Bulawayo rally was testimony that she was not remorseful about the massacres.
Some Matabeleland-based pressure groups are now pushing for secession, accusing central government of deliberate marginalisation.