President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s sincerity to promote Gukurahundi national healing programmes has once again been questioned following the failure by his government to allocate money towards the issue that many insist must be resolved to bring peace and unity.
Human rights activists in Bulawayo this week expressed concern over why Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, in his 2023 budget, failed to set aside money for Gukurahundi consultative processes.
The Gukurahundi Massacres claimed an estimated 20 000 innocent lives in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in the early 1980s.
Traditional leaders in Matabeleland South have been repeating calls for government to publicly apologise for the Gukurahundi genocide which happened when Mnangagwa was the Minister of State Security.
The Zanu-PF leader opened dialogue on the emotive subject, appointing a team of chiefs to lead the healing process but like his predecessor, the late former President Robert Mugabe, he has not offered any apology for the mass killings.
Speaking at an event to remember Gukurahundi victims organised by the Public Policy Research Institute Zimbabwe in Bulawayo, Ibhetshu LikaZulu secretary-general Mbuso Fuzwayo decried the lack of budgetary support to address the issue.
“They are not telling us the budget for the (Gukurahundi healing) programme. Even the recently announced 2023 national budget by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube did not include the Gukurahundi issue, and so how is it going to be addressed?” Fuzwayo said.
Former Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office in the 2009 to 2013 Government of National Unity, Gorden Moyo said that there was a need for authorities to first acknowledge that there was a genocide and honouring the dead.
“In similar genocides that happened in countries such as Burundi, Rwanda and others, their healing processes started by acknowledging the problem and honouring the dead. That is why they are currently moving ahead economically,” Moyo said.
The event was also attended by National Peace and Reconciliation Commission chairperson Justice Selo Nare, Chiefs Council deputy president Chief Mtshane Khumalo and Women of Zimbabwe Arise leader Jane Williams.