President Mnangagwa re-assures post independence conflict victims


Harare (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday said no efforts will be spared to secure redress for victims of the disturbances that rocked the Southern parts of the country in the early years of independence and committed his personal determination to address legacy issues of that period.
Commonly referred as the Gukurahundi period, some parts of Zimbabwe witnessed a spate of violence shortly after 1980 which stopped after the two former Liberation movements PF Zapu and ZANU signed the historic Unity Accord in 1987.
As part of efforts to address issues relating to that period, President Mnangagwa has engaged leaders from Matabeleland and some parts of the Midlands provinces.
In his Unity Day message, President Mnangagwa said there was need to boldly confront the happenings of that era.
Some of the victims have suffered from a lack of access to national identity documents while others have long sought closure over the violence that resulted in the deaths of some of their relatives.
“I have made it a personal mission to engage our citizens and our communities in the conflict zones of that unfortunate time of early Independence. We have to boldly confront and tackle the aftermath of that era; heal wounds it left in its wake, and where possible, assuage persistent difficulties and challenges traceable to it. This, I am resolved to do until we remove whatever bitter memories may still exist, and are likely to linger. We are the generation that must resolve issues of early Independence conflict, so we release our children to move forward and ahead as a united people,” he said.
“On countless occasions, I have met and interacted with interest groups, community and traditional leaders from Matabeleland and parts of Midlands, all with a view to establishing what needs to be done so the after-effects of this regrettable era are put behind us. Our traditional leaders, led by our Chiefs, have a great role to play in this regard. They preside over communities affected by the conflict; those hurt by the conflict are their subjects. They know the hurts; hear all the cries from the era and have suggestions on what needs to be done.
“As we give space to our traditional leaders to lead processes of reconciliation and repair, we should guard against those negative elements which aim to re-ignite frozen differences in order to throw us back into renewed conflict. As always there are sinister forces which seek to profit from a divided and divisive past. They must not succeed.”
President Mnangagwa said to guard against conflict of such nature from happening again, robust national institutions for conflict prevention, management and resolution ha d been built.
He said a key area which is receiving serious attention was that of balanced, inclusive development which leaves no one and no community behind.
“We have introduced in our daily workings, mechanisms to prevent conflicts, however minor or localised. Above all, we continue to monitor and find answers to new, emerging situations of potential conflict so these are obviated before they occur. It is from such mechanisms, through such vigilance, that peace is forged and won, and that nations get durably built,” he said.
“Oftentimes, feelings of marginalisation breed resentment and eventual conflict. Examples abound on our continent, examples from which we must draw key lessons. Our cardinal policy on decentralised and devolved development is the answer.”
New Ziana

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