Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is appalled by the latest destruction of a Gukurahundi memorial plaque at Bhalagwe in Maphisa, Matabeleland South province.
This is the third time in two years that the memorial plaque has been vandalized. The plaque was erected by villagers in memory of their beloved family members, victims of the Gukurahundi massacres buried in a mass grave at Bhalagwe.
On January 4, 2022 suspected state security agents used what appeared to be explosives to destroy the memorial plaque at Bhalagwe.The government’s silence and seeming inability to investigate this and previous cases of the destruction of memorial plaques points to unbridled intransigence and insincerity on the part of government towards genuinely addressing issues of national healing and reconciliation, almost three decades since the Gukurahundi massacres which resulted in the loss of over 20 000 innocent lives.
We view the cosmetic approaches by President Emmerson Mnangagwa towards national healing and reconciliation as self-defeating as they only serve to betray the independence dream of a united Zimbabwe which faced a false start with the Gukurahundi massacres presided over by President Mugabe.
Destroying memorial plaques and refusing to acknowledge the act only cements the long held notions that those that presided over Gukurahundi are now leading the state and are bent on silencing the issue to eternity.
It is on this premise that the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition implores the state to be sincere and to take the issue of national healing and reconciliation with the seriousness it deserves. That we have a constitutional commission, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC), is testimony of the need to address issues such as Gukurahundi, which are a blight on the development trajectory of our country. Such acts of sabotage can only serve to further divide the nation.
We applaud the efforts of various citizens’ initiatives fighting for the curation of Gukurahundi and pushing the agenda of national healing and reconciliation. As the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, we reaffirm our support towards such efforts.
The dream of converting Zimbabwe from a Country into a Nation starts with inclusively and comprehensively dealing with Gukurahundi!