BY SILAS NKALA/ARNOLD FANDISO
THE Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) yesterday expressed concern over the State’s unwillingness to address gross human rights violations dating back to the 1980s Gukurahundi period.
In a statement yesterday to mark the International Day of the Right to Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims celebrated every year on March 24, the lawyers grouping called on government to unravel the hidden truths concerning gross human rights violations that occurred since independence.
“ZLHR also urges the State actors to take steps to restore the dignity of the victims of gross human rights violations by initiating necessary processes to provide reparations to the victims, survivors and their relatives.
“The right to the truth implies the knowledge of the complete truth as to the events that transpired, the specific circumstances in which the violations took place, who participated in them and the reasons for the violations. In addition, the relatives of the victims of torture, summary executions and enforced disappearances are entitled to know what happened to the victims,” ZLHR said.
It said although the Constitution established the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, many victims and survivors of gross human rights violations have not yet been able to know the truth about what happened to them, their relatives, friends or neighbours.
ZLHR said victims of Gukurahundi genocide in Matabeleland had a right to know the truth about what happened, adding that the August 1, 2018 killings must be thoroughly investigated and perpetrators held accountable.