CLERGYMEN under the umbrella term Christian Voice International Zimbabwe (CVI-Z) have called on government to accord decent burials to Gukurahundi victims lying in mass graves and warned that ignoring the mass killings would be a recipe for disaster.
Source: Clergyman speak out on Gukurahundi – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 14, 2016
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
The CVI-Z also criticised President Robert Mugabe for hate speech and opening old wounds after he threatened to crush defiant war veterans for trying to influence his succession just like in the 1980s when Gukurahundi was unleashed against alleged dissidents.
The clergymen said Mugabe’s threats were detrimental to church efforts on reconciliation and healing “as those people who were affected (by Gukurahundi) are hiding in our churches and confide in us pastors”.
“As the Church, we feel government has not done enough to heal and reconcile the ethnic impasse evidenced by hate speech at times perpetrated by those in high political power and the fear shrouded around discussion of issues of the massacres,” the CVI-Z said in a statement.
“Ignoring and sweeping such an issue under the carpet will only leave a time bomb for the next generation. We, therefore, recommend the government to make a notable gesture and accord decent burial for those lying in mass graves and probably erect a monument in recognition of the departed.”
Mugabe, then Prime Minister, dispatched the 5 Brigade — an elite unit trained by the North Koreans — to Midlands and Matabeleland provinces to quash what he said were insurgents bent on overthrowing him.
The ensuing offensive left unarmed villagers at the mercy of the military, leaving nearly 20 000 dead, according to the Catholic Commission for Peace and Justice (CCJP).
The CVI-Z said government has not done enough to heal and reconcile the ethnic impasse evidenced by Mugabe’s recent hate speech.
The clergymen said they expected joint efforts with the government to heal past political impunity targeting the marginalised Matabeleland and Midlands people during Gukurahundi.
“Such kind of careless and unwarranted statements which promote the opening up of past wounds are detrimental to efforts being done by the church to preach the gospel of forgiveness, healing and reconciliation and are very retrogressive to the development of a nation.”