By Blessing Chebundo, MDC Secretary for National Healing, Peace, Reconciliation and Integration
Obert Mpofus’ latest Gukurahundi utterances in which he advocates against Emmerson Mnangagwa apologizing for the country’s biggest Zanu
PF government led atrocities since attainment of black rule in 1980, is a deplorable act of self-serving by a man whose hands are unclean of the
same crime given his defection from ZAPU during the same period.
Mpofu argues that an apology by Mnangagwa’s government over Gukurahundi atrocities will be a disaster for his party and the administration.
He further, unreasonably advocates to let bygones be bygones, and avoid opening closed wounds which maybe catastrophic to his party and
to the illegitimate government.
Obert Mpofu demonstrates lack of appreciation of sanctity of human life, as long as his personal political interests are safeguarded. He is an
embarrassment to the communities of Matebeleland North, and their community leadership, whom he has claimed to represent all these years.
The souls, and bones of those murdered gruesomely, must be turningin their mass graves.
Mpofu and his ‘like-minded colleagues’ should appreciate that one of the greatest tenets for national development is the prevailing of peace,
adequately cleared of present and past wrongs and well thought-out sustainable future peace programmes. A dark past will always impede the
future unless the dark spots are properly cleared of residual injustices.
The nation needs proper healing. There cannot be meaningful development without proper nation building and national healing programme. The
country’s healing programme cannot be held to ransom by people who fear to be exposed of their roles in the past and present atrocities. There is
need for a truth telling programme, transitional justice, need for proper closing of wounds to ensure lasting healing, including decent burials.
The MDC, as the people’s party, recognizes the importance of national peace and stability to sustainable development and is committed to
an all stakeholder-facilitated and instituted national healing, reconciliation, integration and due care program for the victims as a pre-requisite
for nation building and sustainable democracy and development.
The trauma and wounds of human rights violations committed in pre and post-colonial Zimbabwe, chief amongst them, Gukurahundi, cannot
be ignored. The dark period left a traumatized, politically fractured and sorrowful nation stricken with grief, depression, suspicion and pain with
many people living in fear. These various inflicted wounds were either not closed or improperly closed. And the best way to close old wounds is
by confronting the past for a better future. This entails remembering and confronting the past terrors. We must remember what happened in order
to keep it from not happening again. It is only through remembering, allowing open discussions, care, healing, compensating and reconciliation
that the nation can go forward.
The MDC applauds the 2013 constitutional provisions that provides for the setting up of a National Peace and Reconciliation Commission
(NPRC) and that of the Human Rights Commission, (ZHRC), whose respective mandates are to facilitate for the ‘opening and proper closing
of the old wounds, and the much needed prevention of recurrences. The MDC will work to further buttress and strengthen the independence
of these institutions.
And as we seek to transform the lives of all the people of Zimbabwe, there is need for politicians to change their mindset. Serious political
will is needed to permanently address the various cumulative crises bedeviling the country for the past four decades, all being mainly State
sponsored human injustices and many other sources of peace threatening crises, legitimacy crisis, need for curing of the corruption virus
and the economic crises.
The calls by Obert Mpofu are based on the fear to be exposed. We cannot allow the country to be held to ransom by personal interest.
Let us put the interests of the dead and the tortured souls first. ubaba Obert Mpofu!