Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) is imploring President Emmerson Mnangagwa to censure the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) Spokesperson, Obert Gutu over his recent reckless statement over the Gukurahundi massacres.
On June 23, 2021, Gutu claimed that the Gukurahundi massacres, which claimed an estimated 20 000 civilians in the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces in the 1980s was a ‘small tiny fraction’ of issues the NPRC is dealing with.
“It is regrettable that a representative of a commission mandated to ensure national healing and reconciliation would seek to trivialize an issue of the magnitude of Gukurahundi and inflict more pain on victims and survivors of the government-sanctioned massacres. It is foolhardy to claim that Gukurahundi is ‘a small tiny fraction’ of issues faced by the NPRC.
“The Gukurahundi massacres marked the beginning of state-sponsored brutality against citizens (which has continued up to now) and dealt a death blow to the concept of nationhood in Zimbabwe and as such cannot be dismissed as a small issue,” CiZC said in a statement.
The coalition is of the view that Gutu’s recent statement smacks of a ploy to sweep the issue of Gukurahundi under the carpet and leaves the nation convinced that there is a lack of political will to address the issue and promote national healing and reconciliation.
It added that the government of Zimbabwe must account for past atrocities such as Gukurahundi, the murder of opposition supporters during past elections (2000, 2002, 2008, 2018), Operation Murambatsvina of 2005 among other incidences that led to the loss of lives and livelihoods and contends that this calls for Gutu to desist from wearing the jacket of a government or political party spokesperson.
“As Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, we reiterate our demand for an open and honest approach towards resolving the Gukurahundi issue. Gukurahundi is a big and key national scar. That is where the Zimbabwe project died.”