Local churches have called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa to address the Matebeleland mass killing of civilians by the North Korean trained Fifth Brigade under an operation dubbed Gukurahundi saying the issue has been circumvented for a long time.
The churches said the country will only move forward if various officials and former cabinet ministers are put to task to attain relief for Gukurahundi victims.
Speaking at a National Multiparty Interface meeting in the capital today, Zimbabwe Divine Destiny’s Reverend Guthrie Malusi Gomo said the country will only move forward if the government addresses the Gukurahundi issue which continues to attract mixed feelings from Zimbabweans.
“Everything rises and falls around the leader, Mugabe was the Prime Minister then, he was in charge and also he had a cabinet, the executive starting from the Prime Minister, the Minister of National Security then was the now President Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, it’s the government of that day to blame starting from the principal himself, they have to be accountable and tell us what real happened. Including their executive that was making decisions in that day.
“It can even castigate down to the commanders of the fifth brigade, people like retired Air Marshal Perence Shiri and we have people like Sydney Sekeramayi, all those people they have to be put to task so that the case can be open and also goes through the proper procedures and the people will feel relieved…,” he said.
Reverend Gomo charged that political differences should not prompt violence that will result in killings of the same people like what happened in the Gukurahundi atrocities. He said for the 1987 Unity Accord peace settlement to make sense, the Matebeleland genocide require proper review.
“20000 people they were not killed by people from Uganda, they were not killed by people from DRC, but by our own brothers and sisters.
“But what we did is that we signed on the blood of our brothers and sisters without addressing the issue that caused it. We are trying to bury it yet its still popping. It is real, it was a political crisis,” said Gomo.
The 2008 political violence in the run up to the June 27 Presidential elections runoff also came under spotlight with the church saying it was done without a clear agenda to compensate the victims of political violence.
“We signed again an accord on top of people that were displaced, maimed and murdered for political differences. As this was organised we say we want to correct that mistake,” added Gomo.
Gomo added that mitigation strategies need to be effected so that there will not be a repeat of killings for political reasons.
Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, Dr Kenneth Mtata appealed for improved constitutionalism adding that transparency in the way the country is governed is important.
“We are told that we have a debt, but we do not know what exactly the legitimate debt is and what not legitimate debt is. We will need to do a debt audit so that we know how much do owe as Zimbabweans,” said Dr Mtata.
On the debt audit, Mtata appeared to agree with MDC Alliance Presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa who is on record saying the government’s borrowing strategies needed a serious scrutiny in the form of a comprehensive auditing.
Churches also challenged the government to put more efforts to eradicate poverty that Zimbabwean people face everyday saying it is the first and major threat to peace.