Chiefs agree on roadmap to resolving the Gukurahundi issue

By Reuben Barwe Chief Correspondent
LOCAL traditional leaders have agreed on eight key areas in the roadmap to the resolution of the Gukurahundi issue.
The chiefs met President Emmerson Mnangagwa who initiated the dialogue and agreed that a one shoe fits all approach was not a solution to the challenges faced by the different chiefdoms.
In many conflicts, it takes two to tango. The conflict that engulfed several chiefdoms in the early 1980s was characterised by civil and political strife and the 1987 Unity Accord between Zanu PF and PF ZAPU was a giant step towards a resolution of the conflict.
However, the Unity Accord was not enough to holistically tackle the issue, hence second republic led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s resolve to revisit the emotive part of the country’s history.
This Saturday the 21st of August 2021 was the climax of candid talks led by the traditional chiefs at State House in Bulawayo for two and a half hours, to come up with the way forward.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr Nick Mangwana read the communiqué stressing that the process is victim centered and will involve key stakeholders engagement and that traditional leaders in affected areas will lead the process with a caution that it should not be tribalised.
“Notably it has been resolved that each chief will spearhead the resolution of the issues in his area of jurisdiction. This process will be victim centred, it will also involve key stakeholder engagement, it was reiterated that the Gukurahundi issue should not be tribalised inorder to foster and build national healing,” said the Permanent Secretary.
The chiefs in attendance including Chief Fortune Charumbira and Chief Mtshana Khumalo spoke after the meeting and commended the openness of the engagements.
The National Council of Chiefs highlighted eight key areas that need to be addressed which are documentation; underdevelopment and marginalisation of Matabeleland region; national healing, reconciliation and national building; counselling and psychosocial support; consultation of victims; reburials, exhumations and memorials; reparations and compensation; and social security benefits.
President Mnangagwa recommended that a systematic approach to the resolution of the issues be adopted and Chiefs now need to organise themselves and come up with implementation plans as per their areas of jurisdiction.