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Resolving 1980s disturbances imperative – President Mnangagwa

Story by Sifiso Sibanda, Assistant News Editor

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says the Second Republic is determined to resolve issues around disturbances that afflicted the nation in the early 1980s.

The President was in Bulawayo this Friday where he engaged chiefs from Matabeleland region on the Gukurahundi Community Outreach Programme, with traditional leaders expected to lead the healing process as custodians of cultural values.

President Mnangagwa said the programme will be an internal home-grown process that seek to bring closure to affected communities.

“After extensive consultations with all stakeholders, I took the decision to mandate the National Council of Chiefs through its selected members to spearhead this initiative. The National Council of Chiefs as the custodians of our culture are best placed to handle this given their intimate and close relationship with the people,” he said.

The President urged Zimbabweans to work with chiefs to bring finality to the issue.

“I take this opportunity to urge everyone involved in this process to maintain heightened alertness for external influences that seek to derail our process and drive us back to the scenario of the internal disputes and conflict. The unity of our nation must be guarded jealousy against detractors both internally and externally.”

President Mnangagwa noted the need to protect the process from opportunists who may seek to gain political mileage from the programme.

“As we approach the official launch in the first quarter of this year, I want to acknowledge the challenges we face, disinformation and political posturing have attempted to cast a shadow over our efforts and this is not a recent phenomenon. The unity accord in in 1987 which serves as a foundation of our current initiative was consummated against the efforts of hostile elements, some of whom were instrumental in sowing seeds of division amongst us. These challenges are not insurmountable and as was the case in the past, they shall not succeed,” he said.

The President reiterated that only a united nation can prosper, hence the commitment by government to resolve the issue and allow the nation to pursue inclusive development in peace.

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