ZPRA condemn culture of violence

cartoon_violence2BULAWAYO - A group of war veterans in Matabeleland this week spoke out against the culture of violence that has pervaded Zimbabwe since independence.

The Zimbabwe Peoples Revolutionary Army (ZPRA) Trust, which is holding community healing initiatives around the country, said violence had been ignored for too long much to its acceptance as a culture. Rtd Col Lazarus Ncube, a veteran of the 1970s struggle that brought independence, and the Trusts chairman, said they were conducting workshops to decry the culture.

In the urban centres, the programme will focus on peace committees being formed in residential areas where most violence prevails. Our citizens should realize that violence breeds violence and we cannot let it be part of our culture this time around. We need peace committees to start sensitizing our urbanites now so that they can take pre-emptive measures to weed out any form of political violence in our cities, he told The Zimbabwean.

Violence has characterized Zimbabwes political landscape since independence in 1980. In the early 1980s, then-Prime Minister, Robert Mugabe unleashed the Korean-trained Fifth Brigade in Matabeleland and some parts of Midlands purportedly to weed out dissidents. The operation left at least 20 000 civilians dead in what Mugabe described as a moment of madness almost two decades later.

In recent years, war veterans have been at the forefront of violence that critics believe has kept Mugabe in power. The war veterans were also accused of engaging in similar acts during the just-ended Constitutional Outreach Programme which was marred by chaos.

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