Gukurahundi debate dominate Matabeleland hearings

…as Sloganeering ZANU PF Youths Hijack Hearing in Chinhoyi

Participants during the Bulawayo hearing

Participants during the Bulawayo hearing

The views that came out of the final round of hearings for the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) bill might have amplified calls by civil society organizations such as Heal Zimbabwe for the public to reject the bill as a bill that is self-serving and neglects the dire need for real national healing and reconciliation processes in Zimbabwe. Today saw three final public hearings being conducted in Chinhoyi, Lupane and Bulawayo. The last hearing will be conducted in Harare on the 20th of April 2016.

The hearings in Lupane and Bulawayo saw participants raising similar views particularly on the Gukurahundi atrocities that took place in Zimbabwe. The general sentiments that came out during the two hearings show that there can be no meaningful reconciliation and healing in Zimbabwe if Gukurahundi remains a shelved matter that is sensitive to talk about.

The issue of compensation also for those who lost their homes and loved ones during the atrocities formed the dominant debate with people suggesting that government should compensate all who were affected. The hearing in Bulawayo had 250 people in attendance while the one in Lupane had 110 people.

In Chinhoyi, the meeting started with a bad start as ZANU PF youths in attendance booed and interjected other participants as they were contributing their views. The major turning point in the hearing was when one participant argued that the bill gave the Minister responsible for National healing too much power. This sparked outrage and uproar from ZANU PF youths who broke into songs, slogans and dances. The Parliamentary team had a hard time trying to call the house to order but to no avail.

After a few contributions from the participants, the hearing was called off as many people raised some security concerns after some ZANU PF youths in regalia were seen milling around the venue.250 people attended the hearing.

Below are the views from the three hearings:



  1. a) The idea of a Commission is a good idea but the Bill says nothing about post conflict Justice. When it starts and ends.


  1. b) As long as this commission is funded by government, then it’s a waste of time.Fiscus resources are not enough


  1. c)   Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina and the 2008 violence should be clearly stated as violations that need to be addressed by the bill


  1. d)  If Gukurahundi was a moment of madness then the Bill should tell us how to deal with the madness.


  1. e) Some government official said Gukurahundi is a closed chapter, can this Bill open it?


  1. f) We know that the current government officials have a hand in past violations, how can they investigate themselves. The bill seems like a second Gukurahundi prescription


  1. g) The madness in this bill is gross.


  1. h) Devolution is what matters for the people of Matabeleland. Everything is a waste of time


  1. i) The Minister responsible for national healing is unqualified to lead the institution. Bulawayo rejects Minister Mphoko


  1. j) The Bill is a perpetuation of the Gukurahundi ideology. What happened to other commissions on Gukurahundi?


  1. k) Chihambakwe and Dumbutshena reports should be classified as the basis for truth telling


  1. l) Why provide for legal representation in a Peace and reconciliation process? The idea should not be to defend oneself but tell the truth.


  1. m) No forgiveness for murder. Perpetrators must be brought to justice.


  1. n) Minister should not decide how to deal with recommendations of the commission


  1. o) The Commission should have financial autonomy


  1. p) This important issue require parliament to move out of towns and go to Tsholotsho and other rural areas to speak to the most affected.


  1. q) This Bill should state clearly who wronged who and where. What wounds does it seek to heal? It should be truthful


  1. r) With this kind of Bill we remain where we are .This is a Ministers’ personal Commission. As villagers we will

continue to suffer and cry for peace


  1. s) There is no guarantee of safety of the victims. Nowhere in the bill is safety after giving evidence of violation


  1. t) We are wasting time, this Bill is just another useless piece of law. It has no power to bring justice. We reject it.


  1. u) The Ministerial appointments will not work as long as alleged violators have state power and the power of the minister hinders independence of Commission.




  1. a) The Unity Accord is enough, no need for further reconciliation. So there isn’t need for the NPRC


  1. b) Forgiveness is needed but should come with the truth.


  1. c) The Commission should have more powers than giving too much power the Minister.


  1. d) Protection of victims and witnesses must be clear in the Bill


  1. e) The Bill must clearly outline what can be done to have your case heard by the NPRC if it is before the court


  1. f) Reconciliation to start with the Smith regime era




  1. a) There should be no time limit to the life of the Commission. Ten years is not enough.


  1. b) How can my own evidence be regarded as false? Who knows my own ordeal? All the penalties are on victims.


  1. c) Youths need closure to our past like Gukurahundi. The State is not serious about addressing Gukurahundi.


  1. d) People should be the owners of the Bill, we want the truth on Gukurahundi.


  1. e) We no longer trust government processes.


  1. f) The Bill does not guarantee protection of the Victims


  1. g) The seal of the Commission can be abused. It should be protected by an authorized signature for Accountability


  1. h) The Bill should be clear on how compensation will be done instead of punish the victim for falsehoods.


  1. i) The Commission needs Independence from manipulation by politicians.


  1. j) If the Minister decides not to take donations where can government get the money. The commission needs funding.


  1. k) The powers of the minister are too much


 Team B Date Place Venue Time
20 April 2016 Harare Senate Chamber 1000hrs

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