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NPRC must look into Gukurahundi: US ambassador

THE United States has urged the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) to thoroughly look into the Gukurahundi atrocities that killed thousands so that people in Matabeleland and Midlands can heal.

Addressing the media at a ceremony to launch a cultural publication, documenting Ndebele traditional hut decoration at Amagugu International Cultural Heritage Centre in Matobo Wednesday, United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Brian A. Nichols, urged the NPRC to look at what happened during that period.

“For the Ndebele people the NPRC’s work is incredibly important and going forward, the commission must look at what truly happened in the past and promote reconciliation among the country,” said Nichols.

Over 20 000 people from Matabeleland and Midlands provinces, predominated by the Ndebele, were killed by the Fifth Brigade army between 1983 and 1987, of which reconciliatory efforts by authorities leave a lot to be desired.

The gap to reconcile and atone for the atrocities has left people in the southern region traumatised and emotionally wounded.

The US ambassador also highlighted that the current political situation in Zimbabwe called for political parties to come together for the betterment of the situation.

“I hope the political parties are going to work together towards promoting reforms for Zimbabwe for a more democratic country. I propose these parties work together to push forward on pieces of legislation like Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the opening up the broadcasting space and print media,” he added.

In 2016, the State Department Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation awarded $42 000 to the National Gallery of Zimbabwe to document Ndebele traditional hut decoration, including a book on Ndebele art.

The book documents the external and internal art, architecture, and decoration of Ndebele homes through schematic drawings and photographs.

It highlights the significance of these forms in the context of culture, environment, and local Ndebele history.

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