The speaker of National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda has called for the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) to vigorously push for a national apology for the past conflicts, especially the Entumbane and Gukurahundi atrocities.
This came out during his keynote address at a capacity building workshop held at a local hotel on Monday in Bulawayo which was organised by the Portfolio Committee on Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the mandate of the NPRC.
Mudenda said there is a need for the perpetrators of the atrocities to publicly acknowledge their wrongdoing to allow the country to move forward.
“Let us confess that era of the conflict so that we go beyond the acknowledgement of the ‘moment of madness’. Confession is a condition precedent to letting bygones be bygones.
“Once that confession is done the spring of hope, national healing and reconciliation will abundantly germinate without any doubt,” Hon. Mudenda said.
He said there is a need for truth-telling so that there can be cultural expatiation ceremonies especially in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces where the Gukurahundi massacres occurred.
“Immediately what should follow are traditional and cultural expatiation ceremonies which must ride on the pedestal of truth-telling in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces where the Gukurahundi tragedy was most pronounced,” he said.
In addition, Mudenda said the issue of reconciliation will facilitate the process of documentation and proper re-burial of victims.
“In tandem, the low hanging fruit of reconciliation is a concerted and strategic issuance of personal identity documents, namely the birth and identity certificates as well as reburial of victims where need be,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hon. Mudenda said as part of the reconciliation process there is a need for construction of modern laboratories in the affected areas.
“Relatedly, the secondary schools in the erstwhile affected provinces must be revamped through the construction of modern science laboratories as part of a tangible reconciliation process.
“These last two areas of remedial response can easily be funded by UNICEF, catch up infrastructural development can be embarked upon soon after. This is the practical approach to national healing and reconciliation,” he said.
Former President Robert Mugabe who described the killings as “a moment of madness” did not allow open discussions on the issue.
However, his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa has allowed people to openly speak on the issue and has given the go-ahead for reburials.