Gukurahundi Tragedy Getting Acknowledged: Government Launches Public Hearings in Bulawayo
The National Council of Chiefs in Zimbabwe is expecting to hold Gukurahundi hearings within a three-month period as 144 rapporteurs undergo training in Bulawayo.
The government has begun disbursing funds for the national healing process. The training of the rapporteurs is a crucial step in the healing process, following the presentation of a victim-friendly Gukurahundi public hearing manual to President Mnangagwa, which was later adopted as an official government document.
President Mnangagwa has made several attempts to engage traditional leaders in finding a solution to the Gukurahundi conflict, due to increasing pressure from civil rights groups who are advocating for the reconciliation and reparation process to begin.
As the community public hearings are set to be rolled out, the National Council of Chiefs is conducting a capacity training workshop for the rapporteurs, which ends today.
Each chief from Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South will be working with two rapporteurs. According to the National Council of Chiefs President, Chief Charumbira, the rapporteurs will be key to the success of the hearings and must be trained accordingly. They will be responsible for recording submissions and writing reports, as well as translating data from local languages to English.
Critics have, however, dismissed the government’s stance on Gukurahundi as a political gimmick, claiming it could be a way for the ruling party to gain votes in Matabeleland. The recent arrests of peaceful commemorators who honoured their families killed during the Gukurahundi era have only heightened the skeptics’ view.
The training of rapporteurs has been seen as a positive step towards the national healing process and closure for those affected by the Gukurahundi conflict.
It remains to be seen whether the government’s actions will be viewed as a genuine effort towards reconciliation, or simply a political ploy.
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