In its attempt to address the emotive issue of the bloody Gukurahundi ethnic attrocities and promote national healing, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe Government has said it will in September exhume and rebury the victims of the post-independence disturbances.

Amongst a multiplicity of other initiatives premised on addressing the emotive Gukurahundi issue, Zimbabwe has promised to begin the issuance of birth certificates to children whose parents were ghastly murdered by the North-Korean trained Fifth Brigade.

The ethnic purges targeting the Ndebele-speaking communities of Matabeleland and parts of the Midlands province in the early to mid 80s have their calamitous effects felt to this day as most people have traditionally failed to posses basic documentation such as birth certificates and national identity cards.

Briefing local journalists after a meeting between Mnangagwa and members of a civil society grouping called Matabeleland Collective in Bulawayo, Government spokesperson Ndavaningi Mangwana said it was agreed that Harare starts rolling out various initiatives to address the perennial grievances of the Gukurahundi victims.

“Today (Saturday), the issues that were discussed were the issuance of birth and death certificates to victims of Gukurahundi, exhumation of victims of Gukurahundi, Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, corruption in rural district councils, youth empowerment and increased participation of women in Government and Parliament,” Mangwana said.

“From these, the outcome was that there will be a rollout in September which is going to involve the chiefs, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, Matabeleland Collective and Government. This rollout is basically the implementation of these programmes for the Gukurahundi victims,” he said.

Widely dismissed as a pro-Zanu PF establishment, Matabeleland Collective is a grouping of non-governmental organisations, faith-based organisations, community-based organisations, trusts, savings clubs and social movements from Bulawayo and the Gukurahundi-affected regions of Matabeleland.

The Zimbabwe septuagenarian, who is widely regarded as one of the scapegoats in a genocide which resulted in the ghastly killings of tens of thousands of the Ndebele-speaking citizenry, was then state security minister overseeing the dreaded spy agency, the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

The late Lands and Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri who recently died of Covid19, is on record fingered an architect of the gory murders as he was the leader of the Fifth Brigade, while Dominic Chinenge led the First Brigade.

While the now late Mugabe, who was later succeeded by Mnangagwa in a dramatic coup of November 2017, described Gukurahundi as a ‘moment of madness’, the current leader has promised to ‘openly discuss’ the typically indelible stain of the sporadic mass killings.

The word Gukurahundi is derived from the vernacular Shona language roughly translated to the early rains which washes away the chaff before the spring rains.