President Emmerson Mnangagwa is launching the consultative and engagement process regarding the early 1980’s disturbances in the Matabeleland region (Gukurahundi).

Chiefs are attending the launch at Bulawayo State House, as they are expected to spearhead the process in the communities affected.

Meanwhile, the Gukurahundi debate has been a thorn in Mnangagwa’s flesh who allegedly greatly participated in the genocide.

Over the years, the ZANU PF government has allegedly been skirting the matter, amid growing pressure to address it.

Gukurahundi was a genocide in Zimbabwe which arose in 1982 until the Unity Accord in 1987.

It derives from a Shona language term which loosely translates to “the early rain which washes away the chaff before the spring rains”.

According to Wikipedia, in early 1983, the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade, an infantry brigade of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), began a crackdown on dissidents in Matabeleland North Province and Matabeleland South Province, a homeland of the Mathebele.

Over the following two years, thousands of Mathebele were detained by government forces and either marched to re-education camps, tortured, raped and/or summarily executed.

Although there are different estimates, the consensus of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) is that more than 20,000 people were killed.