The Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) has called for the perpetrators of the Gukurahundi massacres to be tried before the courts of law to bring closure to the volatile matter.
The party said it has become clear that Zimbabwe cannot move forward as a nation towards peace and development; unless and until the thorny issue of Gukurahundi has been seriously and effectively addressed.
ZAPU maintains that the suffering brought about by the genocide; committed by the ZANU PF government led by Robert Mugabe, can only be achieved through an honest and sincere address of all the concerns of the victims.
According to the party, they are two possible approaches to it, in search for a permanent resolution.
The first approach is that of pursuing the legal route through the domestic legal regime. In the face of overwhelming evidence that thousands of murders with actual intent were committed by the murderous Fifth Brigade; under the command and direction of the political leadership of the ZANU PF regime.
“Indeed, the culprits admit that the military brigade was created for that very purpose of committing murders.
In admission to the genocide, Mugabe once described it as a ‘monument of madness.’
“In the circumstances, in the absence of any compelling reasons; it may be argued that the law of the land must take its course and that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are brought to book,” said ZAPU.
ZAPU added that the value of criminal prosecutions is not for revenge’s sake, but to server as a deterrence measure, and warning for the perpetrators and those coming after them who may be like minded, that such criminal conduct in the name of politics and political power will not be tolerated in Zimbabwe.
The party added that the second aspect of the legal approach is to recognise and acknowledge that the crime of genocide was perpetrated in contravention of international law, and could see perpetrators facing international tribunals.
“The second approach, and the alternative to the legal route is to treat the genocide as a political problem amenable to political, social and economic remedies,” said the party.
Making the massacre of ZAPU members and the Ndebele people in Matebeleland and the Midlands Provinces of Zimbabwe, be treated as a political problem subject to resolution through political dialogue.
Under this, the government should acknowledge the genocide and Gukurahundi crimes that were committed by the ZANU PF regime and apologizes and provide compensation for the murders and atrocities.
Calling the government of Zimbabwe to return ZAPU archives, files and records which were confiscated by the ZANU PF regime at the height of its genocidal military campaign.
ZAPU also urged the current Emmerson Mnangagwa government to release and publishes, without delay the reports of the Dumbutshena and Chihambakwe commissions on the Gukurahundi massacres. And guarantees through the international community the safety and security of the victims and the survivors of the genocide and all witnesses giving evidence or information on any aspect of the genocide atrocities.
Meanwhile, the chief culprit Mugabe has denied responsibility for the genocide and instead blaming the mayhem on the victims. While, his successor Mnangagwa has also denied responsibility, refused to apologise blaming the atrocities on his predecessor.
Be that as it may, a coalition of civil society groups from Matabeleland that recently struck a deal with Mnangagwa paving way for a government intervention on the Gukurahundi killings is disintegrating amid allegations that it has been hijacked.
Mnangagwa pledged that the government will facilitate reburials of victims of the atrocities and access to national identity documents for survivors, but the initiative is already facing collapse, amid allegations of state capture of the process.
According to insiders, the coalition has in the past few weeks been rocked by disputes fuelled by suspicions that it has been heavily infiltrated by state security agents and ruling party moles. With survivors fearing that they would be earmarked for victimisation.