Zimbabwe Truth and Reconciliation Commission
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Dear Fellow Zimbabweans,
We look back on 37 years of despotic rule and the perpetuated degradation of everything that we envisaged when our nation rose to demand a democracy and liberation from a racist regime. Under the call for “one-man-one-vote” we heralded the post-independence “rule by majority”. Tens of thousands of lives were lost, but their rightful legacy has been denied.
What the Mugabe Regime promised and what it delivered, constitutes a betrayal to all Zimbabweans. The ideals of Chimurenga were forfeited for the immense accumulation of wealth by the elitist 3% of the population and resolute policies of power consolidation and retention. Our people are impoverished, silenced, without rights and engaged in an ongoing struggle to reestablish their dignity. Continued and determined neglect has led to total deterioration of the infrastructure, the amenities, healthcare, education and the entire economy and fiscal system. Corrupt minds were entangled in protecting and augmenting their unimaginable gains and power monopoly – too busy to contemplate the destruction they had caused, the pain they had inflicted and the dismal state of the nation and its people. Whilst they, the elite, might have strutted around the world, winged by the “Liberation Legacy”, the People are grounded and suffering the denial of justice.
African Liberation cannot imply such. In a liberated African state, torture chambers cannot be part of the “rule of law”. Hungry children cannot be part of a liberated society. Displaced and homeless families cannot be part of a society after liberation. Vendors with university graduations do not feature in African Pride. Patients dying on hospital verandahs and hospital floors cannot comply with the principles of Pan-Africanism.
We, as Zimbabweans, cannot forget and forgive the immense pain of our fellow countrymen, who have had to personally experience or witness crimes against human beings like torture, murder, disappearances, abductions, beatings, intimidation, forced displacement and homelessness.
A genocide cannot be assimilated into a Zimbabwean Revival!
If the figurehead of suppression has been disempowered, it must be the time to address the darkest times of our experience.
Gukurahundi, in the early 1980's, lost the lives of over 20,000 fellow Zimbabweans. Surely, we cannot choose to remain silent in the knowledge of such an atrocity? Some have justified the unjustifiable by claiming that it was retaliation against ‘dissident activity’. We have yet to see that evidence or to see proof that weapons were cachéd. There is none. Mugabe described this horrendous act of barbarity as “A moment of madness”. Crushed communities, traumatized families – a moment of madness? And passé!
No, it is not enough. We want the state to take this as seriously as it is and establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We want to know who committed these crimes. Why they committed them? Who gave the orders? Who was reported to? Whose interests were served?
Many of us have lost loved ones under suspicious and unsolved circumstances: Fathers, mothers, siblings, relatives, friends – there are so many unsolved lost lives. We call for the revelation and disclosure in all these cases. We remember Itai Dzamara and his brave stance against a regime. Bring Itai back!
We want answers. We want to know the names of all, who lost their lives. We want them listed and recognized. We want burial and memorials. We want restitution and remorse. We want closure.
We demand the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to shed light on the atrocities committed during this dark and painful era. We need to begin the process of healing, by making accountable those responsible for these atrocities. We demand transparency and want to be assured that this never happens again.
God bless Zimbabwe. Ubuntu, our path into the future!
Yours most sincerely,
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