BULAWAYO – Ntabazinduna chief Nhlanhlayemangwe Ndiweni has said he will move to convince fellow traditional leaders in his bid to seek the best way forward in addressing the thorny Gukurahundi atrocities issue which continues to haunt the country.
The traditional leader also appealed for Zimbabweans to unite and speak with one voice on the matter that has suddenly becoming topical ever since President Emmerson Mnangagwa took over from his predecessor Robert Mugabe.
This comes as vice president Kembo Mohadi, who is in charge of the National Peace and Reconciliation portfolio recently said government would through traditional leaders, address the post-independence massacres.
“In our culture, we have leaders that are not elected like us and these are our traditional leaders, whom we expect to spearhead this healing. It is in our interest to forgive each other and move forward although some will not find it easy,” Mohadi was quoted as saying.
However, Ndiweni says he was motivated by personal compassion and ambition to have the matter given the attention it deserves.
“I will be among you, send me such that we can map the way forward.
“I will engage other traditional leaders such that we effectively discuss this matter and see what could be the best way forward,” he told an Ibhetshu Likazulu-organised commemorative event over the weekend.
“This matter needs to be addressed once and for all such that there be peace and reconciliation. You can’t continue beating someone who is down.
“When it comes to law at the courts, the victim speaks for himself and is allowed to speak out and say out all the sources of pain regarding Gukurahundi and that’s what we expect,” he said.
The chief, however, seemed to be taking a dig at former president Mugabe over his now famous words on Gukurahundi.
“ . . . you can’t tell us that you were playing or it was a ‘moment of madness’. That’s utter nonsense”, he said insisting that there was need for an apology to be issued.
Ndiweni said there was need for those pushing for the Gukurahundi massacres to be acknowledged to come together for one cause.
“People might gather in different groups and discus this matter of Gukurahundi. I appeal to you let’s unite and speak with one voice,” he said.
“When we are united we get the opportunity to discuss the matter and map the way forward.
“When we are united, people in and outside this country will see that these people are serious about what they are doing. But if there are differences it will be easy for enemies to come in and disturb our mission,” chief Ndiweni said.
He also suggested that it was wise for those speaking about Gukurahundi to use the term genocide as it was easy to understand on an international platform.
“When you talk about genocide it’s difficult for other countries to ignore the term, but when you use the term Gukurahundi, they won’t understand what you are talking about.
“This is because no country wants to be associated with genocide, so it’s easy to get international attention on the matter and this case does not have an expiry date. We want other nations to see that we are a country that is in pain.”