Our healing process was mishandled

THE Herald of July 7 carried a story which reported that 26 people said to have been possessed by spirits of their dead relatives came to Mt Darwin from as far away as Honde Valley in Manicaland, Masvingo and Bulawayo to identify the grav

es.


This is a serious issue which needs to be attended to before it is too late.

Senior Assistant Commissioner Changara, who is also a war veteran, said the discovery of the mass graves was not only confined to Mount Darwin, but the whole country as well.

He said the fact that this discovery had been made was a sign that there are ceremonies that should have been conducted soon after the country gained Independence to appease the tormented spirits.

By our culture and tradition the national cleansing ceremony after the war was expected to be conducted soon after Independence in the form of a reconciliation bira to appease all the fallen heroes and the tormented spirits to be followed by a reconciliation/ rehabilitation/healing commission to take stock of what happened during the war.

The South Africans conducted their healing reconciliation process with much success and at the right time. They learnt how to survive after studying our mistakes while we seem not to have learnt anything from the earlier mistakes made by Mozambique.

Changara said the discovery really brought tears into his eyes. and sad memories.

Any war veteran still sane after the war of liberation feels the same as Changara. It is extremely painful to recall how the innocent, voiceless and unarmed rural people were shot, bayoneted, log-battered and even poisoned, burnt in rubbish pits or thrown in mass graves.

The war of liberation was very devastating to many families on either side. The rural families found themselves under cross-fire and suffered the most. Some are still suffering today as no-go areas were in rural areas where the log-battering was most common.

There is a need to conduct a national cleansing bira to appease the tormented spirits of all the fallen heroes who include the late Herbert Chitepo, Josiah Tongogara, Leopold Takawira, Jason Moyo and others who took part in the liberation war.

Reconciliation is a process and not just an event or announcement or a mere shake of hands.

By definition, reconciliation, like rehabilitation, entails a holistic approach incorporating the physical, spiritual and psychological aspects of ex-combatants’ needs.

The truth is that there is no reconciliation in Zimbabwe even among the liberated blacks and this is why there is a lot of silent sabotage at all levels now appearing as corruption and financial mismanagement, inefficiency, laziness/unproductiveness and many other deliberate unpatriotic tendencies in our society today.

Elections or no elections, failure to conduct a national cultural/traditional and Christian reconciliation bira now is a danger to our economic recovery and dangerous for the continued stability of the country in the near future.


B Tongesayi Mabhunu,

Harare.

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