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Zim Needs Genuine Transitional Justice

WHILST we support the idea of a national healing process, we differ with the government on how the process should be carried out on issues to do with the consultation of stakeholders such as youth organisations, faith-based organisations and civic society.

The organ on national healing, reconciliation and integration has single-handedly outlined a six-month programme “to achieve reconciliation and defuse deep tensions that followed last year’s violent elections”.

National healing is being equalled to an event such as a football match which can be carried out in a set period of time. As Youth Forum we maintain that national healing should be a process whereby thorough consultations should be made with regards to the best methodology to tackle such a mammoth task.

The communities should be at the helm of such processes whilst the government and other stakeholders offer the requisite support contrary to what is currently prevailing whereby the government is guided by the exclusive Global Political Agreement.

In as much as the people of Zimbabwe are rejecting the imposition of the Kariba draft constitution as the sole reference document in the constitution-making process, the prescribed national healing process which is government-led should be rejected accordingly.

We also reiterate that transitional justice should precede national healing. As long as perpetrators of violence remain free the process of national healing will not be taken seriously. To us both the perpetrators and victims are victims since they were all abused by politicians hence they both need rehabilitation.

Perpetrators must show their remorse by telling the truth concerning who assigned them the diabolic roles which they carried out. Those who initiated violence should be tried before the courts and obtain the deserved sentence.

Failure to address such critical issues is tantamount to sweeping them under the carpet and it sets a bad precedent for the future.

We are greatly worried by the continued arrogance of Zanu PF as shown by the  continued media bias in Zanu PF’s favour and the reported re-establishment of bases in the rural areas among other issues.

We believe that meaningful development cannot prevail when there is no genuine transitional justice and national healing. Interventions made by all stakeholders should not be tokenistic but sustainable for the people and their communities.

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