ALPHA Media Holdings (AMH) chairperson Trevor Ncube this week said President Emmerson Mnangagwa should move swiftly and resolve the Gukurahundi issue as part of nation buildng.
Gukurahundi is one of the oldest tiffs that has, over decades, threatened peace and reconciliation in Zimbabwe.
It happened between 1983 and 1987 under former president Robert Mugabe.
While Mugabe’s tenure came to an end without him resolving this issue, hope had been that Mnangagwa would bring closure to the emotive issue.
But the media mogul said it was unfortunate that years later, the people in Matabeleland were yet to get closure.
Ncube was speaking on the In Conversation with Trevor show during the Ideas Festival Conference in Nyanga on Wednesday.
“The one thing that people in Matabeleland are crying for is, we are sorry we messed up. That in itself, you have no idea what you do with it,” Ncube said.
“For somebody to say, we are sorry because we did A, B, C, D. Right now, nobody is taking responsibility. The people that (started) the war are some of the people that were responsible for Gukurahundi crimes, and continue to be responsible for some of the things that are happening at the present moment.”
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He added: “We need, as a nation, to face ourselves in the mirror, draw the line and say: this will never ever happen again. It’s part of nation building and it's part of us being able to move forward and forgive each other as a nation.
“Yes, Nyika inovawakwa nevene vayo, but everybody must be involved. Every member of the family must be involved.”
Ncube, who was once a presidential adviser and later quit, said he had faith in Mnangagwa and was persuaded in his mind that the President had realised the mistakes that had been made regarding Gukurahundi.
“I was also persuaded in my spirit that the President wanted to make amends for the things that had happened. One thing, for instance, after the President made his inauguration speech, I found something missing in the speech was Gukurahundi,” he said.
“And I raised the question back there. Then I started talking to people who said, no, the President is determined to work on this thing. But he doesn’t want to flag it, but there is a lot of stuff that’s going to be done.
“I used to come to my places, because you want things to work so well, because you are desperate for things to work, you persuade yourself, let me give the man a chance, let me work with the man for one or two years and I did that.
“And I’m very glad I did that because I learned. I can’t now be regretting and saying: oh I should not have gone in. I went in, I did my bit. When it didn’t work, I walked away,” Ncube added.
While there are other ills that have happened in the political space, Ncube said the nation needed to come to a point where it says: “this will never happen again”.
“We have seen what happened elsewhere in the world where that kind of thing happens. I mean, if you followed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, you will have seen the videos of people saying: ‘I think today I will sleep better because I know who killed my father and they have apologised in front of me.
“It's a big step towards closure. Unfortunately in this country, people in Matabeleland have not been allowed to begin that closure. We don't end there. We then say, with all the other seasons of violence that we've had, where people's hands have been cut in Mashonaland East.
“We need, as a nation, to draw the line in the sand and say: ‘Something of this nature is never going to happen’. We need to revisit this thing to the liberation struggle. We don’t know what happened in the liberation struggle,” he said
Gukurahundi left more than 20 000 people dead in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces and forcibly displaced tens of thousands more.
Eye specialist Solomon Guramatunhu told the same conference that there was a need for a mindset shift for people to start thinking of themselves as a nation and one people.
“We did a few interesting things at Bindura University and I have said what we have done in Mashonaland Central, we can do this in Matabeleland South and everywhere else because I am a Zimbabwean,” Guramatunhu said.
“We all come from the same cloth. When we are tribalistic it means we are ignorant, we are shallow-minded and narrow-minded and we can’t build a nation. We need to be educated and continue with these discussions that we have.”
Early this year, traditional leaders were expected to start conducting Gukurahundi hearings within a three-month period, with the training of 144 rapporteurs said to have commenced.
Government has been accused of doing little to acknowledge the scale and scope of the Gukurahundi violence.
The festival is a follow-up to the Ideas Festival Luncheon held in December 2022, where Ncube announced his intention to create an immersive platform where innovative entrepreneurial ideas could be exchanged to shape the economy.
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