COMMENT: Translation of Gukurahundi hearings manual into local languages commendable President Mnangagwa

THE Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa continues to walk the talk towards uniting Zimbabweans through the resolution of past conflicts that occurred during the country’s formative years.

President Mnangagwa, since assuming power, has emphasised the importance of unity among Zimbabweans which he says lays the foundation for collective prosperity. Guided by the President’s philosophy of “leaving no one and no place behind,” the Second Republic has strived to ensure healing across the country from past conflicts like Gukurahundi.

Since 2018, President Mnangagwa has been constantly engaging traditional leaders on the way forward in terms of addressing the Gukurahundi issue. Giving an update ahead of the launch of the Gukurahundi hearings programme next month, National Council of Chiefs president Chief Mtshane Khumalo said the manual which traditional leaders are set to use when conducting public hearings has been translated into local languages while operational vehicles have also been availed.

In October 2022, President Mnangagwa launched the Gukurahundi manual at the State House in Bulawayo.
Traditional leaders crafted and adopted the victim-centred manual, which is expected to guide how the public hearings will be conducted.
The manual, which is a product of inclusive engagements between chiefs and various stakeholders, is a culmination of traditional leaders’ meetings with President Mnangagwa, which started in March 2019.

A total of 70 chiefs from Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South will lead the first phase of the Gukurahundi public hearings before the programme is rolled out in the Midlands province.
Chiefs and supporting staff have undergone training on how to conduct the public hearings and Government has availed the required resources including recording equipment, computers and tablets.

“We have been told to start preparations for the launch. We have been informed that anytime in July the President is going to launch the Gukurahundi Community Hearings programme. I hope by the end of next week we will have information on the dates of the launch,” said Chief Khumalo.

He said the manual has been translated into Kalanga, Ndebele and Tonga among other languages spoken in Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South. The traditional leader said Government has also provided vehicles for public hearings support staff.
“Vehicles have been sourced for the public hearings. Each chief will have a vehicle which will be used by his or her panel. However, we feel that a single vehicle will not be adequate.

Zimbabwe Christian Alliance executive director and reconciliation advocate Reverend Useni Sibanda commended the translation of the Gukurahundi Manual to local languages.
He said since the Gukurahundi hearings will be community-centred, the communities should be free to make their submissions in local languages.
“This will enable the people to express themselves in their own language,” said Rev Sibanda.

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