Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
GOVERNMENT has said no Gukurahundi exhumations and reburials should be carried out until the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) completes consultations on how the process should be undertaken.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Deputy Minister, Cde Mike Madiro said a policy, which is yet to be crafted, will guide the exhumation and reburial of Gukurahundi victims.
The Deputy Minister said this while responding to Bulawayo MDC-T proportional representation MP Mrs Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga during Wednesday’s National Assembly Question-and-Answer session.
Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga had asked whether it was permissible for families of individuals who died during the 1980s disturbances to conduct exhumations and reburials for the late victims.
Cde Madiro said the NPRC is conducting consultations on the issue and what will come out of that process will be used to map the way forward.
“Member should be informed that this is a matter which is being considered by the Commission which has been put in place to come up with the programme and policy on reburials. So until such a time that the Commission finishes its brief, then no one should be able to exhume and rebury – unless it is done according to the law. Otherwise at the moment, it cannot be done on private basis. It has to wait for the Commission to do its work and upon reporting then reburials can be done. I want to inform the House that we do not have a specific policy on how it has to be done. That is a matter which is still under consultation,” said Cde Madiro.
Last week, the NPRC said it would tackle Gukurahundi as a matter of priority in the Matabeleland region.
NPRC Commissioner, Leslie Ncube said in the commission’s engagement with the public, it observed that Gukurahundi was a topical issue that needed to be addressed in the region.
Comm Ncube said the NPRC was working closely with stakeholders and communities.
“This is why we’ve created these multi-stakeholder committees because we know that this is a burning issue. We don’t want to be seen as if we’re hiding the truth. In terms of implementing our plans, we need support from stakeholders because they know what happened and they also know where and when it happened and they will not hide anything,” he said. —@nqotshili