Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
VICE President Kembo Mohadi said there is a need for Zimbabweans at all levels to engage each other and find common ground to bring to finality the issue of Gukurahundi which affected people in the Midlands, south-western and Matabeleland provinces.
Meeting chiefs from the Midlands Province, consulting them on national healing, peace and reconciliation mechanisms as part of efforts to address issues of Zimbabwe’s fractious past in Gweru last Wednesday — the Vice President said Gukurahundi was a topical issue which needs to be talked about openly.
This follows President Mnangagwa’s policy to open up and resolve historical conflicts like the 1980s’ civil disturbances in the Midlands, south-western and Matabeleland provinces, commonly referred to as Gukurahundi.
Vice President Mohadi said talking about Gukurahundi openly is going to assist in healing wounds and finding a lasting solution for the country to prosper adding that peace (ukuthula/runyararo) has been and remains a permanent ideal and aspiration as well as a right and duty for Zimbabweans.
VP Mohadi has already been to four provinces — Mashonaland Central, Matabeleland North, Mashonaland East and Matabeleland South — consulting all chiefs in their areas of jurisdiction on how to build and sustain peace in the country as well as how to resolve conflicts that arise from time-to-time.
“We had Gukurahundi; it happened here in the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces. We can only talk about it because there is a need to find a lasting solution for the benefit of the country. We can’t afford not to talk about it (Gukurahundi). As leaders we must go out there and promote peace for each other and for our country. This is a topical issue,” said VP Mohadi.
He said Midlands as a province has some significance in the political and economic development of Zimbabwe.
“I am very pleased to be here in the Midlands to have dialogue with you our traditional leaders from this province ye Nkabazwe, Rukuvhute, the navel of Zimbabwe, on peace building and conflict resolution in our beloved country Zimbabwe. The navel has some significance in our culture, Kulemikhuba yokulahla inkaba yomntwana. There are some rituals of disposing the navel of a baby,” said VP Mohadi.
In Zimbabwe — the Vice President said — there are conflicts which are currently being dealt with adding that chiefs are critical in the process of resolving these conflicts.
“I would like to reiterate that my engagement with chiefs is so that I can learn from them our cultural approaches to peace building and conflict resolution. I do request that after our dialogue, the chiefs remain reflecting on what we will have discussed and come up with well considered, written resolutions that will contribute to the document that will be compiled to give insight and direction to Government on this important process of a cultural approach to peace building and conflict resolution based on the philosophy of Ubuntu/ Hunhu,” said VP Mohadi.
Meanwhile, VP Mohadi told the Press after meeting the chiefs that Government is working on reviving the Zunde raMambo/ Isiphala seNkosi programme — a method of growing and storing grain for use during the time when food supplies are either high or low.
“We are working on reviving this concept of Zunde raMambo/ Isiphala seNkosi to improve food security in all areas under the chiefs’ jurisdictions. We are also looking at improving allowances and the general welfare for our chiefs so that they are able to survive. Some said they are still to receive vehicles but these are few as compared to those who got last year,” he said.
Addressing the same gathering, Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Larry Mavima urged chiefs to promote peace for the socio economic development of the country.
He said such nationwide engagement of the chiefs by VP Mohadi is a true testimony of the Second Republic’s commitment to building and sustaining peace in the country.
“In Zimbabwe we are happy that we had the gallant sons and daughters who fought for the freedom we currently enjoy. It is our duty to make sure that freedom is maintained. So it is therefore important that we all cherish the peace and tranquility we are enjoying in the country,” said Minister Mavima.