Gukurahundi rears its ugly head again as Parliament discusses Mphoko’s Peace and Reconciliation bill- Part Four


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HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker.  I will take a slightly different dimension or approach to this Bill that is being brought.  I have a problem in accepting this Bill at this stage because, if you go through the report that was compiled by the Committee that also represented us, their first statement on their conclusion, they say, generally the Bill did not receive wide acceptance from the Members of the public.  So, I am at pains because if members of the public did not accept the Bill during hearings, in the first place, why did you consult them.  If they were not comfortable with the Bill, we must also take consideration of what the members of the public were saying.  Last but not least on the conclusion, there is this statement by the Committee – it is the Committee’s view that the Bill in its present format is unacceptable.  I want to partially support and agree with that Committee’s observation.

I say so because Mr. Speaker, there is a maxim which says ‘justice delayed is justice denied’.  If this country had conflict in one way or the other; whether it was a tribal, religious, ethnic or political conflict and we are looking at the number of years that we have gone past and we have failed as a nation to go and give evidence about what has happened, why are we trying to open up those wounds now.  I say so because I think that there is a third force which is trying to throw into our Constitution and system certain negativities that will cause conflict amongst and between ourselves.

Mr. Speaker, I am for peace and I respect the Constitution’s Sections 251, 252 and 253.  In 2008 Mr. Speaker when I was in the police force, I went to Liberia for a year for peace keeping duties and what happened there during that period of time is that there was a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and people were going to give evidence about the conflicts that they had, but it was done soon after the conflict.  You cannot have a truth and reconciliation commission 17 years past the conflict.  What are we trying to achieve here?  I am at pains Mr. Speaker to accept this Bill because if you look at countries that have no peace and have disturbances, it is because of these issues that we are trying to bring into existence.  These are issues to do with tribes, ethnicity and so forth.  I think that it is not good for our democracy and our country.  Let us not forget our history.  In 1987 on the 22nd of December, the late great son of the soil, Father Zimbabwe and the surviving His Excellency, the President of this country entered into a Unity Accord. It is my view that the leaders were trying to unite people together.

As we debate and talk about this Bill, we must not forget what Father Zimbabwe did for us. It was a way to try and unite the people, and forget about being Shona or Ndebele and being one nation. I advocate for unity amongst ourselves and forget about these things that we are talking about – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –.  I have a problem Mr. Speaker in accepting this Bill at this stage. I thank you.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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