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Group demands Gukurahundi report

Ibhetshu LikaZulu has already engaged human rights lawyers, Abammeli BamaLungelo Abantu Network, to force Mugabe to release the Dumbutshena Commission and Chihambakwe Committee reports, which have never been made public although they were presented to him.


The group said publicising the documents was necessary to achieve national healing and reconciliation.

Mnatshobana Ncube, a lawyer with Abammeli, last week confirmed being contracted by the pressure group to handle the case.

The Dumbutshena report contains the findings of a commission of inquiry into the disturbances at Entumbane and other demobilisation camps following clashes between Zipra and Zanla cadres in 1981.

The Chihambakwe report contains findings of the committee that investigated the Gukurahundi massacres, in which an estimated
20 000 people were massacred by the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade in the early 1980s.

Both the Dumbutshena Commission and Chihambakwe Committee reported to Mugabe at the end of their deliberations but the reports were never made public.

The government argued that the publication of the report could spark violence over past wrongs.

Two human rights organisations, the Legal Resources Foundation and the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) Zimbabwe however, produced a report entitled Breaking the Silence, Building True Peace in 1997, detailing human rights abuses during the Gukurahundi era.
The report estimates that 20 000 people from Matabeleland and Midlands regions were killed during the time.

Percy Mcijo, the spokesperson of the Zimbabwe Victims of Organised Violence Trust (ZIVOVT) welcomed attempts to force government to release the two reports.

“There can never be any healing unless these issues are discussed and those that perpetrated the violence are exposed and brought to book. This is another way of putting an end to the culture of violence,” Mcijo noted.

This is not the first time that attempts have been made to have the two reports publicised.

In 2003, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and the Legal Resources Foundation challenged Mugabe to make public the findings of the two inquiries.

But in refusing to publish the findings, government cited state security as the reason for keeping them under lock and key. It also claimed that the Dumbutshena report could not be found.


‘Reports can’t be suppressed forever’


Ibhetshu LikaZulu coordinator Mbuso Fuzwayo said the reports could not be suppressed forever adding that pushing for their publication was in line with the group’s 2012 theme entitled “Towards Restorative Justice”.

“Victims want justice and to achieve it perpetrators should be identified and a Truth and Reconciliation Commission initiated since the Organ of National Healing has failed to achieve anything,” he said.

“Our theme for 2012 is entitled Towards Restorative Justice and top most on our agenda this year is to force Mugabe and his Zanu PF party to release the Dumbutshena and Chihambakwe reports.”

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