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Govt blames Gukurahundi victims documentation delays on Covid-19

The documentation of victims of Gukurahundi has been affected by the current lockdown measures implemented to stop the spread of Covid-19, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage minister Kazembe Kazembe has said.

BY DARLINGTON MWASHITA

Kazembe told journalists in Bulawayo that the government was serious about ensuring access to all forms of documentation for victims of the Fifth Brigade atrocities in Matabeleland and the Midlands.

He said there was also need to finalise exhumations of Gukurahundi victims.

“I am pleased to highlight a number of steps, which the ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, through the civil registry department, has since been made towards this inalienable constitutional right,” Kazembe said.

“The civil registry is in the process of ensuring that necessary documentation is availed to those people who did not have access to them for various reasons.”

He said the government was working with partners to come up with a programme that would assist in the documentation of victims.

“Currently we are working with partners to roll out a registration programme which will be launched in due course,” Kazembe added.

“The requirements for one to be given a birth certificate or national identification card will be relaxed after consultation with relevant stakeholders.

“On death certificates, the civil registry department is in consultation with the attorney-general and the ministry of Justice working out modalities to avail death certificates to those in need of the documents.”

“On exhumations, work is already in progress with regard to drafting of the necessary policy framework in consultation with traditional leaders, and other stakeholders will be consulted.”

The government has been under pressure to bring closure to the 1980s massacre of mainly opposition PF Zapu supporters soon after independence.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has so far resisted calls for him to apologise for his role in the atrocities.

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