THE National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) has urged Zimbabweans to make truthful and honest testimonies that may assist in investigations into post-independence disturbances in the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces to pave way for national healing.
NPRC has embarked on a nationwide outreach programme to share with the public mechanisms and approaches that will be used in handling national healing issues, with Gukurahundi being one of the key topics to be discussed.
President Mnangagwa has called for open discussion about Gukurahundi to pave way for national healing.
Speaking during a community hearing pioneered by the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance (ZCA) to bring dialogue between the commission and the public in Bulawayo recently, Commissioner Leslie Ncube said exaggerations may mislead investigators.
“The commission is opening doors to everyone who has information concerning the disturbances in Matabeleland. We are encouraging you to be honest and truthful because additions or subtractions will remove the aspect of accuracy and objectivity in the investigations,” he said.
Comm Ncube said those who feel that passing information through other people may distort their testimonies are free to approach the commission as individuals.
“You can come to us as an individual and give us a detailed account of what happened. We capture them as they are and present them to the authorities. The testimonies should be given without fear or favour because the President opened this platform to everyone,” he said.
Comm Ncube said the commission will also go to the affected people in rural areas to get their testimonies.
“These are communities that were greatly affected and most of them have first hand information,” he said.
ZCA director Reverend Useni said giving testimonies is critical as it necessitates national dialogue towards national healing.
“We want to thank the President for opening up space for the people in Matabeleland to discuss Gukurahundi which was a taboo in the past years. It is good that the ordinary man has been given an opportunity to testify and give detailed accounts of whatever they witnessed. This will pave way for national healing,” he said.
Rev Sibanda said the hearing, which included political parties, civic societies and residents’ representatives, was meant to bring dialogue between NPRC and the public so that the commission gives a preview of what it expects during the 21 days of outreach.
“It is our duty as the church to bring the nation together to pave way for dialogue. Churches are by calling a peace building organisation,” he said.