BY SHARON SIBINDI/PRAISEMORE SITHOLE/KENNETH NYANGANI
OPPOSITION Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday pledged to bring closure to the Gukurahundi issue once he assumes power, saying Zanu PF officials were not in a hurry to resolve the matter since they were involved in the mass killings.
Gukurahundi atrocities claimed over 20 000 lives in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces after government deployed the North Korea-trained Fifth Brigade to hunt down suspected ex-Zipra insurgents in the 1980s.
Addressing party supporters at Tsholotsho Business Centre yesterday, Chamisa said if he won the 2023 elections, his party would prioritise solving the Gukurahundi issue.
Tsholotsho is one of the districts in Matabeleland North province worst hit by the Gukurahundi massacres.
“There is this issue of Gukurahundi. I told the late former President Robert Mugabe and the current Zanu PF leadership that you cannot sweep Gukurahundi under the carpet. This is an unresolved national question which you are unable to solve because you caused it. We can solve it,” he said. Chamisa said the national healing process should be inclusive and not prescribed from the top.
“We want community leaders, local leaders and everyone to be part of the process of national healing, which does not start from the top, but from the bottom. We want to hear from you what you want to see in terms of compensation that must be given where it is due. Healing must be given where it’s due,” Chamisa said.
He added: “We are not doing this for retribution, we want to bring people together and that is how you heal a nation, blood speaks and if you don’t make an effort to silence the blood, it will continue to speak.”
Chamisa said his government would ensure decentralisation of power, adding that the poor road network in the province would be rehabilitated.
Meanwhile, police yesterday blocked another CCC rally scheduled for today in Binga citing manpower shortages as President Emmerson Mnangagwa is scheduled to visit Hwange tomorrow.
The ban of the CCC Binga rally follows another ban in Marondera on Saturday.
CCC Matabeleland North spokesperson Mhlonipheki Ncube confirmed the development to NewsDay yesterday.
“The Binga rally scheduled for today has been cancelled and they (police) are saying it is because Mnangagwa will be in Hwange on March 17,” he said.
“We have seen that this is the work of Zanu PF and they are trying to instil fear in the citizens so that they do not attend our rallies. You know people fear the police. We are not worried because Binga has been our constituency since 2000 and nothing will change.
“We are trying to push for another day to hold the rally before the March 26 by-elections,” Ncube said.
During the weekend, Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga accused the police of blocking CCC rallies across the country claiming that Zanu PF was not responsible.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he would issue a statement on allegations that police were blocking CCC rallies.
Meanwhile, the CCC Mutare rally scheduled for Saturday has been given the nod by the police.
CCC Manicaland spokesman David Panganai confirmed the developments to NewsDay yesterday.
“I can confirm that our star rally where our president Chamisa is going to address party members on March 19 at Sakubva Stadium has been approved,” Panganai said, adding that police banned toyi-toying, use of plate-less vehicles, carrying of weapons and intimidation of rivals during the rally.
Chamisa will be in Mutare canvassing support for his two recalled MPs Regai Tsunga (Mutasa South) and Prosper Mutseyami (Dangamvura/Chikanga), as well as several recalled former MDC Alliance councillors.
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