Ask for forgiveness, Mugabe advised

BULAWAYO - President Robert Mugabe has been advised to apologise for the Gukurahundi massacres of the early 1980s that left an estimated 20 000 people dead mainly in Matabeleland and the Midlands.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News on Sunday at the weekend, respected politician and former education minister in the government of national unity David Coltart said if the increasingly frail nonagenarian did not take this important step, he would never find peace.

Coltart said it was not too late for Mugabe to deal with the emotive issue that had not been addressed for the past three decades, leaving many people angry and bitter.

“The wonderful fact about God’s grace is that God is always prepared to forgive our transgressions if we admit them and ask for forgiveness. The same applies to (Robert) Mugabe and all the perpetrators of the Gukurahundi.

“In addition, I have found that the people of Zimbabwe are remarkably forgiving. The vast majority have forgiven whites for the transgressions of racial discrimination and the horrors of the 1970s war, and I have no doubt that a similar attitude will be demonstrated if Mugabe apologised,” he said.

However, for this to happen, Mugabe needed to ask for forgiveness in a genuine way, a move that Coltart said needed to be accompanied by an attempt to redress the wrongs of the past, in particular the marginalisation of some areas and regions.

“The government must acknowledge that what happened happened, namely that thousands of innocent Zimbabweans were killed unlawfully in cold blood.
“Those responsible for these atrocities should ask for forgiveness from the surviving victims of this sad chapter of our history,” he said.

The closest that Mugabe has come to apologising for the massacres was when he described Gukurahundi as “a moment of madness”, something critics say was not adequate and lacked sincerity.

Coltart said Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF party should also announce programmes to “correct the injustices through communal reparations” that could be repaid “in the form of construction of roads, hospitals, clinics and schools in the affected areas”.

He said measures should also be introduced to ensure that the remains of those still lying in mass graves are exhumed, identified, returned to their families and reburied at government expense.

“The history of what happened should be included in the educational curriculum so that future generations learn about what happened and its lessons so that we never repeat these horrors again.

“Laws should be introduced to ensure that some people, who for example still can’t get birth certificates, should have their rights respected,” he sad.

The former Cabinet minister said the only way for Zimbabwe to have meaningful and everlasting peace was through confronting the past.

“There remains thousands of victims of Gukurahundi whose rights are still denied. The failure to address this blot on our history continues to fester.

“We will never know real reconciliation and peace in our country until we confront our past, not just regarding the Gukurahundi but also the 1970s war.
“It is important that these sad chapters be closed so that the nation moves forward.

“This is not a case of reopening healed wounds, but a case of healing wounds which still rot and fester just below the surface,” he added.

Recently, Zanu PF elder Cephas Msipa penned a book that set the cat among the pigeons within the ruling party and government circles, as it raised questions around Gukurahundi and Mugabe’s reluctance to ask for forgiveness.

In the incisive book titled In Pursuit of Freedom and Justice: A Memoir, Msipa — a close ally of Mugabe — dismissed the official massaging of narratives on the Gukurahundi atrocities as “a moment of madness”, saying as the massacres happened over a period spanning more than five years, and they could not therefore be described as such.

Comments (26)

Mugabe to apologies that will never happen bcoz that is what zanu was fighting whites for so that when he got into power he made sure all tribes including whites will be second class citizens excluding his mother 's tribe .That is zanu policy and apologizing for the barbaric killings will be against his party 's policy .Remember Mugabe is in power bcoz of killings especially during election times .The killings are still going on Nabanyama ,Tonderai Ndira , Mabika .and Recently the disappearance of Dzamara and more others happened long after gukurahundi so as to keep Mugabe secure in power .By nature Mugabe is cruel and shallow minded and that he will never see any reason in apologies for killing 20 000 people for no reason .To him he thinks he fixed them for not supporting his party and he will always do so in future and that is the way the serial killer zanu makes a living and staying in power . This is their winning method and will not want to disturb it by condemning it by apologizing ..so the only reasonable option for this nation is to make sure Mugabe loses power finish and klaa.

Diibulaanyika - 10 January 2016

@Diibulaanyika I concur with you , a serial killer lives by killing people , the way forward is that Mugabe must be off the seat and thereafter thrown into Tshikurubi , that is where he belongs , He is more than cruel .

MehlokaMthwakazi - 11 January 2016

Rhodesians has a lot more to apologize for, David

Tengenenge - 11 January 2016

Rhodesians do have a lot more to apologize for, David

Tengenenge - 11 January 2016

Rhodesians never used to kill their own-they only killed blacks who were perceived to be enemies but our man kills us blacks for belonging to the wrong tribe and opposing his views.

lulu - 11 January 2016

Mugabe must not apologise.The desidents invited this to themselves.In the 1800s the ndebeles raided and killed a lot of Shonas. So the ndebeles paid for their sins heavily and let them start any nonsense and this time they will live to regret

medion kasvatutsa - 11 January 2016

@ medion kasvatutsa your words will come to haunt you and your children's children.

Black Diamond - 11 January 2016

@medion you have just set this platform on fire, with your stinking tribalistic remarks. Old times there was no country and laws to talk about. Mugabe killed people, and he is still killing until now. The environment is supposed to be guided by laws, but mugabe is simply brutalising people accross racial and tribal lines. Mugabe must be arrested.

X-MAN IV - 11 January 2016

People like Medion kusvatutsa should be forgiven for their kind of thinking. What Mr Kusvatutsa does not understand is that dictators have no friends and anytime their alliances change to suit themselves.In the 1980s Mugabe destroyed the only viable opposition that time Zapu and in doing so killed over 20000 people. When he saw another threat in the MDC around 2000 he used the same tactic which involved murdering people using the army and CIO and using the land issue to destroy the opposition. You need to understand that we are dealing with a bunch of bastards who can do anything including destroying the economy to remain in power. Many people in Mashonaland did not know what had happened in Matebeleland during Gukurahundi and keeping quiet about is like saying he was right. Apologizing alone is not enough as this was a crime against humanity. At the moment he has been made a life president so that he dies in power and will never be brought to book. If you have relatives who were murdered for having different political views then you will realise that Zanu PF is a monster that should have never been allowed to rule Zimbabwe. We really need to be brave to remove them from state house. We also fought during the struggle but we did not fight for what they are currently doing now.

zvigubhu Ngodongndo - 11 January 2016

1 sticking ,stinking issue is always people ,like Mr Coltart ,say this only after being removed from gorvenment.Non of the sitting ministers ,from matabeleland do raise this issue ,so it can be debated in cabinet n parliament.The only comment came from vp mphoko ,who is in gorvenment for matebeleland.he has commented otherwise on this.we lack men of honour,men who stand by themselves for the trueth.What we have is men who care for their stomachs 1st then national issues.with all due respect to ex minister coltart n msipa,if yu had pushed for this in cabinet and parliament ,i wuld salute yu.bt after serving yo time and got redundandt yu now want to sound reasonable.what hapened during gukurahundi is very sad,very bad,to all our fellowmen .Bt we need sincerity plse.dont bring issues up for political mileage.Do it for the greiving people.Yu can push vp mphoko to register yo beliefs on this .he is vp and he said it was not anybordy s fault.He blamed the west.Khaya Moyo is in government,what does he say?Maybe we will only hear from him after serving his time in government.

viola gwena - 12 January 2016

is there any other country in the world where there is dictatorship or its just in zimbabwe plz help me

gumbo - 12 January 2016

Is it possible to collect all the names of people who were killed by Mugabe during Gukurahundi and in later years in order to build a monument for them. Please help out Coltart and other organisations

dotiyenja - 12 January 2016

Is it possible to collect all the names of people who were killed by Mugabe during Gukurahundi and in later years in order to build a monument for them. Please help out Coltart and other organisations

dotiyenja - 12 January 2016

how can the names of those who perished during gukurahundi be estabished

gumbo - 12 January 2016

Dotienja,it will be a very tuff task,bt achievable wth small tangible effect.the lies that will comeout will render it all not worthwile,unintelligent.yu will probably see nigerian names on the list.by the way anyone can do this or initiate it.its freedo of expresion.its in the constitution.

viola gwena - 12 January 2016

Please people allow me to remind you that we are living in the last days therefore forget about things you will never change and prepare for the second coming of the Son Of Man. The devil is deceiving us by keeping us occupied by these earthly problems which in turn divides and bring about hatred amongst ourselves. Lets learn to fear God and love another and we will find ourselves progressive socially, spiritually, mentally, economically etc

REPENTED - 12 January 2016

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