The Ecumenical Peace Observation Initiative is this week engaging political parties and churches in Matabeleland.
The organisation’s Director Peter Tendai Maregere told RelZim in a telephone interview from Bulawayo that they have taken their peace campaign initiative to Bulawayo, where they are scheduling to meet the region’s political heavy weights.
“We believe it is also important to engage politicians in Matabeleland. We want the churches and people in Bulawayo that there is a peace initiative we are running. We intend to meet ZAPU President Dumiso Dabengwa and all political parties in Bulawayo .We have already met ZAPU Federal party ,Patriotic Union of Matabeleland .
“We also want to work together with them so that we see how the church can promote peace in the country. Basically we want their input on what they think that the church should do to promote a peaceful culture in the country,” Maregere said.
People of Matabeleland have not yet recovered from the Gukurahundi atrocities that left more than 20 000 Ndebele speaking civilians of southern Zimbabwe dead in the early 1980s.
Between January 1983 and mid-1986, the then Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe deployed his notorious North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade unit into Zimbabwe’s Matebeleland region purportedly to quell the Ndebele dissident problem.
Mugabe has never officially apologized for the Gukurahundi which he has simply described as “a moment of madness”.
Despite this clampdown on facts and truth, competing narratives about the horrors from the affected areas managed to emerge from victims, relief agencies, churches, journalists and human rights activists, especially the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace
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