President Mugabe told thousands of people who thronged the national shrine to commemorate the National Heroes Day on Monday in Harare that the national healing programme was not going to criminalise political violence perpetrators.
“We have embarked in earnest on the process of national healing, reconciliation and integration. For the sake of our children and posterity, I want to urge all of you to note that the process of reconciliation is national.
“It does not seek to ferret out supposed criminals for punishment but rather calls on all of us to avoid the deadly snare of political conflict. Guided by the spirit of tolerance, we should continue to work together in promoting peace and stability regardless of political or religious affiliation,” he said
MDC-T deputy spokesperson Thabita Khumalo said her party was not in agreement with President Mugabe’s statements, which she said were giving Zanu (PF) party green light to continue brutalising MDC supporters.
“As MDC we are saying and have always been saying there is no reconciliation without justice. Mugabe’s statement gives his militia green light to continue violating human rights. We have wounds which back date from as far as the Gukurahundi era, which have not been healed, and how are the affected going to forget these atrocities if justice is not brought to them,” she said.
A human rights activist and Zimrights director, Okay Machisa, said politicians had no right of dictating how the national healing process should be conducted because they were the ones responsible for inciting violence.
“I think President Mugabe was speaking on his own behalf not the nation which is, bearing the brand of political violence, which was perpetrated on them by Zanu (PF) activists over the years. In fact it’s the victims who should dictate the way national healing should go.
“As Zimrights we are saying everyone who committed human rights offences should test the medicine. They should be brought to book if the nation is to learn and reconcile,” he said.
Mugabe’s statement is a direct conflict with the wishes of the people mostly MDC-T supporters who were brutalised by militant sections of his party in June2008 during the run up to the controversial Presidential run-off elections. They want the perpetrators to be arrested.
These people are putting pressure on Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to push the government to investigate such cases and bring justice.
More than 200 MDC-T supporters were killed by the military and Mugabe’s militant supporters during the bloody period preceding the bloody presidential June 27, 2008 run off election, and up to this day no perpetrators of this violence has been brought to book despite being known who they are.