Zimbabwe's Political Leaders To Meet Over Violence

Zanu (PF)’s politburo and the two MDC formations’ national executive councils will meet at a time when the country‘s citizens are under siege from political parties in the ongoing constitutional outreach programmes.

In a statement the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai confirmed the surprise meeting.

“It (the meeting) will be held when the people still have fresh wounds and memories of the political violence that took place in June 2008, continued politically motivated abuses in the country, arrests and harassment of activist in the civics.

“The political divisions in the country have to be looked at seriously with the political leaders making commitments on how best to deal with these tensions and the overtly partisan behaviour of some State actors agents during this Constitution making process.

“The political violence in the country is not just citizen versus citizen but also the role of State actors on citizens.

“The MDC believes that there is need for political leaders and political parties to understand and appreciate the values of transitional justice, tolerance and peace. This will go a long way in ending the culture of impunity, intimidation and violence,” reads part of the statement.

Since the formation of the inclusive government 17 months ago, the principals to the GPA – President Robert Mugabe, Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara – have been haggling over outstanding issues from their shaky political agreement.

The MDC says it hopes that the meeting will cover a wide range of issues which have been affecting the people of Zimbabwe.

“Our view over the issue of transitional justice is important.  The people of Zimbabwe need to speak openly about issues of pre-independence violations, post-independence commissions around the Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina and the 2008 violence, to name a few crimes. Without openness on these crimes, national healing is a mirage.

“We urge those attending this crucial and historic indaba to seriously tackle the issue of violence and the imperative need for restorative and rehabilitative justice so that Zimbabwe can be healed again.

“There can be no effective national healing programme in the absence of transitional justice. The fears of the victims of violence can only be allayed if all known perpetrators are brought to book,” said the MDC.