“No sacred cows” in truth recovery process: Hon. Moses Mzila Ndlovu

From Left: Min M.Mzila Ndlovu of ONHRI, NYDT Director Liberman Bhebhe and CA Director Useni Sibanda

Young people in Bulawayo have resolved to embark on a youth driven national healing, peace building and transitional justice exercise in a bid to jolt to action the Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration (ONHRI) which has done little to gain society’s confidence since formation two years ago.
Speaking at a round table meeting organised by the National Youth Development Trust (NYDT) to provide a rare interface between young people and the organ on “The role of youths in peace building and transitional justice” Youths stressed their disappointment at the lack of serious action taken by the ONHRI in stalling incidents of political and social violence in Zimbabwe.
“We would like to know what the organ is doing to ensure that as young people we are guaranteed a peaceful future and that the perpetrators of violence in our midst will face justice for past human rights violations” asked a male participant.
Hon.M Mzila Ndlovu, the newest member of the Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration (ONHRI) said he was convinced there would be no prosecution of perpetrators but assured young people that none would be left unscathed by the coming truth recovery and reconciliation exercise. He stressed that at the very least, the truth must be told.
“The position as far as I’m concerned is that there are no sacred cows. No one is above what we demand to do because of their position in politics. Whether you are a head of state or Prime Minister or a Deputy Prime Minister or a Minister. In fact my view is that the higher the position in society, the higher the obligation to divulge the truth.” Said Hon Ndlovu.

Participants to the Peace Building Round Table meeting

 
The Minister also emphasised that the lack of easy access to information had lead to a lot of ignorant young people being taken for granted and failing to make critical decisions based on politically independent thought.
“Seek information outside the realm of your political parties. Have independent thought.” Said Hon. Ndlovu. “You can’t confront the truth if you don’t seek it. Seek information on the work of the Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration because If you don’t know then you are ignorant”
Ndlovu was reacting to the admission by most participants at the meeting that they did not know what is contained in the Unity Accord of 1987 document arguing that it would be difficult to understand the current policies of ZANU PF if they did not know the background and contents of the Unity Accord. The minister stated that unless young people remained ignorant and did not seek information, then they would remain in danger of being used and patronised by politicians.
Hon Ndlovu commended and encouraged the National Youth Development Trust to continue with its work of providing platforms where young people can engage policy makers as well as take responsibility for their future because they are leaders of today and the future.
Speaking at the same meeting Christian Alliance Director Reverend (Rev) Useni Sibanda said it was the mandate of the ONHRI to create platforms that bring both victims and perpetrators to the table to resolve their differences. He sighted that there has been no conflict resolution that has taken place in the world without an attempt to bring both the victims and perpetrators together to talk about the violent past.
“There must be a neutral facility that can work at bringing both victims and perpetrators to sit around the table and begin to talk.” Said Rev. Sibanda. “yes people are hurting but we need to move from being a victim to being a survivor. This is a long journey but if you remain a victim then the perpetrator will remain victorious over you both in the past and in the present” Rev. Sibanda added.
Some of the recommendations arrived at this meeting were that:
 NYDT should advocate for a clear and inclusive policy for transitional justice and peace building;
 Create platforms were youths and leaders can discuss this critical issue for Zimbabwe;
 Working with the Ministry of National Healing, encourage government and society as a whole to create a critical mass in demand for transitional justice.
Youths also urged NYDT to constantly call on the organ and government to:
 Account to the nation on the progress of the National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration.
 Consult stakeholders and formulate a policy to initiate transitional justice and the building of lasting peace in Zimbabwe.
 To honour the GPA in its social and moral duty to build lasting Peace in Zimbabwe.
NYDT in turn made a call to stakeholders such as media and civic society, to honour their moral responsibility towards the realisation of transitional justice and lasting peace on Zimbabwe. While it urged the youths of Zimbabwe to help build the country in positive ways and refrain from violence as an extension of the repression and violation of people’s rights.

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