Addressing Past Injustices in a Wounded Zimbabwe: Gukurahundi

 

By
Sarah Bosha

May, 2014

This piece was written while the author was completing a Master of Arts degree in Peace Studies at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Bones that died, live
The silenced voices cry out
Speak! Speak! Truths arise![1]

Introduction

Zimbabwe has an unspoken, unacknowledged past that has been haunting the country  since 1982.   Gross human rights violations were committed by state agents in the Midlands and Matebeleland provinces of Zimbabwe, where the Ndebele tribe, the largest tribal minority group, lives. The wounds of this injustice have festered in Zimbabwe, manifesting by a divided society in which one tribe sees it itself as second-class citizens and struggles with emotional and physical trauma.  If positive peace is to prevail in Zimbabwe, a strategic approach to peacebuilding needs to be adopted. 
 
The author of this paper proposes that in order to create a theory of change that will ensure Zimbabweans acknowledge the human rights violations committed against the people of Midlands and Matebeleland, and thus restore the dignity of victims and promote reconciliation, there needs to be peacebuilding based upon truth-telling.  Truth-telling needs to take place on a national level, and must be facilitated and supported by the state. This paper will give a brief explanation of the author’s perception of the wounds of injustice that prevail in Zimbabwe as result of Gukurahundi.  The paper will then briefly offer possible avenues for truth-telling and acknowledgement as a theory of change aimed at addressing this dark past. The purpose of this type of theory is to bring about reconciliation and achieve more than negative peace, but rather a positive, sustainable peace.
 

Background: What is Gukurahundi?

The war of liberation in Zimbabwe was fought for nearly two decades, from the early 1960’s to 1979 and involved African guerilla movements fighting against the predominantly white combined Rhodesian forces under the then prime minister Ian Smith. The Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) guerillas came chiefly from the east of Zimbabwe and were predominantly Shona speakers whilst the Zimbabwe Peoples Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) forces were from the west and were overwhelmingly Ndebele but also Kalanga speakers.[2] During the 1970’s, there were deep divisions between the two main black armed forces: the ZIPRA, and the ZANLA. These tensions led to the two groups fighting fiercely against each other..[3]  The liberation forces had been divided since 1963 after the splitting of the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU) political party into ZAPU and the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) which then also led to a split in the guerilla forces of the two political entities – ZIPRA under ZAPU and ZANLA under ZANU.[4] The tension between the two armed groups was also exacerbated by growing differences in the combat training culture[5] with ZANLA sponsored by the Chinese and ZIPRA by the Soviet Union.[6]
 
Robert Mugabe was the first black prime minister of a newly-independent Zimbabwe in 1980 and chose the policy of reconciliation as the blueprint for his leadership.[7]  Robert Mugabe was from the ZANU political wing which contested the first elections as ZANU PF and won a majority.    In a historic speech, Robert Mugabe advocated for the forgetting of the past, the reconciling of old enemies, and in this spirit of brotherhood, a new united Zimbabwe arose. However, the war in Zimbabwe had created divisions within the black majority’s warring guerilla factions, including the between the ZANLA and ZIPRA wings.[8]  As result of the persistent instability, by early 1982 the Matebeleland region was plagued by violence perpetrated by armed bandits who terrorized the population.[9] Possibly feeling a threat to the internal security of the entire country, the government of Zimbabwe launched a counter offensive against what it termed “dissidents.”  The result was that many civilians were victims of grave human rights violations at the hands of state agents.  The victims were mainly the Ndebele-speaking population, the dominant group of the Matebeleland region.   An estimated 20 000 people lost their in what has come to be known as Gukurahundi.  It is the shameful public secret that Zimbabwe to this day has never fully addressed –it remains a standing victory for the perpetrators of injustice.[10]

Gukurahundi

The word gukurahundi means “the rain that washes away the chaff before the spring rain.”  It was the name given to the 5th Brigade (a special unit of the national army in Zimbabwe trained in North Korea) – the chief perpetrators of massacres and other human rights violations in the Midlands and Matebeleland regions.[11]  Initially this brigade, together with the 4th and 6th Brigades, paratroopers, Central Intelligence Organization (CIO) agents, and the Police Support Unit (PSU), were deployed to restore order after armed bandits began terrorizing civilians and kidnapped six foreign tourists.[12] However the state, through its agents, began to attack civilians on the basis that they were feeding and supporting dissidents, thereby erasing the distinction between dissidents and civilians.[13]
There has been debate as to whether the Gukurahundi was genocide, and the commission of the massacres must be understood in the context of this important discussion.  The creation of the 5th Brigade was necessitated by the need to “combat malcontents;” however, it was also seen as a means to build a one-party state by Mugabe.  If this justification is believed, then Gukurahundi was for political purposes, and people were targeted not because they were Ndebele-speaking, but because the people of Matebeleland and Midlands were seen to be ZAPU supporters.[14] What is clear is that what began as a political campaign degenerated into genocidal acts against a specific group.  The people of Matebeleland believe that they were intentionally targeted by Gukurahundi.  The Shona-speaking 5th Brigade targeted Ndebele speakers and would often say, “…all Ndebele’s are dissidents”.[15]
The human rights abuses that affected the two regions include the following grave acts:
1.      Rape and sexual violence against men and women.[16]
2.      Disappearances of people whose remains have not been found and whose families have been unable to obtain death certificates.[17]  
3.      Torture comprising beatings, electric shock treatment, falanga (beating on the soles of the feet).[18]
4.      Forced starvation as a result of food curfews imposed on the areas.[19]
5.      Arbitrary detention and arrests.
6.      Mass killings of victims through shooting after they have been forced to dig their own graves and ordered into them.[20]
Approximately, 20,000 civilians were killed from 1981 to 1983 in a violent campaign aimed at crushing the dissident activity in Matebeleland and Midlands regions.  As a result, Zimbabwe is plagued by various issues that negate the existence of positive peace and have created a deeply wounded and divided society.

Thesis

 Truth-telling emerges from a theory of change whereby acknowledgement of past abuses will restore human dignity and create the foundation for reconciliation. This paper argues that truth-telling is necessary for strategic peace-building in Zimbabwe as the wounds of injustice from twenty years ago still haunt Zimbabwe’s currently,  and threaten the future of the country. As long as the truth remains buried,, the nation will continue to look into the past with dismay. Future generations of the Ndebele people will harbor the animosity of their forefathers and continue to feel as foreigners, as people of Mthwakazi instead of citizens of Zimbabwe.  Truth-telling, on the other hand, will allow healing to begin and reconciliation to take place.

The Wounds of Injustice

Wounds of political injustice are defined as the rupturing of the right relationship between political communities. Political injustice diminishes the humanity of those involved in that injustice. Those affected are the victims whose rights have been violated, the perpetrators themselves, and the community at large which encompasses the citizens of the state.[21] In Zimbabwe’s case, the lack of acknowledgement of the victims’ suffering, the standing victory of the wrongdoer’s political injustice, victims’ ignorance of the source and circumstance of political injustices (particularly in the case of the disappeared) and harm to the victim’s person (through the acts of Gukurahundi; torture, rape, arbitrary arrests and witnessing extreme cruelty), are present and must be addressed through truth-telling and acknowledgement. Only then might reconciliation and sustainable peace take place. These wounds have manifested themselves in various issues visible in Zimbabwe’s communities today in both political and civilian realms.

The Issues

The Mugabe administration has never acknowledged the Gukurahundi killings and abuses of 1981- 1983 creating deep discontent and pain among survivors and families of victims.  Much of the anger emanates from the fact that many of the victims have not been reburied and their remains are still contained in mass graves all over the country.[22]  The Matebeleland and Midlands region is plagued with poverty and drought, and many communities believe these misfortunes occur because the spirits of the dead are restless and angry for not having been given proper burial rights. The importance of having a body or bones to mourn and bury is culturally significant for all tribes in Zimbabwe.[23]
 
There has been increased suppression and silencing of the affected population in speaking out about or commemorating the massacres. Artists have been arrested and families prevented from reburying their dead where they have been able to identify the victim.[24] Witnesses still remain who saw loved ones dragged away in the night never to return, or survived mass shootings and have no forum with which to seek redress.
 
The government has a history of suppressing any information about what happened during this period.  After the massacres, the government tasked the Dumbutshena Commission with the investigation of disturbances at camps in Matebeleland between the ZIPRA and ZANLA in 1981, and the Chihambakwe Commission to investigate the Gukurahundi, largely in response to international outcry over the events.[25]  Both reports have been sealed and their contents have never been made public, despite continued legal action and pressure from various groups.[26] This was after Mugabe had promised the people of Zimbabwe that all would be made known regarding Gukurahundi.[27] The government has indicated that the release of the Chihambakwe report would pose a threat to national security and that the Dumbutshena report can no longer be located. [28] This suppression of information exacerbates victims’ ignorance of the source and circumstance of their political injustice, particularly because they are left in the dark about why the Gukurahundi took place and where their loved ones that disappeared went to and why.
 
After years of state-imposed silence over Gukurahundi and underdevelopment of the Matebeleland region, the cries for devolution of power from central government grew louder.  The administration has remained centralized with the city of Harare as the seat of political and economic power, and this has led to calls for devolution by a secessionist group, the Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) led by a former ZIPRA commander Fidelis Ncube.[29] The aim of the MLF is to bring about an independent Ndebele state.[30]  In March 2011 the MLF leadership were put on trial for treason where it was alleged they attempted to incite the public to revolt against the government.[31] The case is yet unresolved, as judgment has been reserved (meaning that the judgment will be handed down at a later time) by the trial judge who resigned and left the country. The MLF leaders are not permitted to leave the country or participate in politics until the finalization of the case, the date of which is uncertain given the fact that judgment is still pending.

Recommendations for Change

The discontent of the Ndebele, the creation of the MLF and calls for an independent Ndebele state arise from a core grievance – the failure to recognize Gukurahundi massacres and atrocities.  It is necessary to openly discuss the Gukurahundi through truth-telling.  This can be done by giving artists and other creative mediums freedom of speech to express the history of what happened.  It can also mean that there is public discussion through media and various public bodies such as Parliament of Zimbabwe.  What is crucial is that the reports by the Dumbutshena Commission and the Chihambakwe Commission should be made public so that the findings may be part of the narrative. Even if the government is not prepared to issue a public apology, these actions serve as an important form of acknowledgement for the suffering of  victims both past and living. 
 
Gukurahundi should no longer just be the Ndebele story, but the Zimbabwean story known by every citizen. To allow communities to relive their past and to share it with the nation as a whole through story-telling restores the importance of the lives lost and the dignity of the survivors.  It also opens the way for empathy from the rest of the nation; the empathy reinforces the value of the lives of the victims and creates solidarity that healing from such mass atrocities needs.  Without story-telling, there is no acknowledgement, no empathy no solidarity, and no healing of deep-seated wounds of injustice.
 
The government should also assist in exhumations and the identification of the remains of the massacred.  Many communities live with mass burial sites in their communities which means they relive the trauma of the Gukurahundi period and are unable to find closure.  Such exhumations could also be truth-telling in the sense that it is an acknowledgement that their relatives died and or disappeared.  The provision of proper burial rites and cleansing rituals which are so central to Zimbabwean traditional society where murder has occurred can take place and allow the communities to have hope for a better future, no longer “cursed” by the restless spirits of the dead.  Reburial also acts as a form of acknowledgment that many people died in a manner that violated their rights and that this was a wrong against the victims and the families.
 
Furthermore, a monument to the victims of Gukurahundi would acknowledge the massacres and memorialize the dark past and act as a form of remembrance and apology to survivors.  The building of monuments as a mode of reparation and acknowledgement is common in the Inter-American Human Rights system (A regional human rights system created by the members of the Organization of American States [OAS] and comprised of the judicial body namely the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the quasi-judicial Inter-American Commission of Human Rights).[32]   Many countries have also adopted this to remember their dark histories and to honor victims. Cambodia is one example; a Buddhist temple was erected in the “killing fields” of the Khmer Rouge era where many civilians lost their lives.[33]
 
Graves in Zimbabwe are considered sacred, and many rituals are performed by the family to communicate with their ancestors.  The graves are maintained, weeded, and honored; the loved-one has departed but is still part of the family.  To be buried in a mass grave means that families cannot perform their graveside rituals or speak to their relative in the manner to which they are accustomed.  The dignity bestowed on the departed who has joined the ancestors is denied because there is no way to consult or appease the spirit of the relative when one does not know where the relative is buried, or when the relative is buried with ancestors of another family.  For rural people whose lives center around these spiritual practices, the mass grave is both a curse and an indignity.
 
Zimbabwe’s leaders should take important steps in acknowledging the past through the above cited processes, but more importantly the nation should mourn with the region over the loss of so many innocent civilians. Without national acknowledgement, the calls for secession are likely to become more intense.[34] 
 
Central to the theory of change of truth-telling about the genocide is that the process should be owned by the victims: the people of Matebeleland and Midlands.  These people have a rich cultural heritage that includes art, poetry and theatre.  The state should fund initiatives that allow the story of Gukurahundi to be told through various medium to be commemorated by the victims, art exhibitions in galleries, theatre productions and poetry narratives. This would restore a sense of dignity and collective agency to the community and allow them to take full ownership of their shared struggle.  Presently, suppression has taken that power and agency over the history away from the Ndebele; it is only the state that dictates how and if the narrative of Gukurahundi is shared publicly, which adds to the harm and injury of the original event..
 
President Robert Mugabe has said soldiers that killed thousands of people to crush the late Joshua Nkomo's opposition ZAPU party during Gukurahundi did not follow instructions and did so unilaterally.[35] This is one example of the way the narrative in the public space continues to be owned by political leaders and the state.   In a television interview with a South African journalist, Mugabe said, “Yes, it was very bad. We don't want to talk about that, but it turns up a story which has not been told in full, how it started and so on, you know, what was happening. It's involving, it's not a story we should continue”.[36]A spokesman in the President’s office when asked about the Gukurahundi angrily remarked, “You are a crazy young man, …(didn’t you hear) President Mugabe said it was a moment of madness, that is all I can tell you…That is a closed topic and people who want to [talk]  about that era should know it”.[37]

Conclusion

Truth-telling and acknowledgment are necessary actions to promote a change that can restore the dignity of victims and survivors and set a platform for reconciliation of a deeply-divided nation.  Truth-telling can be fulfilled in a number of ways; for example, releasing to the public of reports of the Chihambakwe and Dumbutshena Commissions into the atrocities, allowing survivors to tell their stories to the nation through the arts and other medium, and lifting state repression on discussing the issue of Gukurahundi.  Acknowledgment can be expressed through building monuments in places of the worst massacres, allowing the exhumation of mass graves and proper reburial of victims, and facilitating the performance of cleansing ceremonies in communities that have lived with mass graves in their midst.  All these actions will restore the dignity of victims and survivors and allow the nation to empathize and acknowledge the suffering they experienced.  This acknowledgement is important because it will allow the nation as a whole to share not only in the painful past, but also serve a precursor to destroying barriers between groups that have resulted from the silence over the atrocities.    In the words of Pamela Hieronymi, “…a past wrong against you, standing in your history without an apology, atonement, retribution, punishment, restitution, condemnation, or anything else that might recognize it as a wrong, makes a claim.  It says, in effect, that you can be treated this way, and that such treatment is acceptable.”[38]


[1] Sarah Bosha, original haiku, November 2013.

[2] Norma J. Kriger, Guerilla Veterans in Post-War Zimbabwe, (Cambridge University Press, 2003), p.24.

[3] Shari Eppel, “Gukurahundi: The need for truth and reparation” in Zimbabwe Injustice and Political Reconciliation, ed. Brian Raftopolous and Tyrone Savage (Weaver Press, 2004), 44.

[4] Id.

[5] Paul Themba Nyathi, “Reintegration of ex-xombatants into Zimbabwean society”,  in Zimbabwe Injustice and Political Reconciliation, ed. Brian Raftopolous and Tyrone Savage (Weaver Press, 2004), p.64-65.

[6] Norma J. Kriger, Guerilla Veterans in Post-War Zimbabwe, (Cambridge University Press, 2003), p.24.

[7] Brian Raftopolous, “Introduction” in Zimbabwe Injustice and Political Reconciliation, ed. Brian Raftopolous and Tyrone Savage (Weaver Press, 2004),  p. x.

[8] Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace Zimbabwe, “Breaking the Silence Building True Peace A Report on the Disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands 1980-1988”, (Legal Resources Foundation; April 1999), Summary Report, 8.  Accessed on November 9, 2013 at, http://www.universaljurisdiction.org/world/zimbabwe/451-reports-gukurahundimatabeleland-massacres.

[9] Id.

[10] Daniel Philpott, Just and Unjust Peace An Ethic of Political Reconciliation, (Oxford University Press, 2012),  38.  This wound of a standing victory is defined as, “…the ongoing triumph of the perpetrators evil deed, which persists victorious and unchallenged.”

[11] Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace Zimbabwe, “Breaking the Silence Building True Peace A Report on the Disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands 1980-1988”, (Legal Resources Foundation; April 1999), Summary Report, part III, para 5.   Accessed on November 9, 2013 at, http://www.universaljurisdiction.org/world/zimbabwe/451-reports-gukurahundimatabeleland-massacres.

[12] Id, part III, para 4.

[13] Supra, part III, para 4.  President Mugabe is quoted as having said of the operation in April 1983, “We eradicate them.  We don’t differentiate when we fight because we cant tell who is a dissident and who is not.”

[14] Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace Zimbabwe, “Breaking the Silence Building True Peace A Report on the Disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands 1980-1988”, (Legal Resources Foundation; April 1999), Summary Report, part III, para 1.   Accessed on November 9, 2013 at, http://www.universaljurisdiction.org/world/zimbabwe/451-reports-gukurahundimatabeleland-massacres.

[15] Id, part III, para 5.

[16]Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace Zimbabwe, “Breaking the Silence Building True Peace A Report on the Disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands 1980-1988”, (Legal Resources Foundation; April 1999), Summary Report, part II, Case Study II Matobo (Kezi).   Accessed on November 9, 2013 at, http://www.universaljurisdiction.org/world/zimbabwe/451-reports-gukurahundimatabeleland-massacres “Bhalagwe Camp was originally a military camp. In 1982 the mainly ZIPRA army unit there were accused of being dissidents. The camp was shut down and not used much. It became a feared place in 1984, when thousands of civilians from all over Matabeleland South were trucked in and detained there. CIO as well as 5 Brigade also gave people electric shocks, submarine and other forms of torture. There was a lot of sexual torture at Bhalagwe. Women were raped and had sticks forced into them. Men had their genitals tied in rubber and beaten. People had to dig graves for those killed. Later, these bodies were removed and those who died were thrown down mine shafts in the region.”  And in Korodziba, “5th Brigade came to the school and took about 60 pupils aged over 14 years. They were all beaten and asked about dissidents. 20-30 girls were raped and then ordered to have sex with some of the boys while the soldiers watched. They were beaten for 3 hours.”

[17] Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace Zimbabwe, “Breaking the Silence Building True Peace A Report on the Disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands 1980-1988”, (Legal Resources Foundation; April 1999), Summary Report, part II, Case Study 1, Nyamandlovhu encompassing Tsholotsho.   Accessed on November 9, 2013 at, http://www.universaljurisdiction.org/world/zimbabwe/451-reports-gukurahundimatabeleland-massacres“Any village which had experienced 5 Brigade atrocities lived in a state of intense anxiety and fear, unsure when the soldiers might return or who might be targetted next time. Many hundreds of people, especially young men, fled the area for Bulawayo or Botswana to avoid being accused of being dissidents.  At times villagers had to watch those close to them dying slowly from untreated wounds. They had been warned not to seek medical help and could be shot as curfew breakers if they tried. Many others have permanent disabilities and cannot work well in their fields or carry loads any more. Others still suffer mentally with headaches, dizzy spells, nightmares and depression.  Families have been left without breadwinners, children without parents, and with the trauma of having seen their parents, husbands, community leaders harmed and humiliated. There are practical problems left behind. People need death certificates for the missing. Without them, their children have failed to get birth certificates; they have lost out on pensions, and been unable to inherit savings accounts.”

[18] Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace Zimbabwe, “Breaking the Silence Building True Peace A Report on the Disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands 1980-1988”, (Legal Resources Foundation; April 1999), Summary Report, part II, Bhalagwe Camp.   Accessed on November 9, 2013 at, http://www.universaljurisdiction.org/world/zimbabwe/451-reports-gukurahundimatabeleland-massacres“They were brutally tortured and many were killed. People were kept in very bad conditions. They were overcrowded and beaten daily. CIO as well as 5 Brigade also gave people electric shocks, submarine and other forms of torture. There was a lot of sexual torture at Bhalagwe. Women were raped and had sticks forced into them. Men had their genitals tied in rubber and beaten. People had to dig graves for those killed. Later, these bodies were removed and those who died were thrown down mine shafts in the region.”

[19] Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace Zimbabwe, “Breaking the Silence Building True Peace A Report on the Disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands 1980-1988”, (Legal Resources Foundation; April 1999), Summary Report, part II, St Josephs Mission in an area known as Mzola Dam.   Accessed on November 9, 2013 at, http://www.universaljurisdiction.org/world/zimbabwe/451-reports-gukurahundimatabeleland-massacres “… a group of at least 8 elderly men (named) were severely beaten by 5 Brigade for eating at 11 in the morning. They were forced to do strenuous exercise while being beaten throughout the day. One was then released, while the others were kept overnight, transferred to Guardian Angel and then Mabisi Dip. Torture continued and several of the men collapsed completely and one was finally beaten to death.  And also at Korodziba, “2 children out of a group of children died of starvation trying to runaway from 5 Brigade in this area. They were trying to reach Ngamo railway siding, which is about 100 km NE of Korodziba. The dead were aged 9 and 14, the survivor was 15.”

[20] Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace Zimbabwe, “Breaking the Silence Building True Peace A Report on the Disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands 1980-1988”, (Legal Resources Foundation; April 1999), Summary Report, part II, Gulakabili.   Accessed on November 9, 2013 at, http://www.universaljurisdiction.org/world/zimbabwe/451-reports-gukurahundimatabeleland-massacres“Whole village abducted from nearby to the Pumula Mission area, where they were beaten. Some were then forced to dig a mass grave, made to climb in, and were shot. They were buried while still moving, and villagers were made to dance on the grave and sing songs in praise of ZANU-PF. Number of dead given as 12.” And also at

[21] Daniel Philpott, Just and Unjust Peace An Ethic of Political Reconciliation, (Oxford University Press, 2012),  31.

[22] Mthulisi Mathuthu, “Government urged to rebury victims of Gukurahundi Massacres”, SW Radio Africa, October 14, 2013.  Accessed on November 5, 2013 at; http://www.swradioafrica.com/2013/10/14/government-urged-to-rebury-victims-of-gukurahundi-massacres/

[23] P. Gundani, “The Roman Catholic Church and the Kurova Guva Ritual in Zimbabwe”, Zambezia (1994), XXI (ii), p124. Accessed on May 2, 2014 at; http://archive.lib.msu.edu/DMC/African%20Journals/pdfs/Journal%20of%20the%20University%20of%20Zimbabwe/vol21n2/juz021002003.pdf.  Where the author writes in relation to death and rituals,  “Immediately after death, the spirit of the deceased is considered unpredictable and dangerous'. Consequently, the rites that are performed by the living relatives are based on the belief that the deceased's spirit leaves the body and continues to live. This life is, however, defined primarily in terms of the influence of the deceased on the community he or she has left behind. The initial rituals that are performed immediately after death therefore emphasise separation of the deceased from the community' and aim to ensure that 'the spirit does not find its way back to the homestead to worry the living it has left behind'. People cannot associate with it until such time as a ritual has been performed to welcome it into the family as a spirit elder, and to induct it into the community of the spirit ancestors”.

[24] Mthulisi Mathuthu, “Government urged to rebury victims of Gukurahundi Massacres”, SW Radio Africa, October 14, 2013.  Accessed on November 5, 2013 at; http://www.swradioafrica.com/2013/10/14/government-urged-to-rebury-victims-of-gukurahundi-massacres/.

[25] United States Institute for Peace, “Commission of Inquiry: Zimbabwe”.  Accessed on November 10, 2013 at; http://www.usip.org/publications/commission-of-inquiry-zimbabwe.

[26] “Group Demands Gukurahundi Reports”, The Standard Newspaper, January 28, 2012. Accessed on November 10, 2013 at: http://www.thestandard.co.zw/2012/01/28/by-nqobani-ndlovu-bulawayo-human-rights-lawyers-have-urged-the-zimbabwe-human-rights-commission-zhrc-and-legislators-to-push-government-to-ratify-the-united-nations-convention-against-torture-which-ba/.

[27] Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace Zimbabwe, “Breaking the Silence Building True Peace A Report on the Disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands 1980-1988”, (Legal Resources Foundation; April 1999), Summary Report, part III, para 6.   Accessed on November 9, 2013 at, http://www.universaljurisdiction.org/world/zimbabwe/451-reports-gukurahundimatabeleland-massacres

[28] Id.

[29]Brenda Moyo, “Ndebele Nationalists Launch Mthwakazi Liberation Front in Zimbabwe”, Voice of America, December 30, 2010.  Accessed on November 10, 2013 at; http://www.voazimbabwe.com/content/ndebele-nationalists-launch-new-zimbabwe-party-112669609/1458975.html

[30] Id.

[31]Richard Muponde, “Treason Suspects to Sue Mugabe”, Free and Fair Zimbabwe Election, August 15, 2013.  Accessed on November 11, 2013 at; http://www.zimbabweelection.com/2013/08/15/treason-suspects-to-sue-mugabe/ . 

[32]Case of Myrna Mack Chang v. Guatemala, Series C No. 101, Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACrtHR), 25 November 2003.  Accessed on May 10, 2014 at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4f5a26372.html.  .   In the famous case of Myrna Mack Chang, the government of Guatemala was ordered by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission to fully investigate the circumstances of the death of Ms Myrna Mack Chang a well-known human rights activist who was suspected to have been killed by state agents.  The Commission specifically ordered that the government should in addition, “…carry out a public act of acknowledgment of its responsibility in connection with the facts of this case and of amends to the memory of Myrna Mack Chang and to her next of kin, in the presence of the highest authorities of the State”.  As a form of acknowledgement the Commission ordered that the government of Guatemala should establish a scholarship in the name of Myrna Mack Chang and name a street after the deceased and erect a plaque in her memory where she died. 

[33]Cambodia Tribunal Monitor, 2013.  Accessed on May 10, 2014 at; http://www.cambodiatribunal.org/history/cambodian-history/khmer-rouge-history/.  The Monitor writes, “While the Khmer Rouge was in power, they set up policies that disregarded human life and produced repression and massacres on a massive scale. They turned the country into a huge detention center, which later became a graveyard for nearly two million people, including their own members and even some senior leaders. A few days after they took power in 1975, the Khmer Rouge forced perhaps two million people in Phnom Penh and other cities into the countryside to undertake agricultural work. Thousands of people died during the evacuations…During this time, everyone was deprived of their basic rights. People were not allowed to go outside their cooperative. The regime would not allow anyone to gather and hold discussions. If three people gathered and talked, they could be accused of being enemies and arrested or executed.”  The memorial can be found at http://www.war-memorial.net/Killing-Fields-Memorial-at-Choeung-Ek-1.80

[34] Staff Reporter, “Controversial Mthwakazi Chief Inaugurated in South Africa” Bulawayo 24 News, March 23, 2014.  Accessed on May 10, 2014 at; http://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-africa-byo-44746.html.  It is reported that Albert Zwelibanzi Gumede was inaugurated as the first chief of Mthwakazi. The article further states that, “he Zimbabwean government is on record as declaring Mthwakazi secession agenda as an act of revolt and treason. Several members of the Mthwakazi leadership who live outside Zimbabwe have found themselves being bundled into Zimbabwean courts of law for various crimes as soon as they set their feet into Zimbabwe. Chief Gumede is also one of those who have been arrested in Zimbabwe for pursuing Mthwakazi agenda in Bulawayo.”

[35] “President Mugabe Speaks on Gukurahundi: Soliders didn’t follow orders”, Africa Times.com, June 5, 2013.  Accessed on November 11, 2013 at: http://en.africatime.com/zimbabwe/articles/president-mugabe-speaks-gukurahundi-soldiers-didnt-follow-orders

[36] Id.

[37] Sabelo Gwenya, “Charamba Statement on Gukurahundi a Grave Insult”, Nehanda Radio.com, October 19, 2011. Accessed on November 11, 2013 at: http://nehandaradio.com/2011/10/19/charamba-statement-on-gukurahundi-a-grave-insult/

[38] Pamela Hieronymi, “Articulating an Uncompromising Forgiveness”, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research LXII, No. 3 (May 2001), 546.