Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi has come under fire from the National Transitional Justice Working Group (NTJWG) over remarks he made at the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
Ziyambi ignited a storm in Switzerland last week when he told the CERD that there shall never be any arrests carried out on those who killed and maimed thousands during the Gukurahundi massacres as the culprits were long forgiven by then state President Robert Mugabe.
Addressing journalists in Harare NTJWG Vice Chairperson Dzikamai Bere said Ziyambi’s remarks are a sign that the Government of Zimbabwe has no intention of closing the issue.
“The Minister’s statement reflects that the Government has no intention of redressing the Gukurahundi massacres, which he loosely referred to as mere ‘disturbances’. He stated that the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC), whose constitutional mandate is to deal with post-conflict justice has no mandate to deal with the mass atrocities which occurred during the Gukurahundi. Minister Ziyambi stated that the government has no mandate to prosecute perpetrators of human rights violations due to the broad amnesty declared by former President Robert Mugabe under Clemency Order 1 of 1990.
“Our position is that the amnesty granted through Clemency Order1 of 1990 did not resolve justice and accountability issues relating to the Gukurahundi massacres. This position has also been affirmed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has openly declared the need to address this issue, albeit through the engagement of chiefs,” Bere said.
He added “the government to immediately censure Ziyambi’s pronouncement, make a public apology to the victims and survivors of Gukurahundi and to stop undermining the role of the NPRC as well as capacitate the commission to enable justice and closure to victims and survivors.”