Matabeleland activists; Ibhetshu LikaZulu, Dumisani Mpofu and Charles Thomas have taken Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe as well as current President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Deputy Kembo Mohadi to the High Court where they are demanding the release of the Dumbutshena Commission and Chihambakwe Committee reports of the Gukurahundi period, which have never been made public although they were presented to former president Mugabe.
The activists have also taken the British Government to court and are demanding that they declassify reports on Gukurahundi.
This is not the first time Ibhetshu LikaZulu has engaged human rights lawyers in a bid to force Government to publicise the reports. In 2012 the group engaged Abammeli BamaLungelo Abantu Network for the same issue. At the time the group said publicising the documents was necessary to achieve national healing and reconciliation.
The Dumbutshena report contains the findings of a commission of inquiry into the disturbances at Entumbane and other demobilisation camps following clashes between Zipra and Zanla cadres in 1981. The Chihambakwe report contains findings of the committee that investigated the Gukurahundi massacres, in which an estimated 20 000 people were massacred by the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade in the early 1980s.
Both the Dumbutshena Commission and Chihambakwe Committee reported to Mugabe at the end of their deliberations but the reports were never made public. The government argued that the publication of the report could spark violence over past wrongs