US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols says the proposed open discussion of the Gukurahundi by President Emmerson Mnangagwa is a positive step for the regime in as far as reforms are concerned.
Mnangagwa recently appealed to the Zimbabwean citizens to openly engage in the debate around the massacres, a topic previously, avoided by many as this attracted a heavy-handed response from authorities.
In an exclusive interview with 263Chat yesterday, Nichols said although there is still a lot to be done by the Mnangagwa regime, there are a few positives from the government, chief among them being the pronouncement by Mnangagwa that the once sacred discussion should be talked about.
Ambassador Nichols said the Mnangagwa regime has set “a positive agenda from reform,” through its raft proposals which include the National dialogue of political parties, repeal of the draconian Access to Information Privacy and Protection Act (AIPPA).
“The last few days have been positive, the opening of the dialogue on Gukurahundi and taking steps towards addressing some of the long-standing issues, the calls for accountability for transparency and what happened to people, I think that’s positive,” he said.
Over the weekend, Mnangagwa said the idea of speaking publicly about the event arose from the meeting with the Matabeleland Collective, a group of relatives of the victims of the massacres.
No legal proceedings have so far been instituted against those responsible for the more than 20,000 victims.
Some have questioned whether it is appropriate to frame this as a debate as opposed to encouraging dialogue and discussions around the issues of Gukurahundi.