The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: National Healing Begins

Harare — A NATIONAL healing taskforce set up by the Government will soon embark on outreach programmes with the primary objective of settling political disputes between known offenders and their victims, Vice President Joice Mujuru has said.

Addressing women and other stakeholders at belated International Women's Day provincial commemorations in Chipadze, Bindura, on Friday, VP Mujuru said the taskforce would go to the grassroots.

"This committee is going to ensure that all our grievances are addressed to the satisfaction of the involved parties. The national healing programme is coming down to the grassroots and will leave no stone unturned in handling every grievance," she said.

VP Mujuru said the programme would incorporate various churches in their efforts to address the people's grievances.

The commemorations also drew Minister of Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development Dr Olivia Muchena, her deputy Ms Evelyn Masaiti and Mashonaland Central Governor and Resident Minister Advocate Martin Dinha.

International Women's Day is commemorated on March 8 annually.

The Vice President said people should stop fighting each other as they waste valuable time that could be used in national development.

"Do not waste time fighting each other. We, your leaders, would be drinking coffee together.

"President Mugabe mooted the idea of the inclusive Government after realising the enemy was infiltrating us and taking advantage of our political differences," she said.

The Vice President said people should understand that the nation was bigger than any political party.

"Come and see us at Parliament, we will be drinking and eating together across the political divide.

"It would be difficult for a visitor to notice that there are three political parties yet you are fighting each other here," she said.

She expressed concern at some individuals who were using politics as a scapegoat to settle personal scores.

"But what you forget is that when you kill someone on the pretext of politics, there is an avenging spirit that would haunt your family and not your political party.

"Even when you are arrested for murder or violence, you will be charged as an individual and stand trial alone, and not your political party," she said.

VP Mujuru said Zimbabweans went to war so that they would enjoy various freedoms.

She said people were free to join political parties of their choice just as they chose the churches they wanted to go to.

"During the liberation war, we fought a repressive system. We were not fighting a particular race.

"During the war, we were united as a single family because we were fighting a common enemy. Why not today?" she asked.

"We used to be the bread basket of Africa, but now we are even failing to produce enough for our own consumption because we were pulling down each other because of inter-party differences," she said.

VP Mujuru said the inclusive Government would be dismantled after elections, which are expected to be held once a new constitution is drafted.

"After the constitution, we will go for elections. We want peace throughout this exercise. We want to give Government time to rehabilitate hospitals, schools and see councils being able to offer their services without fear or favour," she said.

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