Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
BUDGETARY allocations for chiefs to roll out Gukurahundi programmes have been approved and disbursement is expected to commence shortly, giving impetus to the national healing exercise.
For the first time post the Gukurahundi era, Government will be providing traditional leaders with funding for programmes aimed at resolving the emotional issue.
Financing of the Gukurahundi programmes will be managed by the Office of the President and Cabinet following release of funds by Treasury.
President Mnangagwa in his Unity Day message, in December, said solving the Gukurahundi issue was his personal mission as he wants to heal the nation from its dark past.
The President said traditional leaders should be given time to resolve the issue as they can better engage with affected communities who are their subjects.
The 1980s conflict affected many people in Matabeleland region and parts of the Midlands.
Noting that some Gukurahundi victims do not have national identity documents in violation of their rights, President Mnangagwa instructed the Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Ministry to forego bottlenecks that were inhibiting citizens, especially victims of Gukurahundi, from the documents.
Chiefs have started compiling a database of members of the public in their communities without IDs after which they invite the registry department to process the documents.
Chiefs were last month expected to conduct a conflict resolution capacity building workshop so that they can map how the they will conduct the Gukurahundi hearings. However, they could not conduct the capacity building workshop as the budget had not been approved.
Government has since assured them that resources are available and will soon be released so that they carry out their mandate.
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said Treasury started disbursing funding for the financing of Government programmes about a week ago, following the 2022 National Budget’s approval.
“We provided the secretariat, but the funding comes through the Office of the President and Cabinet. I think it is an issue of budget, the Act was signed early this year and disbursement started a week ago,” he said.
Minister Ziyambi could not be drawn into revealing the amount that has been allocated to the chiefs’ programme.
National Council of Chiefs deputy president Chief Mtshana said once the money has been released, their programmes will start.
“We need funding to pay for the chiefs’ accommodation, food and travelling. So, we need quite a substantial amount of money. If we get the money, we will start planning,” said Chief Mtshana.
He said there is a need to expedite resource allocation so that the public do not lose hope on Government’s commitment in addressing emotive issues.
Article Source: The Chronicle