July 06 2017 – THE government will rebury victims of a 1980s military crackdown in the west of the country and help descendants get identity documents, says vice president Phelekezela Mphoko
Mphoko says the programme would include identifying mass graves and erecting tombstones in honour of the dead.
At the launch of the programme in Tsholotsho, this week, Mphoko said thousands of people had lost their IDs when their homes were destroyed in the disturbances that rocked the region more than three decades ago.
“When all this happened here in Tsholotsho, Lupane, Matabeleland South and Midlands, a lot of people were affected and left without national documents,” said Mphoko, who is also the minister of healing and reconciliation.
“They could not obtain death certificates for their parents. Now they can’t claim their parents’ benefits because it is not known whose children they are since they do not have any documents to prove their identity,” says Mphoko adding that the death of the up to 20 000 people, mostly civilians, was not President Mugabe’s fault.
“It was a Western conspiracy to destabilise the newly-independent state of Zimbabwe,”he says.
He also said there would be no compensation yet, as the government could not afford it but victims would get decent burials and government registration would be provided.
“We’ll not talk about compensation for now because it requires a lot of money,” he said.
“We want to make sure those who don’t have identity particulars have them and make sure that the bones that are lying around are given decent burials.” – News24