Zimbabwe: Victims of Mugabe-Era Massacre to be Compensated

Zimbabwe’s government has announced the decision to open talks about compensation for victims of a notorious 1980s massacre that took place when former President Robert Mugabe was in office.

The statement added that some victims will also be exhumed and reburied according to local customs.

The news followed talks between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and tribal chiefs to settle longstanding grievances over the so-called Gukurahundi massacres.

Mugabe deployed a North Korean-trained military unit from 1983, to crack down on a revolt in the southwestern region of Matabeleland in newly independent Zimbabwe, say rights groups.

According to the Zimbabwe Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, they killed an estimated 20 000 people over several years, a death toll supported by Amnesty International.

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Most of the victims belonged to the minority Ndebele tribe.

A statement from Mnangagwa upheld recommendations by the National Council of Chiefs on compensation and promised close consultation with all the parties concerned.

The President also explained that the question of exhumations and reburials should be resolved on a case-by-case basis respecting local customs.

Mnangagwa has held several meetings over the past year to try to resolve the issues arising from the Gukurahundi massacres.

Mugabe, who died in 2019, never acknowledged responsibility for the massacres, dismissing Amnesty International evidence as a “heap of lies”.

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