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Zimbabwe Government Pursues National Reconciliation

An effort is underway to promote peace and reconciliation in Zimbabwe. Political violence remains a problem, despite the creation of a unity government. Three days of prayer will precede the launch of a reconciliation program. Minister of State Sekai Holland is one of three state ministers appointed by the government to spearhead national healing.

Her government is uniquely equipped to carry out that task, she said. “The inclusive government, the three political parties working together -- it is the only non-violent, viable way forward for Zimbabwe. And each partner knows that,” she said.

On the question of whether real reconciliation can take place as long as President Robert Mugabe remains in power, Holland said, “The root cause of the problem in Zimbabwe is angry successive governments for years. The state had based its existence and survival on violence and had sponsored violence. So we have to deal with state-sponsored violence and violence in every form,” she said.

The official said this can only be done by the three parties “coming together and owning up and actually working through the problem together.”

As it promotes national healing, Holland said her government will comprehensively address the issue of compensation to past victims of official actions.

“This process that we’re starting now, coming from the people, will enable the government to build mechanisms that address all the sum total of grievances for injuries of peoples.”

“Without addressing those things,” she said, “there can never be peace. There can be no peace without justice.”