A decade of decline has battered human rights in Zimbabwe. The dawn of elections violence rose with impunity, bloodying the sunrise. Zimbabwe's 1982 "moment of madness" went unabated. Politically motivated violence became a way of life. Few if any perpetrators of political violence have been brought to book.
After watching a Rooftop Productions play titled "Heal the wounds," Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) took it to the communities. "Heal the Wounds" sensitize people on the healing process provided for in ARTICLE VII of the global Political Agreement (GPA) and created debate on the course of healing. ZimRights managed to take the play to twenty areas in Zimbabwe. Through the testimonies of the people who viewed the play, it emerged that giving survivors the opportunity to speak out is a deep relief to them. The testimonies are not alone. Many have not been accorded the chance to speak, until now.
From Gukurahundi and Murambatsvina, a host of Zimbabweans have disappeared into thin air. An ever-growing toll of victims has lost life and limb during elections. Small wars wage by hidden hands stifled the masses. The fear that has been allowed to pervade the people is too palpable to ignore.
Zimbabwe yearns for another dawn a better tomorrow, in which fear is not part of the agenda. Like a dreaded disease, violence has been allowed to grip the hearts and minds of Zimbabweans, robbing them of any semblance of joy they should be guarantee under any sane 21st century democracy in the world.
The opportunity presented by Article VII to make things right cannot slip by, as the consequences are too dire to contemplate. ZimRights brings to light the dirt that has been swept under the rug. It is suggested that Zimbabwe stops burying its head in the sand and pretending that all is well. The nation is in urgent need of the truth, though cleansing and healing. This is not too much to ask for. No exorcism is required as the truth is there for all to see, in the eyes of citizens gazing to the horizon for justice and answers to their plight to appear. All that is needed is the will to embark on the necessary action. Article VII jogs that reality. Article VII is an open appeal to our collective consciences to do the right thing for a change- to embrace a cleaner and safer Zimbabwe for us and coming generations.