By Wallace Mawire Harare, Zimbabwe
Heal Zimbabwe Trust (HZT), an NGO based in Zimbabwe which works with victims of political violence and torture will on Monday hold a summit for survivors of political violence in Zimbabwe in a bid to address the issue of national healing following the political violence that hit the country in the March 2008 elections.
According to HZT Director, Rashid Mahiya, the theme of the summit will be my voice,my healing, give peace a chance.At least 200 representatives of surviving spouses and victims of political violence from all the country’s provinces will converge in Harare for the summit.
The summit creates an opportunity for survivors of political violence to meet and deliberate on the political environment in their areas and their views and expectations on the ongoing national healing process and also the proposed elections planned for the country.
Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai is expected to be one of the leading government officials at the summit including officials from the government of national unity’s organ on national healing and reconciliation.
The summit will also dovetail into the international day of peace commemorations to be held on 21 September. To mark the day, victims of political violence will peacefully march in Harare and submit a petition to the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs.
Some of the issues to be debated at the summit include the political violence in Zimbabwe and a trend analysis,psychosocial support for victims of political violence,comparative analysis of transitional justice and lessons from other countries,experiences and testimonies of political violence post 29 March 2008 elections and survivors expectations on the ongoing national healing process in Zimbabwe. Heal Zimbabwe Trust has recently blasted the government of national unity in Zimbabwe for silence on the issue of national healing and is offering support to victims.