The Standard, Sunday, 17 July 2011
I am not surprised that the Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration (ONHRI) has not yet come up with a healing formula. Our first meeting organised by the Heads of Christian Denominations (HOCD) held in Kariba about two years ago where the three ministers from the parties in the GNU were supposed to attend just proved that there was no serious commitment on their part by their absence. This however should not let us be discouraged for a lot of work is going on the ground.
Churches at local levels have tried their best to help people to accept the reality of situations they are in. There are so many encouraging stories around the country if only enough space would be given to hear the successful healing sessions that have been carried out. This is a plus on what Zimbabweans can do. The ONHRI is actually a stumbling block. If something is stopping progress then it should be by-passed and life should go on. It however could have been better if the Organ was in the middle of things.
Because life has to go on communities have come up with survival kits across the country. Some of the ideas have been just spontaneous. Some of the perpetrators of violence have actually owned up, confessed and both the traditional route and the faith based systems of making amends have been applied with great success. I only wish if the Organ would organise meetings to hear what people have already done and are doing.
There is also the vital role which some NGOs specialising in these issues have accomplished without the sanction of the Organ. Waiting for the Organ would have been futile. Common sense just demands that as life has to go on neighbours have to make do with local solutions to help people live in a normal way.
One very interesting story is that of the man who had the propensity of grabbing neighbours’ livestock, like chickens, confessing to a church bishop that he was being tormented by a cock crowing in his stomach. The man confessed that he had done all sorts of things to the community and was very sorry. He was worried that no one was prepared to listen to him.
The bishop advised the guy to pay back. A few weeks later the man phoned the bishop to say the cock had stopped crowing because he had paid back what he had taken from his neighbours.
Is it not as simple as ABC? Waiting for the Organ to do what we can for ourselves is a shear waste of time. Communities can only be encouraged to live harmoniously by using local solutions to local problems.
Rev Dr Levee Kadenge