History Monday: Gukurahundi – The Victims Part 1

Hi, this is sourced from Nehanda Radio and a 1997 Catholic Commission of Justice and Peace  report

A DISCUSSION OF HOW TO ASSESS THE IMPACT OF THE 1980S DISTURBANCES, IN TERMS OF REAL NUMBERS OF VICTIMS.

The figures in the HR Data Base are clearly a base-line set of figures which can only grow in the future. Only one district in Zimbabwe was fairly comprehensively researched for this report – namely Tsholotsho. In addition, a pilot study was conducted in Matobo.

Both of these studies resulted in a dramatic increase in existing knowledge of how events unfolded in these two regions in the 1980s, and both extended the named data base considerably, and allowed the incorporation of numbered victims. Numbered victims are generally excluded from all other districts.

What was also noticeable in Tsholotsho was how the gap between numbered and named victims closed as interviewing progressed, and a larger proportion of named as opposed to numbered victims began to be reported.

The lower levels of offenses evident in the other districts in Zimbabwe reflect the fact that extensive research has not been done in these regions, rather than reflecting that these districts were not severely affected by events.

While the compilers of this report do not claim to have any final answers in terms of real numbers of victims in the various categories of offense, some cautious suggestions can be made.

The basis of these suggestions will be discussed separately for each category of offense, with a clear difference being maintained between what may certainly be known at this stage, and what may further be supposed.

Source:

1. Nehanda Radio (2012) ‘Gukurahundi Massacres: Number of Victims (Part 13)’

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