HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Saturday said compensation must be considered for victims of Zimbabwe's political violence as the country held a weekend of national reconciliation.
"We cannot bring back our loved ones who died neither can we restore broken limbs but what we can do is pay compensation. Some form of compensation has to be considered," Tsvangirai said.
He pledged confidence in Zimbabwe's unity government, formed with President Robert Mugabe in February after months of ruinous deadlock, but warned that this could change if there was no full commitment from his partners.
"I am very confident Zimbabwe is changing. We have not option but to make sure this process succeeds," Tsvangirai said in a public update on the unity government progress.
"Let there be no doubt that if there is no full commitment by all parties, we may reach a stage where we may revise our position."
The two former rivals launched the three days of national healing on Friday when Mugabe called for an end to political violence, standing alongside Tsvangirai for only the second time in pubic since the government was formed.
Religious leaders at a prayer service on Saturday committed to help the government move forward, saying Zimbabwe faced "a goliath" of polarisation and violence.
"We have been here before, maybe 30 years ago, in 1980. We should never come back here again," said Goodwills Shana, chair of the heads of Christian denominations of Zimbabwe, referring to post-independence reconciliation.
"We should never keep repeating the lessons of violence and coming back to places of reconciliation. We must say once and for all, never again," Shana told 200 people at a service in the capital.
The peace weekend will mark the start of efforts to find justice for victims of unrest that left at least 180 dead, mostly MDC supporters, Tsvangirai told Friday's launch, saying reparation needs to be openly discussed.
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has reported ongoing attacks against party members, and Tsvangirai on Saturday spoke out against partisan targeting of his party.
"Our MPs are being arrested. You cannot have a selective application of the law. If the MDC is accused of violence what about those from ZANU-PF who were beating up people," said Tsvangirai.
The issue of the date of the appointment of provincial governors, an earlier sticking point, had now been settled, but a stalemate over reserve bank governor and attorney-general posts was awaiting regional mediation, he said.
The unity government was formed nearly a year after contentious polls, that saw Mugabe fail to win a majority for the first time in nearly 30 years, to rescue the country from a bitter political crisis and economic ruin.
The cash-strapped government is seeking more than eight billion dollars in aid and has so far secured some two billion in loan pledges mainly from Africa and China.
Source: The New African Times