4. My experiences in the war have left an indelible mark on me, which is one of the reasons I have passionately promoted the use of non violence to oppose unjust societies the world over since I graduated from University in 1982. Having seen the horrors of war face to face, I am convinced that war and violence should be opposed by all people at all times. I believe that until Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans turn their backs on the use of violence to attain political objectives our Nation will never truly prosper and reach its full potential. I also believe that part of the process of healing and reconciliation consists in all of us acknowledging, and apologising for, our own complicity and responsibility for the things we have done.
So what is to be done going forward?
I have always said that our failure, as a nation, to address the wrongs committed during Rhodesia have contributed to a continued culture of violence, oppression and impunity in the post-independence Zimbabwe. I believe that we need a Truth Commission which covers atrocities perpetrated by and against all races going back to at least 1965 (when UDI was declared) and up to the present day. I commend the passing of the National Peace and Reconciliation Act as a positive step in the right direction and call on government to ensure that it has the independence, resources and cooperation it needs to be able to expose the truth and begin the long, hard but critically important process of reconciliation and healing.
Senator David Coltart
26th January 2018