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Zimbabwe Catholic Group Promotes Reconciliation in Wake of 2008 Violence


Seeking to heal the wounds of the post-election violence seen in 2008 in Zimbabwe, the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace is stepping up a nationwide program to bring the perpetrators of violence and their victims together for reconciliation.

Aimed at bridging the gap between members of opposing political organizations, the program bases its approach on Rwanda's so-called gacaca courts based on traditional justice systems where those accused of crimes, and their victims, are united in a reveal-all style.

The Movement for Democratic Change, in opposition before the 2008 elections in which it won a parliamentary majority, says more than 300 of its supporters were killed last year by youth militia and war veterans aligned with the then-ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe. Hundreds of thousands of MDC supporters were also displaced internally.

Catholic Commission National Director Alois Chaumba told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that program aims to help Zimbabweans recover harmony and tranquility within their communities regardless of political affiliations.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

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