It is ten years since the original publication of Breaking the Silence: A Report on the Disturbances in Matebeleland and the Midlands. In conjunction with the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace and the Legal Resources Foundation in Harare, the Report is offered again at a time when the events it describes – the Gukurahundi – have acquired a fresh relevance. This edition has an introduction by Elinor Sisulu, who reflects on her own and others’ silence at the time of the killings, as they celebrated a newly independent Zimbabwe; and a foreword by Pius Ncube of Bulawayo, well known for his outspokenness and for his stand against the ongoing human rights violations by the government in Zimbabwe. It is hoped that this edition will find a new and wide readership, and that the re-availability of the Report will mean that more people will campaign for an end to human rights violations in Zimbabwe, and for restorative justice for the victims.
‘This is a powerful book of testimony and truth about the first great tragedy of Zimbabwe’s independence – though not the last. It is a moving work and one that will always speak to the legacy of Robert Mugabe’. — Stephen Chan, Professor of International Relations, SOAS
‘The courageous Zimbabwean authors of this report should be congratulated for producing an essential document of this little-known history of Zimbabwe.’ — Foreign Affairs
Elinor Sisulu is a writer, human rights activist and political analyst.