In a remarkable display of political reconciliation, Senator David Coltart of the Citizens Coalition for Change has issued a formal apology to exiled Zimbabwe Cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo. The apology comes after Coltart invoked Moyo’s late father, Melusi Job Mlevu, during a recent political debate.
The apology, conveyed through a direct message on Twitter, was later announced by Jonathan Moyo on his social media platform. “Subsequent to my tweet yesterday re: David Coltart’s tweet the previous day referencing my father, David has apologized through my DM, and I have accepted his gentlemanly conduct in doing so!” expressed Moyo.
In his apology, Senator Coltart confirmed his regret over mentioning Moyo’s father, recognizing that it unintentionally brought back painful memories. He clarified that his intention was never to reopen old wounds and emphasized that political differences should never cause personal suffering. Coltart expressed gratitude for Jonathan Moyo’s acceptance of his apology.
The controversy arose when Coltart made a reference to Melusi Job Mlevu’s murder, which occurred on January 12, 1983, during the state-sponsored Gukurahundi massacres, orchestrated by the Fifth Brigade under the direction of the late former president Robert Mugabe and top Zanu-PF political leaders and military commanders, including the current President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was the State Security minister at the time.
In response to Coltart’s remarks, Jonathan Moyo penned a heartfelt open letter to the Senator, expressing his strong objection to the mention of his father’s brutal killing. Moyo had previously accused Coltart of showing sympathy for him while simultaneously aligning with Zanu-PF, a political party deeply connected to the tragic events of Gukurahundi.
The Gukurahundi massacres remain a dark chapter in Zimbabwe’s history, causing immense pain to countless families and communities affected by the atrocities. Moyo’s reaction to Coltart’s reference reflects the sensitivity surrounding this deeply traumatic period.
The apology from Senator Coltart marks a significant step towards fostering dialogue and understanding between political adversaries. Acknowledging the importance of respecting each other’s pain and loss, Coltart’s actions demonstrate the potential for reconciliation despite divergent political views.
The conciliatory gesture between the two prominent figures has garnered attention from citizens and observers alike, with many expressing hope for more such acts of empathy and compassion in the country’s political landscape. It serves as a reminder that despite ideological differences, mutual respect and acknowledgment of shared humanity can pave the way for healing and progress.
As the nation continues to grapple with its complex past, gestures like this apology provide a glimmer of hope for a more united and compassionate Zimbabwe. It remains to be seen how this event will impact the larger political discourse and foster a climate of reconciliation in the country.