Echoing Silences as a Paradigm for Restorative Justice in Post-conflict Zimbabwe: A Philosophical Discourse
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Drawing corroborative data from Echoing Silences (1997), an internationally acclaimed Zimbabwean liberation war novel written by Alexander Kanengoni, the article explores some perspectives on the history of violent pasts and restorative justice that can be of use to post-conflict Zimbabwe. Considering that Zimbabwe is a country freighted with a history of violent pasts starting from the armed struggle in the 1970s, the Matabeleland atrocities in the 1980s as well as electoral violence from the 1980s to date, the article argues that the message of violence and the project of restoration canvassed for in Echoing Silences present important insights that can be useful to efforts aimed at national healing and development. The effects of the history of violence on individuals, nation and community have largely received cursory attention, and in a number of instances, these effects have been left unattended for political expediency since addressing them would create a counter¬narrative to ZANU PF's revolutionary mission by exposing and accepting the violent nature of nationalism before and after the attainment of political independence. For that reason, the article argues that the violent pasts, as portrayed in the historical novel, need to be acknowledged and effectively dealt with on the basis of people's lived experiences. Both the wronged and the wrongdoers need to be involved in this exercise in order to unburden the past, the present and the future.
Additional Citation InformationMangena Fainos et.al. (2006), "Echoing Silences as a Paradigm for Restorative Justice in Post-conflict Zimbabwe: A Philosophical Discourse," Zambezia, vol. 33, pp. 1-18