By Wallace Mawire
Heal Zimbabwe has expressed great concern over the delays by the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) in Zimbabwe to initiate a wholesome healing and reconciliation process in the wake of violent disturbances that have been rocking the nation since August 1 2018.
The organisations says that since the unfortunate incident of 1 August 2018, the country has not known genuine peace as demonstrated by the ongoing clampdown of civic society leaders and the closing of democratic space in communities.
“As a commission charged with bringing about national reconciliation by encouraging people to tell the truth about the past and facilitating the making of amends and provision of justice as provided for in Section 252 (c) of the constitution, Heal Zimbabwe would have expected the NPRC to act in this regard by extending support to survivors of the gross human rights abuses. What is even worrying is the continued stock-piling of issues that require reconciliation which is racing against time given the limited lifespan of the NPRC,” Heal Zimbabwe said.
The NPRC five year strategic plan (2018-2022) which is a vehicle through which the NPRC will deliver its mandate for the next five years has clear outcomes. Some of these outcomes include improved architecture for conflict prevention at national and sub-national levels, enhanced national capacities for sustaining peace, healing and reconciliation and enabled processes and frameworks for addressing legacies of violent conflicts through inclusive healing efforts.
“However, in the wake of human rights abuses notably by the state particularly from August 2018 up to January 2019, the NPRC seems to have abdicated its role that is provided for in Section 252 (c) of the constitution that states that the NPRC must, “bring about national reconciliation by encouraging people to tell the truth about the past and facilitate the making of amends and the provision of justice”. Added to this, the NPRC has maintained a low key profile amid such human rights violations. To worsen matters, nothing has been appropriately done publicly to show remorse and demonstrate the desire to promote genuine healing and reconciliation” they add.
In light of this, Heal Zimbabwe says that it implores the NPRC to be proactive in taking measures to address the root causes of conflict and violence as well as promote genuine national healing and reconciliation as mandated by the constitution.
“The NPRC must also swiftly move in and initiate a robust healing and reconciliation programme that will tackle key reconciliation issues raised by citizens during its consultative meetings such as Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina and 2008 political violence among others,” they said.