The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) , which was commissioned early this year, has had it’s credibility questioned as there are no clear steps the commission will take towards national healing.
Addressing various stakeholders in Harare yesterday, National Transitional Justice Working Group (NTJWG) Deputy Chairperson Paul Themba Nyathi said there are several commissions which started the national healing process and have failed , a fate which is likely to befall the current commission.
“The NPRC out reach program is not well publicized and it’s publicity is very limited and it does not make sense for a commission to embark on an outreach program without a chairperson and regulations,
“We work with stakeholders everyday who ask us what has changed? Why must we believe that the NPRC will succeed where all the other commissions have failed? Must we expect justice from the same system that killed our brothers and sisters? these are not easy questions and we should not shy away from them but tackle them,
“Our mandate as NTJWG is not to do what we think is right, but rather to facilitate an inclusive dialogue and do what stakeholders want us to do,” said Nyathi.
The stakeholders managed to identify gaps that the commission was not fully committing to since the gazetting of the act.
Coordinator of the National Transitional Justice Working Group, Dzikamai Bere told 263Chat that the NPRC Act has four weaknesses which threaten the effectiveness of the commission.
“The act ignored the transitional justice questions for Zimbabwe, the issues which the commission and the society is not dealing with. The Operation Restore Legacy raises new transitional justice questions which the commission and the society should be seized with.
“Within the NPRC Act there is the lack of victim support, the commission has published a notice with the groups they want to meet when they go for their meetings but victims are not mentioned. So that idea of having invisible victims, stakeholders said it’s problematic,” explained Bere.
However, stakeholders felt that there are various ares that the NPRC could improve like sensitivity to environment.
They noted that the first press briefing the commission held was at the Munhumutapa Building where the President’s office is located and this restricted access of people who may have wanted to participate.
They said this does not inspire confidence in the independence of the commission.
A number of political violence victims voiced out their concerns with regards not being inlcuded in mapping the way forward.
Some said the NPRC has not approached them and is moving too fast without guidelines and would want to help them with legislation so the public can have confidence in them and the conflicts they want to resolve.
Dzikamai BereMunhumutapa BuildingNational Peace and Reconciliation CommissionNational Transitional Justice Working GroupPaul Themba NyathuPresident's office