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‘Zim in need of transitional justice’

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THE Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration (ONHRI) is mooting establishing a new arm that will facilitate transitional justice in Zimbabwe and reach out to millions of people who were subjected to politically-motivated violence.

Report by Obey Manayiti
This was announced by ONHRI co-minister Sekai Holland at the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum-organised international conference on transitional justice held in Nyanga over the weekend.

The conference brought together representatives from various civic society organisations, members from the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, defence, police, judiciary, parliamentarians and representatives from different political parties who agreed to work together in rooting out violence in Zimbabwe.

Delegates from Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Germany, Philippines and Liberia, countries that went through some of the worst post-election human rights violations, shared their experiences on how to implement transitional justice.

Since independence, Zimbabwe has a record of gross human rights violations such as Gukurahundi, bloody elections and Operation Murambatsvina.

“The ONHRI has engaged in consultative processes which have resulted in the progressive establishment of an infrastructure of peace and reconciliation to entrench peace-building processes in Zimbabwe.

“We propose the establishment of an independent operational institution to be called National Peace and Reconciliation Council where reconciliation is inclusive of healing and reparations, suggests negotiated settlement of disputes and prevention of future violence,” said Holland.

“This programme will address the needs of survivors of violence and is shall be inclusive. We should root out the culture of violence in politics so that we make politics pleasurable.”

She added that government should set aside a revolving fund to compensate victims of political violence and to put mechanisms of socio-psychological support to both the victims and perpetrators.

Delegates resolved that for transitional justice to achieve its intended purpose, government should set up a transitional justice national working group and explore traditional methods of conflict resolution.

They said perpetrators of violence, including politicians and security details, should publicly apologise for their deeds.

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