Chipinge residents said the delaying establishing of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) was a deliberate ploy to ensure the body’s mandate expires before it becomes operational.
BY STAFF REPORTER
The NPRC is one of the five independent commissions established by Chapter 12 of the Constitution, but is the only one with a time frame of 10 years from the date that the Constitution was adopted in 2013.
It has already lost two years and a month of its lifespan with no indications on when the commissioners would be announced.
Speaking during a one-day information kiosk run by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum at Chipinge business centre yesterday, Sam Sithole, a resident, bemoaned the lack of will by the politicians to establish the peace commission.
“I am convinced that the delay in setting up the commission is deliberate and I have no hope that the current government will set up the commission,” Sithole told NewsDay on the sidelines of the meeting.
“Time is moving yet nothing has been done about the commission. After the public interviews of the commissioners, there has been no word. Imagine if it was a company taking more than two months to select the best candidates. It leaves a lot of suspicion.”
Nelson Mtetwa, a victim of political violence with 20 stitches on his palm after being tortured at an alleged Zanu PF base in 2008, said people tasked to put the NPRC in place did not understand the cost of violence.
“If the role to set up the commission had been given to victims of political violence, the commission would have been operationalised just a few months after the adoption of the new Constitution,” he said.
Susan Hunde from Gaza suburb said many locals were still being terrorised for being members of opposition parties.
“The commission has taken long to come and we only hope that when it is established, they will compensate Zimbabweans for the lost time by producing results. A lot of these commissions are just for window dressing,” Hunde said.
The main purpose of the NPRC is to ensure post-conflict justice, healing and reconciliation.
The nine NPRC commissioners are appointed by the President from the list of 12 or more names submitted to him by the Parliament’s committee on Standing Rules and Orders.
Public interviews for the commissioners were held in April and the nation still awaits the results.