Local groups working with victims of human rights violations meet today in Nyanga to adopt key transitional justice principles proposed to guide the transitional justice process in the country.
By Everson Mushava
The conference was organised by the National Transitional Justice Working Group (NTJWG), which is a platform established by 46 Zimbabwean transitional justice stakeholders to provide interface between transitional justice stakeholders and the official transitional justice processes in Zimbabwe.
Alec Muchadehama, chairperson of the working group, said the conference would be one of the many engagements by stakeholders in the search for a sustainable solution to the “menace of systematic violations of human rights in Zimbabwe”.
Muchadehama said the conference, coming at a time government is about to operationalise the Peace and National Healing Commission, (NPRC) will lay the foundation for transitional justice processes in Zimbabwe.
“The main goal is to say never again to violation of human rights,” Muchadehama said.
“We seek to ensure victims of human rights violations get justice. The key thematic areas are; truth-telling, justice and accountability, memorialisation, institutional reforms, gender and reparations.”
Muchadehama said peace can only be realised when the country had mechanism in place to deal with past human rights abuses.
Zimbabwe has a bad past of politically motivated human rights violations dating back to the pre-colonial era.
Muchadehama said stakeholders will set the expected standards for transitional justice in Zimbabwe and the conference would produce the fundamental guiding principles for such processes as the work of the NPRC.
The NTJWG early this month launched a website that allows Zimbabweans to report violence as it unfolds.
At the time of the launch, Otto Saki an independent expert in the working group said the tool offered Zimbabweans the opportunity to monitor and report violence.
“The website has a violence monitor tool that will allow Zimbabweans who witness human rights violations to make a report even anonymously if they so wish. When a report is made, it appears on the map in green while the group verifies with its stakeholders and when verified it will turn red,” he said.
The NTJWG’s aim is to create a space for co-ordination of transitional justice stakeholders, sharing of experiences and building of synergies for comprehensive, accountable, victim-centred and participatory justice processes in Zimbabwe.