NPRC chair meets disgruntled Matabeleland CSOs

National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) chairperson Retired Justice Selo Nare last week met civil society organisations (CSOs) from Matabeleland, to gather their concerns before getting down to business.

BY SILAS NKALA

Matabeleland Civil Society Collective (MCSC) secretary, Dumisani Nkomo said their group – a coalition of 60 organisations – held a meeting with Nare convened by their national healing cluster.

“We raised issues around Gukurahundi, equalisation, devolution and reparations,” Nkomo said.

“We had a sort of Marshall Plan to restore Matabeleland, but we are still to engage higher offices. We met the chair, Retired Justice Nare, commissioner Lesley Ncube and the meeting was very constructive.”

Nkomo said almost all CSOs in Matabeleland were part of MCSC.

“We are still to engage the government on other issues, so we can’t divulge these, but there are issues already in the public domain, including equalisation, truth recovery, a Matabeleland civic sub-committee to shadow NPRC and inclusive victim-friendly approaches to the process,” he said.

The grouping claimed that the processes of healing, devolution and equal access to resources by all citizens were taking too long and blasted government for being reluctant to implement some of the constitutional provisions.

The CSOs meeting with the NPRC chairperson come in the wake of recent disturbances which occurred in Matabeleland North and Bulawayo provinces, when the commission was conducting public hearings on past political violence incidences.

A group of Mthwakazi activists recently protested over the composition of the commission, which had only one Ndebele official, thereby, disrupting the proceedings.

They also argued that it was unfair for the Gukurahundi victims to be made to say a lot of heinous encounters they experienced at the hands of the Fifth Brigade in the 1980s massacres, which claimed over 20 000 civilians in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa this year signed into law the NPRC Bill and last month appointed Nare as the chairperson of the commission to spearhead the healing process.

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