BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
THE National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) has said its provincial peace committees will be mandated to solve conflicts in their areas because a “one-size-fits all” approach has proved impractical.
The NPRC is setting up provincial peace committees countrywide to deal with past conflicts peculiar to their areas, and also facilitate peace-building processes.
This comes after the NPRC recently completed a 21-day outreach programme to gather citizens’ views on dealing with past conflicts.
NPRC commissioner Patience Chiradza said the process of setting up provincial peace committees is expected to be complete by early July, having so far set up such in Mashonaland West and Central.
“The peace committees are a platform within the commission to deal with issues of peace-building in communities. What they will do is that they will use local knowledge and local resources in dealing with conflicts and peace-building initiatives in their localities,” Chiradza said yesterday.
“The provincial peace committees consist of various stakeholders representing government, civic society, church, business, academia, political parties, youth, people with disabilities and war veterans, among others.”
She added that between 30 and 40 people would sit in the committees.
“Obviously, we will put a small criteria such as ensuring that we have people who are committed to and have shown interest to issues of peace building. We are looking at 30 to 40 members on average to sit on the provincial peace committees,” she said.
“It is a kind of devolving the work of the NPRC. We have set up (their) terms of reference, the only difference being that it’s really voluntary. It’s all voluntary work of people who are committed. We are hoping that once we are done with provincial peace committees we will then cascade to the districts and wards, but that should be at a later stage.”
According to the Constitution, the NPRC is mandated to deal with past conflicts to ensure healing and reconciliation.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa signed NPRC into law in January to operationalise the commission appointed in 2016 by his predecessor Robert Mugabe.