HARARE – The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) has crafted a framework giving it a guideline on how to deal with the Gukurahundi issue, including issues of exhumations and reburials to pave way for national healing. Gukurahundi refers to the dark phase after the country’s independence in the 1980s, when the army turned against innocent civilians, mainly in the Midlands and Matabeleland regions.
NPRC commissioner Leslie Ncube told delegates during a political parties provincial peace pledge signing ceremony here this week that there were still in the process of refining the document that will stand as a guideline on how to proceed on the matter. “We are almost complete with our strategic plan and validation process,” Ncube said.
“Once we refine it, we will start summoning people regardless of who they are because no one is above the law. “We will also deal with issues to do with exhumation,” he said. In January, President Emmerson Mnangagwa signed the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill (NPRC) into law to operationalise the Commission that was appointed in 2016.
The NPRC Act provides for the functions, powers, operations and removal from office of members of the Commission.
According to Section 252 of the Constitution, the NPRC’s functions are to ensure post-conflict justice, healing and reconciliation. However, from the consultations that the Commission has been undertaking countrywide in the past few months, Ncube said the demand for peace, reconciliation and healing was coming in different shapes and forms from one province to another. “Generally, provinces differed on the approach to national healing. For example, people in Matabeleland South argue that the healing process should start from the Gukurahundi atrocities from 1983 to 1987. “In Manicaland, the people there prioritise the Chiadzwa killings while in Mashonaland the people there are mostly concerned about the political violence which occurred between 2000 and 2008,” Ncube said.
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