From George Maponga in Masvingo
A Masvingo High Court judge has ruled that the lifespan of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) will be 10 years from January 5 last year when it became operational after the enactment of a law to operationalise it.
The ruling by Justice Joseph Mafusire means the NPRC will be operational until 2028.
The ruling came after MDC Alliance proportional representation legislator Mrs Concillia Chinanzvavana took Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi to the Masvingo High Court seeking an extension of the NPRC’s tenure.
Mrs Chinanzvavana, through her lawyers, argued that the Commission’s lifespan was supposed to be calculated to add up to 10 years from the time of its operationalisation through an Act of Parliament as per the Constitution.
The Commission, according to the legislator, was supposed to be operational on August 18, 2013 when former President Mr Robert Mugabe took his oath of office. Its tenure was supposed to run until August 19, 2023.
However, due to delays in operationalisation of the Commission via alignment of the requisite legislation with the Constitution, the NPRC only came into effect on January 5 last year.
Minister Ziyambi was the first respondent and Vice President Kembo Mohadi, who oversees the NPRC, was cited as the second respondent.
President Mnangagwa was the third respondent while the NPRC, Attorney- General Advocate Prince Machaya were the fourth and fifth respondents, respectively.
Justice Mafusire had on February 15 this year reserved judgment in the matter saying he would deliver judgment in motion and advise the parties of his ruling.
“The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission that is established in terms of Section 251 of the Constitution shall have tenure of life of 10 years deemed to have commenced on 5 January 2018 with the gazetting as law of the National Peace and Reconciliation Act, Capt 10:32.
“There shall be no order of costs,” said Justice Mafusire in his ruling.
Mr Kenias Chimiti from the Attorney-General’s Office opposed the application by Mrs Chinanzvavana saying the legislator was seeking an “incompetent and defective order at law”.