NPRC calls for political parties regulation
Farirai Machivenyika-Senior Reporter
Political parties should be regulated to promote good corporate governance in Zimbabwe’s political dispensation and to minimise institutional conflicts, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) has said.
In its 2021 annual report, the NPRC said conflicts within parties have a negative bearing on the unity and harmony of the organisations.
“It is proposed that there be legislation that provides for the registration of political parties. This will promote peaceful participation in political activities and regulated conduct of political institutions, some of which will benefit from resources from the public purse,” the report reads.
Presently, there is no law governing parties, with organisations only notifying the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of their existence as a matter of courtesy.
In the report, the NPRC also urged the Government to enact legislation that guides relations between investors and communities to prevent conflict and ensure mutually beneficial co-existence between the two.
A number of communities have clashed with investors, especially those involved in mining, resulting in some households being moved to make way for the mining operations.
Said the NPRC: “The Commission has noted several conflicts emerging between investors and communities and has noted the high likelihood of similar conflicts arising in the future as more companies continue to invest in Zimbabwe.
“There is a gap (in) that there is no law which provides for an assessment of the potential conflicts that could be generated between investors and host communities where new investments are implemented.
“These conflicts pose threats to the country’s peace, social cohesion and development. It is proposed that a law be put in place to guide investor-community relations before inception of investment projects.”
The Commission recommended that Government enact a Peace-Conflict Impact Assessment Law, which will provide guidelines for conflict-sensitive investment approaches by setting out procedures for community engagement, community beneficiation, corporate social responsibility, value addition among many other incidental issues.
The NPRC also urged the Government to expedite the amendment of the Mines and Minerals Act that has been on the cards for over 10 years to cater for the rights of communities affected by mining operations.
The existing mining law was passed in 1961 and prioritises mining over other economic activities, and the NPRC said a number of conflicts noted due to the gaps in the Mines and Minerals Act and disharmony between the Act and other laws and regulations such as the Communal Lands Act.
“It is proposed that a review of the Act be done and amongst the amendments include provisions governing small-scale and artisanal miners, the conflict between farming rights and mining rights, compensation in the event of displacement or disruption of other economic activities taking place in the mining area and environmental rehabilitation,” the report said.