Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter
The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) has met with various key stakeholders to initiate the planning process for a national dialogue to create space for national conversations aimed at achieving social, economic and political transformation.
The commission said it had met Government officials, traditional leaders, churches, arts and cultural organisations, civil society, business, academia, persons with disabilities, women and youth, among others.
Addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday, NPRC chairman Justice Selo Masole Nare said the initiation of the planning process was held in terms of its mandate as provided for in Section 252 (d) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (Number 20) of 2013.
“The objective of the meeting was to jointly develop a framework for a comprehensive dialogue. While the NPRC has set the creation of dialogue platforms as a key activity in its strategic plan, the events of the past few weeks have made it imperative to move with speed to create a space for national conversations towards social, economic and political transformation.
“In an effort to come up with a framework for national dialogue, conversations were centred around the following key questions; Why are Zimbabweans not talking? What are the key pillars of national dialogue? Who should participate, how and at what level? How should a dialogue process be structured? What does a successful dialogue look like?”
Justice Nare said the outcomes of the meetings included, but no limited to issues of inclusivity across regions, sectors and communities, the process must be a hybrid of top down and bottom-up approaches and transparency, honesty and genuineness, trust building, principles of Ubuntu.
“The meeting noted the need to address immediate issues as well as putting in place medium and long-term plans for dialogue.
“The commission will refine the contributions made today and come up with a framework that will be shared with all stakeholders,” he said.
President Mnangagwa signed the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill into law last month, which operationalised the commission that was appointed in 2016.
The Act provided for the functions, powers, operations and removal from office of the members of the Commission, manner of conducting investigations and staffing of the Commission, among others.
The NPRC was established under Sections 251 to 253 of the Constitution to ensure post-conflict justice, healing and reconciliation, to develop programmes to promote national healing, unity and peaceful conflict resolution.
Section 252 of the Constitution states the NPRC’s functions were to ensure post-conflict justice, healing and reconciliation.
The Constitution mandated the Commission to develop and implement programmes to promote national healing, unity and cohesion in Zimbabwe and the peaceful resolution of disputes.
The Commission’s responsibility was to ensure national reconciliation through encouraging people to tell the truth about their past and facilitating the making of amends and provision of justice.
President Mnangagwa assigned Vice President Kembo Mohadi to be in charge of the Peace and Reconciliation portfolio as a show of his administration’s seriousness to dealing with the issue.