NPRC sets up peace committees

09 May, 2019 - 00:05 0 Views

The Herald

Walter Mswazie and  Runesu Gwidi in MASVINGO
THE National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) will by next month have set up thematic peace committees from district to national level to enhance the resolution of the country’s conflicted past and healing process, an official has said.

NPRC chairman Justice Selo Masole Nare said the committees were part of a robust programme which includes conducting hearings with political violence victims across the country in an effort to bring peace and harmony among the citizenry.

He said the peace committees will be formulated starting from the community, district, provincial and national level.

Speaking during the organisation’s outreach programme in Masvingo on Tuesday, Justice Nare said: “This meeting is meant to educate the public on how the NPRC will resolve conflict among citizens.

“We are launching the outreach programme here in Masvingo and we will do the same in other nine provinces.

“We will soon conduct hearings where we would meet the victims and affected. By June this year, we should have come up with peace committees after which we will conduct hearings for the victims of violence.”

Commissioner Netty Musanhu said the organisation would conduct conflict analysis to guide them in mapping the way forward before rolling out programmes.

She said they had also considered conflict eras to include the pre-independence, post-independence, Gukurahundi and the period from the year 2000 to date.

“You will note that during the pre-independence time, we had some issues on people’s livestock which were taken and that was source of conflict.

“In addition, at independence, some celebrated the new dawn of political emancipation, but there was a lot of unfinished business.

“On Gukurahundi, there are still a lot of scars, as we all know what happened. Lastly, we considered the year 2000 to date where inflation, street protest due to price hikes and electoral violence, took toll, till to this day,” said Comm Musanhu.

She said they had also come up with a five-year strategic plan to guide them on setting goals which are achievable in varied time frames.

She said some on the initiatives will see them using a bottom-up approach to directly interface with the victims of politically motivated and related violence.

Comm Musanhu said it has become apparent from their previous consultations that there were different forms of conflict peculiar to certain places which should be treated independently.

“We are going to come up with thematic peace committees from national down to district level.

“The thematic committees will comprise, healing and reconciliation, victim support, gender and diversity, research and knowledge, complaints handling, resource mobilisation, and finance.

“We should also facilitate the provision of psychosocial support to the victims,” she said.

Comm Musanhu said Masvingo province had a lot of conflict centred on issues of displacement of families from the then flood-hit Tugwi-Mukosi Dam in Chivi, political violence and deprivation on mineral resources.

She said in some Mashonaland provinces citizens deliberated much on electoral violence while in Matabeleland North and South, Bulawayo and some parts of Midlands, Gukurahundi issues were dominant.

“In Manicaland it was the issue of resources especially diamonds and timber where they felt resources were plundered by other people at the owners’ expense.”

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