The Second day of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission public hearings took off today 12 April 2016 in Masvingo and Gweru. The NPRC public hearings are part of the Parliament’s public consultations on the legislation that operationalizes the Commission responsible for national healing, justice and reconciliation. The hearings are taking place from the 11th – 20th of April 2016.
Heal Zimbabwe is concerned about the low turnout of people at the meetings especially yesterday in Gutu and Kwekwe and today in Gweru. The organisation continues to implore all interested stakeholders, political party members, survivors of political violence, ordinary citizens to turn out in their numbers and actively air out their concerns regarding the ills of the bill which were also noted by the Parliamentary Legal Committee through its adverse report.
In Masvingo, Hon Senator Mumvuri opened the meeting by reading out only the functions of the NPRC and did not go through the provisions of the bill as was done in Gweru by Hon Jessie Majome. Another issue of concern raised by community members is that they did not have copies of the Bill. Hon Senator Mumvuri then apologized and stated that it was the responsibility of Members of Parliament to distribute copies of the Bill prior to the meeting.
Key issues emerging from participants are that;
- The Minister has too many powers that might affect the work of the Commission.
- The Bill does not fully protect victims of politically motivated violence.
III. 14-30 days time period of publishing cases is too much such that perpetrators are alerted and witnesses victimized.
- The Commission must not report its findings to the Minister but directly to Parliament.
- There is need to decentralize the commission to Ward level so that it is accessible to all.
- Victims of violence must be compensated and perpetrators punished.
VII. All investigations must be public and not private so that everyone is well informed of proceedings.
VIII. The Bill must be based on needs and interests of the victims.
- The Bill must also cater for the disabled.
- Some of the perpetrators of violence must not be recruited by the NPRC.
- Those who lost their pensions due to dollarization must be compensated.
XII. All police officers that were involved in acts of violence must be fired and;
XIII. The NPRC needs to work with Civil Society Organisations in order to maximize on the process.
The meeting in Masvingo was attended by approximately 300 people and in Gweru a total of 89 participants.
The organisation shall continue to monitor and mobilise members of the public to meaningfully participate in the hearings. Please find below the schedule of all the meetings:
|Team A Date||Place||Venue||Time
|14 April||Victoria Falls||Chinotimba Hall||0900hrs|
|14 April||Hwange||ZPC Social Club||1500hrs|
|15 April||Plumtree||TMB Hall i.e. Plumtree Town Council Hall||1400hrs|
|16 April||Lupane||Lupane Local Board Community Hall||1030hrs|
|16 April||Bulawayo||Bulawayo Holiday Inn||1500hrs|
|20 April||Harare||Senate Chamber||1000hrs|
|Team B Date||Place||Venue||Time|
|13 April 2016||Mutare||Mutare Civic Centre Hall||1000hrs|
|14 April 2016||Marondera||Marondera- Mbuya Nehanda Hall Dombotombo||1400hrs|
|15 April 2016||Bindura||Tendai Hall||1300hrs|
|16 April 2016||Chinhoyi||Cooksey Memorial Hall||1400hrs|
|20 April 2016||Harare||Senate Chamber||1000hrs|