Zimbabweans have been urged to give the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) a chance as it prepares to start its work.
This was said by Alec Muchadehama, Chairperson of the National Transitional Justice Working Group (NTJWG) in his message at the launch of the group’s latest publication, The Guide to Understanding the NPRC.
In a press release issued on 10 October 2017, NTJWG Chairperson Muchadehama said that the main goal of the Guide is to ensure that citizens have access to’ relevant, complete, timely, and understandable information’ about the Zimbabwe’s long awaited Peace Commission.
“If people do not know about the Commission, they cannot participate meaningfully”, said Muchadehama a renowned human rights lawyer. “Through this Guide, it is our goal to increase citizens’ awareness of the mandate, duties and responsibilities of the NPRC, motivate communities and citizens to participate in NPRC programmes, assist and encourage victims and survivors to participate in NPRC programmes and to raise and improve national visibility of the NPRC.”
The NPRC was established by the 2013 Constitution to help Zimbabwe deal with its past legacy of violence. Four years later, the Commission has not yet started work.
The Guide, which has now been launched nationally, was first launched in Masvingo last week at a meeting attended by the Mayor of Masvingo Councillor Fidze and 28 civil society organisations. Councillor Fidze encouraged civil society to interact more with stakeholders around the country to increase awareness of national processes.
Dr. Ray Motsi, who spoke on behalf of the NTJWG in Masvingo said the work has started of healing the nation.
“Organisations involved in that work need to have the right tools,” said Motsi, “This Guide is only one such tool for monitoring the process. If you do not know the mandate of the Commission, how will you monitor the Commission.”
Motsi said the Guide is work in progress as processes unfold. As the NPRC starts work, new tools will be unveiled and the guide will be constantly updated to ensure stakeholders make meaningful engagement with the NPRC.