Gukurahundi commission engages Govt, MDC Alliance over post election violence

Gukurahundi commission engages Govt, MDC Alliance over post election violence
Published: 18 August 2018 (155 Views)
THE National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) has said it has engaged Government and the MDC Alliance to  ensure that violent skirmishes that occurred in Harare at the beginning of this month do not recur.

MDC Alliance supporters protested on August 1, burning and destroying property resulting in the death of six people.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has since promised to institute an independent probe following the disturbances.

In an interview, NPRC commissioner Charles Masunungure said the post-election skirmishes were regrettable as they were not in line with the spirit and letter of the Peace Pledge.

Prior to the elections, political players committed to peaceful conduct through signing the Peace Pledge.

"First of all the incidents of August 1 are regrettable and we have engaged Government, relevant ministries beginning with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Defence. Our message was that when there is civil disobedience, there be use of minimum force as opposed to lethal and maximum force," said Comm Masunungure.

"We engaged the demonstrators' side and we implored them to desist from violent demonstrations because the Constitution guarantees peaceful demonstrations, it does not guarantee violent demonstrations."

He said the commission is ready to play an intermediary role in conflicts and was satisfied with the co-operation it received from stakeholders.

Comm Masunungure said the NPRC would continue facilitating dialogue as a peace building mechanism.

"We believe that primarily if there can be sustained peace there should be open dialogue between contesting parties.

"We were emphasising on the need to adhere to the provisions of the Peace Pledge that says we will engage in our political activities peacefully before and after elections," said Comm Masunungure.

"Interestingly, everyone is interested in peace and I must say we have not faced challenges in terms of facing a closed door. Everyone has been open to engage even at moments when things were very tense."

He said to quell any potential explosive situations, the NPRC would continue to utilise multi-party liaison committee meetings at provincial level facilitated by its commissioners. Comm Masunungure said tolerance should be the backbone of every society and lawful means should be used to resolve differences.

- chronicle

Tags: NPRC, MDC, Mnangagwa,
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