'Gukurahundi Commission should be given a chance'

'Gukurahundi Commission should be given a chance'
Published: 26 March 2019 (190 Views)
THE National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) is calling on disgruntled citizens to give the body the chance to carry out its mandate.

The call by NPRC's spokesperson, Charles Masunungure, came as civic society organisations and victims of atrocities bemoaned the suppression of dissenting voices, saying the body could give victims closure if the truth was still being suppressed.

Speaking to Southern Eye yesterday, Masunungure said the NPRC was charting a new trajectory for Zimbabwe by dealing with the violence in the past and ensuring a new harmonious future.

"This is the only opportunity that we have to settle past conflicts when victims are still alive as secondary victims will be less-forgiving and more militant," Masunungure said.

"Peace is just not the absence of war and violence, but denotes well-being of the people, happy, healthy lives, access to basic services, inclusive of economic growth, celebration of diversity and differences. An independent commission like NPRC is best placed to resolve conflicts as it is non-partisan and constitutional."

Masunungure said the commission expected to assist persons affected by violent conflicts, adding that their intention was to operationalise the NPRC's victim support mechanism.

He also said their other goal was to guarantee the non-recurrence of violence as well as to review and analyse policies and legislation that promote peaceful co-existence.

However, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission commissioner Japhet Ndabeni Ncube said there could not be any closure to issues of violence when there was no justice and truth was being suppressed.

"Closure of what? Let there be a special commission to deal with Gukurahundi. This country has created a historical mark. It is the Gukurahundi holocaust,'' he said.

Last year, NPRC's public hearings were disrupted by activists who demanded the release of the Chihambakwe Commission of Inquiry report, which contains findings of an investigation into Gukurahundi, with CSOs saying the disturbances showed growing frustrations over governments' failure to find redress on the emotive issue.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa signed the NPRC Bill into law on January 5, 2018, thus operationalising the commission.

- newsday

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