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Gukurahundi hearings to start early next year

by Staff reporter
04 Dec 2020 at 06:27hrs | Views
THE National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) is inching towards holding Gukurahundi hearings with preparatory meetings currently underway.

President Mnangagwa has pledged Government's commitment in addressing problems emanating from the Gukurahundi disturbances of the 1980s in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces. The President has since held several meetings with stakeholders aimed at national healing.

Yesterday, although NPRC could not commit to an exact date when hearings will start, it said it would be early next year.

NPRC chairperson retired Justice Sello Nare told a media briefing after a meeting with the Matabeleland North Provincial Peace Committee in Bulawayo that meetings with the provincial committees are the final stage before they hold public hearings.

"The objective of the series of workshops to roll out consultations with the NPRC Provincial Committees in all provinces are the first step in the process of preparing for the resumption of public hearings. To date we have engaged Manicaland, Masvingo and Midlands provinces. We are engaging Matabeleland North today. This will be followed by the remaining provinces starting tomorrow and ending on the 11th of December 2020," he said.

The NPRC chairperson said the public hearings seek to give an opportunity to individuals and communities affected by past conflicts in Zimbabwe a chance to tell their stories with a view of finding closure to past pain. He said each and every province is unique in nature and orientation hence the basis of the workshop is to plan for the public hearings in various provinces through the provincial peace committees who consist of individuals and organisations from various sectors.

"The NPRC works closely with various stakeholders who include the Government, traditional leaders, war veterans, religious organizations and churches, civil society organisations, development assistance agencies, media and other stakeholders. The Government of Zimbabwe is already playing a key role in order to resolve past conflicts as highlighted by the political will exhibited by the President of the Republic President Mnangagwa," he said.

"Also, from 2016 the NPRC has budgetary vote that it is getting from the Treasury in order to achieve its work of peace and reconciliation in various districts. The bulk of the work of the Commission is at community level, as such the key stakeholder in ensuring the success of the community level programs are the traditional leaders."

Some of the participants from Matabeleland North province urged the commission to clarify how exactly they will operate with chiefs to deal the Gukurahundi issue following pronouncements that chiefs will take a leading role in line with their cultures and traditions.

Rtd Justice Nare said Chiefs play a big role in peace building and conflict resolution in communities in order to promote family values and facilitate development hence they are strategic stakeholder.

"For now, I cannot give a definite date but we are focusing around the first quarter or towards the end. We have been challenged by Covid-19 this year and now we are heading for the festive season and business begins almost end of January. Once things begin to be normal, we will intensify our preparations so that we begin the hearings. We are very much committed to the process," he said.

Source - chronicle