Peace advocacy group, Heal Zimbabwe has called on the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) to urgently deal with contentious reconciliation issues such as Gukurahundi castigating the snail pace with which the body is carrying out its duties.
In a statement released to commemorate International Day of Peace, Heal Zimbabwe commended NPRC for holding consultative workshops aimed at engaging stakeholders on issues of national healing and reconciliation in the past but called on the independent commission to tackle more serious issues.
“The snail’s pace with which the NPRC is carrying out its constitutional mandates such as ensuring post-conflict justice, healing and reconciliation is not only worrying but frustrating given that the nation is in dire need of healing and reconciliation. It is Heal Zimbabwe’s view that by now, NPRC would have commenced in earnest tackling key reconciliation issues such as Gukurahundi and the 2008 violence among others.
“The NPRC must swiftly move in to tackle contentious reconciliation issues such as Gukurahundi in compliance with Section 252 (c) of the constitution that stipulates that the NPRC must ‘bring about national reconciliation by encouraging people to tell the truth about the past and facilitating the making of amends and the provision of justice,” the group said.
Chapter 232 of the constitution of Zimbabwe establishes Independent Commissions particularly the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) whose mandate as enunciated in Section 252 (b) is to “develop and implement programmes to promote national healing, unity and cohesion in Zimbabwe and the peaceful resolution of disputes.
The commemorations this year are running under the theme, “The Right to Peace-The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70”.
However, the day came at a time when the Zimbabwe Republic Police has been tormenting street vendors by using excessive force and confiscating their wares.
Recently, the government issued a statement ordering vendors to “voluntarily” move off the streets.
However, the vendors stayed put and police moved in to disperse them.
Article 5 of the African (Banjul) Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights highlights that “Every individual shall have the right to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human being and to the recognition of his legal status.
“All forms of exploitation and degradation of man particularly slavery, the slave trade, torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment, and treatment shall be prohibited.”
In his message on this a historic day, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres underscored the need for all nations to uphold the provisions enunciated in the UDHR.
“It is time all nations and all people live up to the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human race. This year marks the 70th anniversary of that landmark document,” he said.