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    Friday, 22 February 2019

    Justice Mafusire laments the NPRC law

    Justice Mafusire.

    MASVINGO - Justice Mafusire, sitting at the High Court in Masvingo last week on Friday  lamented Section 251 (1) that establishes the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) as an ambiguous piece of legislation.
    He described the drafting of that piece of legislation as clumsy.
    He said it was not clear whether the law says NPRC must have a life of 10 years or must be established within 10 years of the 2013 Constitution.
    He said both interpretations  did not make sense.
    He wondered why out of half-a-dozen independent commissions in the constitution, NPRC is the only one that is given a limited life-span and why is it the only whose investigations are prescribed to a certain period and in this case 2008 and beyond.
    Concilia Chinanzvavana, an MDC member who is also a victim of political violence is seeking an order extending the life of NPRC beyond 2023. She is represented by advocate Tendai Biti.
    Biti tore Section 251 (1) into pieces and concluded that the executive had violated the Constitution by establishing NPRC five years after the constitution came into force in 2013. He said by trying to give NPRC five years of operation, the executive was re-writing the Constitution.
    The NPRC was established by an Act of Parliament in January 2018 although its commissioners were appointed two years earlier in 2013. A Government lawyer told Justice Mafusire that the NPRC was supposed to be in existence  for 10 years and after that it is disbanded. He argued that the 10 years began in 2013 when the new Constitution of Zimbabwe  came into force. He said that its life span must therefore end in 2023.
    Biti argued that NPRC came into existence at the time that it became operational through an Act of Parliament in 2018.
    Justice Mafusire reserved judgment.
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