Rutendo Mawere - MASVINGO - Masvingo residents are demanding that Parliament re-open the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) nominations indicating that the nominations that closed in May last year were a Harare Affair.
Speaking at the Masvingo NPRC one- day information kiosk opened by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust, Heal Zimbabwe and Center for community development, the residents said they were shocked to learn that parliament had already received nominations.
The NPRC is one of the five Independent commissions established by the Zimbabwean constitution whose mandate is to ensure post- conflict justice, healing and reconciliation.
In April 2014 Parliament published an advert in some of the national papers calling for nominations which were closed on May 23 the same year which Masvingo residents claim they never saw.
"Word never got to us that they had called for the NPRC nominations. This peace commission is important to the nation and therefore has to be representative. We also want to participate in the process," Tonderai Sharai told Masvingo Mirror.
"Parliament has to involve everyone and ensure that we all participate by making sure information on this commission reaches every corner of Zimbabwe," Mercy Pambirei complained.
Another resident, Mabel Ndume said she was not even aware that the commission had been provided for in the constitution. "I am hearing about this commission for the first time. This commission is progressive and I would want it to investigate on the torture bases that sprout during election time," Ndume said
Dzikamai Bere, a transitional justice Researcher with the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum called upon parliament to accelerate the NPRC establishment in an open and transparent manner and speedily look into rights violations.
"Violence is too costly for Zimbabwe and parliament has to speedily ensure the operationalization of the NPRC to deal with violence," Bere said
" It is clear from our public engagements in different communities that parliament needs to increase public participation when setting up the NPRC," Bere added
Bere said they are on a nationwide community engagement and setting up the information kiosks to raise awareness on the existence of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission and to push Government to operationalize the commission and activate public participation.
The NPRC, established by section 251 of the constitution which came into effect in May 2013, is set to operate for 10 years and has already lost almost two years of its lifespan.news