GOVERNMENT’s lack of political will has delayed formation of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC), rights groups have said, threatening to take the Zanu PF administration to court.
In a joint press conference held in Harare Tuesday, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (ZIMCET), Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ) and Heal Zimbabwe Trust (HZT) demanded that government speeds-up formation of the NPRC.
Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum Executive Director, Lloyd Kuveya, who spoke on behalf of the organisations, said they would take the government to the Constitutional Court if it fails to appoint NPRC commissioners by early next year.
Taken from NewZimbabwe.com
Kuveya said interviews for the eight commissioners to be appointed have already taken place adding President Robert Mugabe should now finalise the issue by selecting those who qualified.
“Civic organisations note with great concern the delay in the operationalisation of the NPRC established by Section 251 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,
“We are concerned that the life span of the commission is pegged at ten years from ‘effective date’ of the 2013 Constitution.
“It is almost three years since the 2013 constitution ‘effective date’ lapsed yet a commission is mandated to bring closure to an era of human rights abuses,” explained Kuveya.
He said failure to operationalise NPRC within a reasonable time is a violation of Section 324 of the Constitution which states that, “all constitutional obligations must be performed diligently and without delay.”
Kuveya rejected the government’s lament that there was no money to fund the commission saying the delay was aimed at protecting top officials implicated in rights abuses.
He said Zimbabweans are living in fear with abductions, cases of politically motivated intra-party and inter-party violence taking place.
“As parties have started preparations for 2018 elections, more cases of harassment, intimidation and organized violence and torture continue to be recorded.”
Zimbabwe has over the years endured a legacy of violence resulting in loss of life, displacements, enforced disappearances and torture resulting in bitterness, hatred, revengefulness and lack of cohesion in its communities.
Civic organisations say the commission would help break the cycle of violence and establish a strong foundation for peace and justice as well inculcate a culture of respect for human rights in the country.