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Pursuant to General Notice 92 of 2009 that declares a three-day period (24, 25 and 26 July 2009) “during which the Nation may dedicate the Inclusive Government, our newfound peace, our freedom, our new spirit of nation-building, National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration to inspire the nation going forward”; Being mindful of the resolutions of the 2003 Civil Society Johannesburg Symposium on Justice and Transition in Zimbabwe, and the minimum demands on transitional justice options for Zimbabwe adopted by civic society on 9-10 September 2008 in Harare;
Civil society organizations (Cluster on National Healing) met under the auspices of the Civil Society Monitoring Mechanism and made the following declaration:
Whilst civil society recognizes and acknowledges the ongoing efforts by the Inclusive Government in attempting to achieve national healing, reconciliation and integration, we remain deeply concerned by Government’s failure to substantively consult civic society and the general populace on the process to achieve the mandated objectives
set out in the aforesaid Notice, commencing with the three days Dedication Ceremonies. We emphasise that any attempt at National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration in the current socio-political context of ongoing state-sponsored politically motivated violence, continued human rights abuses, selective and targeted prosecutions and a biased and closed state-controlled media, will not achieve the desired goal of holistic and sustainable peace and development.
We see Government’s belated effort to involve civil society in the three days Dedication Ceremony as a lame attempt at legitimacy and a ploy by Government or sections of it, to gloss over the serious and ongoing violations. This would legitimize a dangerously flawed process of National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration that is not victim centered.
Civil society remains committed to genuine partnership and engagement with Government. We will contribute wholeheartedly our knowledge and technical experience to any outreach or other activities related to a process of National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration that would be guided by the following principles:
a. no amnesty for genocide, crimes against humanity, torture, rape and other sexual crimes,
b. no guarantee of job security for those found responsible for gross human rights violations;
c. comprehensive reparations for victims of human rights violations;
d. a credible and independent truth-seeking inquiry into the conflicts of the past which holds perpetrators to account and which provides victims and survivors with the opportunity to tell their stories with a view to promoting national
healing, and
e. an independent monitoring and reform of the operations and structure of the police, army, paramilitary, security coordination, administration of justice, food distribution and other organs of state involved in the implementation of
the transition.
In light of the above stated principles, Civil Society distances itself from manifestly choreographed initiatives such as the three days Dedication Ceremony scheduled to commence on Friday 24 July 2009. However, we reiterate our commitment to National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration processes that are premised on the above stated principles.

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The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum) is a coalition of twenty-two human rights NGOs in Zimbabwe. The Forum’s activities include transitional justice work, research and documentation, and public interest litigation. Learn more about us.

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