Peace and Reconciliation Commission commends President on Gukurahundi
Harare (New Ziana)-The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) on Monday hailed President Emmerson Mnangagwa for spearheading healing and reconciliation efforts in Matebeleland related to the Gukurahundi disturbances of the 1980s.
President Mnangagwa recently tasked Chiefs to consult widely on the issues and come up with recommendations for remedies.
His recommendations followed a series of engagements between government and traditional leaders in a bid to find closure on the issue of Gukurahundi, an armed conflict between rebels and the government in the southern region soon after independence in 1980.
In a statement to mark the 2021 International Day of Peace, NPRC expressed satisfaction that President Mnangagwa’s administration was making efforts to resolve Gukurahundi issues.
“As you may be aware, the Commission’s mandate speaks to securing closure for conflicts that happened in the past and we remain open to supporting all efforts aimed at national healing and reconciliation.
“We acknowledge the efforts being made under the Presidential Program on Gukurahundi and register our satisfaction that efforts being made are a fulfilment of the recommendations we submitted to Parliament in our 2019 and 2020 Annual Reports,” it said.
The Commission said it was working on empowering citizens with information on dispute resolution, as a way of preventing violence in upcoming by-elections.
“The Commission is cognizant that elections are around the corner as 2023 beckons; and also; as there are possibilities of conducting by-elections necessitated by vacancies created in the House of Assembly and in local authorities.
“We are therefore working on a broad based and stakeholder-driven consultation process around the country to work on and develop mutually edifying strategies for this process to be peaceful and free from disputes. Our internal Dispute Resolution Mechanisms are also being strengthened to reinforce our capacity to deal with conflicts,” it said.
The Commission noted that the Covid-19 pandemic had become a conflict multiplier in communities.
“It is for this reason that the Commission makes a national call to renew our collective commitments to peaceful nation-building, strengthened by the efforts being made by state and non-state stakeholders to even out access to life saving services, including the much-needed vaccinations,” said NPRC.
The commission added that conflicts had risen in communities as a result of natural resource distribution and extraction.
“We are thus making inquiries about how extractive investments can be a source of division and disunity among communities hosting investors. A peace-conflict impact assessment model is being explored to protect both communities and investors from divisive conflicts which negate development and leave host communities disgruntled and unhappy,” it said.