Human rights activists challenge NPRC appointments

SOME Bulawayo-based human rights activists have threatened to mount a Constitutional Court (ConCourt) challenge against the recent appointment of members of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC), claiming government had no authority to appoint the board, as it had “dirty hands”.

Speaking during Gukurahundi commemorations in the city at the weekend, the human rights activists described government as the perpetrator of the massacres, and “cannot be responsible for setting up the NPRC” to console the victims.

President Robert Mugabe recently appointed Bishop Emeritus Ambrose Moyo to lead the nine-member NPRC board. Lilian Chigwedere deputises Moyo in the commission, which also comprises Zanele Chiradza, Choice Ndoro, Netty Musanhu, Charles Masunungure, Geoffrey Chada, Leslie Ncube and Godfrey Chekenyere.

NPRC 27 billboards

“We should approach the ConCourt to block the government from forming the NPRC. The perpetrator can’t be responsible for setting up the NPRC,” Patron Nketha Kutshwekaya, one of the key speakers said.

Kutshwekaya said the Unity Accord, between PF Zapu and Zanu PF was signed by the perpetrator and the victim, without a third party to moderate.

“The Unity Accord is a direct product of Gukurahundi. By celebrating the December 22 holiday we are celebrating Gukurahundi,” he said.

Participants at the meetings said Gukurahundi victims should set up district committees that would form the NPRC.

NPRC is one of the five independent commissions established by Chapter 12 of the Constitution, but was the only one with a timeframe of 10 years from the date that the Constitution was adopted in 2013.

The commission, whose major functions will include ensuring post-conflict justice, healing
and reconciliation, was supposed to become operational in 2013 at the adoption of the new Constitution.

Despite Mugabe’s recent appointment, some human rights groups have called on the government to go a step further and set up a secretariat to assist the NPRC carry out its work.

Our Partners:   NewsDay   The Independent   TheStandard  MyClassifieds