THE National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) is not an extension of any political party and will continue carrying out its constitutional mandate independently, an official has said. Speaking after the Bulawayo Provincial Peace Committee was constituted yesterday, director in Vice President Kembo Mohadi’s office, Mr Milton Ndou, said the NPRC only received resources and management oversight from the VP’s office.
“The Office of the Vice President falls under the Cabinet Committee on Peace and Reconciliation.
“The NPRC then is an independent commission which falls under the Office of the Vice President and that is the reason why we support them during meetings.
“We are avoiding a situation where people allege that NPRC is a Zanu-PF entity, no, it was formed through the Constitution. We’re then saying if as Matabeleland we do not open up about Gukurahundi and participate through the NPRC forum, then which other institution are we going to use in Zimbabwe?”
Mr Ndou said people could now freely discuss Gukurahundi.
“As Matabeleland and Bulawayo in particular, let us converge and look into this thing called peace and reconciliation.
“All along we have not been addressing these issues, we were fragmenting them and there was no convergence.”
Mr Ndou said people in Matabeleland should not complain forever, but must engage in dialogue to bring development to the region.
“Today, the seed has been planted and it is now the role of the people of Matabeleland to ensure they create a conducive environment for the seed to germinate,” he said. “If they do not own up, surely no one from elsewhere will do it for us.”
The Bulawayo Provincial Peace Committee will be chaired by NPRC head of the peace subcommittee Commissioner Lesley Ncube and he will be deputised by Ms Nokuthula Dube and Mr Johnson Mnkandla.
Ms Dube runs National Peace Trust Zimbabwe, while Mr Mnkandla is a former magistrate and teacher.
Mr Ncube said the Bulawayo Provincial Peace Committee will have two members from each political party.
“We will have two representatives of each political party joining the committee, and officials from the Ministries of Primary and Secondary Education and that of Social Welfare. We will also have two youths, representatives of people living with disabilities, war veterans and traditional leaders,” he said.
Mr Ncube said the committee will also have members from the police and someone from the office of the Mayor for Bulawayo.
He said the NPRC had already set up similar committees in Matabeleland North, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West and Matabeleland South provinces.
“We will move on to Manicaland and Midlands in the coming weeks and we hope to engage all relevant stakeholders,” said Mr Ncube. “We will create district and ward peace committees after covering all provinces so that there is total engagement from all Zimbabweans.”