National Healing organ breakthrough

Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, Senator Sekai Holland, has told The Zimbabwe Briefing about the significant progress achieved by the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration.

Sekai Holland
Sekai Holland

The Organ has produced recommendations for a National Infrastructure for peace from which a set of principles for the drafting of the Peace and Reconciliation Bill and a Code of Conduct for political parties will be derived. More significantly, on November 11, the Organ convened a high-level meeting to discuss the Code of Conduct for political parties which was attended by the principals of the inclusive government. The principals renounced violence and pledged to work for peace.

The meeting came hard on the heels of widespread violence perpetrated by the Zanu (PF)-aligned Chipangano militia group. The inaction of the police in dealing with political violence lies at the core of the continuing problem of violence in Zimbabwe.

Nevertheless, the Organ, according to Holland’s update, has convened a series of meetings with key stakeholders including with the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, with the three Secretary Generals and their negotiators, and the Traditional Chiefs' Council. The traditional chiefs meeting first received an update from the Organ Chairperson – Vice President John Landa Nkomo (Zanu (PF)) before a plenary session where the chiefs gave their comments. One comment

was on the need to have enforceable mechanisms and measures for the implementation of the Code of Conduct for political parties. Zimbabweans were called upon to take the work of the Organ seriously as it was central to the development of a new culture for peace in Zimbabwe.

The Organ’s plans include having the political principals sign the Code of Conduct and the convention of all civil society stakeholders to discuss the peace process.

This commendable effort by the Organ needs to be backed up by action demonstrative of political will on the part of the political leadership. But more importantly, the Organ must realize that the key to ending the culture of violence lies in the ability of the Organ to deal with key state institutions responsible for violence, and for the maintenance of law and order. State-sponsored violence must end, and the police must discharge their mandate professionally and hold accountable perpetrators of violence.

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