Youths want peace commission

Youths are demanding that the government should move swiftly to establish a fully independent National Peace and Reconciliation Commission to ensure healing and reconciliation and address post- conflict justice.

Nqobile Ndlovu: Previous commissions have taken a partisan stance.
Nqobile Ndlovu: Previous commissions have taken a partisan stance.

Section 251 of the new Constitution mandates the state to constitute an independent National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, but nothing has been done about it.

Speaking to The Zimbabwean on the side lines of peace and reconciliation talk show here recently, organised by the National Youth Development Trust, youths said they want a truly independent commission to investigate all human rights violations, impunity and organized violence starting from the Gukurahundi atrocities.

”One of our most worry and fear is that this commission will be compromised since it will be appointed by the incumbent political leaders. In the past we have seen these commissions clearly taking a partisan stance and we believe the National Peace and Reconciliation will be no exception,” said Nqobile Ndlovu.

“What is even more worrying is that the commission is accountable to parliament, which is dominated by the same people who has been accused of perpetrating violence. Under this set up it will be very difficult for victims of violence to cooperate with such a commission,” said Otilia Sibanda. “All cases of political motivated violence from the Gukurahundi era should be thoroughly investigated and perpetrators should be brought to book .The healing process should also be able rehabilitate victims,” she added.

Bulawayo’s ward 27 youth councillor, Nqobile Moyo, said the current monolithic political architecture in the country made it impossible to separate national institutions from Zanu (PF).

“The Zimbabwe Youth Council is even worse. Recently youths who travel to the launch of the national youth fund in Harare were forced to sing Zanu (PF) songs and chant slogans in buses which were transporting them. As long as the incumbent government calls the shots in appointing these commissions nothing will be achieved,” said Moyo.

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