Veritas urges all those who believe in the need to set up the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission to attend these important hearings and make their views on the Bill known. But, although feelings may run high, the public are urged to participate in the hearings in a peaceful, tolerant and disciplined manner, respecting the constitutional rights of all Zimbabweans to present their views on the Bill and remembering that it is the solemn constitutional duty of Parliament and its committees to consult all interested parties by conducting these hearings.
This Bill is a Matter off Highest Priority
Legally, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission came into existence on 22nd August 2013 when it was established by section 251 of the Constitution and given a lifespan of only 10 years, until 21st August 2023. But the Commission has never started operating because there was no Act of Parliament enabling it do so. So there are now only just over 6 years for the Commission to complete its supremely important mission – and before the Bill can be passed by Parliament and become law, another few months be lost.
The passing into law of this new Bill should therefore be regarded by all concerned – Government, Parliament and all Zimbabweans – as being a matter of the highest priority. Any attempt to use the public hearings as a means of delaying further progress on the Bill should be resisted. Persons and organisations wishing to make submissions at the public hearings should bear this in mind. What the present situation requires from interested parties is thoughtful, constructive submissions directed at improving the Bill and really assisting the committees to help Parliament produce a good piece of legislation, fit for its vital purpose. If wording is thought to need changing, for instance, suggest an alternative wording. If provisions are thought to be missing, suggest how they should be worded. To be avoided at all costs is a repetition of unmanageable public hearings producing no helpful results such as marred the hearings on the first Bill and which contributed to it being withdrawn in Parliament and another long delay.
The Public Hearings
The Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, the Thematic Committee on Human Rights and the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security will hold Public Hearings on the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill [H.B. 2, 2017] from Monday 13th to Saturday 18th March 2017. The Committee will be split into two teams for the first four days of hearings [Monday 13th March to Thursday 16th March], with separate programmes as shown in the tables set out below. The two teams will then combine for the last two hearings to be held in Chinhoyi, and Harare on the 17th and 18th of March respectively.
The full text of the Bill is available on the Veritas website at this link.
Members of the public, interested groups and organisations are all invited to the hearings. The hearings provide an excellent opportunity for ensuring that members of Parliament become aware of public opinions on this exceptionally important Bill. Contributions made at the hearings will be considered by the two Committees and will be part of the their reports back to the National Assembly and Senate, respectively, when the Bill comes up for debate.
[Note: Those who are not able to attend the public hearings – and this includes all Zimbabweans in the Diaspora – are encouraged to send in their written submissions, as explained below.]
Written submissions and correspondence are welcome and should be addressed to The Clerk of Parliament and marked for the attention of the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and—
- sent by email – addressed to [email protected], or
- delivered – if delivering, use the Kwame Nkrumah Avenue entrance to Parliament, between Second and Third Streets, Harare, or
- sent by post – to P.O. Box CY298, Causeway, Harare.
Persons wearing military uniforms, signs of ranks, badges and political regalia will not be allowed access to these public hearings.
[all dates are for this month, March 2017]
|Monday 13||9.00 am||Chinotimba Hall||Victoria Falls|
|Tuesday 14||10.00 am||Bulawayo Large City Hall||Bulawayo|
|Wednesday 15||11.00 am||TMB Hall i.e. Plumtree Town Council Hall||Plumtree|
|Thursday 16||12.00 noon||Gweru Civic Centre||Gweru|
|Monday 13||10.00 am||Masvingo Civic Centre Hall||Masvingo|
|Tuesday 14||10.00 am||Mutare Civic Centre Hall||Mutare|
|Wednesday 15||12.00 noon||Marondera- Mbuya Nehanda Hall Dombotombo||Marondera|
|Thursday 16||1.00 pm||Tendai Hall||Bindura|
Team A and Team B
|Friday 17||12.00 noon||Cooksey Hall||Chinhoyi|
|Saturday 18||10.00 am||Ambassador Hotel||Harare|
If you require more information, please contact Shepherd Manhivi, Precious Zenda or Absolom Kunzwa (Committee Clerks), Catherine Mpofu Muvhami or Linda Tanyaradzwa Manyemba (Public Relations Officers). Telephone: (04) 700181-8,252936-50 ext. 2053/2176/2130/2171
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information suppliedPost published in: Featured