While Zimbabwe is still to embark on its transitional justice journey from the pre-independence war to the upheavals after independence following the withdrawal of the National Peace and Reconciliation (NPRC) Bill from Parliament, a former commissioner with the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission has warned.
Speaking at a reconciliation dialogue convened by the National Transitional Justice Working Group, Centre for Applied and Legal Research and legislators Yasmin Sooka Wednesday said without guaranteed independence of the commission, Zimbabwe cannot undertake a sincere and genuine post conflict justice and healing program.
Sooka said without independence from politicians, the reconciliation process will not achieve the required justice and healing.
Chairperson of the National Transitional Justice Working group and prominent human rights lawyer, Alec Muchadehama said the May withdrawal of the Nprc Bill will further delay the healing process which he said the country needs. Muchadehama said the group will continue to push for the reintroduction of the Bill in Parliament .
A transitional Justice expert, Dzikamai Bere told Studio 7 that the withdrawal of the Bill from parliament will further delay the healing and reconciliation process especially with the 2018 elections around the corner.
While legislators told the meeting that despite the public hearings of the bill that were carried out around the country, no report would be given because of the withdrawal of the bill, Bere urged the legislators to continue with their reports and submit to the Attorney General offices who are again crafting the bill.
Senator Damien Mumvuri, Chairperson of the Peace and Security committee one of the commitees involved in the NPRC public hearings said the legislators will consider the views from Civic Society. He also explained that Zimbabweans had rejected the bill.
The NPRC Bill among other things had several clauses that were ultra-vires the constitution, gave too many powers to the Minister thereby reducing the independent commission to a ministerial department and whittled down the powers of the commission.