(Public Statement 7/2017)
Issue Date: 18 May 2017
The Members of Parliament that have rejected the NPRC Bill as a retrogressive Bill that will open old wounds are offside in their conduct, conviction and position. The reasons why we at Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) adjudicate these legislators to be offside are:
- The Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20) in Chapter 12 Section 251 clearly states that there should be a Commission to be known as the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, and the Bill therefore seeks to operationalise that Commission. So to rubbish a Bill that brings into effect what is contained in the Constitution is being legislatively and constitutionally offside.
- Section 252 of the Constitution says some of the functions of the NPR Commission should include “to ensure post-conflict justice, healing and reconciliation”; to “develop and implement programmes to promote national healing, unity and cohesion in Zimbabwe and the peaceful resolution of disputes”; and “to bring about national reconciliation by encouraging people to tell the truth about the past and facilitating the making of amends and the provision of justice.” For a few Members of Parliament with limited knowledge of the Constitution who are beneficiaries of Gukurahundi themselves, to then argue that the NPRC will ‘open old wounds’ is misguided and being misinformed to say the least. In any case, Gukurahundi wounds are not old wounds but they are still fresh and bleeding to those that bear them.
- Chapter 1 Section 2 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe clearly declares that “This Constitution is the supreme law of Zimbabwe and any law, practice, custom, or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid to the extent of the inconsistency” therefore any thought, decision or argument by a few MPs to think they can subvert the Bill that operationalises a Constitutional provision for personal aggrandizements is errant and unconstitutional delinquent behaviour.
- As Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights we wish to put it on public record that we regard the MPs like Joseph Chinotimba, Oliver Mandipaka and John Holder to be constitutionally offside and they need to be brought to book one day for subversion of justice and human rights. We urge all justice and peace loving Zimbabweans, the people of Matabeleland in particular, and pro-justice international community to one day bring these parliamentarians (and many others that shall denounce the Gukurahundi justice process) accountable for their subversion of justice.
Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights
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