Catholic Commission for Justice Calls For NPRC Hearings To Be Held In Villages, With No Recognition Of Protocols, No Immunity For Perpetrators

The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe (CCJPZ) has called for hearing being held by the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) to be held in conditions which are conducive for the victims to speak out. The NPRC is the body tasked with looking into the Gukurahundi Massacres, among other issues in order to promote national healing and reconciliation.

In a statement released by the Right Reverend Bishop Rudolf Nyandoro, the Bishop Chairman, the organisation said;

Survivors should be at the centre of the national peace and reconciliation process to tell their stories and declare their desires. This could only be done in communities where survivors and perpetrators do exist. NOT in halls or hotels in major cities, towns or provincial administration centres. BUT in the village. In the comfort of survivors home.

A sustainable peace and reconciliation process is not selective. It does not provide any immunity. No one is special Nobody should be excluded or excused. Recognition of protocols, high table dignitaries, salutations and special treatment of high offices during peace and reconciliation process presuppose they are innocent or perfect. Yet some of the extraordinarily treated could be victims or perpetrators. An arrangement that recognises everybody as equal — and sinner – before God is appropriate for an engaging and realistic peace and reconciliation process.

 

You Can Read The Full Statement Below

Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe (CCJPZ) submission to the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) — March 2018

CCJPZ lauds the NPRC for starting the long-awaited process of bringing together Zimbabweans as one Family of God. The hope and expectations raised during the NPRC provincial consultations ending 3 March 2018 communicate the beginning of a national peace and reconciliation process which can no longer be reversed. Submissions made by most provinces during the NPRC consultations confirm what the survivors have been requesting through the CCJPZ network. This could be Mated as follows:

You (NPRC) come to the village. You guarantee survivors security and protection. We (survivors) would tell you our stories. We would show you the evidence. We would show you the perpetrators. You would enable us to speak to and engage with perpetrators. We would then move forward as a nation.

A sustainable national peace and reconciliation process should be framed in line with the submissions made. It should consider the following related aspects also derived from the recent NPRC consultations and CCJPZ network:

1. The definition of NPRC, its origin and mandate should be understood by everybody at all levels. Extensive awareness campaigns and informational, educational and communicational programs would enhance citizens understanding of NPRC. This is important for trust building, cooperation and consequently disclosure and free expression.

2. The NPRC should be decentralized to be accessible to everybody. Conducive spaces for the survivors and perpetrators to engage should be created.

3. Survivors should be at the centre of the national peace and reconciliation process to tell their stories and declare their desires. This could only be done in communities where survivors and perpetrators do exist. NOT in halls or hotels in major cities, towns or provincial administration centres. BUT in the village. In the comfort of survivors homes.

4. The template for Zimbabwe’s peace and reconciliation process is with the Zimbabweans themselves. Key stakeholders in designing the frame are survivors. A survivors identification process is critical. This could be followed by effective listening and documentation of survivors’ voices and relevant peace and reconciliation process they would want Such a process would naturally provide responses to critical questions such as: What is the start and cut off dates of the peace and reconciliation process? Who should facilitate the national peace and reconciliation processes in communities? What do survivors want from the perpetrators? What will be done to the perpetrators?

5. A sustainable peace and reconciliation process is not selective. It does not provide any immunity. No one is special Nobody should be excluded or excused. Recognition of protocols, high table dignitaries, salutations and special treatment of high offices during peace and reconciliation process presuppose they are innocent or perfect. Yet some of the extraordinarily treated could be victims or perpetrators. An arrangement that recognises everybody as equal — and sinner – before God is appropriate for an engaging and realistic peace and reconciliation process.

6. A sustainable peace and reconciliation process should be alive and responsive to socio-economic intricacies of Zimbabwe’s past Examples include the total loss of savings and social security benefits during the hyperinflation period and loss of shelter and livelihoods during the state initiated Operation Murambatsvina.

7. A sustainable peace and reconciliation process should put in place institutions that would provide critical services such as counselling, rehabilitation and psychological, social and economic rebuilding support. Evidence from the NPRC consultations and CCJPZ network shows that both the victims and perpetrators need such services.

The Church continues to express its willingness to contribute to a national peace and reconciliation process which is NOT a short-cut of convenience, but one which follows due processes as appraised by survivors. The Church shall support a National Peace and Reconciliation process Zimbabweans want.

God Bless
+ Right Rev. Bishop Rudolf Nyandoro (CCJPZ Bishop Chairman)

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