The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission is commencing stakeholder meetings this Friday to gather public views on broader issues of national healing.

Forgiveness is vital for the country to achieve meaningful reconciliation.

The government has started taking concrete policy actions to demonstrate a break with the past and build a future based on respect for human rights and rule of law.

The 8-member National Peace and Reconciliation Commission was appointed in 2016 but was not operational until the 5th of January this year when President Emmerson Mnangagwa signed the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill (nprc) into law, making the commission operational.

This Friday, the commission will be conducting stakeholder meetings in Matabeleland South and Mashonaland Central provinces.      

According to the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the conflicts which render national healing and reconciliation of essence in Zimbabwe can be divided into three segments, pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial.
Some cases in point include ethnic conflicts between the Shona and the Ndebele and the racial tension between blacks and whites during the colonial period.

In post-colonial times, there are the contentious Matabeleland disturbances of the 1980s, popularly known as Gukurahundi and political clashes in communities mostly in the run up to elections.

Over the years, perpetrators of violence have managed to go scot free, leaving the victims angry and waiting for their opportunity to revenge.

In some cases, perpetrators have been jailed, but the punishment does not address the root causes, which can only be done through a healing process which should become part of the social fabric of a society.

Members of the commission include Patience Chiradaza, Choice Ndoro, Charles Masunungure, Geoffrey Chada, Leslie Ncube and Godfrey Chekenyere.

A substantive chairperson is yet to be appointed.