PARLIAMENT yesterday announced that the new amendments on the National Peace and Reconciliation Bill will change all sections condemned by members of the public in the previous Bill.
Source: Condemned National Peace Bill to be amended: Parly – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 11, 2017
by VENERANDA LANGA
Damian Mumvuri, the chairperson of the Parliamentary Thematic Committee on Peace and Security, told journalists during a media briefing in Parliament that the two committees will from next Monday embark on public hearings throughout the country to gather fresh views from people on the Bill sponsored by Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko.
Mphoko heads the Peace and Reconciliation ministry.
“In 2015 we did go to gather people’s views on the Bill but it did not get their approval and it was then withdrawn,” Mumvuri said.
“This time we are going back to the people with an amended Bill to gather fresh views,” he said.
Fortune Chasi the acting chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Justice said it is important that people turn up to give their views as the important Bill.
“There is a lot of public interest in the Bill and the fact that there has been considerable delay to set up the commission will result in a limited lifespan for the commission which has a lifespan of 10 years and already three years are gone,” Chasi said.
He said some of the reasons that the Bill was rejected by people when Parliament called for public hearings in 2015 were that it failed to provide safe and impartial space for hearing of matters before the commission.
Other reasons for its rejection were that the commission was supposed to report its finding and make recommendations to the minister, but the minister had room to reject the recommendations. The minister had also been given powers to appoint the chief executive officer and secretary, of which people said this, would defeat the commission’s independence.
“The new Bill is in a sense considerable revamped and with new input from the public we hope this time the Bill will said through,” Chasi said.
Legal experts Veritas said there are now only just over six years for the Commission to complete its supremely important mission, adding before the Parliament processes to pass the Bill, another few months will be lost.
“The passing into law of this new Bill is 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,” Veritas said.
The public hearings will be held in Victoria Falls, Bulawayo, Plumtree, Gweru, Masvingo, Mutare, Marondera, Bindura, Chinhoyi and Harare.