Conrad Mupesa Mashonaland West Bureau
Provincial State and non-State actors that sit in the Peace Committee under the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) converged in Chinhoyi this week for a capacitation workshop where they were apprised of their roles.
Under the NPRC Act, the Peace Committee’s key role is handling complaints and investigations to ensure peace.
While the process is still centralised in Harare, with decentralisation having been done only in the southern part of the country due to limited resources, the NPRC has forged ahead with efforts to manually decentralise its duties, particularly complaints handling and investigations.
Speaking on the sidelines of the one-day workshop on Monday, NPRC general manager for research and knowledge management, Mr Donald Chirunga, said members of the Peace Committee were supposed to be on the ground handling complaints that had a bearing on peace and reconciliation.
“The department of Peace Committee has to be physically present on the ground at all levels to handle complaints and investigation. While the process to decentralise the department was heavily affected by the unavailability of resources, we have to capacitate our representatives to receive complaints on behalf of the department, hence this meeting.
“For now, decentralisation of the NPRC has been done in the southern part of the country, while decentralisation to the rest of the nation will be done when resources are available,” he said.
Eight State actors represented by the office of the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, provincial development coordinator, provincial police office (representing police, army and Central Intelligence Organisation) and the ministries of Public Service, Labour and Social, Youth, Women’s Affairs, Mines and Lands, together with political parties, churches and civic organisations, make up the Peace Committee.
Mashonaland West peace committee chairperson and NPRC Commissioner, Mrs Choice Ndoro, said several complaints were reported during the lockdown period, among them scarcity of food through suspension of services by NGOs, and gender-based violence.
She said violation of border control measures was also stated in reports received by the NPRC.
During the workshop, actors were taught to be professional when receiving complaints by showing highest levels of confidence, privacy, transparency, Ubuntu and being victim-friendly.
Complaints can be reported by directly by affected persons, groups and those acting on behalf of the affected.