NPRC not probing theft of Gukurahundi plaques

Source: NPRC not probing theft of Gukurahundi plaques – NewsDay Zimbabwe


MATABELELAND-BASED human rights groups have expressed concern over revelations by the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) that it was not going to investigate the destruction of Gukurahundi memorial plaques in Silobela and Bhalagwe.

In a letter dated October 11 to the National Transitional Justice Working Group (NTJWG), the NPRC said it had no mandate to receive and investigate complaints from the public on issues that were the preserve of other public bodies.

This was after the NTJWG wrote to the commission in September complaining about the theft of the memorial plaques.

Four plaques, two from Bhalagwe and two from Silobela mass graves, were vandalised by suspected State security agents after their installation by Matabeleland-based pressure group, Ibhetshu LikaZulu.

The NPRC said the matter was supposed to be dealt with by the police as it was a criminal act.

“You are aware that theft and malicious damage to property are complaints that fall under the mandate of the Zimbabwe Republic Police and, therefore, police is the body that is enjoined to investigate the complaint.

“In light of the aforesaid and to avoid unconstitutional usurpation of function, let us know if the complaint has been lodged with the police so that we can refer it for further management,’’ the letter

NTJWG secretary Musa Kika told Southern Eye that they were surprised to receive such a response from the commission.

“We wrote a letter to the commission on the vandalism of the plaque in Silobela. Gukurahundi is not an act of criminality, it is bigger than that. They are essentially   subjugating their (NPRC) constitution. NPRC should be at the centre of this, we are surprised about the response, we will engage them again on the issue,’’ Kika said.