Peace committees gather pace

Source: Peace committees gather pace | The Herald June 18, 2019

Peace committees gather paceCommissioner Leslie Ncube

Bulawayo Bureau
THE National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) has established the third Provincial Peace Committee in Matabeleland South Province, with the process to set up a committee in Bulawayo set to be complete by tomorrow.

Mashonaland West and Central provinces already have Provincial Peace Committees as part of efforts to enhance the resolution of the country’s conflicted past and healing process.

NPRC last month embarked on a nationwide outreach to share with the public mechanisms and approaches that will be used in handling national healing issues and the idea of Provincial Peace Committees is one of the vehicles being used to further the initiative.

The Matabeleland South Provincial Peace Committee consisting of various stakeholders was launched in Gwanda last week.

The committee is chaired by NPRC Commissioner Lesley Ncube, who is deputised by Pastor Phathisiwe Dube and Miss Sakhile Ndlovu.

Other committee members are representatives from the Office of the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, ZRP, Provincial Administrator’s Office, Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement, the pastors’ fraternity, academics, political parties, war veterans, people with disabilities, women’s organisations, youths, civil society organisations and the business community.

Speaking at the launch, Comm Ncube said the committees will facilitate dialogue within communities.

“As a commission, we first engaged in a consultative process of identifying issues of conflict that need to be addressed in various provinces.

“Now we want to get into the actual process of addressing these issues. We are in a process of establishing peace committees in various provinces. Each commissioner has been allocated a province.

“There are a lot a problems within communities that we are bottling up which in turn affects development. There are a lot of political, social and economic issues that we

need to dialogue on as a country,” he said.

“The provincial peace committees that we are formulating are an infrastructure that will help in this regard. We want to take a bottom-top approach of dealing with these issues. The peace committees will be responsible for facilitating spaces for dialogue, promoting tolerance building, provide strategic advice and early warning on potential threats to peace among other things.”

Comm Ncube said some of the pertinent issues that were raised in Matabeleland South include Gurukurahundi disturbances, underdevelopment, challenges in obtaining crucial documents such as birth certificates, fight over natural resources such as mining claims and unfair distribution of resources.

He said the provincial committees were going to be used by the NPRC to facilitate and intervene in national healing

.In his speech, the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Matabeleland South, Cde Abednico Ncube, urged the commission to ensure that peace committees are also formulated at district, ward and village level to ensure that communities are fully involved in the process of national healing.

“The establishment of this peace committee is well in line with the desire to ensure that we facilitate an infrastructure to address conflicts in our province so that we transition Zimbabwe from a conflictual past to a sustainable, harmonious and peaceful society through generations. I’m confident that the peace builders here are going to be equal to the task,” he said.

“In your work kindly ensure that you include all groups of people in the province and that your programmes are informed by the input generated from the grassroots. I also wish to urge that this concept of peace committees cascades to the district, ward and village level.”

Cde Ncube said Government under the leadership of President Mnangagwa had made progressive efforts to operationalise the NPRC as well as support the commission to ensure that peace building, conflict resolution, healing and reconciliation is achieved.