Devolution and the enactment of the Provincial Councils Act to operationalise provincial structures must be prioritised, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission has said.
This is contained in the NPRC 2018 annual report tabled in the National Assembly by Vice President Kembo Mohadi yesterday.
VP Mohadi said in the period under review, the NPRC was involved in various activities that included conflict prevention and peace building initiatives during and after the 2018 harmonised elections.
There was also the signing of the peace pledge by the 21 presidential candidates that contested the elections, engagements with Government following the August 1, 2018 demonstrations and the launch of the 2018-2022 strategic plan.
VP Mohadi said other recommendations contained in the report included strengthening of existing laws to outlaw elements of hate speech by public officials, institutions, media houses and citizens in public spaces, social, print and electronic media.
Others included that organisations and institutions should develop programmes and activities that promote development and that capacity building for enforcement agencies, prosecutors and the Judiciary in relation to hate speech be conducted.
“That the current National Development Strategy being developed prioritises devolution and that Parliament expedites the enactment of the Provincial Councils Act in line with the Constitution in order to operationalise devolved structures,” VP Mohadi said.
Other recommendations include deployment of monitoring and evaluation staff in all Government departments to monitor support programmes for fairness, adequacy and non-partisanship, that security services mainstream peace studies in the curricula, including education on internal complaints handling and feedback mechanisms and that the NPRC be well resourced.
“The recommendations of the NPRC seek to contribute to social cohesion, unity and tolerance among Zimbabweans,” said VP Mohadi.
“The recommendations seek to contribute to positive policy and legal environment for peace, as well as an improved architecture for conflict prevention at national and sub-national levels.”