ZANU PF youths in Chinhoyi at the weekend disrupted a National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) bill consultative meeting.
According to Heal Zimbabwe Trust, a political rights and peace building lobby NGO, the rumpus started after some participants had said that Vice President, Phelekezela Mphoko, was not fit to supervise the NPRC.
Mphoko, who is also the minister of National Healing, is empowered by the Constitution to oversee the operations of the NPRC.
The Vice President, who is from Matabeleland, is under fire from his own people for claiming President Robert Mugabe had no hand in the 1980’s Gukurahundi atrocities which the veteran leader has regretted as a “moment of madness”.
Government gazetted the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill on December 18 last year and is now conducting hearings nationwide with the intention of engaging communities on issues citizens want to be on the agenda of the peace body when it starts operating.
“The meeting began with a bad start as the youths booed and interjected other participants as they were contributing their views,” said Heal Zimbabwe Trust, in a statement Sunday.
“The major turning point in the hearing was when one participant argued that the bill gave the Minister responsible for National healing too much power. This sparked outrage and uproar from Zanu PF youths who broke into songs, slogans and dances. The Parliamentary team had a hard time trying to call the house to order but to no avail.”
In its position paper, Heal Zimbabwe Trust also questions the sincerity of NPRC Bill on dealing with genuine national healing, justice and reconciliation.
The trust says there is little or no reference to the pillars of transitional justice including truth telling, restoration, justice and reconciliation and memorialisation.
“There are also matters to do with constitutionalism, independence of the commission, impartiality of the Minister responsible for National Healing, protection and respect for the victims’ rights; the day to day operations of the NPRC and the ultimate result that the NPRC seeks to achieve,” Heal Zimbabwe Trust noted.