Complaints handling, Investigations and Legal services is one of the five (5) thematic departments of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission charged with the responsibility to:
- Receive and consider complaints from the public and to take such action in regard to the complaints as considers appropriate as enshrined in section 252 (f) of the Constitution
- To conduct investigations into any dispute or conflict within the mandate of the Commission as set out in section 252 or as provided for by any other law
- To recommend legislation to ensure that assistance, including documentation, is rendered to persons affected by conflicts, pandemics or other circumstances.
The complaints that National Peace and Reconciliation Commission investigates are those human rights violations that result in the creation of conflicts or disputes or conflicts or disputes arising from human right violation.
Knowledge of the mandate of the NPRC as distinct from other institutions such as Zimbabwe Human Rights which investigates pure human rights violations and other statutory bodies such as ZRP which investigates criminal acts is especially important in that it prevents unconstitutional usurpation of function in violation of the ‘separation of powers doctrine’.
In executing its mandate, the NPRC is guided by legislative framework and policies which are the following; the Constitution, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Act [Chapter 10:32], the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Regulations S.I 90/18, National development Strategy (NDS) 1, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Strategic Plan and any other pieces of statutes and customary law. The legal framework confines one to the mandate and acts as a safeguard against one extending his or her dominion over others.
The Complaints Handling and Investigations has 3 separate and distinct components namely the complaints handling system, the investigations and legal services. For ease of understanding the three components shall be dealt with separately and not conjointly.