The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) is one of the 5 Independent Commissions established in terms of Chapter 12 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe amendment (No 20) 2013. The primary objective of the NPRC is to promote national healing, peace and reconciliation. In order to achieve its objective the NPRC is thematically organized in order to achieve its functions. These thematic departments includes:
Research and Knowledge Management (RKM)
Apart from the functions spelt out in Section 252 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. The RKM derives directly its mandate from Section 3(2) (b) of the NPRC Act (Chapter 10.32), to conduct research on the nature, scope, extent and causes of the conflicts and the intervening strategies for disputes conflicts. It executes its functions by carrying out evidence based research through data collection, storage, analyzing, documentation and dissemination, and archiving.
To put the NPRC into operation to confer additional jurisdiction on the commission, including its investigative powers. The establishment and composition of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission is in the Constitution of Zimbabwe on chapter 12 part 6. The Research and Knowledge Management Department also works with the Ten State Universities and Research expertise
Advising the NPRC in the generation of knowledge through evidence based research, documentation and archiving, dissemination and learning in partnership through collaboration with experts and academic community
Programme Goal: Evidenced based research for informed policy and decision making
Programme Outcome: Policy recommendations emanating from research work
- Conflict Mapping Field
- Desk review and baseline field survey
- Field baseline survey on conflict themes
- Sexual crimes and traditional methods for conflict resolution
2. Developing a shared Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Index for Zimbabwe
3. Developing NPRC Knowledge Management systems
4. Scenarios Mapping for Zimbabwe
5. Reframing of Historical Narratives –Book projects
6. Academic Round tables(Inlerts)
Knowledge sharing platforms (Outlerts)
Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution and Transformation (CPMRT)
Conflict management- efforts that are made to avoid or avert the harmful effects of conflict and these vary depending on the nature and source of conflict and are anchored on the need to create a climate of mutual trust, consideration and respect for each other;
Conflict prevention- measures and actions aimed at reducing the risk of appearance or reappearance of violent confrontations within society. Some of the strategies include addressing structural sources or causes of conflict while also mitigating potential risk factors to conflict.
Conflict transformation- building of long term infrastructure for peace building by supporting the reconciliation potential of society, rebuilding destroyed relationships, with focus on reconciliation within society and the strengthening of society’s peace-building potential.
Guarantee of Non-Recurrence- the process that seeks to make or recommend policy alternatives and institutional reforms capable of safeguarding peace within society; enhance capacities for long term prevention and shepherd the nation towards a peaceful future.
The Thematic Committee on Prevention and Non Recurrence is chaired by Commissioner Patience Chiradza and draws membership from political parties represented in the Parliament of Zimbabwe, civic society groups, women’s organizations, youths, people with disabilities and faith based organizations among others. For ease of coordination and customization of peace and conflict issues, the Commission set up the Committees on Prevention and Non Recurrence for the Northern and Southern Regions. The Deputy Chairpersons are elected by members of the Committee to support the Chairperson. Mrs Musline Munodawafa, a senior lecturer at Women’s University in Africa and Mrs Mildred Sandi of the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe are Deputy Chairpersons for the Northern and Southern Region respectively.
The internal implementation department for the Thematic Committee on Prevention and Non-Recurrence policy directions is the Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution and Transformation Department. The Department is headed by a General Manager, Mr Joseph Mashingaidze who provides secretarial support to the Thematic Committee’s programs as well as spearheads the execution of conflict prevention, transformation and guarantee of non-recurrence programs.
Healing, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation (HRR)
The HRR Program works closely with the Complaints Handling and Investigations (CHI) and the Victim Support, Gender and Diversity (VSGD) Departments whose programs are a precursor to those of Healing and Reconciliation. The two programs can be described as key enablers cutting across all the functions of the NPRC.
Specifically the Healing, Reconciliation and Rehabilitation’s function is;
- to ensure post-conflict justice, healing and reconciliation;
- to develop and implement programs to promote national healing, unity and cohesion in Zimbabwe and the peaceful resolution of disputes;
- to bring about national reconciliation by encouraging people to tell the truth about the past and facilitating the making of amends and the provision of justice;
- to develop programs to ensure that persons subjected to persecution, torture and other forms of abuse receive rehabilitative treatment and support;
- to recommend legislation to ensure that assistance, including documentation, is rendered to persons affected by conflicts, pandemics or other circumstances.
These functions are extracted from the Commission’s Strategic Plan 2018-2022 (not in exact order).
- Dealing with the past Strategy
- Preparatory phase of the truth telling process including developing the plan
- Community Healing
- Conduct public hearings in targeted areas
We are “Leaving no one behind” in our Peace building work as the Healing Reconciliation and Rehabilitation unit of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission.
Victim Support, Gender and Diversity (VSGD)
The Victim Support, Gender and Diversity is one of the five (5) thematic departments of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission charged with the responsibility under section 9 of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission(NPRC) Act (Chapter 10:32) to ensure the following:
- The Commission shall establish a Gender Unit to provide for –
- The development of specific guidelines and rules on how the Commission will incorporate gender into its work;
- The development of strategies to encourage the participation of women, girls and other marginalized groups in the work of the Commission;
- Gender equity in the structure of the Commission, its secretariat and any other committees that the Commission may set up;
- Mainstreaming of gender imperative into every aspect of the Commission’s work;
- Ensuring that all organs of the Commission shall consider and address the gender implications of their activities;
- Developing protocols for statement taking, collection and analysis of gender and sex-disaggregated data, the conduct of interviews and hearings and other operational matters to ensure that gender concerns are fully addressed;
- Monitoring gender related practices within the Commission and advice on best practice and principles;
- Investigating the use of sexual crimes as a weapon during and after conflicts;
- Reaching out to and identifying victims of gender based violations and provide such victims an opportunity, in private or public, to relate their own accounts of the violations or harm they have suffered and to set out their needs;
- Holding specific public or private hearings on the gendered nature and context of violence and marginalization; and investigate the causes of such violence and marginalization:
- Assessing the needs of victims of gender-based violations and marginalization and make recommendations which may include urgent interim measures, as to the appropriate measures required to redress such violations and marginalization, including the policy which should be followed or measures which should be taken to restore the human and civil dignity of such victims
The Victim Support, Gender and Diversity particularly has a mandate to assist all victims of diverse groups, traditions, cultures and languages with an emphasis to target all vulnerable victims of conflict especially women, young girls and persons with disabilities. The VSGD has a further mandate to ensure that victims are handled in a proper manner as prescribed under section 10 of the NPRC Regulations SI 90 of 2018.
Complaints Handling and Investigations (CHI)
Complaints handling and Investigations 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
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 and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Strategic Plan. 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 two separate and distinct components namely the complaints handling system and the investigations part. For ease of understanding the two components shall be dealt with separately and not conjointly.