A human rights activist has taken Vice President Constantino Chiwenga to the High Court seeking an order directing him to table before Parliament a National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) 2020 report and its recommendations.
In his court application, Dzikamai Bere cited Chiwenga as the third respondent in his official capacity as the responsible official assigned to oversee peace and reconciliation. Bere who is also the executive director of the Zimbabwe Association for Human Rights (ZimRights), cited the NPRC and NPRC chairperson Sello Nare as the first and second respondents respectively.
The NPRC was established under sections 251 to 253 of the 2013 constitution to address past human rights abuses including Gukurahundi.
In his application, Bere, who is represented by Darlington Marange of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum said:
Despite the clear provisions of the constitution and the Act, the respondents failed or neglected to submit or publish that annual report for the year 2020 and we are already approaching the deadline for the submission of an annual report of 2021 in March 2022…
With this approach I have a real fear that the annual report for the year 2020, which will be due in March 2022 will not be submitted on time and it is competent in these circumstances, to issue a court order to compel the respondents to also comply with their reporting obligations for the annual report for the year 2021.
Bere argued that failure to submit the reports makes it difficult for Parliament to hold the NPRC accountable.
In terms of section 16 (5) of the NPRC Act, the minister responsible is required to table this report before Parliament within 10 days of the next sitting of that Parliament.
Under the same Act, the minister is mandated to table the recommendations within 6 months after submitting the same report to Parliament.
More: The Standard