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Gukurahundi rears its ugly head again as legislators discuss Mphoko’s Peace and Reconciliation bill

Team A held public hearing meetings in the following provinces: Matebeleland North (Victoria Falls; Chinotimba Hall, 13 March 2017); Bulawayo (Bulawayo Large City Hall, 14 March 2017); Matebelenad South (Plumtree, Plumtree Town Council Hall, 15 March 2017); Midlands Province (Gweru Civic Center Hall, 16 March 2017).

Team B conducted its public hearings in the following provinces: Masvingo (Masvingo, Civic Centre Hall, 13 March 2017); Manicaland (Mutare, Civic Centre Hall, 14 March, 2017); Mashonaland East (Marondera, Mbuya Nehanda, 15 March 2017); and Mashonaland Central (Bindura, Tendai Hall, 16 March 2017). The two teams held joint public hearing in Mashonaland West (Chinhoyi, Cooksey Hall, 17 March 2017); and Harare (New Ambassador Hotel, 18 March 2017).

2.1    Attendance figures at Public Hearings

During the public hearing, many organisations and individuals made their submissions and contributions. The following statistics reflects the  level of participation. At Chinotimba Hall,18 participants attended and 7 contributions were made; Bulawayo Large City Hall, 111 attended and the Committee received 38 contributions; and Plumtree Town Council Hall, 46 participants attended, 29 submissions were made; Gweru Civic Centre, 134 participants turned up and there were 36 contributions made; Masvingo Civic Centre, 42 participants attended, 21 submissions were received; Mutare Civic Centre Hall, 123 participants attended and 26 contributions were received; Marondera, Mbuya Nehanda Hall 156 participants attended, 34 contributions were received; and in Chinhoyi Cooksey Hall, 264 participants came and 11 contributions were made before the meeting was closed prematurely; at New Ambassador Hotel in Harare, 156 participants came and 31 contributions were received. Thus, for Team A and Team B, 10 meetings were held, 1050 participants attended, 607 were males, and 443 were females, and a total of 207 contributions were made.

Organisations that made their submissions include the following: The National Transitional Justice Working Group Zimbabwe (NTJWG); Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe (CCPJ); Zimbabwe Human Rights Associations (ZHRAs); Post-Independence Survivors' Trust (PIST); Centre for Public Engagement; The Ecumenical Church Leaders Forum (ECLF); and The Zimbabwe Christian Alliance (ZCA).

3.0  Submissions by members of the Public

3.1                   Clause 1 – The Long title

Members expressed that the purpose of a short title is to give a short descriptive summary of the subject matter of the Act. Hence, it was felt that the current title is weak and does not embrace the full purpose of the proposed law. It was the view that the purpose of the NPRC Bill and what it intends to achieve has to be stated clearly in the Long title.

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