VP Mphoko defends Reconciliation Bill

VP Phelekezela Mphoko

VP Phelekezela Mphoko

Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporter
VICE President Cde Phelekezela Mphoko has defended the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) Bill despite criticism from both Zanu-PF and MDC-T MPs as well as members of the public.

The VP said those who were shooting down the proposed law were suffering from fear of the unknown.

Cde Mphoko, who is responsible for national healing, said this on Tuesday as the National Assembly debated the Bill, with MPs from across the floor expressing reservations on the proposed law saying there were critical issues that include compensation, tenure of the Commission, justice and amnesty that had to be addressed.

The criticism of the Bill came a week after the Justice Committee and thematic Committees of Human Rights and of Peace and Security said the Bill was poorly received by the public as it failed to address some relevant issues.

Responding to some legislators who are against the Bill, VP Mphoko said the Bill cannot be wished away as it was a constitutional requirement.

“I think it is important to guide some of our members. What is happening in this country is that the President cannot operate outside the Constitution; nobody can.

You have been demanding us to come here to Parliament, using the Constitution. So there is nothing amiss with this Bill because it is here in the Constitution. Nobody here, even if you think you want the Bill not to be discussed, you cannot clear it from the Constitution. First and foremost, let us fulfil the Constitution,” said VP Mphoko.

He said the Bill was for the good of the nation and he would work hard to ensure that it passes through.

“Mr Speaker Sir, we have an obligation, I have an obligation charged to me by the President and Parliament and I want to make sure that the Bill passes through. It is very important. Only the fear of the unknown can scare the people, otherwise this Bill is for the nation. It is not for me, not for you and not for anybody else; it is for the nation,” the VP said.

MDC-T deputy president Ms Thokozani Khupe said she was worried about the commission’s tenure.

“According to the Constitution, the Commission is to exist for 10 years. If we look at what is happening right now, four years have already been lost. How are those four years going to be compensated?

“Are we going to amend the Constitution because it is a constitutional matter so that the four years are incorporated, or are you going to do something to make sure that those four years lost are incorporated? I do not think that the Commission will be able to do this work in six years because this is a mammoth task Mr Speaker Sir; a lot has to be done,” said Ms Khupe.

Harare West legislator, Ms Jessie Majome, said issues of justice and amnesty must be clearly defined in the Bill.

Zanu-PF Buhera West legislator, Cde Oliver Mandipaka, said the Bill was opening up old wounds.

“You cannot have a truth and reconciliation commission 17 years past the conflict. What are we trying to achieve here? I am at pains Mr Speaker to accept this Bill because if you look at countries that have no peace and have disturbances, it is because of these issues that we are trying to bring into existence. These are issues to do with tribes, ethnicity and so forth. I think that it is not good for our democracy and our country,” said Cde Mandipaka.

Buhera South MP, Cde Joseph Chinotimba, said the Bill would destroy the country and must be scrapped.

“Honourable Speaker, people are talking about Gukurahundi issues and other such issues. If that is the case, Mr Speaker, let me end here and say that we will not agree. I do not like this Bill whether you accept it or not. I am not saying the Executive is wrong.

“The Executive has done well to bring this Bill, but people talk about corruption. They discuss issues about corruption. If the Executive cannot see, clearly this Bill will destroy the country. I will not allow it,” said Cde Chinotimba.

@AuxiliaK

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  • vusumuzi

    This Bill is coming into the Foray in exactly the same manner as the Land Bill, where we had a referendum and the People said No, in fact meaning yes we want the land back , but not on terms spelt out by the State already which was dine without Consulting the masses. Exactly the same. Same Govt , right ideas wrong implementation. The people would want this Bill but not on the terms spelt out only by Govt. And here the ZANU MPs including the most stupid Chinotimba. Says no talks about ZNA atrocities on unarmed citizens , it will “ruin” Zimbabwe> kkkk. As far as they are concerned do they see a United Country , for them to say this? They seem to be happy with having one tribe dominate others , and a maintenance of silence on ZANU atrocities. This is what ZANU did to civillians during the war .Villagers were rounded up , beaten , parents told to release girls to the “comrades”, a lot of evils. Toward Independence in both rural and urban Harare, they were up to harrassing citizens coaxing them to vote ZANU or else the war will carry on if they lost. They never surrendered all arms , reigned in a lot of mjibhas claiming they were war vets, who later milked th state coffers of funds in demob pay. Villagers said they voted ZANU so that they go and leave them alone.

    • makhosi

      Even if they get pardoned based on the Bill. We will punish then for genocide after overthrowing Zanu.

  • Mkhusto

    Nxa umuntu wona kufuna avume icala lakhe aphinde axolise. Atsho ukuthi uxolisa ngani ngaliphi njalo. Abonelwayo kufuna labo bavume nxa bevuma njalo. Uminister othi this opens wounds. ..yes vele abantu abakaxoli yikho kungelakuzwana yikho zonke izinto zisenziwa eharare ngoba lisaqhubeka ngocindezelo.

    Abonileyo abavele egcekeni baxolise baxolelwe nxa bexolelwa

    • makhosi

      ”…..nxa bexolelwa”.
      Tough words. #asifuni bumbulu

  • makhosi

    The constitution demands the Bill so don’t worst time arguing in parly about that you idiots.

  • April 18

    The Bill may have its short -comings and gaps but the fact that it is a constitutional
    requirement then it is the way forward.Yes, a bitter pill to hypocrites who seek to sabotage a measure long over due by blocking the bill on selfish grounds.Let it come to pass as the country moves on,learn from the past hence declare NEVER AGAIN would such be allowed again.

  • Ziyabheda

    The Buhera M.Ps are running scared,I wonder why!? This ain’t a personal or district bill,its a national bill!

  • 1975

    @AuxiliaK if you could build your reports on what chinotimba highlighted you would become a respected journalist. but Its a fact no one at chronicle has the gust to report about the corruption in government. i challenged your colleague to do likewise but i know Yoliswa does not have what it takes. She should become a sunday school reporter instead.

    • s

      wow

  • Khumalo

    Zanu pf is now introducing this bill inoder to get votes
    from Matabeleland.This is not good because they are not doing it to solve the
    problem that has been ignored for many years.lts just like the land issue.Zanu
    pf engaged in taking over the land only when they saw that the people were no
    longer interested in them.lt helped them to remain in power.Now they are coming
    up with another plan to get votes. After that that bill which will become law
    will be locked in the state house and no action will be taken.You will never
    hear about that law after the elections.What
    should happen is that those
    Gukurahundi soldiers who killed people
    should also be shown on tv and other public media telling their own side of the story.Because
    the whole purpose is to forgive them .It now remains to the ICC what they will
    say after that bill.But that should not stop ICC from keeping the case
    open.Stop playing with our minds.

  • Meluleki Mpofu

    .Mpoko you are not from Mat North and Middlands .You really do not know
    how bitter this issue is to us.You do not know how we felt when we saw
    are relatives short in front of us.You do not know how it feels like to
    have your brother taken and you don’t even get their body to bury.You
    only bury them in your mind.You do not know how painful it is to be
    burried alive.You do not know how painful it is to see your sister who
    is pregnant being butchered in front of you.You are have been consumed
    by Zanu pf and you taking this issue as a joke.You not helping any
    matters at all.You are only adding salt to the wound.You must go to Mat
    North and Middlands to see the graves for yourself,perhaps you will
    understand the whole issue.Zanu pf is trying to use you because you are
    from Matabeleland.You do not have relatives that were killed for nothing
    like some of us.Have time to talk to Prof J Moyo.nxaaa mani.

  • Mkhusto

    Umuntomdala akazehlise axolise lingakakhali icilongo ngoba nanso lesikhathi sesidliwe ngumangoye.
    The major problem is that 90% of the people tweeting or commenting here are young adults born slightly or after independence….we were young when these things happened sizwa ngokuxoxelwa ngomama labo baba. Most people who saw these things are either dead or old enough not to follow newspapers or tvs. My point is perhaps it was the plan of zanu to stay long in power so that this issue is swept under the carpet unresolved. Yoh kungathi bakhe phansi

    • s

      not true. we are still here and know well. remember even byo itself is dead because of this madness. we need to face and dance to the music we composed unfortunately. the mp who is talking about old wounds should know that if a wound is not treated well, it might show as if it is heal and yet later be the one that kills the person