Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporter
CHURCHES have said the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission must carry out its duties diligently to avoid opening old wounds and creating new ones.
In an interview after meeting Special Advisor to the President on Peace, Professor Clever Nyathi on Monday, Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) president Dr Shingi Munyeza said churches will participate in the process.
EFZ, the Catholic Bishops Conference, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches as well as the Union for the Development of Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe Africa (UDACIZA) were represented at the meeting.
“We met with Professor Nyathi and heads of Christian denominations. We met first of all to ascertain where we are as far as work on the ground is concerned since the Bill was signed into law.
The next thing was for us to start discussing the next steps the Commission is taking which they did explain to us that there is a fact finding mission which is happening at provincial level where our entire members of the Zimbabwe Christian denominations should participate and so we wanted to coordinate and collaborate,” said Dr Munyeza.
He said the meeting was to share strategies on how to go about the process of national healing.
“It was all very timely. It was very cordial and we exchanged views on how best we can go about this. One of the main issues being that we must make sure that this time around, this is done to conclusion therefore we must ensure that there is no haste in any process but there must be due diligence, due process to make sure that no one is left behind,” said Dr Munyeza.
“There must be diligence and due process to avoid opening old wounds and creating new ones. We didn’t discuss methodology, this was a strategy on mapping out to find out what has been done before up to now and make sure that this is not just a Gukurahundi thing. There are other atrocities that we’ve gone through as a nation. We have to be broad and inclusive.”
After meeting the church leaders, Prof Nyathi tweeted: “I had an engaging meeting with Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations in Harare this afternoon. Peace, National Healing, Reconciliation everyone’s business. Play your part”.
The consultations will lead to national hearings.
Meanwhile, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Acting chairperson, Mrs Lillian Chigwedere yesterday issued a statement condemning political violence.
“The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission condemns in the strongest terms all forms of political intolerance before, during and after the forthcoming general elections,” said Mrs Chigwedere.
“As the Commission mandated with promoting national peace, social cohesion and national reconciliation the NPRC calls on all political players to exercise restraint, campaign peacefully and in compliance with the laws of Zimbabwe.”
The Commission urged the National Prosecuting Authority, police and judiciary to exercise their mandate in dealing with perpetrators of political violence without fear or favour for the good of the nation.