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NPRC warms up to peaceful polls

The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission has embarked on a broad-based inclusive consultative process with all stakeholders aimed at coming up with strategies that will ensure a peaceful 2023 harmonised elections.

This comes as political parties have started making preparations for the 2023 elections with most of them embarking on restructuring exercises.

The Zimbabwe Election Commission will soon embark on delimitation of constituencies soon after the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency completes population census set to start earlier than originally expected.

Addressing journalists yesterday at an event to commemorate the Zimbabwe International Day of Peace, NPRC spokesperson, Commissioner Obert Gutu said the organisation were aware that elections were around the corner.

This year’s commemorations is running under the theme: “Recovering Better for an Equitable and Sustainable World.”

“The Commission is cognisant that elections are around the corner as 2023 beckons and also; as there are possibilities of conducting by-elections necessitated by vacancies created in the House of Assembly and in local authorities.

“We are therefore working on a broad-based and stakeholder-driven consultation process around the country to work on and develop mutually edifying strategies for this process to be peaceful and free from disputes,” said Comm Gutu.

“We acknowledge the efforts being made under the Presidential Programme on Gukurahundi and register our satisfaction that efforts being made are a fulfilment of the recommendations we submitted to Parliament in our 2019 and 2020 Annual Reports,” he said.

Comm Gutu said NPRC was assisting with documentation for those who would have been affected by conflicts such as Gukurahundi and pandemics.

The NPRC, he said, had increasingly witnessed conflicts arising in communities as a result of natural resources distribution and extraction.

“We are thus making inquiries about how extractive investments can be a source of division and disunity among communities hosting investors. A peace-conflict impact assessment model is being explored to protect both communities and investors from divisive conflicts which negate development and leave host communities disgruntled and unhappy,”

There has also been concern from reports of abrupt displacement of villagers to pave way for mining activities in areas such as Uzumba and Chiredzi.

NPRC Commissioner Golden Chekenyere said they had deployed investigators in some areas and would compile reports of their findings.

On provision of birth certificates for those affected by Gukurahundi, NPRC vice chairperson, Commissioner Lilian Chigwedere said they had been seized with the issue since 2018 and they visited the affected areas to have an appreciation of the plight.

The NPRC is a constitutional body formed as a mechanism for resolving past conflicts and building national and subnational capacities that guarantee a future of peace and reconciliation.

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