The January to June edition of the NPRC Watch is out. The edition covers developments in the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission which include the launch of the Hate Language Report, the expiry of Commissioners’ terms and reporting obligations of the Commission. Read on to get more on these and other issues.

Appointment of New Commissioners to the NPRC

The five-year term of office of the NPRC Commissioners ended in February 2021. A call was issued in December 2020 by the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders (CSRO) of the Parliament of Zimbabwe for public nominations of persons to serve as NPRC Commissioners. On 14 April 2021, the CSRO conducted public interviews of the shortlisted candidates for appointment as NPRC commissioners. President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed eight NPRC commissioners on 7 May 2021. The commissioners will serve under the chairmanship of Retired Justice Selo Nare whose first term of office will expire in 2023 as he was appointed in 2018. Dr Golden Chekenyere and Ms Lilian Chigwedere who were previously appointed as NPRC commissioners in 2016 were retained to serve their second and final term as NPRC commissioners. The new Commissioners include Dr Donwell Dube, Advocate Obert Gutu, Ms Nomaqhawe Gwere, Reverend Chiropafadzo Moyo, Mr Tinashe Rukuni and Dr Josephine Shambare. It is however unclear if these newly appointed commissioners will serve a full five year term because of a court case which is yet to be decided by the Supreme Court in which the dispute is in respect of when the NPRC’s ten year life span ends. One argument is that the life span started in 2013 when the Constiution was enacted thus the lifespan ends in 2023. The other argument is that the lifespan of the NPRC must be calculated from the time the Commission was operationalised through the NPRC Act in 2018.

Launching the Language of Hate Report

The NTJWG together with Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum launched a report titled “The Language of Intolerance, Intransigence, Authoritarianism and Violence in the “New Dispensation” In Zimbabwe” on 23 February 2021. Hate speech is public speech expressing hatred towards a group based on grounds such as their ethnicity, political affiliation or religion. The report analyses how hate speech driven by intolerance and hatred for divergent views is at the core of State-sponsored human rights violations.

Read the full NPRC Watch here (876KB PDF)

Source: National Transitional Justice Working Group