Transitional Justice Watch: Jan-March 2022

Elections, the contentious lifespan of the NPRC, increasing politically motivated violence are some of the pertinent issues covered in the NTJWG’s latest publication. Read on and get informed.


The first quarter of 2022 set the tone for what seems to be a busy year for transitional justice. Critical developments which will be covered in this edition include the announcement by President Mnangagwa to launch Gukurahundi hearings, the destruction of the Gukurahundi memorial plaques in Bhalagwe and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which recommended the government’s full implementation of the 2018 Motlanthe Commission of Inquiry recommendations. Overall, there was little traction towards justice, truth and reconciliation processes in the country.

The Supreme Court Judgment on the lifespan of the NPRC

The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) was established through section 251 of the Constitution. The Constitution states that the NPRC shall have a tenure of life of ten (10) years. Although the Constitution of Zimbabwe was enacted in 2013, there were delays in operationalising the NPRC. The delays were such that the NPRC only came into effect on 5 January 2018. This ignited uncertainty on when the ten-year life span of the NPRC began, with others arguing that it began in 2013 when the Constitution established the NPRC, while others argued that it started when the NPRC became operational in 2018.


President Emmerson Mnangagwa proclaimed 26 March 2022 as the date for by-elections to fill vacant seats in the National Assembly and various local authorities across the country. The electionswere long overdue but were postponed by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The nation rolled into the election mode with different political parties campaigning for vacant seats. Politically motivated violence constituted the electoral period compounded by hate speech, provocative language, and the dissemination of misinformation.The increase in politically motivated violence in Zimbabwe during these elections is worrisome as they indicate what to expect in the upcoming 2023 harmonised elections.

Access the full publication here (1MB PDF)

Source: NTJWG

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