By Takunda Mandura
National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) has warned members of the public against interfering with its witnesses adding that if they are caught they risk facing a 10-year jail term.
Most Zimbabweans are unwilling to testify or to be witnesses for injustices that happen in the country as they fear for their lives.
However, addressing one of their outreach meetings in Harare Province NPRC Commissioner Geoffrey Chada said they will not hesitate to hand over to law enforcement agents those that will be found interfering with their witnesses.
“I just want to comment on the security of witnesses, if anyone of you came to the public hearing that we were holding and we understand that you dissuaded or persuaded someone not to come and bear witness or not a witness according to our Act (Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No.20) you could go to jail for 10 years.
“We will hand you over and you will be in jail for 10 years, just for stopping someone to come and be a witness so be careful,” he said.
With regards to dealing with soldiers especially from the past events where they are accused of various human rights abuses, one of the commissioners Netty Mushanu said part of the commission’s work is to make sure there are institutional reforms adding that it is also part of the commission’s last function.
The commissioner also revealed that they have been engaging all state institutions to make sure that they respond to the needs and aspirations of the victims.
Speaking at the same occasion, NRPC deputy chairperson Lillian Chigwedere applauded members of the public for attending the meetings adding that it was a testimony for their desire for peace in the country.
Chigwedere added that “as a Commission, we take your recommendations seriously and will endeavour to incorporate them in the implementation matrix,” she said.