By Staff Reporter
Vice president Phelekezela Mphoko who also doubles as the minister of Peace and Reconciliation Commission on Tuesday last week proposed for the adjournment of debate on the second reading motion of National Peace and Reconciliation Bill after debate in parliament became heated.
Download the Bill here: National_Peace__Reconciliation_Bill_2017
The call came after Zanu-PF legislators’ started behaving in a rowdy way towards the acting speaker Melody Tionei Dziva thereby stifling progress in the house.
During the debate, Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba made some shocking remarks when he stated that he was against the NPRC bill citing that the bill was going to open old wounds that had already been healed.
“Inini hangu bill iri handirifaririba (I myself personally don’t like this bill)”, Chinotimba shouted.
Though Chinotimba persistently went on to justify his remarks but his utterances were met with criticism from the speaker of the national assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda who ruled him out of order, “Order! We have to be very careful about what we say. The Executive, in its wisdom as guided by the Constitution, has brought this Bill here. There is no way we can say the Constitution is wrong”.
Buhera West legislator Oliver Mandipaka who contributed earlier shared the same sentiment with his counterpart when he said there was a third force behind the bill which was trying to throw into the Constitution and certain negativity that were going to cause conflict among Zimbabweans.
“You cannot have a truth and reconciliation commission 17 years past the conflict. What are we trying to achieve here? I am at pains Mr. Speaker to accept this Bill because if you look at countries that have no peace and have disturbances, it is because of these issues that we are trying to bring into existence”, Mandipaka warned.
Mandipaka said Zimbabweans were not supposed to forget the Unity Accord signed between the late former VP Joshua Nkomo and President Robert Mugabe in trying to unite the Shona and Ndebele people.
Legislator for Zvishavane-Ngezi constituency John Holder said the bill seek nothing amongst Zimbabweans but to divide them.
VP Mphoko objected to the call from party parliamentarians and told them that the president cannot afford operate outside the Constitution by rejecting a constitutional bill.
“I have an obligation charged to me by the president and parliament and I want to make sure that the Bill passes through. It is very important. Only the fear of the unknown can scare the people, otherwise this Bill is for the nation”, Mphoko said.
Last week VP Mphoko was summoned by parliament after failing to attend to the business of the house several times.
When the bill NPRC was brought into the house it was rejected as unconstitutional. MDC-T MP Jessie Majome yesterday blamed the Attorney General’s office for not giving government legal counsel in crafting the bill.
The NPRC bill seeks to ensure post-conflict justice, healing and reconciliation among other issues as its functions; a good example is the Gukurahundi massacres which saw more than 20 000 Ndebele people being killed in a barbaric move in the 1980’s that is yet to be resolved.