THE National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) last week engaged opposition MDC-T Harare Province to discuss issues of peace building ahead of 2023 elections.
NPRC commissioner Obert Gutu last Tuesday engaged MDC-T Harare Province leadership led by chairman Zivai Mhetu. Gutu said he was assigned to deal with peace and reconciliation in Harare ahead of 2023 elections.
In an interview, Mhetu said Gutu identified stakeholders he thought were critical in fostering peace in Harare Province. He added that he urged the commissioners to also bring in the media among the institutions that are important in securing peace in the province.
“We were called by Commissioner Gutu. he said that among the commissioners, he was assigned to deal with peace and reconciliation in Harare Province. So, he identified stakeholders he can work with in order to bring peace in Harare Province with particular focus on the 2023 elections which are about 22 months to come,” Mhetu said.
“So, he said this meeting is just about getting to know each other as more meetings are coming. So, he had to explain about quite a number of institutions he engaged which he thinks are vital in peace building. I gave my comments there saying among the institutions he highlighted, they had left out the media and i explained to say the media can make or break peace in a country because their reporting is not sanctioned. It can brew factionalism, hate and despondency in a society.”
Mhetu also noted the importance of the NPRC and urged the commission to be impartial.
“I also commented about the importance of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission to say when we talk of development in terms of economic or social setups like the family religion, we cannot leave peace. We cannot talk of an economy where there is no peace. In that regard, the NPRC must receive priority over other institutions and it must seem to be impartial since it meets heads between worrying factions. I also commented on the conflict which is brewing ahead of 2023 to say the NPRC must make efforts to hold workshops where people from different political parties meet, exchange notes, and discuss under one roof,” he added.
Mhetu said the commissioner noted that hatred conversations are being peddled on social media and realised there was need for an establishment of a way to reprimand use of social media to spread hate.
“We have seen people attacking each other on social media. The kind of language being used is unheard of. Him the commissioner Obert Gutu had spoken about the Zambia inauguration to say, i quote ‘is there any conflict in Zambia? There is none, but there is conflict in Zimbabwe over an inauguration taking place in Zambia’. So, the commissioner said we must come with a way to reprimand the use of social media. Our spokesperson said the commissioner must engage the political party leaders so they can reprimand their followers,” Mhetu said.