Victor Maphosa Herald Correspondent
MDC-Alliance is warming up to political dialogue as evidenced by crucial meetings which the party held with the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) and former President of South Africa, Mr Thabo Mbeki, this week.
In a statement after meeting the NPRC at the party’s offices in Harare on Tuesday, MDC deputy national spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said the MDC-A leadership “raised several issues to do with the independence and autonomy of the commission,” among other issues.
“The NPRC insisted that it was an independent commission and that it would roll out a national visibility programme in 2020, even though it said it required more resources to execute its mandate,” he said.
Mr Tamborinyoka said the party leadership and NPRC agreed to continuously engage in order to solve conflicts and promote peace and reconciliation in the country.
He said his party raised issues alleging that MDC-Alliance had been a victim of Zanu PF and State-sponsored violence, but no action had been taken against alleged perpetrators of violence.
NPRC confirmed engaging the MDC-Alliance, with the objective of sharing its strategic plan and ensuring that stakeholders understood its mandate.
Speaking to The Herald after meeting the opposition party leadership in Harare, NPRC deputy chairperson Lilian Chigwedere said the meeting was part of the commission’s engagement programme with various stakeholders.
“Some of the stakeholders already engaged include the security sector, that is the police and military, chiefs, churches, political parties, Parliament through the Parliamentary portfolio committee on Peace and Security and the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs,” she said.
“The objective of sharing the strategic plan is to ensure that stakeholders understand the commission’s mandate, that is what it can and cannot deal with, so that together we can help our nation to move towards peace, reconciliation and ultimately development.”
Comm Chigwedere said the meeting was a continuation of the engagement programme by the commission to ensure that all stakeholders participated in upholding peace.
“By engaging the MDC at the highest level, we trust that the party, after understanding the mandate of the commission, will support, participate in and facilitate all its programmes aimed at healing, reconciling and uniting our nation towards a peaceful Zimbabwe for all generations,” she said.
“The NPRC is apolitical and provides space for different voices that need healing and reconciliation. Together, past conflicts can be resolved and together we can move our country towards peace and development, peace and development are two sides of the same coin.”
Comm Chigwedere commended the opposition party for the opportunity of engagement with the commission.
“I thank the MDC for giving us the opportunity to engage and hope that this step marks the beginning of a long lasting relationship as we walk the journey to mend broken hearts and souls in our nation,” she said.
“Together we can make it, peace is our collective responsibility.”