There is need to come up practical approaches to national healing and reconciliation processes so as to speed up infrastructure development in areas that were affected by Gukurahundi massacres, speaker of National the Assembly, Jacob Mudenda has said.
This came out during a capacity building workshop held in Bulawayo which was organised by the Portfolio Committee of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the mandate of National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) on Monday.
He said there is a need for the NPRC to address structural issues that have affected Gukurahundi victims.
“NPRC, talk about real issues that have affected the people so that they catch up on infrastructural development, for example, the Kwekwe- Nkayi road tar, Bulawayo- Nkayi road still has a small tail of tar, just after Inyathi all these projects have stopped during.
“We had wanted to start tarring the Bulawayo-Tsholotsho road, very dangerous road, we couldn’t do it because of the problem. Then the Plumtree-Tsholotsho right up to Victoria Falls still remains incomplete, then you have the Binga-Magunje road, it is 40km from Magunje towards Binga it was stopped and people still have that song when do we get these tarred roads?
“What I have given here is a practical approach to national healing and reconciliation, in this context and because of the two parliamentary committees here present, it is axiomatic that the appropriate law is in place to define the modalities of assistance to victims of conflict as demanded by section 252 subsection J of our constitution,” Hon. Mudenda said.
“That law must be in place that is what the constitution says, equally the two commissions should ensure that the devolution law is in place per- section 265 subsection 3 of the constitution”.
He said the commission for reconciliation has dragged its feet in terms of demanding devolution in provinces.
“I have not heard the committee on Justice, Legal Parliamentary affairs calling in Ministers to say where is the devolution bill, you have not asked, and the President says let`s devolve so that we can achieve vision 2030. The President cannot be drafting bills, you have to get the Ministers running as the President has set the vision very clear.
“Each province must have its own GDPs, He is very clear. In addition to that, section 265 subsection 3, the committees and the commission must advocate for the promotion of public awareness of the vernacular translated constitution according to the requirements of section 7 of the constitution, it is very clear publicise the constitution in schools, colleges amongst security services and in the public sector, if we don’t do that we would be talking alone in issues of reconciliation and national healing,” he said.
In addition, Hon. Mudenda said Matabeleland North province is still lagging behind in terms of education.
“The secondary schools in the affected provinces must be revamped through the construction of laboratories as part of a tangible reconciliation process.
“When Professor Jonathan Moyo and his Ministry asked for students for STEM, Matabeleland North provinces could not produce the required number because there were no apologies, they are still lagging behind.
“I speak with authority because I was there as government, then you come to National University of Science and Technology (NUST) here, students from this part of the country cannot qualify because the schools are ill-equipped, so NPRC talk about real issues that have affected people,” he said.