The Prospects for Social Cohesion, Healing and Reconciliation in Zimbabwe: Putting the NPRC to task

By Published On: 16th September 2019


Forty years after independence from Britain, Zimbabwe is burdened by a history of violence and trauma whose effects continue to impede on efforts to build a socially cohesive and reconciled developmental state. A number of national attempts through policies and processes to promote peace and national reconciliation have, for various reasons, not succeeded to bridge the racial, tribal, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation and geographical and other divisions.

This paper traces the efforts to build a new Zimbabwe by interrogating the early strides made by the fledgling National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) thus far, and the prospects to fulfil its constitutional mandate that requires it to play ‘midwife’ from a culture of violence to a culture of peace.

This paper begins by providing a cursory look at attempts towards national peace and reconciliation since independence. It discusses the missed golden opportunity during the short period of the Inclusive Government (2009 – 2013). It goes on to engage the NPRC mandate and the prospect of its five-year strategy (2018 – 2022) to deliver the elusive peace that seemingly rests more on political will than the Commission’s institutional abilities. Furthermore, this paper locates the national mechanism in the regional and global normative frameworks that the NPRC could benefit from. An argument on how the commission should establish a strong complementary relationship with other key stakeholders that include civil society will be made.

The paper will conclude that the NPRC, working with civil society, will need to navigate the Zimbabwean terrain dexterously if it is to deliver on its constitutional mandate. Recommendations will be proffered so that Zimbabwe does not miss another great opportunity to heal, reconcile and fully discover her economic, social and political potentials


Zimbabwe held harmonized elections on July 30 2018 whose outcome had to be decided by the courts but are still disputed by the youthful leader of the opposition alliance Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change – Alliance (MDC-Alliance) who have openly challenged the political legitimacy of the incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF party). The continued role of the security sector in political affairs of the State, including the death of six protesters during demonstrations for an immediate release of election results on the streets of Harare on the 1st of August 2019 reveal deep security challenges and a shrunk democratic space. A three-day stay away called by the labour movement from 14 – 16 January 2019 in response to a sharp increase in the price of fuel ignited country-wide protests, which were met with heavy handedness by the state security apparatus. At least 12 people were killed, 78 treated for gunshot wounds while several women were allegedly raped by military personnel who also targeted leaders of civil society and the opposition. Despite the largely welcomed forced removal of long-serving Robert Mugabe and the glimmer of hope it brought, Zimbabwe remains politically very polarized and still seeking viable transitional justice and reconciliation approaches to resolve its past that is marred by gross human rights violations and impunity.

A History of Conflict and Violence in Zimbabwe

Ndlovu-Gatsheni (2009; 2012) posits that violence is one of the major banes of Zimbabwe’s contemporary history. He contends that the evolution of Zimbabwe from a colony to a sovereign nation, and from a promising transitional state into unprecedented crisis at the beginning of the third millennium is largely a catalogue of violence, its memory and impunity. He goes further to argue that violence has taken the form of a culture rather than being an isolated or episodic phenomenon that he locates in three undemocratic historical processes and cultures.[1]

First was the country’s patriarchal and often violent pre-colonial history (pre-1890) where political cultures and practices were permeated by ideologies of heredity and kinship rather than modern day competitive politics. Second was colonialism which ushered an undemocratic tradition based on white settlerism that was equally violent, patriarchal and authoritarian. This system of governance introduced during this period was racist as it excluded blacks from participating in the country’s political processes. Third was the rise of African nationalism, together with armed and violent liberation struggles that culminated in Zimbabwe attaining independence in 1980. The period was dominated by cultures of authoritarianism, commandism, intolerance and violence.

The major challenge confronting the post-independence government of ZANU (PF) was nation-building in a society deeply divided along lines of race, class, ethnicity, gender and geography. The other main challenges included post-war reconstruction, reconstructing the inherited colonial political economy – especially redressing its racialised imbalances – and democratizing the inherited authoritarian colonial state (Muzondidya, 2009).[2]

In Zimbabwe, the period of elections has become synonymous with violence, the worst being the inconclusive 2008 elections that left communities with deep physical and psychological scars. The violence only stopped when the intergovernmental block Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the regional body African Union (AU) intervened.[3]

The history of election-related violence in independent Zimbabwe can be traced to the first general election held in 1985 that was accompanied by widespread human rights atrocities targeting opposition candidates and their supporters. The violence included intimidation, mob beatings, arson and murder.

Historical attempts at healing and reconciliation

Zimbabwe’s first attempt to formalize a national reconciliation policy was a post-war nation-building effort at the outset of independence in 1980. The policy accompanied the formation of a government of national unity (GNU) that comprised of the minority Rhodesian Front (RF) led by Ian Smith, Joshua Nkomo’s Patriotic Front – Zimbabwe African People’s Union (PF-ZAPU) and the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) led by Robert Mugabe and had the majority seats in parliament. Unfortunately, this commitment did not translate into a coherent policy or project, and the necessary institutions and pre-conditions for social cohesion, healing and reconciliation never took shape.

The second attempt was the signing of the Unity Accord between ZANU-PF and PF-ZAPU after the Gukurahundi massacres in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces. The 22nd of December is celebrated as the National Unity Day to mark day the agreement was signed in 1987. Yet again, no concerted efforts were made to seek justice for the many human rights violations that occurred, and instead, a blanket amnesty that pardoned all crimes committed during the conflict was granted.

The violence that followed the March 2008 election and the disastrous run-off in June of that year prompted SADC to embark on new mediation efforts with the blessings of the AU. In September 2008, following a prolonged mediation process facilitated by former president of South Africa Thabo Mbeki, the three political parties represented in parliament signed a Global Political Agreement (GPA), with SADC and AU as guarantors. The GPA was meant to stabilize Zimbabwe politically and economically, and led to the creation of an Inclusive Government that was inaugurated in February 2009. This arrangement only came to an end in July 2013 with another disputed election in which the MDC lost to ZANU-PF, amid allegations of serious irregularities in how the plebiscite was conducted.

But more importantly, Article VII of the GPA was specific on the creation of a mechanism to promote ‘equality, national healing, cohesion and unity’. In that regard, the unity government had an Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration (ONHRI) whose aim was to “strive to create an environment of tolerance and respect among Zimbabweans and that all citizens are treated with dignity and decency irrespective of age, gender, race, ethnic, place of origin or political affiliation.”[4]

Article VII of the Global Political Agreement

Promotion of Equality, National Healing, Cohesion and Unity

7.  Equality, Healing, Cohesion and Unity

7.1 The Parties hereby agree that the new Government:

a) Will ensure equal treatment of all regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, place of origin and will work towards equal access to development for all;

b) Will ensure equal and fair development of all regions of the country and in particular to correct historical imbalances in the development of regions;

c) Shall give considerations to the setting up of a mechanism to properly advise on what measures might be necessary and practicable to achieve national healing, cohesion and unity in respect of victims of pre and post-independence political conflicts; and,

d) Will strive to create an environment of tolerance and respect among Zimbabweans and that all citizens are treated with dignity and decency irrespective of age, race, ethnicity, place of origin or political affiliation;

1. e) Will formulate policies and put measures in place to attract the return and repatriation of all Zimbabweans in the Diaspora and in particular will work towards the return of all skilled personnel.

Article XVIII was equally specific as the leaders agreed that “all political parties, other organisations and their leaders shall commit themselves to do everything to stop and prevent all forms of political violence including by non-state actors, and shall consistently appeal to their members to desist from violence.”[5] It was therefore an institution created to promote peacebuilding in the aftermath of election-related violence.

Unfortunately, in the four and half years of its existence, the ONHRI failed to make any tangible impact in its efforts to promote peacebuilding. The failure of such a national initiative to trickle down to rural communities often created a vacuum that localised community interventions would be their only hope, then and now. Many factors contributed to minimising the impact of the ONHRI, such that others view it as a monumental failure. Top of it was lack of political will, particularly on the part of ZANU-PF under Robert Mugabe that not only controlled the levers of power thus determined the national political thermometer, but was largely seen (just like today) as not only the orchestrators but ultimately the beneficiaries of politically motivated violence who never wanted justice to be prioritized. No wonder the word justice did not appear in the whole GPA document.

The other problem was that besides the ONHRI being a three-headed institution (with three Ministers), it had a small secretariat that was hardly known beyond the office of the Vice President in which it was housed, making it an elitist bureaucratic establishment that never resonated with the generality of the citizens, particularly the victims whose rights had been trampled upon with little recourse to justice nor any remedy.

Nevertheless, the reasoning behind the creation of the ONHRI, without doubt, strongly influenced the call for the creation of a National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) as one of the Independent Commissions supporting democracy during the creation of the New Constitution of Zimbabwe that was adopted in a referendum in 2013. It however took four years for the NPRC Act to be adopted in November 2017, thus enabling the Commissioners who had been sworn in to commence their duties.[6]

The functions of the NPRC are quite clear and all encompassing, making it arguably the most important institution constitutionally mandated to transform Zimbabwe from a culture of violence to a culture of peace. The NPRC has the following functions:[7]

  1. To ensure post-conflict justice, healing and reconciliation;
  2. To develop and implement programmes to promote national healing, unity and cohesion in

Zimbabwe and the peaceful resolution of disputes;

  1. To bring about national reconciliation by encouraging people to tell the truth about the past and facilitating the making of amends and the provision of justice;
  2. To develop procedures and institutions at national level to facilitate dialogue among political parties, communities, organisations and other groups, in order to prevent conflicts and disputes arising in the future;
  3. To develop programmes to ensure that persons subjected to persecutions torture and other forms of abuse receive rehabilitative treatment and support;
  4. To receive and consider complaints from the public and to take such action in regard to the complaints as it considers appropriate;
  5. To develop mechanisms for early detection of areas of potential conflicts and disputes, and to take appropriate preventive measures;
  6. To do anything incidental to the prevention of conflict and promotion of peace;
  7. To conciliate and mediate disputes among communities, organisations, groups and individuals; and,
  8. To recommend legislation to ensure that assistance, including documentation is rendered to persons affected by conflicts, pandemics and other circumstances.

The regulatory framework of fledgling NPRC was subsequently adopted as a Statutory Instrument in March 2018, to guide the work of the Commission, and key in that document is a set of guiding values and principles for its members and staff as follows:[8][9]

  1. Respect for human dignity of all persons
  2. Respect for truth and upholding thereof
  3. Equality and advancement of human rights and freedoms
  4. Rejection of racism and sexism and the achievement of gender equality
  5. Accountability, responsiveness, accessibility and openness
  6. Rigorous and methodical inquiry together with procedural fairness
  7. Integrity, resoluteness, and the maintenance of the highest standards of professional ethics

    Regional and global frameworks

    The establishment of both the ONHRI and its successor the NPRC is also in line with both SADC and the African Union’s aspirations to create local infrastructures for peace. The AU aspired to:

    Establish by 2004, national institutions or mechanisms for prevention, management and resolution of conflicts at community and national levels with active involvement of Civil Society Orgnaisations (CSOs) and Community Based Organisations (CBOs). It should include indigenous conflict resolution mechanisms, emergency relief assistance and confidence building measures between ethnic, racial, and national groups. Such institutions could be national focal points for regional and continental early warning[10]

    The ambitious AU Agenda 2063 – The Africa We Want contains seven aspirations that largely speak to issues of peace and development, particularly Aspiration (3) “An Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and rule of law”, and (4) “A peaceful and secured Africa”10. In February

    2019 the AU adopted the African Union Transitional Justice Policy (AUTJP) that offer ‘practical guidelines’ on dealing with the past which, if implemented effectively, is a potential game changer as it assists countries ‘to better address challenges of reconciliation, social cohesion, national harmony, and nation building, all of which are central to peacebuilding and sustainable human development’.[11]

    The adoption of the AUTJP provides a game-changing normative framework to local and national processes led by institutions that include civil society, the NPRC and other structures tasked with dealing with atrocities of the past and building cohesion and strengthening prospects for reconciliation in their contexts.[12] The Policy was ‘conceived as a continental guideline for African Union (AU) member states to develop their own context specific comprehensive policies, strategies and programmes towards democratic and socio-economic transformation, and achieving sustainable peace, justice, reconciliation, social cohesion and healing’.13

    On reconciliation, the AUTJP is very clear that it ‘is both a goal and process promised on building the trust necessary for a degree of cooperation between individuals and communities…involves addressing legacies of past violence and oppression, reconstructing broken relationships and finding ways for individuals and communities to live together’.[13] The policy equally elucidates that social cohesion ‘requires healing, which includes regard for each other’s suffering; coming to terms with the totality of what happened; promoting shared truth; constructing a common narrative about the past, justice and the need to restore and experience a sense of security; and overcoming a sense of victimisation’.15

    The AUTJP recommends the promotion of reconciliation as a profound process which entails finding a way to live that permits a vision of the future, the building of relationships, coming to terms with the past acts and enemies, and involves societies in a long-term process of deep change.

    Above all, the AUTJP is malleable and realizes how Africa is a hodge-podge of a variety of different cultures and thus recognizes ‘context specificity’ in applying the policy. This realization that a one-sizefits-all approach would not work at national level should, one would argue, also be adopted by the NPRC when it deals with issues of conflict, cohesion, healing and reconciliation at the local level. The AUTJP is quite concise that Transitional Justice ‘should be context specific, drawing on society’s conceptions and needs of justice and reconciliation, having regard to: (i) the nature of the conflict and the violations it occasioned, including the situation of women and children as well as other groups in vulnerable conditions; and, (ii) the conditions and nature of the country’s legal system, traditions and institutions as well as its laws.’[14]

    This deliberate position is not only important for considering cultural diversity, but, going by the argument proffered above, seriously challenges the NPRC as it would be futile if it is to ever see itself, or even imagine itself as an institute that would prescribe how issues of national cohesion, healing and reconciliation should be approached. The central thesis of this argument is that when human rights violations and violent conflict is experienced at a local level, the recovery from such traumatic experiences and solutions that lead to cohesion, healing and reconciliation should be cocreated with those affected at the local level if positive peace is to be sustained.

Another highlight of the AUTJP is the recognition of the African Traditional Justice Mechanisms that should be ‘adapted and used alongside the formal mechanisms to address justice, peace, accountability, social cohesion, reconciliation and healing’.[17] The policy asks institutions to consider the following actions:

  1. Support and respect community-based accountability mechanisms that seek to foster integration and reconciliation;
  2. Promote communal dispute settlement institutions at appropriate levels for relevant cases, provided a person shall not be compelled to undergo any harmful traditional ritual;
  • Explore alternative and non-formal dispute resolution mechanisms where necessary; iv. Integrate generic African practices into international norms and standards that would enhance international commitments to end impunity and promote peace, justice and reconciliation;
  1. Recognize the contribution of positive traditional practices and customary norms in Africa that have proven to be useful complements to criminal prosecutions for certain categories of crimes.

To achieve these, the Policy encourages institutions such as the NPRC to ensure ‘provision of technical and political support to local communities and traditional leaders for adapting and using their traditional justice mechanisms for addressing their TJ needs.’[18]  The idea of localizing peace processes resonates with the shift from traditional ‘peacebuilding’ to ‘sustaining peace’ in the United Nations (UN) peacebuilding architecture after the UN Security Council and General Assembly adopted landmark identical resolutions on sustaining peace in 2016.[19] The concept of sustaining peace was introduced in the Report of the Advisory Group of Experts who reviewed the UN Peacebuilding Architecture in 2015.[20] As Mahmoud and Mokoond (2017) posit, at the core of this concept is the ‘realization that all societies possess attributes that contribute to sustaining peace, whether their institutions, their culture, their policies, or the less tangible, quotidian, and tacit norms of interaction between individuals and groups’.[21] The conceptual basis for sustaining peace can be traced back to Johan Galtung’s pathfinding work that broadened the understanding of peace from ‘negative peace’ that minimizes peace only to the absence of violence or war, to ‘positive peace’ that requires building and strengthening the factors that foster peace such as solidarity, cooperation and compassion between different ethnic groups, as well as systemic factors such as equitable distribution of resources, well-functioning institutions, tolerance for diversity, respect for the rights of others, security from physical harm, and access to health, food and clean drinking water.24

The work of the NPRC, if it fulfills its constitutional mandate, also reinforces the UN Sustainable

Development Goals (SDGs), often referred as the Agenda 2030, particularly Goal 16 that focuses on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions and strives to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.[22] Agenda 2030 requires greater involvement among governments, civil society, private sector and international organisations to build more peaceful and inclusive just societies. Peace also brings new business opportunities by increasing stability, improving economic prospects and by building social and economic fabric in a community.

The other widely acknowledged global framework that will guide the work of the NPRC is the landmark

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) on Women Peace and Security signed in 2000 that upholds the fact that women’s participation in peace processes is not just a matter of equal rights and democratic participation but also ensuring that peace is long-term and sustainable.[23] UNSCR 1325 (and subsequent Resolutions after it) specifically calls for the inclusion of women in conflict prevention, resolution, humanitarian response, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, and is the first formal and legal document that requires parties in a conflict to respect women’s rights and support their participation in peace negotiations, post-conflict reconstruction and promotion of peace and security. The Resolution also endorses the inclusion of civil society organisations in peace processes and the implementation of peace agreements.[24]

The NPRC and civil society – complimentary partners in peace

As Nderitu (2016) notes, post-Cold War Africa has been characterized by a significantly active civil society against the backdrop of social transformation of society and, in particular, the rise of a welleducated, professional, entrepreneurial and in some cases a radicalized category of the society with a dedicated following.[25] Correspondingly, the rise of civil society in Zimbabwe can be traced to the country’s political and socio-economic trajectory. And the growth of what can be termed the fledgling

‘peacebuilding community’ in Zimbabwe has also been in response to the glaring need for national peace, social cohesion, healing and reconciliation to resolve the country’s episodes of violent conflicts that have left deep physical and psychological scars, and whose traumatic realities will, hopefully, be confronted head-on by the NPRC, with the necessary dexterity, as it fulfils its constitutional mandate.

That the Commission will need partners, particularly in civil society and other key stakeholders if it is to begin to harvest the lower hanging fruits of peace in Zimbabwe is not only too obvious, but the most sensible thing expected. In fact, it may be argued that the success or failure of the whole peace project will hinge on who is and is not involved. Civil society in Zimbabwe has taken lead towards social cohesion, healing and reconciliation on many fronts. The Churches, in their various formations, have always taken lead and kept the prophetic voice alive and been active peacemakers in times of national distress. The NPRC will not need to go far since the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has recorded and kept a repository of victims of human rights violations.[26] The Peacebuilding Network of Zimbabwe, a coalition of 19 organisations, with technical expertise from the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR), produced the Community Healing A Training Manual for Zimbabwe a resource and a guide at the disposal of the NPRC and its agencies.[27] Since 2013, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum played a central role in the creation of the National Transitional Justice Working Group for Zimbabwe (NTJWG) that has already shown the potential for complementarity between the NPRC and civil society on transitional justice matters.[28] Their Guiding Principles for Transitional Justice Policy in Zimbabwe became the referral point used by communities during the parliamentary outreach in the drafting of the NPRC


However, we need to throw caution to the wind. Nderitu (2016) notes that suspicion and mistrust have characterized relations between civil society and the state since colonial period. ‘The colonial and postcolonial states were forged on – and rely on – force, while the civil society has succeeded in tapping into the spirit of the established African tradition of communalism’, she says.[29] She adds that peacebuilding usually requires, at the very least, state support and political will to succeed, and goes on to castigate states in conflict who make it a political project to neuter or demobilize civil society into their mere partnerships and mouthpieces. The civil society in Zimbabwe, despite its resilience, has faced very difficult moments when promoting human rights, the rule of law, peacebuilding and other advocacy work.


To the Government of Zimbabwe

  • Government of Zimbabwe should ensure that the NPRC is well resourced in order to fulfil its constitutional mandate.
  • Government of Zimbabwe should clearly offer all necessary support, including security to the NPRC itself as well as to everyone who is complementing the work of the commission to do its work, particularly to victims and witnesses.

To the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC)

  • The NPRC mandate is very broad, and the commission will not achieve this alone. The Commission should facilitate and coordinate the participation, capacitation and empowerment of all key stakeholders, including women, children and the disabled, who will collectively become agents for social transformation from a culture of violence to a culture of peace in Zimbabwe.
  • Establish national reconciliation monitoring and evaluation process that will measure the progress of all implemented strategies. A feedback mechanism that is available to all key roleplayers will assist the Commission on what has worked and that which should be reinforced to foster peace and reconciliation.
  • Establish a clear collaborative coordination strategy with fellow Chapter 12 Institutions established by the Constitution of Zimbabwe. The Commissions should reinforce each other for the betterment of society.

To Civil Society Organisations

  • Civil society has fundamentally the same goals with the NPRC. And has done this work for longer periods in Zimbabwe. It would be prudent for civil society to avail its repository of knowledge, resources, data and instruments that would help the NPRC fulfil its mandate, in the spirit of complementarity.
  • Civil society should maintain their watchdog role and keep the NPRC and its work on check to make sure that it fulfils its constitutional mandate. Civil society should create its own reconciliation barometer to evaluate and gauge the work of the Commission and the pulse of the society on matters of transitional justice, social cohesion healing and reconciliation.

To Funding Partners

  • Put greater emphasis on identifying factors of resilience in the Zimbabwean society and help carve out the space needed for national stakeholders to play leadership role in fostering peace. This will be realised when there are regular consultations with key local stakeholders who have concrete knowledge of what is happening on the ground, and how it can be changed.
  • Provide adequate institutional support and resources to both the NPRC, the CSOs, local governance structures and all key role players providing complementary support services towards the fulfilment of the NPRC mandate.


At the core of this paper’s proposition is that if the NPRC works closely with civil society and other key stakeholders, Zimbabwe is most likely going to reap the peace dividend that will not only ensure social cohesion, healing and reconciliation, but will be the bedrock on which prospects for economic recovery and prosperity will rest. As the adage goes, there is no development without peace! Thus, the work of the NPRC should never be viewed using narrow lenses that limit it to Zimbabwe’s social cohesion and political stability only, but in the broadest sense where it becomes the midwife to the nation’s economic aspirations as well.

1] See Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S. J., 2009, Do ‘Zimbabweans’ exist?: Trajectories of nationalism, national identity formation and crisis in a postcolonial state. Bern: Peter Lang AG; Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S. J., 2012, Elections in Zimbabwe: a recipe for tension or a remedy for reconciliation? Zimbabwe monograph series No. 3/2012, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR), Cape Town.

[2] Muzondidya, J., 2009, From buoyancy to crisis, 1980 – 1987, in B. Raftopoulos and A. Mlambo (Eds.) Becoming Zimbabwe: A history from the pre-colonial period to 2008. Harare: Weaver Press, 267-200.

[3] Pan-African Parliament, The Pan-African Parliament Observer Mission to the Presidential and Parliamentary ByElections in Zimbabwe – Interim Statement, 29 June 2008 (available at See also Southern African Development Community (SADC) Electoral Observer Mission (SEOM) Preliminary Statement on the Zimbabwe Presidential Run-off and House of National Assembly By-Elections Held on 27 June 2008, 29 June 2008, Harare (available at

[4] Global Political Agreement (GPA), 15 September 2008:7, signed by the three political parties represented in the Zimbabwean parliament that led to the creation of the Inclusive Government.

[5] See The Global Political Agreement (GPA), 2008 p.11, Agreement signed between Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Formations, on resolving the challenges facing Zimbabwe.

[6] See Government of Zimbabwe, National Peace and Reconciliation Commission(NPRC) Act, Available at:

[7] See Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20) Act 2013, Chapter 12 Part 6 Available at:

[8] See Government of Zimbabwe, National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC)Statutory Instrument 90 of

[9] . Available at:


[10] At the end of the Heads of State and Government Standing Committee Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation in Africa (CSSDCA) held in Durban, South Africa from 8-9 July 2002, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed that included Article 7 ‘National Institutions for Prevention and Management of Conflicts’   10 See The African Union, Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want. Available at:

[11] See The African Union Transitional Justice Policy (AUTJP) Foreword by H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, February 2019. Available at:

[12] See Webster Zambara, The AU Transitional Justice Policy could be a game changer, Mail and Guardian April 2019 13 See AUTJP, p8. Available at:

[13] Ibid p20.  15 Ibid p20.

[14] Ibid, p14.

[15] Ibid, p18-19.

[16] Ibid, p19.

[17] Ibid, p19-20.

[18] Ibid, p20.

[19] See United Nations Security Council Resolution 2282 (April 27, 2016), UN Doc. S/RES/2282, Available at:; United Nations General Assembly Resolution 70/262 (April 27, 2016), UN Doc. A/RES/70/262, Available at: t/A_RES_70_262.pdf

[20] See United Nations, The Challenge of Sustaining Peace: Report of Group of the Advisory Group of Experts on the Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture, UN Doc. A/69/968-S2015/490, June 30, 2015.

[21] See Youssef Mahmoud and Anupah Mokoond, 2017, Sustaining Peace: What Does it Mean in Practice?

International Peace Institute (IPI), Issue Brief, April 2017. Available at   24 Ibid

[22] See United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Sustainable Development Goals, Goal 16, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.  Available at:

[23] See United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR1325) of 2000. Available at:

[24] See United States Institute for Peace (USIP), What is UNSCR 1325? – An Explanation of the Landmark Resolution on Women Peace and Security. Available at:;

[25] See Alice Wairimu Nderitu, African Peace Building: Civil Society Roles in Conflict, in Aall, P. and Crocker, C.A., (Eds), 2016, Minding the Gap: African Conflict Management in a Time of Change, Centre for International Governance Innovation: Canada, pp 219-236.

[26] See Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) Monthly Monitoring Reports, Available at:

[27] See Zambara W. (Ed), 2015, Community Healing Manual: A training manual for Zimbabwe. Peacebuilding

Network of Zimbabwe/Institute for Justice and Reconciliation: Cape Town. Available at:

[28] See National Transitional Justice Working Group of Zimbabwe (NTWWG), Never Again: 2018 Transitional Justice Policy Symposium Report, 21-23 November 2018. Available at: 018.pdf

[29] See Alice Wairimu Nderitu, Ibid, p230.

Dr. Webster Zambara is a senior project leader in the Peacebuilding Interventions Programme at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation.

published by Citizens Manifesto



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