By Richard Muponde
SWITZERLAND yesterday offered to help Zimbabwe bring closure to past conflicts such as Gukurahundi and welcomed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s commitment to resolve the emotive issue.
Officially handing over a motor vehicle, GPS equipment, video camera and human resources support to the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) in Harare, the Swiss ambassador to Zimbabwe, Niculin Jager expressed his country’s readiness to capacitate government’s peace and reconciliation initiatives.
“NPRC is, indeed, a very important player in the national healing and reconciliation processes in Zimbabwe. Its mandate includes dealing with the past, mediation, reconciliation and dialogue,” Jager said.
“Over the years, Switzerland has acquired international recognition for expertise in dealing with the past. This expertise is in great demand all over the world and stems from the realisation that combating impunity and rehabilitating victims of conflict are vital for reconciliation, lasting peace and economic development.”
He welcomed Mnangagwa’s commitment to resolve past conflicts, especially Gukurahundi.
“President Mnangagwa, for example, has recently been in Matabeleland where he called for open dialogue on all conflicts including Gukurahundi, while other recent conflicts are also on the NPRC’s strategic agenda,” the Swiss diplomat said.
NPRC chairperson retired Justice Selo Nare applauded Switzerland’s support in strengthening the capacity of the commission in order to fulfil its mandate on national healing and reconciliation.
Switzerland and NPRC have partnered on a wide range of topics including work around the Peace Pledge by political parties towards the 2018 harmonised elections.