By Leopold Munhende
THE National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) will start investigating massive death, rape, robbery and other forms of serious crimes committed by menacing machete wielding gangs only when presented with a formal complaint for such.
The startling statement was said by NPRC commissioner Charles Masunungure at an Information for Development Trust (IDT) panel discussion under the topic, “The Machete Militia: Origins, Responses and Implications”. The event was held at Sapes Trust in Harare last Thursday.
The NPRC has a mandate to ensure post-conflict justice, healing and reconciliation, including developing programmes that promote national healing, unity and peaceful conflict resolution.
“One of the responsibilities of the NPRC is to receive complaints from the public and take appropriate action as the commission sees fit,” Masunungure said.
“We do not initiate investigations where there is no complaint received, we are supposed to receive complaints.
“In terms of the machete issues, we have not received a single report from anybody and that is on record apart from reading in the newspapers and general statements from people out there.”
One of the functions of the commission is also “to develop mechanisms for early detection of areas of potential conflicts and disputes, and take appropriate preventive measures.”
Masunungure said NPRC was only researching on machete wielding gangs and not investigating them as there was no complaint from the affected communities.
“There is a difference between research and investigation, we do research on topical issues affecting society.”
Machete wielding gangs have killed hundreds of people especially in gold mining areas and have also raped, committed robbery and other heinous crimes as State security agents seem to failing to control the marauding armed gangs.