2018 TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE SYMPOSIUM Venue: Nesbitt Castle, Bulawayo Day 1 (21 November 2018) www.ntjwg.org.zw/symposium.html Welcome and Opening Remarks The conference commenced with welcome remarks from Reverend Dr Ray Motsi (the NTJWG Thematic Leader on Memorialisation). Dr Motsi introduced the work of the NTJWG since 2012 when it was established and its different thematic committees which include; the Justice and Accountability Committee, Institutional Reforms Committee, the Gender Committee, Memorialisation Committee, Truth and Reparations Committees. Dr. Mosi also noted that as Zimbabweans, the people in the Symposium can find solutions to the transitional justice questions in Zimbabwe. Paul Themba Nyathi, the NTJWG Deputy Chairperson standing in for the working group’s Chairperson, Aleck Muchadehama, reiterated the importance of the symposium and its uniqueness in the current prevailing Zimbabwean environment. He pointed out that the platform is a national symposium represented by people across Zimbabwe and it is meant to produce a people driven Transitional Justice Policy. Nyathi echoed that the NTJWG is fully aware that the Constitution of Zimbabwe established the NPRC. He noted that this was a recognition of past human rights violations and that its key agenda is to address gross human rights violations perpetrated in different conflict episodes. “It is a recognition that we did not deal with the past adequately including issues of Murambatsvina, electoral violence, poverty,” he noted. And, therefore, “we are here to ask ourselves on the way forward rather than asking who committed what violations”. Among some of the key issues noted by Naythi were that “at times people are dead set against transitions because they are not sure what they will transition are transitioning to”. He reiterated the often mentioned point that violence is humiliating to victims as it denies victims their dignity but is equally detrimental because it contaminates the values of the perpetrators. With regards the diversity in the representation of all sectors in Zimbabwe he acknowledged participants that had attended from Harare, Nyanga, Binga, Mtoko, Gwanda and other places noting that this signified the richness of Zimbabwe’s cultural values. Mr Nyathi lamented several issues: - that there was no justification for the 3million Zimbabweans who were in the diaspora; that those who were entrusted with the task of leading should lead with honour; that there was need to strengthen the urgency of ordinary people to question the accountability of leaders. That 75% of our people cannot continue to live n abject poverty and the situation is treated as normal 1

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