National Peace & Reconciliation Commission Bill

VERITAS NOTE: THE NATIONAL PEACE AND RECONCILIATION BILL WAS WITHDRAWN ON TUESDAY 10TH MAY, 2016 BY THE MINISTER OF STATE IN VICE PRESIDENT MPHOKO'S OFFICE, HON TABITHA KANENGONI. THE WITHDRAWAL WAS MADE IN TERMS OF STANDING ORDER 157. HON KANENGONI CITED THE BILL'S ADVERSE REPORT ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE AS ONE REASON FOR THE WITHDRAWAL, SEE MORE INFO ON THIS WITHDRAWAL IN COMMISSIONS WATCH 5/2016

The NEW National Peace and Reconciliation Bill has been drafted, and gazetted on 10 February, 2017 (as House Bill 2 of 2017). This NEW version of the Bill is available at this link.

NATIONAL PEACE AND RECONCILIATION BILL, 2015

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

This Bill seeks to give effect to sections 251, 252 and 253 of the Constitution which provide for the establishment and composition of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, its functions and its reports of the commission, respectively.

Clause 1

This clause sets out the Bill's short title and date of commencement.

Clause 2

This clause contains definitions of words and phrases used throughout the Bill.

Clause 3

This clause provides that members of the Commission shall be appointed by the President and sets out the qualities required of the appointees. It further provides for gender equality in the membership of the Commission. According to this clause at any given time the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson shall be of opposite genders. The Vice-Chairperson's performance shall be reviewed by the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders whereas the pertormance of the Chairperson shall be reviewed by the Committee and the Judicial Services Commission. A member shall serve for a five year term and be eligible for reappointment for not more than one term. Further administrative provisions applicable to the commission are containecl in the First Schedule.

Clauses 4 and 5

The Commission shall enjoy the independence provided for in terms of section 235 of the Constitution. The Commission shall have a seal for use as occasion may require and tlre design may be prescribed by the President by proclamation in the Gazette. The seal shall be kept in the custody of the Chief Executive Officer.

Clause 6

This clause sets out the functions of the Commission which include investigating of disputes and conflicts, making recommendations for conflict prevention, management and resolution and any other duties assigned to it through this or another statute. Ancillary powers of the commission are contained in the Second schedule.

Clause 7

This clause elaborates on the Commission's investigative function.

Clause 8

This clause sets out the procedure of conducting investigations and empowers Commission to issue summons to any person to attend and produce evidence related to any investigation. The clause also relieves the Commission fiom adherence strict rules of evidence. However the law relating to the competence and compellability of any person on the grounds of privilege to give any evidence shall apply. The Commission will also request the services of the police where necessary. The identities of witnesses who testified in a closed hearing will not be disclosed. Any unauthorised disclosure will be penalised.

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