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Truth, justice, reconciliation and national healing - Index of articles
Traditional leaders embrace peace-building education
Rights Association (ZimRights)
May 09, 2012
peace-building activities in Zaka, Masvingo have received overwhelming
interest and support from local leaders of the communities.
so far has been brought under Chief Nhema (Zaka East) and Headman
Bota of Zaka West. Underlying village heads have also received the
project with enthusiasm. Outstanding though, is the Muroyi community
where one of the meetings attracted five village heads, namely,
Murerekwa, Zarera, Mazhetese, Punhire and Shumba. The five concurred
that projects of that nature were people find time to
discuss matters of peace building and the community at large
were encouraged and necessary.
the amazing reception was the capacity to turn over the behaviour
of some leaders who used to be against the work of civic groups.
ZimRights had tried to conduct some activities in the Muroyi community
before but could not get approvals from the local authorities. Notable
is an anti-tortuture campaign workshop that lasted for less than
thirty minutes after the headman called for it's abandonment
citing purported clashes with community values. The organisation
was advised to seek approval from the district administrators first
and him (headman) before conducting its work.
a meeting held on Friday last week, village-head Mazhetese testified
that he used to be one of those people who were suspicious of ZimRights'
work and a number of civic groups. He blamed politicians for misleading
people by "painting NGOs with divisionism imagery. They lied
to people that NGOs are extensions of certain political parties."
That kind of
hesitation was experiences in many communities around the province.
The attitude presumably emanated from the "regime change agents"
tags that civic organisations have been given by some individual
politicians and consequences for any association with them. However,
as the current relationship indicates, ZimRights did not give up.
The five headmen
are registered ZimRights members and they now form part of the mobilisation
teams in their respective areas. Among the activities brought to
communities under the project include: peace-building community
workshops; follow-up public meetings; community peace clubs -
police clubs' peace building inter-community exchange sports
programs; community traditional ceremonies and provincial interactive
meetings for traditional leaders.
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