Heal Zimbabwe has intensified training of Duty Bearers across the country with the objective of inculcating key principles of leadership, accountability and good governance. From 22-23 September 2018, the organization conducted 2 social accountability trainings for 52 Duty Bearers in Buhera and Chipinge.
Among the Duty Bearers who attended the trainings included Councillors, Village heads, irrigation farm committees and School Development committee members. The Duty Bearers hailed the organization for initiating such trainings and further highlighted that social care, respect for human rights and swiftness to resolve community problems are essential qualities of a good leadeship.The Duty Bearers further noted that being accountable help earn respect and support which help stifle development in their communities.
One of the participants, a Village Head from Chipinge added that since traditional leaders are custodians of cultural value especially the family, there was need to revive traditional social security mechanisms such as Zunde raMambo/Isiphala seNkosi to cushion disadvantaged families especially women and children from ultra poverty and other forms of vulnerabilities.”During difficult periods especially prolonged droughts, as Traditional leaders, we need to revive cultural practices such as Zunde raMambo so that we help vulnerable groups such as women and children”, he said. A School Development Committee (SDC) member from Buhera further implored leaders to remain guided by fundamental human rights enshrined in the constitution when serving and further highlighted that SDCs should prioritize and help in the promotion of children’s right to education as espoused in Section 75 of the constitution whilst hospitals and Village Health Workers should set targets in relation to the right to health care underlined in Section 76 of the constitution. “Likewise, leaders in those sectors should be free to be held to account to such constitutional provisions that help to safeguard the promotion and enjoyment of human rights”, he said.
As a way forward the leaders resolved to continue upholding principles of accountability and good governance as this helps to attain development. Heal Zimbabwe will continue to work with the 52 trained community leaders in ensuring that they effectively serve their constituencies, in a participatory, inclusive and transparent manner. It is to this effect that the organization has lined up a series of dialogue platforms that will improve issues of transparency and accountability. More Duty bearers’ trainings are lined up in areas such as Tsholotsho and Gokwe .
Heal Zimbabwe strongly condemns the intraparty violence experienced at the Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial headquarters, Davis Hall on the 21st of May 2017. According to State media, the violence broke out after a group of ZANU PF supporters opposed to ZANU PF National Commissar; Savior Kasukuwere disrupted a Provincial Co-ordinating Committee (PCC) that was being chaired by ZANU PF Provincial leader, Dennis Ndlovu arguing that the meeting was unsanctioned. This then led to a confrontation between ZANU PF’s two factions violently clashing. The violence saw ZANU PF District Chairperson Magamura Charumbira and Youth League Chairperson Anna Mokgohloa stabbed and assaulted respectively by youths and alleged war veterans during the clashes.
Heal Zimbabwe is therefore concerned with such levels of political intolerance within political parties. It is such intolerance that poses a serious threat to the prevalence of peace particularly as the nation prepares for the 2018 elections. Further cause for concern is that, the violent clashes in Bulawayo come hardly a month after ZANU PF youths disrupted World Health Day commemorations in Epworth claiming that the commemorations were being held on a piece of land belonging to ZANU PF. This was despite the fact that the meeting had a police clearance. It shows that activists within the revolutionary party are beginning to show a tendency of resorting to violence in matters that simply require peaceful resolution.
Heal Zimbabwe implores the police to apprehend and enforce the law by bringing to book all perpetrators of violence. Heal Zimbabwe further urges all political parties to reign in on their supporters so that they desist from perpetrating violence.
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Heal Zimbabwe is greatly concerned with the recent insensitive public remarks made by Vice President Mphoko on Gukurahundi. The organisation believe that the victims and survivors of Gukurahundi deserve a remorseful apology than insults from the Vice President.
Truth telling is one of the key pillars of Transitional Justice, but the Vice President who is also the Minister responsible for National Healing and Reconciliation has decided to ignore the truth and manipulate facts towards his unpardonable selfish interests. As the voice of survivors and victims of violence, Heal Zimbabwe implores political leaders and the Government to encourage truth telling –objective truth, narrative truth and forensic truth.
In the hearts and souls of the victims and survivors of violence, the VP’s insensitive remarks affirm his unfitting importance to lead the National Healing and Reconciliation portfolio. In fact, the challenge that stands in the way for true National Healing and Reconciliation is that the institutions and systems that perpetrated violence, torture and gross human rights violence have become the attempted spokespersons of the survivors.
Instead of making a public apology for and on behalf of the current Government and the then ruling party, the state has decided to call the genocide a “conspiracy”. The Gukurahundi massacre is a test case –by refusing to acknowledge and offer a public apology, the Government in a way is forcing people to forget the atrocities without healing their wounds. However, only healed living memories of individuals and the public are vital in facilitating transitional justice.
VP Mphoko, justifying the death of over 20 000 people under the guise of conspiracy –that never was –is intolerable, particularly in a country that purports to be democratic. To worsen matters, the shocking remarks come at a time when the 2008 survivors of political violence and torture are eagerly waiting for justice from the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC).
In the strict sense, Heal Zimbabwe strongly opposes any attempts to force the masses to forget the past without thorough truth telling, justice, healing and reconciliation. The organisation implores Public Office bearers and Government leaders to desist from manipulating the truth at the expense of the masses. The trauma that the Gukurahundi victims suffered, directly or otherwise, continues to haunt their lives. Therefore, the NPRC must be expeditiously established and the Government must be committed to full transitional justice without distortions to history.