Latest News and Update from Heal Zimbabwe
The Parliament of Zimbabwe published dates for public Hearings on the NPRC Bill. The new NPRC Bill was gazetted on 10 February 2017. Heal Zimbabwe welcomes the move by Parliament to take the new Bill for public scrutiny as stipulated by the law. This move gives citizens another opportunity to check if their concerns that led to the rejection of the first Bill have been addressed. Heal Zimbabwe hereby encourage all citizens in the however few selected areas to check schedule of hearings below and participate in the hearings.
Heal Zimbabwe maintains that under the current political environment, it is very difficult to have a comprehensive Peace and reconciliation process that meet the expectations of the victim whilst addressing the fears of the perpetrator. Heal Zimbabwe however encourages citizens, victims in particular to be involved in the process that seek to at least address the ills of the past. Find below schedule for the NPRC bill public hearings.
NATIONAL PEACE AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION BILL H.B. 2, 2017
The Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, the Thematic Committee on Human Rights and the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security will hold Public Hearings on the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill H.B.2, 2017 from the 13th to the 18th of March 2017. The Committees will be divided into two (2) groups and will cover various areas as follows:
|Date||Place||Venue||Time of Public Hearing|
|13 March 2017||Victoria Falls
|14 March 2017||Bulawayo
|Bulawayo Large City Hall||1000hrs|
|15 March 2017||Plumtree||TMB Hall i.e. Plumtree Town Council Hall||1100hrs
|16 March 2017||Gweru||Gweru Civic Centre
|13 March 2017||Masvingo||Masvingo Civic Centre Hall||1000hrs|
|14 March 2017
|Mutare||Mutare Civic Centre Hall||1000hrs|
|15 March 2017||Marondera||Marondera- Mbuya Nehanda Hall Dombotombo
|16 March 2017
|Date||Place||Venue||Time of Public Hearing|
|17 March 2017||Chinhoyi||Cookesy Hall||1200hrs|
|18 March 2017||Harare||Ambassador Hotel : Corner 2nd and Kwame Nkrumah||1000hrs|
ALL THOSE WHO WILL BE PUTTING ON MILITARY UNIFORMS, SIGNS OF RANKS, FLAGS OR BADGES AND POLITICAL PARTY REGALIA WILL NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE PUBLIC HEARING.
The public, interested groups and organizations are invited to attend these hearings. Written submissions and correspondences are welcome and should be addressed to:
Count Down To International Women’s Day Commemorations...
As the world prepares to commemorate the International Women’s Day on the 8th of March 2017 under the theme #BeBoldForChange, Heal Zimbabwe brings you inroads it has made in empowering women that it works with in target communities. Women remain at the centre of Heal Zimbabwe programming and have defied cultural norms and boundaries by taking a lead in building peaceful and prosperous communities. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 5 calls for Gender Equality. The objective of this goal is to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in the public and private spheres. It is in pursuit of this goal that Heal Zimbabwe prioritizes women in its programming.
Over the years, Heal Zimbabwe has worked with women from diverse political affiliations and social groupings in an effort to ensure that they participate as equal partners with men in democratic processes, peace building and conflict transformation within their communities. Due to patriarchal barriers, women and girls are usually excluded from decision making and participation in economic, social and political spheres. Political violence from past elections has also demoralized women to take leading roles in participating in democratic processes and building peace.
To bridge this gap, Heal Zimbabwe established 15 Women Safe Spaces for Reconciliation (WSSR), 4 Community Accountability Action Teams (CAATs) and 3 women led Community Based Organizations (CBOs), in 15 districts of Zimbabwe, areas susceptible to politically motivated violence. The 15 WSSR have been established in areas such as Muzarabani, Murehwa, Mutoko, Gutu, Buhera, Mazowe, Makoni, Mutasa, Tsholotsho, Mbire, Muzarabani, Zaka, Bikita and Gokwe South and Gokwe North. WSSR are groups of women from diverse political affiliations, cultural and religious backgrounds who work together to build tolerance and transform conflict within their communities. These women carry out various activities that include collaborative neutral platforms (nhimbes), community dialogues, mediation sessions, clean up campaigns, sports for peace, door to door meetings, public accountability platforms targeting diverse people in the community in an effort to build social cohesion, peace and tolerance.
In pursuit of the goal to empower women to become peace champions within their communities, Heal Zimbabwe trained the women in conflict mediation, stakeholder analysis and conflict mapping. The women leaders were capacitated with knowledge to conduct conflict analysis, mapping and mediation. The women meet fortnightly to discuss peace building and conflict transformation issues as well as other developmental and social issues affecting societal unity in their communities. When they meet, they do conflict mapping and analysis identifying root causes of conflict and key stakeholders involved. This informs the type of intervention to employ.
The WSSR have managed to engage several stakeholders within their communities holding duty bearers to account and mobilizing fellow women rights holders to participate in community processes that bring development and social change. A total of 702 duty bearers have been engaged who include Legislators, Senators, traditional leaders, local authorities, church leaders, health centers committees, Schools Development Committees, members of the police, Village Development Committees (VIDCOs) and Ward Development Committees (WADCOs). The WSSR also run small income generating projects that allows them to be economically empowered and also act as rallying points for the teams to meet regularly.
Besides WSSR, Heal Zimbabwe has also established 4 Community Accountability Action Teams (CAAT) in Masvingo province namely in Gutu, Zaka and Bikita Districts. The main objective of CAATs is to raise awareness on basic human rights using the human rights approach where they seek to empower local communities to know their rights and hold duty bearers to account. The CAATs have carried out several training of trainers meetings , door to door, clean up campaigns and community interface meetings. The trickling down of information on constitutional rights and obligations saw an increase in the number of young women participating in Council budgetary consultation meetings, SDC meetings, feedback meetings with Councillors, MPs and Senators. Interface accountability meetings which were held with duty bearers and attended by community members discussed among other things, the partisan distribution of food aid, abuse of Constituency development funds and social service delivery challenges. The CAATs managed to reach 3 000 community members and 201 Traditional leaders.
HZT also works with 3 women led Community Based Organizations (CBO). These are Kuyanana Garden of peace from Gokwe North, Kushinga Community Development Trust from Gutu and Kubatana Women’s trust from Mutoko. These CBOs were already existing organizations before being capacitated by Heal Zimbabwe to mainstream peace building in their day to day activities .The CBOs provide a platform for women to meet and discuss community issues affecting women. The CBOs have managed to mediate conflict cases within their communities varying from domestic violence cases, political disputes, unfair food distribution cases, land disputes etc. They have also managed to create platforms were conflicting parties meet and mend relations. These CBOs have been instrumental in mobilizing other women to participate in democratic processes through awareness raising and confidence building exercises. The CBO members also play the watch dog role by monitoring and reporting cases of human right abuses and violations to Heal Zimbabwe.
Heal Zimbabwe also created 67 community peace clubs in the target communities with half of the composition being women. The peace clubs are responsible for promoting peace and conflict transformation targeting everyone in the communities. Through these structures, women have taken a leading role in mediating conflicts and building peace in their communities. In line with this year’s Womens day theme, Women groups working with Heal Zimbabwe have demonstrated that they are bold for change within their communities in as far as building peaceful communities is concerned. To commemorate this important day, the women led groups have lined up several peace building initiatives in their communities which shall run concurrently on the 8th of March 2017.
The women led groups shall also be influential and at the forefront in mobilizing citizens to vote in peace under the Heal Zimbabwe National Peace Campaign to be launched next month.
Heal Zimbabwe envisions a peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe that celebrates diversity in local communities. The organisation seeks to facilitate community healing, reconciliation, build peace and social justice through transforming conflicts in local communities.
Click on the link below to download the Mwenezi East Constituency review
Heal Zimbabwe expresses grave concern over reports of intimidation of citizens recorded in Mwenezi East constituency ahead of the 08 April 2017 by election. On 8 January 2017, ZANU PF ward 4 Chairperson, Tobias Mahowa, held a meeting at Chimbudzi business Centre. At the meeting, he encouraged people to register to vote as soon as voter registration for the by election commences. Mahowa also announced that as soon as people finish registering, they should all proceed to his homestead and show him their registration slips. He also pointed out that if people defy his orders, ZANU PF was going to unleash a terror campaign on anyone who defies the order. On the same day, In ward 2, ZANU PF youths led by their ward Vice Chairperson, Ezra Mashindi moved around the ward threatening people that on 15 February 2017 they should all go to the ward centre and purchase ZANU PF membership cards that cost $3. The youths announced that anyone who defies the order will not receive any food aid that comes into the ward.
In ward 5, ZANU PF ward chairperson, Pinias Shoko also addressed a rally at Chingani Primary school on 8 February 2017 and warned that if people fail to register to vote in the coming by election, ZANU PF was going to unleash violence on people. Shoko also announced that he has already deployed a team of ZANU PF youths in the ward to compile names of people and their identity numbers so that he can monitor when the voter registration process commences.
Heal Zimbabwe notes that such practices and threats ahead of the by election, are a total disregard of constitutional provision 67 which provides for political rights. The said provision states that “every citizen has the right to form, join and to participate in the activities of a political party of their choice”. Section 156 of the constitution also compel Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to eliminate electoral violence and other electoral malpractices.
Heal Zimbabwe implores the Government of Zimbabwe(G.O.Z) to pursue the fulfillment of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 which promotes peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development by calling for peace, calm and tolerance ahead of the Mwenezi East constituency by election. Heal Zimbabwe will implement several peace awareness programs in the constituency in order to encourage peaceful participation. Through its resident trained human rights monitors in every ward, Heal Zimbabwe shall, in collaboration with Election Resource Centre (ERC) and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association(ZimRights) continue to monitor the electoral environment, engage with relevant constitutional bodies and institutions right from registration process, campaign, voting day and post-election processes in order to encourage free, fair and peaceful elections.
Heal Zimbabwe observed that the balloting day was undoubtedly peaceful, albeit few
incidences of intimidation. Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the Police were able
to maintain order within polling stations and broadly within the constituency. Only violations
were recorded that involved intimidation and recording of people’s at the polling station.
However, the political environment before the polling day was outstandingly polarised with
intimidation (56%), vote buying1 and partisan distribution of food aid and farming inputs
(21%). There were also isolated cases of assault (1%), disrupted political gatherings (1%),
forced attendance to political gatherings (12%) and destruction of campaign materials (9%)
Click on the link below to download the Bikita West by election report
In the month of June 2015, Peace clubs that have been formed by communities working with Heal Zimbabwe Trust have made strides in propagating the message of Peace through neutral collaborative platforms (Nhimbes
These nhimbes have managed to bring people from different political parties and backgrounds to work together for the common good of their communities. The main objective of the nhimbes is to bring people together and foster a culture of tolerance within communities where people from diverse cultures and political affiliations can work together.
In Mazowe, Ward 9, Chikukwa Peace club held several nhimbes in Chikukwa and Majanga village. The nhimbes involved constructing 4 fowl runs for chickens for other community members. The peace club also initiated community programmes for women which were being held under the theme, “Positioning Young Women for Community Transformation”. At these meetings, 60 women participated. These programmes were aimed at leveraging the vital role that women play in peace building. These meetings received a lot of appreciation from community members who hailed Chikukwa peace club for affording women the opportunity to take a leading role in peace building.
In Mbire Ward 9, Nokutenda Peace club has been propagating the message of peace through peace gardens where community members from diverse backgrounds meet and work in the gardens. Besides the economic gain derived from the garden, the peace gardens offer a neutral platform for community members where they cement social relationships and foster a culture of tolerance among community members.
In Mudzi North Ward 9, Fountain of Hope Peace Club has been carrying out road maintenance activities such as filling gulleys with stones for easy access and transportation. Such initiatives have led local Headmen in the area, Chatima and Chirapu to donate a piece of land to the Peace club as a way of appreciating its work. The land shall be used for community gardening purposes.
In Chipinge South Ward 27, Vheneka Peace club has managed to gain acceptance in the community since local traditional leaders have taken a leading role to organise and participate in some of the Peace club’s activities. When the Peace Club was formed, many people were not keen to join due to fear that is associated with participating in activities of large groupings in communities. The presence and participation of traditional leaders has made it easier for ordinary villagers to join the peace club. At these nhimbes, Traditional leaders highlight the need to uphold peace within the communities as these bring development. Some of the initiatives the club has undertaken are road maintenance, blair toilets refurbishment, and clean up campaigns.
A nhimbe is a traditional practice where communities work together to complete a certain task that is beneficial to the community at large. Community members commended HZT for initiating the formation of peace clubs in their communities. The nhimbes have also acted as platforms where community members get an opportunity to discuss about the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) and unpack its roles and mandate. Such platforms go a long way in bringing communities together, building a culture of tolerance and social cohesion among community members.
Heal Zimbabwe Trust condemns the beating up of a seasoned human rights activist, Mr. Sydney Chisi the Director of YIDEZ last Friday, 17 April 2015. Mr. Chisi was brutally assaulted by more than 10 riot policemen during the anti-xenophobic protests. Mr Chisi’s only crime was protesting against the barbaric xenophobic attacks currently taking place in South Africa. Such actions by law enforcement agents are a serious human rights violation that must be stopped because Mr. Chisi was treated in a cruel, degrading and inhuman manner. Heal Zimbabwe demands that the perpetrators be held to account for violating his rights.
Additionally, HZT notes with concern how the same law enforcement agents that are mandated to protect and uphold citizen rights are actually the ones perpetrating violence. Such actions also witnessed in the past especially throughout election periods, have robbed and will continue to rob people’s confidence in the state institutions mandated to protect them.
Heal Zimbabwe Trust therefore calls for the Government and relevant state authorities to take action against the continued use of force and violence by security agents. There is never an excuse for police to use excessive force and violence against peaceful protests thus the need to put an end to such behaviour. Let us remember that it is every Zimbabweans responsibility to uphold peace from the community level up to national level because “…Peace begins with you; peace begins with me; peace begins with us all…”
Heal Zimbabwe expresses grave concern over the voter intimidation that is taking place in Tsholotsho North ahead of the by-elections slated for the 10th of June 2015. On the 7th of April 2015, Chief Matupula from Ward 6 Tsholotsho North, summoned headmans Mahlaba, Mcetshwa and Mlevu to his homestead. At the meeting, he threatened them with unspecified action if the villagers under their jurisdiction fail to vote resoundingly for Professor Jonathan Moyo, who is the ZANU PF candidate for the Tsholotsho North by-election.
Section 281 of the Constitution states that, “Traditional leaders must act in accordance with the constitution.” The same section states that,” they must not be members of any political party, participate in partisan politics or further the interests of any political party”. The action by Chief Matupula is a direct violation of the constitution and peoples’ political and fundamental rights as no one should be compelled to vote for anyone. The people in Tsholotsho North have the right to make their own political choices and are free to participate in any political party of their choice without being ordered or forced.
Heal Zimbabwe calls on the Government to take action against political players who abuse traditional leaders to further selfish interests and ensure that the forthcoming by-elections are held in a free, fair and peaceful environment as guaranteed by the Constitution.
Chirumhanzu –Zibagwe constituency
In Chirumhanzu -Zibagwe ward 13 at Blink Water polling station the turnout was low throughout the day. A group of 5 ZANU PF women’s league members were seen sitting 500m from the polling station taking down names of the people who were coming from voting at the polling station. One of the women is identified as Ms Fazilimandi. Besides that the voting process was peaceful.
Ward 14In Chirumhanzu ward 14 at Mushayabvudzi Shopping Centre polling station, Christopher Chibaya, a ZANU PF polling agent was taking down names of people who came to vote. Mr Chibaya is an ex-soldier.
In Chirumhanzu ward 24, people are voting at Athens Mine polling station and St Theresa polling station. The ward councillor Irene Girini, Mr Tembo and Mr Jere all well-known ZANU PF supporters were going around Athens farm compound clad in ZANU PF regalia checking who voted and who did not and in the process threatening people with unspecified action if they ever found out who voted for the independent candidates or the opposition parties i.e. the NCA, People’s party and Transform Zimbabwe.
In Mt Darwin at Sosera and Chiromo Primary Schools ward 16, the voting process is going on well people are voting in peace although the turnout is very low.
In Mt Darwin Ward 17 at Chiutsa Primary School polling station the voting process is going on well. People are voting in peace and the turnout was good especially in the morning.
Heal Zimbabwe Trust calls for the holding of free, fair and peaceful by-elections in Mt Darwin and Chirumhanzu-Zibagwe constituencies today. This comes at the background of reports the organization received from its human rights monitors in the 2 constituencies that the pre-election period was marred by intra-party terror campaigns within ZANU-PF.
Today, HZT human rights monitors reported that the by-elections in Mt Darwin West and Chirumhanzu have kicked off and of concern is the situation in ward 17, in Mt Darwin where Mr. Munyuki, Dotito District Chairperson, is force-marching people to polling stations at Mudzengerere and Dotito Primary School. Similar reports of threats and intimidation are also coming from ward 20 and 21 in the same constituency. No incidences of harassment and intimidation have been recorded yet in Chirumhanzu today.
There is therefore need to realize that each and every citizen has the right to vote for candidates of their choice in a free and fair manner as granted in section 67 of the Zimbabwean Constitution. The constitution stipulates that all Zimbabweans have the right to vote, campaign and participate in any political activity in a peaceful manner. Further, the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections whose umbrella organization Zimbabwe is not only a member of but is currently chairing, also encourages peaceful political participation and the right to vote in a free and fair manner.
Heal Zimbabwe, therefore, urges the police and other relevant authorities to take immediate action and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book. This will ensure that citizens have trust and confidence in the election processes as well as the outcome. Given this, It is the responsibility of every citizen to observe and maintain peace because “…peace begins with you, peace begins with me, peace begins with us all…”