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.