Traditional leaders take lead in peace building through nhimbes
With good relations among Traditional leaders within the same community comes social cohesion and it fosters a culture of peaceful co-existence. Zaka ward 24 is an example of a community where there were no good relations among Traditional leaders with conflicts emanating from suspicion on political affiliation amongst them. This hampered prospects for peace and development as it greatly affected the coordination of food aid and other developmental projects in the area.
A community peace club Musakaruka, established by a community that works with Heal Zimbabwe in Zaka Ward 24,carried out a conflict analysis of the area in the month of May where they noted that bad relations among the Traditional leaders in their area was hampering development and the prevalence of peace in the area. To avert this, the peace club resolved to carry out collaborative neutral platforms for each Village head in the area. The peace club first carried out a nhimbe at Village Head Mugabe and Jeturo’s field since they were some of the Village heads who were badly affected by this conflict. At the nhimbe the peace club was helping harvesting of a late maize crop and both leaders attended. The peace club utilized the nhimbes as an opportunity to preach message of peace and the importance of peaceful-co-existence in the area.
For the first time in a long time, the Village heads engaged in fruitful dialogue where they also noted that building sound social relations is key for peace and development in the area.
Village head Mutunga was full of praises for the work that the peace club has been doing in the area. ”Musakaruka peace club has done something commendable today, we are all here with our people working as one community and this shows that we can achieve anything”, he said. Village head Jeturo also acknowledged the peace club for such a good gesture of bringing unity among the Village heads.” This is an important day for our community, from now as Traditional leaders in the area, we will strive to work together in peace and harmony for the development of our area”, he said.
A nhimbe is a neutral platform where people from diverse social-economic and political groupings come together to work as a community for the common good of their community or village. It also follows the Traditional practice of bringing together people to work as one. Traditional leaders often have convening authority for such platforms.