In a move that is expected to build social cohesion and peace in Makoni ward 12, a peace club established by a community that works with Heal Zimbabwe, Tasimuka peace club has utilised its collaborative neutral platforms (nhimbes) to encourage community leaders to pledge for peace ahead of the 2018 elections.
On 06 February 2017, Tasimuka peace club organised a nhimbe that ran under the theme, ”I am a Peace Champion”. The nhimbe saw the peace club mobilise 85 community members to fill in potholes of a road that leads to a local school, Mupoperi Primary school. In attendance were Village heads Chitsa, Mupoperi and Musariri. Ward Councillor Obert Gonzo, who is also the peace club chairperson also attended.
In his address, Councillor Gonzo highlighted the importance of maintaining peace as it helps build social cohesion.”We cannot overlook the importance of peace in our communities, peaceful communities bring social cohesion and development, he said. Village head Mupoperi also weighed in encouraging community members that building peace was the responsibility of everyone.”Prevalence of peace is everyone’s responsibility therefore everyone should play his or her part to ensure that we have peaceful elections. In the past we have realised that if we are divided along political lines, our efforts towards peace do not yield much”, he said
As part of pledging to uphold peace in the area, some community members and leaders appended their signatures to a banner as a commitment to maintain peace ahead of the 2018 elections. The peace club banner will be the peace club’s advocacy tool to campaign for peaceful elections in the area. The peace pledges will also be used by the peace club to make follow up on community members and leaders on the need to maintain peace in local communities.
Heal Zimbabwe has been using nhimbes in local communities to bring communities together thus rebuilding relations and promoting tolerance. The process has contributed immensely towards improved community cohesion and have helped reduce conflicts and violence.