Sustainable Development Goal number 16 provides for peace and justice. This important goal seeks to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provides access to justice for all and builds effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. As part of its contribution to the realization of SDG 16, Heal Zimbabwe conducted social accountability trainings for its Community Action Accountability Teams (CAATs) in Masvingo province.
The participants were drawn from two District of Masvingo namely Gutu and Zaka .CAATs are women led community teams established by communities that work with Heal Zimbabwe with a diverse socio-economic and political membership.CAATs help to build peace, community participation and demand social accountability from duty bearers. Issues that came out during the trainings include the absence of safe platforms for women to demand social accountability and the lack of political will on the part of elected officials to respect and uphold fundamental human rights and freedoms such as political rights that is provided for in section 67 of the constition.This provision gives citizens the right to join, form or participate in the activities of a political party of their choice.
As part of solutions to mitigate challenges raised, CAATs resolved to raise awareness on social accountability and create platforms to engage duty bearers on pertinent issues to do with social accountability. Added to this, CAATs also resolved to facilitate for women in the two districts to report cases of human rights violations to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC), a commission mandated to promote awareness and respect for human rights and freedoms at all levels in society. The social accountability trainings come at a time when Heal Zimbabwe through its community peace structures in the 210 constituencies has intensified social accountability meetings that seek to hold duty bearers to account. The accountability platforms also seek to enhance community level participation and entrench a culture of accountability among duty bearers.