On 25 th October Commissioner Rev Charles Masunungure convened another multistakeholder dialogue meeting at Roman Catholic Church Rushing Growth Point. Commissioner Patience Chiradza supported her collegue at this event.
Objectives of the Meeting
The main objectives of this meeting were:
- To facilitate dialogue among political parties as well as communities in accordance with section 252 (d) of the constitution.
- To identify any areas of post election conflict between political parties.
- To come up with possible solutions to the issues being raised.
- To set up a District Peace Committee for Rushinga.
Invitations had been extended to the two political parties that had contested in Rushinga Constituency namely ZANU PF and MDC Alliance. Also invited were CSOs, NGOs, Church, Traditional leaders, Government Departments and State Security institutions. A total of 200 participants attended the meeting. All the 25 Wards were well represented by 3 people each from ZANU PF and MDC respectively. The NPRC was represented by Commissioner Masunungure (in his capacity as the Mash Central Focal Person) and Commissioner Chiradza (in her capacity as the Chairperson of the Prevention and Non Recurrence Committee). Two third year students from Bindura University of Science Education Department of Peace who are on internship with the NPRC assisted with secretariat work.
Logistical support was provided by Heal Zimbabwe Trust, a CSO involved in Peace building in Mashonaland Central.
The programme started with an opening prayer from the Pastors Fraternity followed by opening remarks from Commissioner Masunungure who highlighted the structure and functions of the NPRC and then speeches by sector representatives, group discussions, a plenary session and way forward. The representatives of all stakeholders present had an opportunity to make presentations in solidarity with address by the Commissioner Masunungure. Commissioner Chiradza then explained the concept of prevention and non recurrence as well as the process of group discussions before delegates were grouped according to constituencies for purposes of group discussion. Seven groups were set up. The first five groups comprised of 15 ZANU PF and 15 MDC members drawn from the twenty five wards. The other three groups were of the traditional leaders, churche leaders and civil servants. Each group was tasked to identify issues affecting peaceful co-existence and social cohesion as well as proposed remedies. Each group made its presentation after which Commissioner Chiradza facilitated the formation of the Rushinga District Peace Committee. The Committee had representatives from political parties, women, youth, people with disabilities and government. CSO/NGO requested to be allowed to seek clearance from their superiors before they could second a representative into the peace committee.
Appropriate recommendations for peace building measures
In line with issues raised during group meetings the following recommendations were made to the NPRC:
- There is need to setup a food and inputs distribution committees that comprise of both parties ie ZANU PF and MDC party so as to promote fair distributions.
- There should be a difference between government and political party programs in communities.
- Truth telling gatherings should be conducted so as to facilitate healing and forgiveness processes in order for the community to unite and function as one.
- Both political leaders and community leaders should exercise their authority with transparency
- Development meetings should be separated from political meetings and should be attended by everyone regardless of the political party someone belongs to.
- There is need for awareness campaigns in educating people on their political and social rights and also on how power is to be exercised.