Fear hampers progress: Heal Zim

A lack of political will is the major challenge thwarting progress in the process of national healing, according to the Director of Heal Zimbabwe Trust, Rashid Mahiya.

Issues of intimidation and national healing are exposed onstage in <em>No Voice No Choice. </em>” /><figcaption>Issues of intimidation and national healing are exposed onstage in <em>No Voice No Choice. </em></figcaption></figure>
<p>Victims of the 2008 politically motivated violence are not at liberty to discuss the issue and are suffering in silence. Mahiya was speaking on the sidelines, at the launch of the 3RD edition of the International Protests Arts Festival 2011, organized by Savanna Trust at Crown Plaza in the capital recently.</p>
<p>“Communities are still intimidated by the administrative personnel in various provinces making it even difficult for people to open up on issues of politically motivated violence,” said Mahiya.</p>
<p>“People cannot express their concerns because of fear. In some places where we have held memorial services for victims of the 2008 politically motivated violence, some District Administrators clearly indicated a partisan stance”, says Mahiya.</p>	
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<p><strong>Practice what you preach</strong></p>
<p>“Our organization has held several meetings countrywide and have realized that the gospel of peace being preached by ‘some’ politicians is not what they are practicing,” says Rashid.</p>
<p>“There is lack of political will on the part of all the political parties involved and this makes the process even more difficult.”</p>
<p>Mahiya said another challenge that Heal Zimbabwe Trust saw as negatively impacting the national healing process was lack of resources. He added that justice had not prevailed for perpetrators of violence as most of them were still in the communities and people had lost confidence in the law as a result.</p>
<p>“In areas where we held memorial services such as Buhera, Muzarabani, Chiweshe, Mt Darwin, Headlands Chimanimani, Chipinge, Zaka, Bikita, Gokwe, Mutoko, Murewa, Mudzi, Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe among others, most of the victims expressed dismay at the way perpetrators of violence have escaped the wrath of the law,” says Rashid.</p>
<p>The co-minister of the Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration, Moses Mzila-Ndlovu, last week took a swipe at Zanu (PF) for its casual approach to national healing, saying that it was making it difficult for his institution to achieve peace, justice and reconciliation.</p>
<p><strong>No voice no choice</strong></p>
<p>These issues of intimidation and fear have been portrayed onstage at the third edition of the International Protest Arts Festival organized by Savanna Trust where the play <em>No Voice No Choice</em> by Edzai Isu has been getting rave reviews.</p>
<p>The artistic and energetic fusion of music, dance and drama is written, produced and directed by independent theatre practitioner Tafadzwa Muzondo.</p>
<p>The play portrays politically motivated violence in a manner that leaves the audience in stitches. In the first scene, a woman is selling cigarettes on the roadside and a male youth is begging for one. He says he would do anything for the cigarette, but the woman refuses on the basis that this is her only source of livelihood. Her late daughter was a victim of politically motivated violence and rape who ‘blessed’ her with a fatherless grand-child.</p>
<p>The play which stars excellent and experienced performers such as Eunice Tava, Gibson Sarari, Everson Ndlovu, Tafadzwa Muzondo, Charles Biniweri, Livius Chitsungo, Sandiseque Sandiseque and dancers cum actresses Charlotte Munyanyi and Beauty Majira seeks to open dialogue around issues of transitional justice at a grassroots level.</p>
<p>The play enlightens youths on how to desist from being used in political violence and concentrate on personal and community development. No Voice No Choice seeks to encourage a community that commits itself to shunning all forms of violence.</p>
<p>Tafadzwa Muzondo, writer, and Director of the play says the core objective of the play is to instigate participation of all Zimbabweans, especially the youths, in the electoral process without fear of victimization.</p>
<p>“It is important that as artists we encourage truth telling about political violence from both a victim and perpetrator’s point of view. This ensures that we are promoting a culture of tolerance and a violence-free environment,” said Muzondo.</p>
<p>Edzai IsuTheatre Arts Project and Zvido Zvevanhu Arts Ensemble are set to perform at the Best of the Best Community Theatre Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa on November 12 and 13.</p>

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