Residents Voices Issue 74

Youths to Hold Peace Concert

YOUTHS from Nketa high density suburb (ward 24) will this afternoon (Friday 30 March 2012) hold a Creative Arts Peace Concert aimed at sensitising young people on issues of peace building and the importance of not engaging in violence. The conference will be held at Nketa Hall from 1pm to 5pm. In an interview, the organiser of the event, Mpumelelo Ncube, who is the Secretary for Youth in the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) committee for ward 24 said the conference will educate youths on peace building through music, theatre, poetry and dance.

He said he had enlisted help from a faith based organisation called Grace to Heal which provided funding for the venue, printed fliers for the concert and provided T-shirts. Ncube said he organised the concert after realising that young people are excluded in peace initiatives. “The idea is to have young people involved in critical initiatives such as peace building. This concert thus seeks to enhance young people’s participation in such national issues,” Ncube said.

Residents take a stand against open air worshippers

Residents in Bulawayo’s ward 23 (Nkulumane 12), recently took a stand against open air worshippers when they evicted them from their area, engaged in a clean-up of undesignated worship areas and burnt cloths and other refuse that open air worshipers had left strewn on the ground. The residents were mobilized by the ward 23 Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) committee which is chaired by Ms Eve Jamela.

According to the residents, open air worshipping had become a major cause for concern to them as it was negatively affecting the environment. The residents held a meeting which was attended by 98 members of the community where it was resolved that the open air worshippers had to be evicted. The residents said while they respect everyone’s freedom of worship, they felt that open air worshippers were posing a health threat as they do not have ablution facilities and thus pollute the bush. They called upon the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to do something to ensure that open air worshippers construct toilets and have access to clean water before they are allowed to congregate.

BPRA Launches Peace Project

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) has launched a project called the Residents Building Peaceful Communities Project which aims at creating a culture of tolerance and peaceful coexistence among residents. Under the project, BPRA will host community dialogue meetings in all constituencies in Bulawayo at which residents, major political parties, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and civil society representatives will meet to discuss critical issues to do with fostering peace and harmony among residents with differing political and cultural ideologies.

The community dialogue meetings will place emphasis on plenary sessions that will allow residents and other stakeholders to share their experiences with violence, their views on peace building and their expectations from the Organ on National Healing, the government and other stakeholders in peace building. Under the project, BPRA will also hold two democracy fairs that will constitute of concerts featuring various artists. The concerts will be used to spread information on peace building to the youth.

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