Our week in retrospect……….

Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (ZIMCET) is escalating its efforts to build an empowered and informed citizenry. On 18 May 2016, ZIMCET in partnership with Heal Zimbabwe Trust (HZT) conducted a capacity building workshop for traditional leaders from Zaka and Bikita District at Nyuni Mountain Lodge in Masvingo.

Group photo after the training

Group photo after the training

The workshop sought to raise awareness of traditional leaders on constitutionally provided independent commissions supporting democracy, in particular the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC).

In addition, the workshop deliberated on the functions of traditional leaders as articulated in Chapter 15 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. A total of 29 traditional leaders (village heads, headmen and chief’s representatives) were in attendance.

The traditional leaders bemoaned political interference in their work especially during elections. One village head lamented “who will protect the rights of village heads?” The trained traditional leaders from Bikita and Zaka declared that they were going to be guided by the Constitution in dealing with political party leaders who were bent on manipulating them.

Traditional leaders also discussed their role in promoting, respecting and protecting human rights as well as promoting community healing and peace in their respective communities. To this end the traditional leaders pledged to be ambassadors of human rights promotion and peace in their communities.

A call was made by the traditional leaders for ZIMCET and HZT to undertake such trainings on a wider scale as they believed traditional leaders across the country would benefit from the training. They also invited the two organisations to visit their traditional courts (dare) in the two districts and speak to communities on human rights and peace.

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