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Bulawayo Agenda embarks on a civil society leadership development programme
Taurai Maduna, Kubatana.net
April 19, 2006

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"The challenge in Zimbabwe now is that one is not sure whether people behind the leader are following, or chasing him/her," reads one of the points in the Practical Guide for the Civil Society Leadership Development Programme being conducted by Bulawayo Agenda.

Who is going to lead the people? Are leaders bold enough to lead the people and do they have the qualities to lead the people? These are some of the issues being raised by Bulawayo Agenda whose aim is to create a sustainable platform for debate, discussion and dialogue.

Xolani Zitha, Programmes Co-ordinator said the main objective of the training programme is to replenish the denuded layer of leadership within Zimbabwean civil society. "We are not only targeting the executive levels of management but we are looking at all levels at which leadership is required," he said. listen to audio file

According to Mr Zitha, the training programme was borne out of the realisation that over the last five years a lot of leaders from civil society have had their effectiveness reduced for one reason or another. He says that one of the reasons for the weakened leadership in civil society has been their co-option into the structures of political parties. In addition some civil society leaders have been exiled due to government persecution. Bulawayo Agenda believes that some civil society organisations are weakened because their leaders sit on too many boards for other institutions and organisations.

According to Bulawayo Agenda, the preliminary stages of the training will discuss issues to do with various styles of leadership. Types and myths of leadership will also be discussed. "We want to debunk the notion that some people are born to be leaders and others are born to be followers," Mr Zitha said.

The programme will include local human rights defenders and activists drawn from both urban and rural communities from three provinces, which are Bulawayo Metropolitan, Matabeleland South and Matabeleland North.

As part of creating a vibrant platform for debate, Bulawayo Agenda has been conducting public meetings in Bulawayo on a number of topical issues, which include, elections, democracy and governance issues.

In June 2005, Bulawayo Agenda published an analysis of Operation Restore Order. They described the authorities behind the clean-up operation as, "heartless political vampires intoxicated by power, greed and protectionist philosophies."

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Audio File

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