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CCDZ community update
Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ)
October 31, 2013

During the month of October the Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ) held community dialogue meetings in Mashonaland, Midlands and Manicaland provinces. The overall goal was to facilitate dialogue with critical stakeholders in the communities on issues concerning civic education, citizen participation, local governance and service delivery. The participants were drawn from civic and political groups, business community and ordinary citizens. In the same month, CCDZ also conducted human rights monitoring in communities following the July 31 harmonized elections which resulted in the transition from the inclusive government to a Zanu-PF dominated government.

Both community dialogue meetings and human rights monitoring revealed that there were high levels of polarization within communities compared to the era of the inclusive government. Post-election retribution is common in communities that CCDZ works. Although overt violence is uncommon, it is alleged that Zanu-PF party members are mocking the MDC supporters in their respective constituencies arguing that they should “go to Harare or Bulawayo”, the only 2 cities where the MDC won resoundingly. Some MDC-T supporters in Mazowe Central, Kwekwe, Wedza and Makoni South revealed that the post-election period is characterized by fear and uncertainty due to threats of unspecified action from war veterans.

CCDZ’s local community structures-Community Working Groups (CWGs) reported the discrimination of MDC supporters in the presidential well-wishers input scheme. The partisan distribution of agriculture inputs ahead of the agricultural season is worrying and likely to further deepen polarization within communities. One elderly woman in Murewa remarked, “Those who are known MDC-T activists are being told to go to hell”.

It has also been revealed that maize imported by the government from Zambia is being sold only to Zanu-PF card carrying members. At Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depots where maize is being sold at subsidized rates, known MDC-T activists are not allowed entry as they are told “to go and get food from America and Britain - your masters”.

The same phenomenon was observed on matters of recruitment of staff in parastals and mines where Zanu-PF has control. In Banket participants revealed that when an announcement that ZESA Banket wanted to employ 30 part-time workers was made, it was emphasized that only Zanu-PF party cadres could apply whilst in Mhondoro about 100 Zanu-PF party youths were recently employed by Zimbabwe Platinum Company through Chief Murambwa who is a known Zanu-PF supporter.

Community dialogue meetings also revealed that the majority of traditional leaders owe their allegiance to Zanu-PF and many of them are in the structures of the party. This has resulted in many perceived MDC-T supporters being left out in critical decision making processes as they are labeled traitors. Some traditional leaders believed to be sympathetic to MDC-T have been removed and replaced by those who are loyal to the party. The teaching fraternity has not been immune to politicization. Teachers in Makoni South Constituency were victimized for supporting the MDC-T during the disputed July 31st harmonized election.

In the wake of the above CCDZ is continuing with massive human rights monitoring and documentation at the same time engaging policy makers, political parties, national institutions such as Human Rights Commission and National Peace and Reconciliation Commission to address the challenges being faced by communities. The organization is also building the capacity of communities to demand accountability from their leaders and is also at the advanced stages of setting up peace monitors who will be trained in mediation, conflict management and non violent engagement.

Visit the Centre for Community Development fact sheet

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