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CCDZ community update
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
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.
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