A local NGO brings together community members and ZRP to foster unity ahead of 2023 elections – NewZimbabwe.com
By Staff Reporter
Election season is an extremely challenging time for communities and law enforcement agencies in Zimbabwe especially in the rural areas, usually characterised by clashes.
This year’s 26 March by-elections provided a glimpse of that as civilians clashed numerous times with law enforcement agents during political gatherings.
This has always widened the gap between police agencies and the communities.
However, non-governmental local organisation 4-H Zimbabwe has committed itself to change the tide and narrative by creating initiatives that foster unity between civilians and law enforcement agents.
Wednesday, 4-H Zimbabwe hosted a community peace talk discussion in Macheke, in which they brought the community and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) together.
“One of our thematic areas as an organization is to push for peace, so as we head for the coming 2023 election we felt it is wise to engage the law enforcers which are the police in this instance and come up with social programs between them and the community members.
“The public should not fear the police but rather they should know that the police are there to protect them and help in maintaining social order but the only way citizens can appreciate this is through educating and informing them, which is why we are here,” said 4-H Zimbabwe director John Muchenje.
The event provided a platform for a community interface with ZRP speaking on some of the challenges they face during election season and in the process also gave citizens a chance to air their worries with the law enforcers, through sport.
Muchenje said, “Sport is a unifier that we all know, so as an organization we saw it wise to include it as part of our program.
“We believe both parties involved will have their relationship improved as they play these games.”
The NGO Zimbabwe has been working around the country to promote peace. A fortnight ago they launched a student for peace campaign at the University of Bindura Science Education which aims to end the use of students by political leaders as tools for violence.
Among a plethora of its initiatives 4-H Zimbabwe has been supporting communal farmers in rural areas to adopt smart agriculture farming by providing knowledge, skill and equipment.
Ward 29 councilor in Macheke Kurayi Hoyi applauded 4-H for their initiative which seeks to foster peace in the community at the same time creating a relationship between law enforcement forces and the people.
“We are happy with what 4-H is doing in our area. They have been helping our local farmers and now they are pushing for peace which we believe is key in our community. The platform they created today helped to promote peace and cohesion within the community.
“We are happy we had members of the Police with us which is a very good thing because both parties went as far as playing sporting games together, this ensured that the police community interacted with the public which I believe is a good way of promoting sustainable peace,” he said.