As a member of the Peace Building Network of Zimbabwe, CCMT participated in a project facilitated by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) to write and compile an eight module publication entitled Community Healing: A training manual for Zimbabwe. Twelve organisations took part in three writing workshops, held in Harare over a period of two years.
The idea of a training manual emanated from the realisation that violent conflicts result in dysfunctional, wounded and divided communities that are trapped by fear, anger and all forms of social ills that create a breeding ground for fresh cycles of violence. The manual was produced to enhance the capacity of members of the PBNZ in their peace-building work by way of a bottom-up approach that also seeks to complement the role that will be played by the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) and other local and national processes.
Specifically, the manual is intended to develop the capacity of members of the PBNZ in their efforts to heal communities devastated by political violence, as well as by future instances of violent conflict, so that peace can be sustained in Zimbabwe. It is therefore a tool to be used by civil society and other development workers to assist communities to draw a line under their past experiences of political violence and rebuild relationships based on peace and development.
The manual was launched at an event held in Harare on the 21st of May 2015.
Download a copy of the manual here
Gundura clinic is located in the Tongogara District of the Midlands Province. The clinic was constructed in the early 1970’s and in 2003 it began to get vandalised. The borehole pump, solar panel, water pump, door and window handles were stolen and subsequently replaced by the council. In 2011, the window, door handles and locks were again stolen. The vandalism was resulting in the deterioration of standards at the clinic, diminishing its ability to deliver healthcare services to the community. In September 2013, frustrated by this state of affairs, the district authorities approached CCMT with a request for intervention.
CCMT project officers held consultation meetings with various stakeholders, including community members, clinic staff, the ward health committee, district council authorities, the police and neighbourhood watch. As the story began to unfold, it became apparent that community members were not taking ownership of the clinic and regarded it as council property rather than their own. Relations within the community were strained as community members felt that the authorities and in particular the police force were not updating them of the results of investigations being carried out following the acts of vandalism. Community members also felt that youth unemployment was resulting in burglaries thus fuelling the conflict.
The intervention consisted of dialogue platforms aimed at repairing community relationships. During the meetings, it was agreed that the community needed to be reminded that the clinic belonged to them and its vandalism would disadvantage the community as a whole. This was done through the village heads and chiefs who held meetings with community members. Police representatives also attended dialogue meetings, which impressed the villagers. A local secondary school held meetings with the youth to raise awareness and discourage them from destroying community property.
Since the intervention began, there have been no burglaries at the clinic. Villagers who had stopped paying levies to the council due to mistrust have begun to do so and the clinic has been able to hire a security guard. An adult education programme aimed at improving opportunities for young people who are unemployed has also been introduced at the school where the youth meetings were held.CCMT project officers will continue to monitor the situation, however for now relationships are continuing to go from strength to strength.