By Own Correspondent
THE Wedza Residents Development Initiative Trust (WERDIT) has launched a programme aimed at resolving conflicts within the Wedza district as part of efforts to promote peace and development,
The programme, which was launched on Tuesday, is targeting locals, the local authority, church groups, traditional and political leadership as well as the business community within wards 5 and 6 in Wedza.
In an interview on the sidelines of the launch, WERDIT director George Makoni said conflict resolution and peace-building initiatives were critical in promoting development.
“This is a three-year programme that we will be implementing in wards 5 and 6. Basically, we are seeking to find common solutions to common problems that are creating or have the potential to create conflict within different communities,” he said.
“We are motivated by the fact that conflict resolution is a pre-requisite for development. So we are bringing communities together to identify issues leading to conflicts and at the same time, we are pursuing ways of resolving these conflicts to pave way for peace and development.
“So basically, communities are identifying their problems and coming up with solutions to these problems.”
He added that the programme also sought to bring communities closer to authorities by providing a platform for discussion of issues affecting communities.
Issues identified during the Tuesday meeting include disputes over boundaries, illegal allocation of land, domestic violence and conflicts over grazing land.
Attendants at the meeting noted that on land allocations, traditional leaders ought to consult locals before finalising the process.
This was also emphasised by Wedza district development co-ordinator Lawrence Taruwona.
“Processes relating to land allocations must be above board both the legal level and at the village level. It is incumbent upon traditional leaders to consult with council and villagers before land allocations are done,” he said.
Taruwona assured attendants at the meeting of his office’s support in resolving conflicts within communities.
On domestic violence, participants proposed constant and continuous engagement with the police’s victim friendly unit.
WERDIT has also trained local peace monitors who are working to educate communities on peace building and conflict resolution.