via Peace Caravan to Continue Promoting Peace in Zimbabwe by Irwin Chifera
A local civil society organization, Artists for Democracy Trust in Zimbabwe, says its peace-building project, dubbed the Peace Caravan, will continue to target troubled communities in a bid to stop politically-motivated violence.
The project, launched ahead of the July 31 national elections, will now become a permanent feature as artists use musical shows and exhibitions to promote peace.
Prompted by disturbing violent scenes in past elections in the country, Artists for Democracy Trust in Zimbabwe mooted an idea that saw 25 popular musicians such as Jah Prayzah, Suluman Chimbetu, Weutonga and the late Chiwoniso Maraira getting together to promote peace in various communities ahead of the disputed July elections.
The artists called for peace Tuesday and at a meeting to review their project, they agreed at least Zimbabweans voted peacefully with far less violence incidents being recorded.
ADZT officials and some musicians who took part in the campaign commended each other for a job well-done saying their efforts contributed to the peaceful atmosphere that prevailed before the polls and after.
Musician Edith Weutonga performed at many peace shows and helped produced a peace album ‘Moyo Munyoro’ which was distributed for free by ADZT before the elections.
Another artist, Christine Ndoro, said though the elections were peaceful, there is simmering anger in some communities over the outcome of the polls, adding that is why it is necessary for ADZT to continue providing a platform for peace building in the country.
Weutonga said political violence has become endemic in the country, noting that it is important for everyone to play a part in maintaining peace all the times. Elections in the country have long been marked by violence with the worst being recorded in 2008.
ADZT director Stanley Kwenda told VOA Studio 7, the Peace Caravan project and other efforts by politicians, independent groups and the unity government were crucial in making sure the July 31 harmonized elections were generally peaceful.
Kwenda said the organization will continue running the program and use more artists to ensure there is everlasting peace in the country.
The musicians were commended by many for preaching peace and promoting peaceful elections.
During the campaign they also produced the album, Moyo Munyoro. The album has four tracks – Peace, Our Peace Runyararo and the title track Moyo Munyoro – which denounces violence and calls for unity and peace in Zimbabwe.