Cletus Mushanawani Mash Central Bureau
VICE PRESIDENT Kembo Mohadi has said a cultural approach should be the foundation stone for the country’s peace building and conflict resolution initiatives as it is based on Unhu or Ubuntu.
Addressing traditional leaders from Mashonaland Central in Mazowe yesterday, VP Mohadi, who oversees the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission and chairs the Cabinet Committee on National Peace and Reconciliation, said: “I have resolved to base my peace building and conflict resolution crusade on our tradition and culture cognisant that I have to engage other social groups.
“I have deliberately decided to anchor my peace building and conflict resolution initiative on our tradition and culture because I strongly believe in the sustainability of our cultural norms and values in building a strong Zimbabwe.”
The Mashonaland Central dialogue is the first one as VP Mohadi embarks on a nationwide tour to meet chiefs and other stakeholders like schools, colleges, universities, women groups, business groups and religious organisations to find long lasting solutions to conflict resolutions in Zimbabwe.
“Commissions, agencies, faith-based organisations and civil society organisations play a critical role in peace building and conflict resolution, especially in towns and cities. The roles of these organisations and commissions in peace building and conflict resolution together with traditional and cultural approach which I am initiating in Mashonaland Central gives us a multi-faceted national approach to peace building and conflict resolution based on the philosophy of Ubuntu/Unhu,” he said.
VP Mohadi said for peace to prevail, it starts with individuals.
“As individuals, we should be peaceful and live harmoniously with others in the family and community. Peace should also prevail in the family.
“Members of families are expected to be at peace with each other. A peaceful individual, a peaceful family results in a peaceful community. When we have peaceful communities, they become building blocks for a peaceful nation.”
He called for the teaching of the country’s norms and values to young children for them to be responsible citizens when they grow up.
“Children should be taught our norms and cultural values when they are young because what they will become when they grow old is detectable when they are young.
“Children are the future and in our culture they have the fundamental building blocks of the inculcation of our values like respect of adults, respect of others, respect and care of our natural resources,” he said.
VP Mohadi also called for the speedy resolution of conflicts before they escalates into wars.
“We are all aware that there are threats to peace which usually lead to conflict. These misunderstandings may escalate to disputes which become violent and destructive.
“Protracted conflicts sometimes result in wars. Conflict disturbs peace and retards development,” said VP Mohadi.
The dialogue was attended by the province’s 26 traditional chiefs, provincial leadership as well as district administrators.