Zipra embarks on peace building path

Bulawayo, – The ZIPRA Veterans has rolled its peace building, reconciliation and national healing programme in the Midlands and Harare provinces following a success of the programme in some parts of Matabeleland where the initiative started.

The chairman of the ZPRA Veterans, Retired Colonel Razarus Ncube told Radio VOP that his organisation had already approached some of the chiefs in areas considered to be political hot spots such as Gokwe, Mberengwa, Kwekwe and Chiundura.

“With the coming up of the referendum and the anticipated elections next year we expect more or worse political violence to come. It is against this background that we have stepped up our efforts to heal communities. Some of the chiefs whom we are closely working with in the Midlands on this initiative are chief Sigodo, chief Malarisa, chief Gambiza and chief Chiundura,” said Ncube.

As part of the programme Ncube said his organisation last week trained 32 war veterans on conflict resolution and national healing at a local hotel. The ex- freedom fighters were drawn from all the various districts of the province.

“Our first target in this programme is the liberation fighters because these people were never given the requisite skills to prepare them for reintegration with communities when they were disarmed and demobilised after independence.

This has persistently exposed them to errant politicians who tend to abuse them each time there is an election coming up,” said Ncube.

The ZPRA Veterans has also formed Peace committees in Harare.

“Last week we also formed peace committees in Harare. Before the formation of the peace committees, we first trained 38 war veterans drown from some parts of Harare, Mashonaland Central and East on the importance of coexistence in the areas which have always been afflicted by conflict. During the trainings we also try to seek solutions which entail public participation and inclusiveness in attending to issues.

Ncube pointed out that after the training workshops of key stakeholders, the organisation will take the initiative to the grassroots level where community healing sessions will be carried out.

So far the ZIPRA Veterans have successfully carried out community healing sessions in Mangwe, Bulilima, Tsholotsho and Nkayi.

ZPRA veterans is a membership based organisation which was formed among other things to engage in conflict resolution , peace building , reconciliation, national healing and related civic education programmes within and outside Zimbabwe.