‘Peace is bedrock of development’


Tinashe Nekati

PEACE remains the bedrock for the creation of a conducive environment leading to sustainable development, a local civil society organisation has said.

The Wedza Residents Development Initiative Trust (WERDIT), which is rolling out peace building and conflict management initiatives in Wedza, Mashonaland East Province, says this will be achieved by involvement of all interest groups in the community.

In an interview with the Daily News yesterday, WERDIT director George Makoni said: “We realise there has to be peace in order to achieve sustainable development for the benefit of everyone in the community.

“As such, the engagement meetings we have rolled out seek to obtain the buy-in of all critical stakeholders, including political/civic leadership, diverse residents’ groups and interest groups like women, youths, players in the informal sector, People Living with Disabilities and Faith-Based Organisations to ensure inclusivity.”

Makoni added that in the same spirit, capacity building workshops seeking to train the diverse groups are already in place.

“Community dialogue meetings targeting all the 15 wards of Wedza District will be conducted to create awareness among the public on the need for peace in their communities. Peace remains the bedrock of sustainable development,” he said. This comes following results of the organisation’s survey last year, which showed that unity of purpose in development programmes cannot be achieved owing to differences in people’s backgrounds as well as persuasions on issues to do with control and access to resources, political thinking, religious and cultural beliefs, among many other issues.

WERDIT peace building and conflict management programmes, whose envisaged success will lead to them being rolled out elsewhere in the country — in conjunction with the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission — rope in chiefs, headmen, the district administrator, political leadership, lower level local government structures, residents from diverse backgrounds and other non-State actors.

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