Sixteen civil organizations operating from the country’s ten provinces on Monday came together under a newly formed Zimbabwe Peace Actors Platform (ZimPAP) to counter political violence and promote peace.
The participating organizations which includes Restoration of Human Rights International, (ROHR) Platform for Youth Development (PYD) and Christian Action Trust Zimbabwe (CAT-ZIM) among others expressed a commitment to restore peace in the country through and ensure that the 2018 elections are violence free and peaceful.
According to ROHR International’s Tichanzii Gandanga, ZimPAP is a platform where civil society organizations will work together to address political violence in the country.
“This is a platform where civil society organization will enhance their strategy to advocate for peace in the country,” said Gandanga adding that the platform will complement the work of state institutions such as the Police.
Gilbert Kagodora who represented Initiative for Sustainable Peace and Development said the idea behind ZimPAP is to identify and confront perpetrators of political violence through-out the country and ensure a peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe.
“Whenever there is violence in the country, it is our government which is tarnished and in this we are saying the government should embrace this initiative.
“We want this to be an advocacy platform we can use to engage government and other stakeholders on different peace initiatives,” said Kagodora.
According to ZimPAP profile, the organization will foster coordination and cooperation across the peace actors in Zimbabwe.
“Firstly the peace actors will meet quarterly at a seminar to interrogate the peace situation in Zimbabwe. Information is shared and a peace status report is produced for evidence based national peace advocacy,” noted the organization.
ZimPAP was established among other things to support and compliment the efforts of government peace actors such as Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC). The platform will also work to stop violence through intervening and evidence based advocacy for peace.
Since 2000, elections in Zimbabwe have been marred by political violence and with only 18 months into the 2018 elections, initiatives like ZimPAP could be what the country needs to ensure a violence free and peaceful process.