Dear Editor-COTRAD held exchange visit programs in Masvingo Central Constituency at Mutirikwi Nursery in Ward 18 and Shonganiso Mission in Ward 16 respectively.
The exchange programs were attended by German Ambassador to Zimbabwe His Excellency, Dr Thorsten Hutter and WFD Team (WFD is an implementing organisation of the (CPS) Civil Peace Service Programme) and the Masvingo public officials and residents.
The exchange visit served as a platform for a peaceful face-to-face exchange of information, exchange of experiences and ideas between community members, public officials and the embassy on COTRAD social accountability and peace building work in Masvingo.
The participants applauded the impact of COTRAD intervention in addressing sources of conflict in Masvingo Rural which includes misinformation of rural communities by politicians and public officials, partisan distribution of government aid, conflicts over access to land and conflicts over the conservation of trees and the environment.
The communities have acknowledged that COTRAD has improved the capacity of young men and women in ward 16 and 18 in terms of peace building, conflict prevention and social accountability monitoring through community trainings, facilitating the provision of non-partisan youth friendly and women oriented engagement platforms with public officials through community meetings, women forums, peace gardens and sports for peace as well as improving the provision alternative sources of information through establishing and equipping information kiosks at ward level.
The participants requested COTRAD to: scale up its current interventions to new wards, increase and continue servicing the information centres with necessary documents and current information material and to blend peace building initiatives with livelihoods activities in order to achieve sustainable peace and community development.
The traditional leaders and local public officials have asked COTRAD to conduct constitutional literacy and leadership training.-COTRAD