Zaka Community Peace Club tackles land conflicts

A Community Peace Club established by communities working with Heal Zimbabwe in Zaka has moved to address cases of rampant land conflicts in the area. This follows a Conflict Analysis and Resilience Assessment (CARA) meeting conducted in August 2021, where communities noted that there was an increase in cases of land conflicts.

As part of conflict mediation to land conflicts, the peace club conducted a dialogue meeting on 14 November 2021. The dialogue was attended by a total 45 community members including 4 duty bearers, 2 village heads, ward councillor and ward coordinator. The dialogue meeting noted that in most cases due to increase in demand for land, conflicts around land were mainly around boundaries. “Here in Zaka we have recorded several cases of conflicts around land boundaries and we have conducted mediation efforts and convened such meetings with the help of Traditional leaders. We have managed to resolve most land conflicts amicably before they had degenerated into serious conflicts”, said one peace club member. The dialogue meeting also recommended to Traditional leaders that before parcelling out land, they were supposed to engage community members to avoid conflicts on land boundaries.

Other conflict issues that were noted during the dialogue include early child marriages and child abuse. In light of this, the dialogue meeting resolved that there was need to organise a separate dialogue to address these conflicts where key stakeholders such as representatives from the Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) will be invited. The ZGC is one of the Independent Commissions established under Chapter 12 of the Constitution with the mandate of investigating possible violations of rights relating to gender and recommending prosecution for criminal violations of rights relating to gender.

The meetings by Heal Zimbabwe are part of efforts to empower local communities to help safeguard against human rights abuse and also help build peaceful communities. Heal Zimbabwe utilizes various strategies to address conflicts in local communities. One of these ways is the use of community dialogues, an initiative for communities to discuss and collectively identify ways through which they can proffer solutions to problems in their communities. Such platforms also facilitate local level conversations on pertinent issues affecting communities as well as create socially cohesive communities.

Source: Heal Zimbabwe

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