As part of advocating for peace ahead of the 26 March by elections, Heal Zimbabwe partnered artists from Epworth to mobilize citizens from Epworth to register and vote in peace. The artists who are part of Epworth Peace Movement (EPM) organised a cleanup campaign at Overspill shopping centre that was preceded by a peace concert on 29 March 2022.
The cleanup campaign was attended by people from across the political divide as well as aspiring by elections. The objective of the activity was to encourage young people to register to vote and participate peacefully in electoral processes. In his welcome remarks, Heal Zimbabwe Programmes Manager, Edknowledge Mandikwaza highlighted that the peace concert sought to mobilize young people to register and vote in peace ahead of the by elections.”Today we have partnered EPM to mobilize young people from Epworth to register to vote and effectively participate in the upcoming by election in peace. Let us exercise tolerance and shun all forms of polarization that fuels violence”, he said. The campaign is a follow up on various initiatives by EPM to mobilize young people to vote and shun drug abuse.
The major highlight of the campaign was when all aspiring candidates pledged for peace much to the delight of community members. Aspiring candidates who spoke to Heal Zimbabwe welcomed the campaign and highlighted that in Epworth drugs have become common place and this has led to a spike in cases of crime and drug abuse.”This campaign is timely as it presents young people with an opportunity to register to vote and determine their future. There is rampant drug abuse and other vices such as prostitution here. I urge all young people to register to vote and shun all forms of violence ahead of the by elections”, said one aspiring candidate.
The meetings by Heal Zimbabwe are part of efforts to create dialogues among citizens as this helps to 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