AS Zimbabwe commemorated peace days from JulyÂ 24-26 to celebrate its new found peace and unity as well as support national healing, reconciliation and integration, Oxfam hails this momentous time and urges all Zimbabweans to uphold it.
We call upon all Zimbabweans to shun violence in all its forms and wherever it occurs as it results in losses of productive assets such as farming equipment, granaries, livestock, relationships and social ties and seize the opportunities that have come with the prevailing peace to focus on national recovery.
Agriculture is important to the economy of Zimbabwe as it is the primary source of subsistence, employment and income for over 60% of the population.
Up to the 1990s, Zimbabwe was a net exporter of food but now it is one of the major recipients of food aid.
The prevailing peace offers a stable working environment that will enable development agencies to reach out to all parts of the country with their recovery programmes. As the agricultural season approaches, Oxfam with the support from FAO and GRM international has mobilised agricultural imputs that include seed and fertilisers and plans to distribute to over 50 000 households in six districts of Zimbabwe.
Oxfam also applauds the steps that the government has taken towards national healing and reconciliation through the setting up of a ministry. While it is important that the organ on National Healing and Reconciliation provided for under the Global Political Agreement moves with speed in addressing the issues of human rights violations, it is necessary that there be consultation with communities and other key players, especially victims on how best the issues should be addressed. Â
It is key to capacitate the organ to undertake its work and ensure that the national healing and reconciliation agenda is engendered, inclusive and participatory in its work. The government should also ensure that in formulating its framework for work of the organ, it balances providing justice for the victims with reconciliation.Â The organ should invest in learning and exploring various options and ways of addressing transitional justice issues, in particular issues of national healing.
Above all, Oxfam urges government and all Zimbabweans to ensure that peace prevails for the purpose of eradicating poverty.
Director, Oxfam Zimbabwe.