Publicado em 6 de abril de 2005
Traduções disponíveis em: français . Español .

Activities achieved in 2003 and 2004

por John STEWART

Temas largos ligados: Human Rights . Women .

This process started in November 2003, with meetings with members of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and the Womens Coalition. Some regional inroads – contacts - were made during the Southern African Social Forum held in Lusaka in December 2003.

Following the decision relating to the budget in early 2004, and responses from the various sectors met with (including labour, the local governance and local authorities sector, and media organisations), it was decided that the principal form of activity for the period covered by the 2004 budget would be to initiate the production of a local resource based on the Charter. This would consist of a community-based response to the Charter and its concepts and principles, together with translations of the Charter into three local languages.

This decision was based on a number of considerations: the political climate of the closure of space and the restrictions on events and meetings; the political sensitivity of the concepts of responsibility and in particular accountability in the Zimbabwean context; the sensitivity to authorities in Zimbabwe to ’external’ and ’foreign’ influence and interference; the importance of a community-centred and grassroots based process.

Towards the production of the Community book on responsibility: negotiations were entered into with ACPD, an organisation specialising in community publishing. A process was designed to introduce a research and writing process through the network of community researchers, writers and artists with which ACPD works.
In June 2004 a first workshop was held, introducing the concepts to the team leaders for five teams from five provinces of Zimbabwe: Mashonaland West, Midlands, Matebeleland South, Masvingo and Manicaland. Each team consisted of between six and ten lead researchers, each of whom was working with an additional ten to fifteen persons: it is estimated that some 600 persons were involved in the process. This involved listening to people’s ideas and responses to the concept of responsibility, their experiences both negative and positive about responsibility, their response to the idea of a charter, and their ideas and recommendations about increasing responsibility in Zimbabwean society and in the world.

A report-back workshop was held in November 2004, and draft research reports from the five areas were presented, which included local artwork and poetry.

It is expected that work to finalise the book will require about six more months and that it will be published in about July 2005.

In addition to the production of the local versions and a community response, the Charter has been introduced in workshops within Zimbabwe in the following sectors:
- Local Governance: the Urban residents association workshop of July 2004 was focussed on the responsibilities of local authorities in governance issues.
- Human rights: two meetings (in July and September 2004) were organised for the Umthunzini Mumvuri Association (and association of victims of violence) where the Charter principles and concepts were explored as potential substantive supports for representational work for the Association.
The Charter was alo presented (but not processed) in training workshops relating to trade union strategic thinking, and in youth and student training events.
The Charter was the subject of a workshop at the Zimbabwe Social Forum, in the Peace and Human Rights thematic area, in October 2004

It is expected that the introduction of a locally appropriated (Zimbabwean) version of the Charter (and reflection on the concept, the themes and principles) will enable much deeper processing of the principles and the theses by sectoral organisations, and become generative in the formulation of sectoral responses or versions.

Regionally, the Charter has been presented and discussed at the Southern Africa Social Forum, December 2003, and the Africa Social Forum, December 2004 (both held in Lusaka, Zambia), as well as at the Zimbabwe Social Forum, October 2004. It was also presented and discussed at the Civicus World Assembly, held in Gaborone, Botswana, in March 2004, where it formed part of discussions on peace and human rights, reform of the global governance system (with the Ubuntu initiative) and the Global Ethics Initiative.


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