ADZT ropes in police in fighting political violence in rural Lalapanzi

Artists for Democracy in Zimbabwe Trust (ADZT) in partnership with Church and Civil Society Forum on Thursday 10 May 2012 hosted a unique peace building event in the rural Midlands community of Lalapanzi. The event which was attended by hundreds of men, women and the youths used netball, soccer games, theatre, dance and music to galvanise the community against political violence.

The biggest feature of the event was the participation of female police netball team at the event. (Police team) made up of female police officers and spouses of police officers stationed at Lalapanzi participated in the event throughout the day. There were three netball teams (Wadzanayi, Netherburn and Police teams) and two male football teams (Lalapanzi Stars and Wadzanayi). The police officers roundly welcomed the event and even encouraged ADZT to spread it to other areas surrounding Lalapanzi and expressed their willingness to participate in future events as part of improving their relations with the community members and help build peace in the area.

Community members also heaped praise on the police officers thanking them for participating in activities that bring peace to the community. They also lauded them for the role that they are already playing in the community to maintain peace and order. The games were played in an atmosphere of good neighbourliness and were punctuated by moments where messages of peace were hammered home by the ADZT staff members. This was happening during the half-time of the games and in between the programmes.

Chairman of the Lalapanzi Community, Mr Musambasi was on hand to amplify the messages of peace to his community members saying it was imperative for the community to maintain peace all the time as that is the only sure way of bringing about lasting peace. Theatre plays, dances and a music concert were also presented at the event. These artistic presentations had peace themes which helped members of the community understand why the event was being held in their community. The two masters of ceremony also helped a great deal to spread across messages of peace among community members by constantly reminding the members of the theme of day and asking questions on the presentations that had been made.

The winners of the sports for peace event were presented with a trophy, set of uniforms and match balls.

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