The Wedza Rural Development Initiaive Trust (WERDIT) has called upon the government to avail resources towards assisting victims of gender based violence within the Wedza District.

Source: WERDIT pushes for safe shelters, development projects in Wedza – The Zimbabwean

WERDIT has launched a campaign aimed at eradicating gender based violence and the organisation is engaging communities in the different wards of Wedza District.

Consultations with different communities revealed that besides educating communities, there is also a need to create safe spaces for victims of gender based violence.

WERDIT has since submitted the proposal, contained in their position paper on the 2022 national budget, to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development.

“There is a clarion call from women that the government take women’s issues seriously as they are suffering sexual and gender based violence including rape. Therefore, victims of gender based violence and rape must be accorded shelters where they need to recuperate be offered counseling services,” reads part of the submissions by WERDIT.

WERDIT Programmes Officer, Tecla Chikonhi however acknowledged that in as much as women are the major victims of gender based violence, men were also falling victim to the vice.

She added that WERDIT was also engaging men in their campaigns to end gender based violence. As part of the campaign, WERDIT is also seeking to work with key stakeholders  that include government ministries, civil society organisations as well as law enforcement agents.

“The campaign is motivated by the fact that peace should start from the household level hence our efforts to engage communities with a view to educate them on the need to eradicate gender based violence. WERDIT is motivated by the desire to push for development within the Wedza district and we fully appreciate that peace and co-existence are prerequisites for development.

“We are seeking to bring as many key stakeholders as possible on board and we also believe that traditional leaders have a key role to play in eradicating violence in rural communities,” said Chikonhi.

On another note, WERDIT Director, George Makoni has called upon the government to address concerns raised in their submissions to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development.

Prior to the budget consultations, WERDIT held several budget literacy meetings and online consultations with diverse stakeholders including youths, women, civic and political leadership, Persons Living with Disabilities(PWDs) and faith based organisations in an effort to gather citizen’s priorities and aspirations ahead of the 2022 national budget consultative process.

Issues raised during the meetings were submitted to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development

Some of the issues include land for youths, drilling of boreholes, road rehabilitation, capacitation of health facilities in Wedza, electrification of schools, improved connectivity and establishment of vocational training centres in the Wedza district.

“As WERDIT, we anticipate to see inputs from its constituencies being consolidated into the national budget. Citizens expect to see their concerns being given the recognition and consideration they deserve.

“In the past, many citizens have tended to boycott government processes because they felt the consultations are done merely to fulfill and satisfy constitutional requirements. It is against this background that WERDIT sought to educate citizens and assure them that the process is not a political game but a process that defines a policy that stipulates allocations of funds for various economic activities to be undertaken by government for the year 2022,” said Makoni.

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