Mutsvangwa calls for CSOs to let bygones be bygones

Mutsvangwa calls for CSOs to let bygones be bygones
Published: 22 June 2018 (360 Views)
Fifty Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in Manicaland and eleven government ministries met with Minister of State for Manicaland Province, Monica Mutsvangwa on 15 June 2018 at the Mutare Queens Hall to deliberate with development partners on how to improve relations with government and identify windows of opportunity and collaborations.

Minister Mutsvangwa appreciated efforts by civil society organizations in the province and further reiterated Matsanga's sentiments of the need for government to work hand in hand with civil society organizations. The Minister also noted how the Zimbabwe Women Parliamentarians benefited immensely through capacity building training and workshops facilitated by the Women Coalition of Zimbabwe, thus improving their conduct and operations within Parliament.

"There is need for partnerships and collaboration so as to learn international best practices that government should implement so as to uphold the rights of the citizens, adhere to good governance and democracy and eradicate poverty", said Minister Mustvangwa.

She added that in the agricultural sector, possible areas of cooperation include introduction of sustainable smart agriculture led by new technology and research to enhance food security.

She acknowledged that although civil society has contributed much to the social services cluster, there is opportunity to improve ways to achieve gender equality and advocate against child marriages especially through sensitization of traditional leaders. She also spoke of how government has to assist and equip one-stop centers for victims of abuse.

The Minister reminded civil society organizations on how to operate within their mandates and follow laid out operational guidelines.

"Civil society should work with central, provincial and local governments so that both parties achieve the same goals of assisting the people. There should be transparency of civil society organizations in conducting their operations as this ensures that there are no unnecessary skirmishes between them and government. The new dispensation is about transparency and creating an ease of doing business."

"Let bygones be bygones, the era of forcing civil society organizations close their operations during the election period has passed and is never coming back, therefore they should continue with their programs as planned but must adhere to the principle of championing peace in their areas of operations", said Minister Mutsvangwa.

Simukai Executive Director and NANGO Eastern Region Chairperson, Barbra Matsanga, said it was important to highlight the role of government in such platforms.

She said, "There is need to reiterate the roles and responsibilities of government which is responsible for development initiatives and also creates an enabling environment for civil society to come in and compliment their efforts to achieve development goals."

Matsanga further appealed to civic society organizations to register with apex bodies such as NANGO as it is important especially when it comes to disseminating information.

"Government needs to align and harmonize its laws, as this helps critical stakeholders who need assurance that there is a full realization of human rights, democracy, good governance, poverty alleviation and sustainable development", concluded Matsanga.

- Byo24News

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