GLOBAL ZIMBABWE FORUM
CO-ORDINATOR’S VISIT TO ZIMBABWE
The Global Zimbabwe Forum (GZF) seeks to be the most authoritative international voice and platform for all the representative organisations and networks of the Zimbabwean Diaspora community.
The GZF was officially launched on 9th December 2007 as one of the key resolutions of the historic first ever Zimbabwe Global Diaspora Conference that was hosted by the Zimbabwe Diaspora Forum at the Braamfontein Recreation Centre in Johannesburg , South Africa
The Co-ordinator of the GZF who is based at the International Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, Mr. Daniel Molokele recently visited Zimbabwe.
The visit lasted almost ten days from the 8th October to the 18th October 2008. It covered mainly the three cities of Bulawayo, Harare and Masvingo. Molokele has described his visit to our homeland as a resounding success.
2. PURPOSE OF VISIT
The main purpose of the Co-ordinator’s visit to Zimbabwe was to create a formal bridge between the various relevant stakeholders within the country and the Diaspora based civic society movement. Specifically, the Co-ordinator sought to highlight the role of the Zimbabwean Diaspora community in the developmental process of Zimbabwe from both a political and also a socio-economic perspective.
The Co-ordinator also sought to locally introduce the GZF and highlight its critical role to the various national stakeholders who are based in Zimbabwe. In particular, he sought to initiate programme partnerships with various key institutions that are strategically placed to help the Diaspora resolve some of the crucial issues that are affecting all Zimbabweans that are now living abroad.
These include such issues as that of the quest for dual citizenship, repatriation of skills, remittances, taxation, investments opportunities, among others.
3. BULAWAYO VISIT
The Co-ordinator was in the Zimbabwean second city of Bulawayo between the 9th and 12th of October. During the visit, the Co-ordinator achieved the following main things:
(a) Attended the Bulawayo Agenda Civil Society Symposium on Friday 10th October 2008. The symposium mainly sought to create a public forum for serious deliberations on the implications of the 15th September 2008 political agreement from a Zimbabwean civil society point of view. The event, which a part of the broader ‘Festival of Ideas’, was held at the Cresta Churchill Arms hotel and was attended by over seventy leaders of various CSOs across Zimbabwe. The Co-ordinator managed to present a paper on the ‘role of the Zimbabwean Diaspora in the economic reconstruction of the country’.
(b) The public meeting on the pros and cons of the 15th September 2008 political settlement. The event was also part of the broader ‘Festival of Ideas’ that was hosted by Bulawayo Agenda. It was held on Saturday 11th October at the Rainbow Hotel and had a full house attendance of over 600 participants. The Co-ordinator was one of the four speakers that also included Jenni Williams (WOZA), Raymond Majongwe (PTUZ) and Lawton Hikwa (NUST)
(c) Personal contact meetings with various types of leaders from the civil society and the Zimbabwean Parliament. These included leaders from the PTUZ, ZimRights, Zimcet, MISA, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Youth Agenda, Student Solidarity Trust, among others. The Co-ordinator also held individual briefings with several legislators such as David Coltart, Abednigo Bhebhe, Siyabonga Ncube, among others.
4. HARARE VISIT
The Co-ordinator also visited the capital city of Harare from the 12th to the 17th October 2008. During the visit, the Co-ordinator achieved the following main things:
(a) Attended as a neutral observer, the public mass rally organized by the Movement for Democratic Change at the Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfields on Sunday 12th October 2008.
The event was addressed by the MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and all other key members of the national executive such as Thokozani Khupe, Tendai Biti, Lovemore Moyo, Nelson Chamisa, among others.
The MDC leaders sought to give a public report on the stalemate between the party and Zanu-PF over the allocation of the key cabinet posts in terms of the 15th September accord.
(b) Conducted a door-to-door campaign across Harare to the offices of the various Zimbabwean civil society organizations that are potential local programme partners of the GZF. These included among others the offices of NCA, NANGO, TIZ, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, ZINASU, Youth Agenda, Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe, PADARE, Zimbabwe National Pastors Forum, among others.
(c) The Co-ordinator also held a crucial meeting with the main officials of the International Organisation for Migration that included the resident country director and also the senior officials of the Homelink private company on Diaspora remittances, and explored areas of programme partnerships with them.
(d) The Co-ordinator also met the newly appointed Speaker of Parliament, Lovemore Moyo, in his office at the Parliament buildings. Further, he had personal briefings and meetings with several legislators such as Marvelous Kumalo, Nelson Chamisa and Tendai Biti.
(e) The Co-ordinator was also the guest of honour at a television studio panel discussion that was hosted by the journalism school at the Harare Polytechnic. The event was held on the 15th October 2008 The studio panel discussion focused on the role of the Diaspora in the development process of Zimbabwe.
5. MASVINGO VISIT
The Co-ordinator also attended the annual NGO Directors Summer School that was organized by NANGO between 17th and 19th October 2008. The event was held at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel and had an impressive attendance of over 80 leaders from various key NGOs from all over Zimbabwe.
The Co-ordinator was one of the speakers at the event and presented a paper to the delegates. The highlight of the weekend was the group tour of the Great Zimbabwe monument.
This was described by the Co-ordinator as the most momentous part of his entire visit to the country since it was his very first time to tour the monument.
The Co-ordinator also led a brief group prayer meeting at the monument’s conical tower, that by the way is the main inspiration behind the logo of the GZF.
It is thus submitted in conclusion that the Co-ordinator’s visit to Zimbabwe was a resounding success. The visit managed to improve local perceptions about the crucial role of the Diaspora community back home in Zimbabwe. It also helped to raise the public profile of the GZF and enabled it to develop a massive contact data base of local NGO leaders for the GZF.
Last but not least, it also opened the doors for the GZF to initiate areas of programme partnerships with several relevant institutions. It is anticipated that the Co-ordinator will return to Zimbabwe early in 2009 to further explore areas of programme partnerships with the various local organizations and government institutions there.
For more details on the Zimbabwe trip or the GZF, please email 'firstname.lastname@example.org' or visit http://www.globalzimbabweforum.org/