LOOSE COALITION OF BULAWAYO CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS FORMED.
The 8th of April saw concerned church groups, civil society organisations and responsible citizens coming together at the Baptist Church for a Press Conference that resulted in the press release calling for the immediate release of the 29 March Presidential Election results. This amplified voice from the region went far and wide as Reverend Netha from Association of Evangelicals in Africa confirmed.
As a build up to this, Wednesday 16 April 2008 saw Civil Society Organisations in Bulawayo coming together in a meeting whose outcome was the set up of a loose coalition of Bulawayo Civil Society Organisations. This meeting, held at One Up Business Centre brought together Heads and representatives of organisations that included but are not limited to:
· HABAKKUK TRUST
· ASSOCIATION OF EVANGELICALS IN AFRICA (AEA), ETHICS PEACE AND JUSTICE DESK
· BULAWAYO AGENDA(BA)
· BULAWAYO CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE(CA)
· RADIO DIALOGUE
· GRACE TO HEAL
· WOMEN OF ZIMBABWE ARISE(WOZA)
· CHURCHES IN BULAWAYO(CIB)
This is a great networking step which, according to Dumisani Nkomo, the Chief executive Officer of Habakkuk Trust:
-has created a platform for information sharing and effective dissemination, enabling a collective voice from the region.
-has created a central operation point for civic groups in Bulawayo and will enable collective influence on decision making processes
- has enabled the organisations to find each other in the dark and hence enable the organisations to play a complementary role for the benefit of the region’s communities.
To ensure this, a working group of Information personnel from the Information Departments of the different organisations was set up. These shall play a key role in observing the post election atmosphere among other key incidents in areas of collaboration and will be in touch round the clock, through regular updates by all means to include email, telephone and regular meetings.Timeous Press Conferences and press releases on pertinent matters are going to be a permanent feature of this working group. Information shall be disseminated within and beyond these civil society organisations.
Mr Useni Sibanda,Director of Christian Alliance added that this group can do more effective and practical work to bring about transformation as most of these organisations work within communities and are in touch with what is happening on the ground. The group includes key national civic leaders such as Gorden Moyo[Bulawayo Agenda],Jenni Williams[WOZA],Rev Patson Neta,Useni Sibanda and Ray Motsi.