Zimbabwe: Senator Holland Receives Sydney Peace Prize in Australia

press release

Senator Sekai Holland, an MDC national executive member and the Minister of National Healing, Reconciliation, Healing and Integration this week received the Sydney Peace Prize in Australia.

The award was presented to her in recognition of her efforts to further political reforms and promote peace in Zimbabwe.

Accepting her award, Minister Holland said the situation in Zimbabwe had improved since 2008 and 2009 when there was political instability in the country after Zanu PF and its leader, Robert Mugabe had been defeated in elections by the MDC and President Tsvangirai.

She described the Global Political Agreement (GPA) as a "peace document" which allowed politicians a framework to re-build civil institutions in Zimbabwe. "Our understanding of what the inclusive government was has been clarified by reading through the Global Political Agreement," she said.

"It is meant to get Zimbabweans to set up new institutions, new systems, new protocols, and new regulations to prepare the country for free and fair elections.

"Secondly, to have an election that has an outcome, that is, not contestable and has a smooth transition to a new government. That's what it was aimed to achieve and what we are on course to achieving."

Meanwhile, the District Administrator for Chegutu has instructed the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) not to deny people access to maize distributed under the grain loan scheme. The directive came after Webster Shamu a Zanu PF MP in Chegutu East was denying villagers in Ward 3 and 2 in the constituency access to the grain claiming they had voted for the MDC in 2008. The two wards have MDC councillors,Locardia Chaipa of Ward 3 and Lloyd Bvumai Chakanetsa of Ward 2.

However, over 1 000 households in the district were facing famine as Shamu had instructed GMB officials in Chegutu not to allocate the grain to the two councillors who should be involved in distributing the maize.

The two councillors in September approached the Chegutu GMB officials and were told that they had been advised by Shamu against giving them grain as they were MDC members. The councillors then approached the Chegutu District Administrator, W. Hwaira raising their complaints.

The DA wrote a letter instructing GMB to allocate grain as the scheme was meant to benefit everyone in the wards in Chegutu.

"It is not a political programme hence anyone who qualifies to benefit should be granted the opportunity. May you please revise your distribution criteria and ensure that the responsible structures are representing everyone in the ward," part of a letter written to the Manager of GMB in Chegutu by Hwaira reads.

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