Participants driven action plans presented – PTP III

The Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights, working in collaboration with the Centre for Applied Legal Research, held a three-day human right Professional Training Programme (PTP) at Cresta Lodge, Harare, Zimbabwe from the 26th  to the 28th of October 2020. The programme theme fell under ‘human rights and local governance’ in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The human rights training is essential as it brings in under one roof academics, members from the government ministries and departments, representatives from the civil society, as well as members from independent commissions. These participants receive foundational human rights training and will travel to Sweden for a two-week-long study tour where they will have an opportunity to observe the Swedish approach to incorporating SDGs through local governance.

This particular training session constituted PTP part III and involved participants presenting their action plans for implementation in their respective professions as part of their training. An example of one such presentation was provided by Audrey Kwangwama (a lecturer from the University of Zimbabwe – Rural and Urban Planning department) whose action plan is entitled: “Upholding Constitutional Provisions on Shelter: Against Demolitions”. Introducing her action plan she asked: “How would you feel to receive a call that your house is about to be demolished?”[sic]. This rhetorical question drew participants, emotionally and physically, to the plight of victims of demolitions. Participants were thus able to interrogate, through their own lenses, the operations of local municipalities in evicting or demolishing illegal settlements as well as put forward more balanced approaches from authorities to prevent and stop such demolitions.

As local governance is linked to political authority, the participants also used their action plans and subsequent discussions to brainstorm additional ways through which political authorities can be approached to safeguard people’s structures from illegal settlements and illegal parcelling of land.

The next phase for this PTP group will be to implement their actions plans and reporting back their findings.