6 December 2018
Government is in support of positive projects implemented by European Union in the marginalised areas, a cabinet minister has said.
EU is working on several projects together with other Civil Society Organisations and a recent activity was in Murewa yesterday.
In a speech read on his behalf by Director Policy Legal Research, Mable Musika, Minister of Justice, legal and Parliamentary Affairs Ziyambi Ziyambi, said:
“The new dispensation has ushered in a new outlook clearly articulated by President Mnangagwa that Zimbabwe is open for business.
“Today I am very happy that the projects being launched today have different focus areas that is access to justice, livelihoods, institution building, promoting democratic participation, good governance and accountability amongst others. All these contribute to marking Zimbabwe a well-balanced state.
“Access to justice is the ladder to the enjoyment of human rights. Justice for all means human rights for all.
“By taking justice to the doorstep of the indigent and marginalised, these projects are fundamentally important because the strength of a country’s justice system is measured by its accessibility and fairness to the indigent and marginalised such as the rural people, women, children and those living with physical and mental challenges.
“The fact that the access to justice project takes legal education to the doorstep of the ordinary woman and man is highly appreciated because oftentimes, crimes and conflicts are a result of the ignorance of the law.”
Added Minister Ziyambi:
“I am also delighted to note that some of the projects capacitate civil society with advocacy skills to engage government in meaningful dialogue that ensures justice for the citizenry.
“This is a welcome development that will wean off serious and well-meaning CSOs from hostile and less productive ones.
“As government we have always been open to constructive dialogue with civil society.
“A civil society that dialogues with government has more impact because together we have more capacity to develop Zimbabwe.”
During the same event, EU Ambassador Timo Olkonnen Shar said:
“The projects will promote human rights, access to justice and citizen participation in policy dialogue for development areas of health, governance and agriculture.
“Today we are launching four EU-funded projects with a total EU contribution of EURO 5 159 746 that we hope will make a positive and lasting change to the lives of citizens especially those in vulnerable situations like children, women, people living disabilities and people in places of detention.
“The four implementing partners have come a long way: The projects we are launching today were selected from two nation-wide, competitive calls for proposals which were launched in April and June 2017.
“The purpose of these two calls were, to enhance civil society’s role in promoting citizen participation, good governance and accountability and to enhance access to justice for all especially groups in vulnerable situations such as women and children.”
Added Ambassador Timo:
“We received more than a hundred applications, six were successful and four of these are being launched here today.
“Implementation of these projects commenced between February and July 2018.
“The lead organisations for these four projects are, Legal Resources Foundation, Voluntary Services Organisation, National Association of Non-Governmental Organisation and Plan International,” he said.
The calls were premised upon the priorities identified in the EU roadmap for engagement with civil society, which was developed after wide consultations with civil society organisations countrywide in order to improve the impact, predictability and coherence of EU support of CSOs.