Allan Chaparadza- Zvishavane Town Council COE

Date: July 20, 2018
  • SHARE:

“A man on integrity with gender sensitivity.”

As the Gender Focal person of council I have managed to encourage the formation of women’s clubs in the vicinity of council. These projects are more to do with the upkeep and active involvement of women who were less marginalised in the community. The women from all the ten wards have managed to form clubs wherein they contribute on weekly basis an agreed token fee of $1.00 and from those contributions the money is lend to club members who purchase their households utensils. Now one of the club is even encouraging its members to pay their monthly bills to council.

I started on gender as a Thesis topic for my DBA programme way back in the year 2013 with the University Of Lusaka, in Zambia. The thesis topic involves on gender issues in local governance administration, as a researcher I wanted to find out why women were not in management positions in councils. At that time (2013) Zimbabwe as a whole had only three women Chief Executive Officers via Redcliff Municipality, Ruwa local Board and Manyame rural council. When our council was taken on board I was fortunate to be appointed as the Gender Focal Person of council. The portfolio is so much interesting as I have managed to become one of the community Projects Training Officer.

As a Gender Focal Person I carryout Project Management lessons with Ward Clubs through the ward Councillor. The Project Training programme has helped a number of the community women to engage themselves in self-help projects and are now able to sustain their families. In council I have managed to convince the Chief Executive Officer of council for the need to establish a Gender Committee as a standalone committee of council. It is also worth to note that as the Gender Focal Person of Council I have managed to successfully hold the three 50/50 Gender Advocacy Campaign in partnership with Gender Links.

The nature of my work involves field work and office work. In field work I am always involved in working with ward health clubs through the Ward Councillor. And the economic empowerment clubs scattered in the ten wards of council. I am also involved in the moulding and educating programmes on school children about Gender Based Violence .Youth empowerment through the engagement of the Zvishavane Youth Centre lead by a Mr Murenga, there is also the men’s forum. The men’s forum is involved in the training of young youths through sculpture and drama activities. The group has joined hands with the Gender Focal Person in order to get the involvement of men in Gender Based Violence eradication .The male participants who take part in these activities are parcelling out the knowledge to their male members of the community. As a positive the number of men who abuse their wives are now on the reduction side.

As for office work I have manged to craft a Gender Policy for the local authority which has since been adopted by council. Also impute is always given to Heads of Department through regular meetings with Departmental Gender Representatives. On PPPs there is great synergy between council and other stakeholders on issues on Gender. As the Gender Focal Person I work closely with the Ministry of gender and women affairs, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (Victim Friendly Unit), the Legal Resources Centre, the Ministry of Health and a number of non-governmental organisations

Championing gender has changed my life in the community from where I stay. Even at home my first lady always applauds my contributions as I take time to educate the family at grassroots e.g. I always tell my boy children to ensure that the assist the house maid and their sisters in washing plates, to do duties amongst themselves in cleaning their Bedroom. At the work place I have managed to encourage the involvement of women in duties which were previously reserved for man. For example, we now have a lady Senior Accountant, Lady Plumber and a lady assistant builder.

As an individual and in my capacity as the Administration Officer of council I am proud to mention that I have been applauded by members of my community as they know me as law enforcement manager of Council on how I handle issues when it comes to women empowerment