Tariro Chimbindi – Manyame Rural District Council COE

Date: September 6, 2018
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“I influenced the installation of CCTV at my work place to prevent cases of sexual harassment.”

Tariro Chimbindi’s encounter with Gender Links (GL) taught him the importance of evidence and documentation of everything that he does in life. His subsequent journey with GL made him to understand that documentation and evidence of the work done is a prerequisite to success. At first when GL was demanding evidence files from participants of the Centres of Excellence (COEs) programme he viewed it as an unnecessary burden only to discover that it was a blessing in disguise. The situation that he was exposed to gave him the leverage to invest in human capital and propelled gender planning at his workplace to the next level.

The journey that Chimbindi travelled with GL changed his personal life and today he has a number of achievements under his sleeve. One of the personal achievements he records is the ability to do things in a systematic way. Before his encounter with GL he used to do things in a haphazard way and his subsequent encounter with the organisation ushered a new characteristic that is now visible in his life. GL taught Chimbindi the importance of feedback and he now values feedback more than anything in every activity that he partake.

When Chimbindi was trained as a Gender Focal Person (GFP) he implemented the skills he attained at his workplace and in his family. He advocated for policy change and transformed the way the council used to do things. In his endevour to mainstream gender in service provision he managed to influence a policy that prevents a husband from selling property without consent from his spouse. Apart from this great achievement, Chimbindi boasted of other skills he attained like presentation and networking. Furthermore, the networking skill he attained enabled him to copy good practices from other local authorities and implemented them at his council.

Along the journey to gender equality, Chimbindi saw it fit to groom another GFP for the sustainability of his efforts. The move that he has taken managed to institutionalise gender issues at his organisation. Consequently, the move impacted positively on his work on Administration, Human Resources, Social Services and GFP. His council today boast of being one of the best performing councils in gender mainstreaming and this was made possible by the commitment and hard work exhibited by Chimbindi.

His most memorable experience was when he was given the chance to participate in the entrepreneurship programme. He passionately worked with survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in his community. Chimbindi dedicated most of his time to the welfare of the participants of the programme. His hard work is evidenced by the fact that women entrepreneurs from Manyame RDC always emerged as winners during the national and regional summits.

The change that took place in Chimbindi’s life changed the way he relates to close relatives and the way he do things in his family. He now treats his children equally and always ensure that they share household duties. He also taught them to respect each other and treat each other equally regardless of sex. Chimbindi gave credit to GL for the changes in perception and the achievements he recorded at his workplace and personal life. He acknowledged that before he met GL he was thinking that preference must be given to men.

“The knowledge I attained from GL changed me and I now always clutch with councillors on balanced recruitment. I have made a commitment to ensure that there are enough clinics in our community so as to respond to the demands of sexual reproductive health,” said Chimbindi.

Chimbindi also dedicates the change that took place in his life to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Manyame RDC whom he described as a very supportive person. He stated that if it was not because of his support nothing was going to be successful. Chimbindi went further to mention his wife who also immensely contributed in the changes that took place and placed a major role in shaping him to become a driver of change par excellence.

The changes that took place in Chimbindi’s life impacted positively on his community. The knowledge he attained made him to realise the importance of social infrastructure like clinics and he invested in them through his council. He managed to work towards the creation of a viable website for his council to further strengthen the council’s citizen engagement strategy. Chimbindi influenced the installation of CCTV at council offices to monitor sexual harassment at work place. He also influenced the formulation of HIV/AIDS workplace policy, sexual harassment policy and the code of conduct. The move ushered better working conditions for both male and female employees.

The learning journey that was travelled by Chimbindi was not all rose as he met some challenges and he had to work hard to overcome them. The major challenge that he faced was the attitude displayed by male colleagues who accused him of pretending to work for gender equality so as to take advantage of women. However, Chimbindi was not harbouring any ulterior motives and through support from his CEO he managed to conquer.

Going forward, Chimbindi wants to ensure that every ward in his community has a GFP. It is his aim to advocate for a well funded gender budget. Finally, he wants to mainstream gender in the activities of the junior council so as to “catch them young” and have a gender oriented staff in the near future.