Silveira House Campaigns against police corrupton and media polarisation
Silveira House continues its tradition of facilitating discussions on national issues among key players in the country. From 8 - 12 October 2012, 35 Zimbabwe Republic Police officers from the Public Relations department, Victim Friendly, Boarder Control and Support units gathered together at Silveira House. Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri and the Director of Silveira House officiated at the opening of the workshop.
During the workshop, the Silveira House team courageously challenged the police officers to reflect on general issues of corruption, biased enforcement of the law and professionalism in police work. The Commissioner General also challenged the officers to be professional and fight against corruption even though it has become part of Zimbabwean society.
The Director of Silveira House called on the Commissioner General to restore the old image of the police force which had the police respected by all citizens. He also challenged the Commissioner General to take lead the process of fighting corruption in his organisation. The official opening speeches were summarised on ZBC TV evening news and in some newspapers the following day.
Silveira House looks forward to assisting Provincial Spokespersons to organise campaigns for peace as we get closer to the referendum and elections next year.
Silveira House did not retire after that workshop. On October 31, we hostel another workshop for 30 chief editors, CEOs and other senior members from various media houses. Participants included leaders from The Herald, Alpha Media Holdings (which publishes The Standard, NewsDay, Zimbabwe Independent etc), and the Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations. Others included the Communication Officer in Parliament, the head of the Press and Public Relations department of the ZRP, Directors from the Organ for National Healing and Reconciliation, JOMIC and other governmental and non-governmental organisations.
All gathered at Silveira House for half a day to discuss the polarisation of the media in Zimbabwe, and to explore ways of adopting and implementing what we termed Peace Journalism.
The main objective was to facilitate discussion around the idea of challenging media houses to play a part in building peace in Zimbabwe, especially in the coming months as the country continues to hear the word of elections early next year. The discussions were lively and the group asked for more opportunities in the future to pursue issues raised in the discussions. The event was reported in some newspapers the following day.
Silveira House is planning to host more discussions among the media, the politicians and other key players focusing on building peace in the country.
Next year Silveira House will facilitate discussions among players in peace building in the Southern Africa region. Through this new project we hope to have stronger collaboration with our sister social centres in South Africa, Zambia and Kenya.