‘Zimbabwe’s future is bright’
Freedom is the founder of the Zimbabwean civil society organisation MOTSRUD (Management Outreach Training Services for Rural and Urban Development), and serves as a board member at the Zimbabwe Peace and Security Programme (ZPSP). She is also a poet and an ex-combatant from Zimbabwe’s war for independence.
How come you decided to apply for the course?
– I applied because I wanted to obtain more knowledge and skills on SSR issues, while being able to network with and learn from other actors active within this area of work.
What do you think of the course so far?
– The course has provided us with tools to apply in our respective contexts. There are many participants from the field here, which have given me the opportunity to learn from others and to establish new contacts. I also believe I had valuable experiences to share with the group as I am one of the few participants working with SSR permanently and in my own country.
Can you describe your organisation MOTSRUD and what it does?
– After my years as a combatant I needed to find a way to be useful again. This was why I created the MOSTRUD in the early 1980s. The aim was to provide assistance to resettlement for the many internally displaced people and refugees in Zimbabwe after the civil war. The initial aim of the organisation was therefore to assist with rehabilitation, reintegration and to provide training in agricultural skills.
How does the Zimbabwe Peace and Security Programme work on security sector issues in Zimbabwe?
– We work on SSR from a human security perspective in collaboration with universities and through trainings of security sector staff. I will bring many of the presented concepts and tools with me to our trainings in Zimbabwe. The success of SSR programmes in Africa is embedded in the ability to create a critical mass that understand and embrace good governance of public institutions, especially those that facilitate justice delivery to the poor men and women in the rural Africa.
Today you are also a poet and much of your writing circles around the civil war in Zimbabwe. How does your writing relate to your previous experiences from the war?
– Writing for me is a commitment. Although I have always had a passion for writing it became a way for me to process my experiences as a combatant in the civil war. I write of the war since if I can’t write about the war no one will.
How do you view the future of Zimbabwe?
– Zimbabwe’s future is bright. Considering our dark past we can only move forward. A condition for progress is to enable for Zimbabweans to cultivate the land they possess and through that rise out of poverty.
Freedom’s first publication, “On the Road Again”, was the result of a good friend gathering her thrown away notes and convincing her that her writing mattered. Read Poetry International Foundation’s article about her poetry here.