In Zimbabwe, our partners Envision Zimbabwe Women’s Trust continued their work in 2020 in spite of the challenging environment for civil society organisations. Working with the police, they have been helping to reduce violence and increase awareness about COVID-19.
Some of the police officers that took part shared their experiences:
For one female police officer,
“I have learnt to encourage people politely to adhere to regulations that prevent the spreading of the disease while sharing the information I received. As an officer I was ready to use force on people being reckless, but I have noticed that generally people have wrong beliefs that it is just like the normal flu and when we take our time as police to explain what it is people will listen. So now my approach is to teach before arresting.”
“I am a 29-year-old male police officer. The course in Conflict Management came at the right time when the country was under lockdown and restriction of movement due to the COVID-19 pandemic…I have been able to address public transport drivers and their conductors to adhere to COVID-19 regulations. Previously we would just approach these drivers and arrest them or they would speed away, dangerously risking the lives of passengers. There has always been tensions between these public drivers and us the police, the conflict transformation skills are helping us to exercise nonviolent approaches to deal with such situations.”
Illustrations by Nash Weerasekera // The Jacky Winter Group