A Councillor who knows his community! Ending GBV in Musengezi!

Musengezi Communal Land is an old resettlement area where people were haphazardly relocated. Cultural beliefs and practices are causing some men to perpetuate Gender-based violence (GBV) to their wives and children on a day to day basis. Most men were ignorant on issues of domestic violence and child marriages and their consequences.

“When l heard about SAfAIDS Men as Protectors/Women as Protectors programme from Chegutu Rural District Council, I viewed it as a good opportunity for my community to learn about leading healthy lives.

As a councillor, I am a politician in some way but l managed to separate my political affairs from my home affairs because of the SAfAIDS programme. Disputes will never build anything but people need to talk openly to reach a consensus. In the past, I used to exercise my authoritative power at home and this created more disputes. To me, a wife was supposed to be scared of the husband, but in reality that is not how respect is earned. The SAfAIDS programme became an eye-opener and I wanted my community especially men to benefit as well.

Most GBV cases were being solved at traditional courts by village heads while others were left unsolved. ‘’Chakafukidza dzimba matenga,’’ a peaceful exterior may hide troubles inside, one cannot tell violence unless someone discloses or sees it happening.

Through the Men as Protectors/Women as Protectors club sessions, the prevalence of domestic violence in homes is being reduced. I am glad that some village heads are also part of the programme and are able to act as champions to influence their communities to change.

I wish this programme could spread to other parts of Musengezi communal areas because they all need to be reached out to.