Story by Lisa Masuku
THE Government has identified church leaders as critical in the rollout of the spotlight initiative, the world’s largest targeted effort to eliminate sexual and gender-based violence.
With Zimbabwe being one of the 22 countries implementing the global joint European Union and the United Nations EU-UN Spotlight initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls, the government has taken the programme to the church.
The government has done this to ensure church leaders are incorporated in the drive to fight gender-based violence-related issues in their respective communities.
“We have a programme called spotlight which looks at issues of Gender Based Violence (GBV). It is a global programme practised in various countries, so what we are trying to do now is incorporate church leaders so that they also play a key role in eradicating GBV,” said Dr Sithembiso Nyoni, the Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development.
The church is also buying into the government’s citizen-centric development programmes, which continue to propel the nation towards attaining an upper-middle-income economy vision by 2030.
“Since 2018 the government has been rolling out programmes that continue to transform lives and this will help us realize vision 2030,” said Arch-bishop Roki Moyo, president of the Council for Churches in Africa. So far, the Zimbabwe Spotlight Initiative programme has reached over five million people, exceeding the targeted two million citizens.