The Binda community in Mhondoro has called for restorative justice as a pre-requisite for sustainable peace in the country. This came out at a Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution and Transformation (CPMRT) community peace outreach and dialogue session convened by the Ecumenical Church Leaders Forum on the 26th to the 28th of May at Binda Business Centre.

The workshop was held in a bid to build peace within the community as well as to raise awareness on the role of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission.

One participant said she could only forgive those who had violated her once they compensate her for her loss and the injuries suffered.

“We can only start to talk about peace once I have been compensated for the things that I lost and for the injuries suffered. I feel aggrieved and find it difficult to try and make peace with my aggressor especially in the view that I lost so much and am living with scars that will never go away and my aggressor is walking scot-free,” She said.

Another participant said he felt that there was need to address the feelings of both the offender and the victim if peace-building efforts are to be sustainable.

The key lessons that emerged from the workshop were that communities feel there is need for offenders to take responsibility for their actions especially through admitting that they were wrong, showing remorse and making conscious efforts to compensate their victims.

The workshop was attended by village heads, members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, representatives of various political parties, various church denominations, representatives from government ministries as well as youths and women from the community.