Posted on May 27, 2010 | Category: Politics; Business, Sport
Zimbabweans in UK to be consulted on British Policy
London, 26th May 2010. UK based Zimbabweans have an opportunity to have a co-ordinated say in what the new British Government policy on Zimbabwe will be with a consultative meeting set for Saturday 29th May 2010 at Ilford Sports Centre IG11.
The meeting, to start at midday is being organised by the Zimbabwe Diaspora Focus Group (ZDFG), the Coalition of UK based Zimbabwean organisations formed on the 19th February 2010 following an identified need for Zimbabweans in the UK to speak with one voice when engaging Her Majesty’s Government (HMG).
All Zimbabwean organisations and individuals who are not members of any organisation are cordially invited so that “their views can be captured and represented in the next ZDFG meeting with HMG.”
ZDFG Chairperson Lucia Dube announced that 12 portfolio representatives would attend the next meeting with HMG on the 17th of June and this meeting was to consult Zimbabweans on the issues they wanted raised as well as discussing specific agenda items as submitted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). These include economic and investment policy and UK-Zimbabwe council twinning links.
It is expected that HMG will update ZDFG on the new policy on Zimbabwe and seek feedback from ZDFG on issues of mutual interest that can inform policy formulation.
“It is important that the views of Zimbabweans on the work of immigration and developmental policy are correctly reflected in the meetings while discussions around, say the role of the World Bank’s Diaspora initiative and DFID can be explored.
“ZDFG is eager to ensure that the voice of Zimbabweans is effectively represented. I therefore call upon all Zimbabweans to be part of this initiative and attend the consultative meeting in their numbers,” Mrs Dube said.
On the 19th February 2010, more than 30 UK based Zimbabwean Organisations gathered in Ilford, Essex and resolved to form a coalition seeking to answer a call be HMG for Zimbabweans to engage with one voice. More organisations continue to join.
Terms of reference were agreed with HMG led by the FCO outlining a tripartite relationship, with ZDFG, HMG and the Zimbabwean Government as partners as below:
Meetings envisaged on a quarterly basis but can be called ad-hoc if necessary.
· To help facilitate discussions between HMG, the Zimbabwean diaspora in the UK and the Government of Zimbabwe on policy issues..
· To act as the primary link between HMG and the Zimbabwean diaspora on issues to be discussed.
· To work in a constructive manner to facilitate understanding and solutions that offer mutual benefits.
· HMG to seek and discuss diaspora focus group views and advice on potential policy issues. These could include, but are not limited to, migration, human rights, development, education, health..
· Diaspora representatives to seek to present co-ordinated diaspora views on HMG migration policy from their constituent groups. This may include differences of opinion but the forum should remain non-partisan.
· Diaspora representatives to disseminate results of Diaspora Focus Group meetings to their constituents and seek feedback as appropriate. HMG to provide core scripts/information sheets as requested.
· Diaspora representatives to advise HMG on prioritisation of suitable media outlets for outreach work HMG can undertake with Zimbabweans in the UK.
In order to ensure that ZDFG remain non-partisan and apolitical, the member organisations agreed that political parties will only have an observer status.
With a realisation that all sections of the Zimbabwean Diaspora need adequate representation, ZDFG is organised into 12 portfolios. Each new member organisation is encouraged to identify and join the portfolio that best suits its main constitutional objectives. Seminars and consultative conferences, and action plans are organised according to portfolios as follows:
1. Organisations for those in the UK – Lead – ZDDI (Alex Magaisa)
2. Charities for benefit of those in Zim Lead – ZCA (Lucia Dube)
3. Youth – Lead – Positive Youth (Shirley Michaels)
4. Women – Lead – Zimbabwe Women Network (Silva Hove)
5. Business Community – Lead – ZG Club (Kevin Pawadyira)
6. Human Rights – Lead – MAGGEMM (Mpho Ncube)
7. Faith and Religious Groups – Lead – CZCLUK (Qobo Mayisa)
8. Arts & Culture – Lead – Ngonyama (Million Songanga Moyo)
9. Immigration & Asylum – Lead – Zimbabwe Association (Patson Muzuwa)
10. Think Tanks, Researchers & Academics – Lead – Beacon Mbiba/Esinath Ndiweni
11. Media – Lead – AZJ in UK (Clayton Peel)
12. Observer Political Parties – MDC (Jeff Sango) + ZAPU (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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