MDC-T senator wins peace award

Posted on May 3, 2012 | Category: Politics; Business, Sport

National Healing co-minister Sekai Holland has been awarded the 2012 Sydney Peace Prize in recognition of her courageous campaign for human rights and democracy in Zimbabwe.
Holland, an MDC-T senator for Chizhanje (Mabvuku), was announced the winner of the $50 000 award on Monday night at a reception hosted by the Australian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Matthew Neuhaus.

This award comes as a wonderful surprise, but one which is so encouraging. I accept it on behalf of the brave women I have worked with for so many years and for my colleagues in our present Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration.

I also acknowledge the long-term support and friendship which I have received from Australian Aboriginal campaigners for human rights and for peace with justice, Holland told journalists.

She will travel to Australia where she is scheduled to give the City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture at the Sydney Town Hall on November 7 before receiving the prize, which also includes a trophy, the following day.

The Sydney Peace Foundation chairperson, Stuart Rees, said: In addition to her work for the education of rural women and her founding of Australias anti-apartheid movement 50 years ago, Sekai Holland has been a significant leader of non-violent democracy campaigns, and is a key figure in her countrys national dialogue on how to heal the deep wounds of social conflict.

The jurys citation described Holland as a courageous campaigner for human rights and democracy who has challenged violence in all its forms.

Hollands political career in the inclusive government has not been short on controversy.

In 2010, she threatened to quit her post as a member of the Organ of National Healing and Reconciliation if people thought she had failed. That was after she had been accused of not visiting her constituency.

During the launch of the Zimbabwe Victims of Organised Violence Trust in 2010, Holland was quoted as saying the MDC split in 2005 was a foolish decision.

I dont know where my colleagues had drunk beer which blindfolded them into admitting to a split, she said.

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