On Thursday the 26th of February 2009 ZDDT held its Soft Launch, in Bulawayo, which was a great success.
It was well attended by a broad cross-section of Bulawayo society and decision makers, with business people, administrators and politically linked associates present. Both the Mayor and the Bulawayo Governor designate were in attendance, as well as Senator Hlalo and Councilor Manning. Overall there were 30 guests, which was a pleasing turn out.
Simon Spooner, the National Development Officer, gave an opening address, briefly outlining the principal objectives of ZDDT and how the Trust positions itself in terms of Development within the New Zimbabwe.
Mike Carter presented the PowerPoint presentation, which was particularly enlightening to those who were not intimately aware of ZDDT and its role in society.
The ZDDT’s plan of Action, 2009, was broadly outlined as follows:
• Community Survival Plan – Urban deficit assessments have been completed to provide for short to long term solutions. The former will be complete this month.
• Communication and Team Building –The team ZDDT building program is in progress and presently constitutes Simon Spooner and Candace Cope. Team Bulawayo is underway and will bring local leaders in the political, social and business spheres together to address local issues and challenges within the context of the current crisis. With ZDDT networking strengths, the facilitation of community groups throughout the country will proceed in support of the New Zimbabwe objective.
• Training and Democracy – ZDDT has already made extensive contact with associated groups and organisations that have shown an interest in becoming involved in Training workshops. Plans are well advanced to ensure that the first of these workshops becomes a reality. The data base of potential donors supporting Democratization continues to grow.
• Development and Investment – Likewise cross linking with potential donors and investors is moving at a steady pace. ZDDT’s plan is to market itself further afield and stimulate investment as a tool for community development. Added to this, the Trust continues to grow its relationship with relevant Governmental officials, with whom it hopes to work with in putting together community based projects and initiatives.
Seiso Moyo, Bulawayo’s future Governor designate, then addressed the group. His talk focused largely on the current public perception of the Governors office and the huge challenge he and his team will face in the re-branding exercise. He mentioned putting together his own team of stake holders to address his vision in dealing with the current crisis.
Our last speaker, Anna Androuliakos, a highly motivated and civic activist, enlightened the gathering on the security situation that has become a priority due to SA based organized crime. She explained the role of ‘Club 50’, which she established, which is working tirelessly and successfully in coping with the sudden increase in felonies. She works closely with local CID armed reaction groups who are supplied fuel, vehicles and equipment in order to successfully patrol the Bulawayo area 24/7. These units are equipped with a high-speed chase capacity. Her dedication is an inspiration to us all, as well as giving us peace of mind in these troubling times!
Emanating from this meeting will be the foundation of the Bulawayo survival plan and this will be the basis for our next meeting to be held in two to three weeks, and, we hope thereafter on a regular basis.