Tunatazama - Community Monitors


Billian T Matambo, Zimbabwe Diamonds and Allied Workers Union (ZIDAWU)
Chiadzwa, Zimbabwe

Having adopted a media strategy early this year ZIDAWU has hit the ground running in implementing the adopted strategies in the midst of the Corona virus induced lockdown. Our Quarterly Executive meeting was held via our WhatsApp platform. This was in line with the Presidential Decree to avoid social gatherings and maintain social distancing for 21 days.

As law abiding citizens we complied to the call to stay at home. Though under lockdown we could not be locked in our minds as well. Instead of hibernating in our cocoons we instead livened our spirits by engaging in this productive meeting. It was a success with an 80% participation and the excused two members had funeral commitments. The minutes and other supporting documents were supplied to each participant a day prior to the meeting. The meeting took three hours.

Mr Cosmus Sunguro, who is the President of Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Workers Union shared with the members on why necessary and important to stay safe in this critical times, he said ” Corona virus is real and is there. We saw it necessary to practice social distancing by avoiding unnecessary movements. We also encourage members to observe all recommended hygienic measures”.

Inasmuch as we sailed through our major setbacks were on the following
-exorbitant data tariffs
-poor network from the service providers which tended to interrupt our conversation

  • lack of a media platform which could provide an interface service.
    We however had to soldier on and play to the Corona virus situation tune.

Hence despite the setbacks we could not turn a blind eye on the overwhelming advantag of the whatsapp platform we used . Considering the cost of current call tariffs it is the cheapest alternative. Also documents can be sent at a lesser cost and this include images which might need to be seen. It is efficient in terms of conveying messages which need instant responses and it allows an effective conversation to take place. Without forgetting the easy of doing meetings without having to worry about logistics , refreshments and printed hard copies.

We found it worthy to continue with such update as they help us to keep in touch with events in our mining communities in these trying times.We also found it as a way keeping abreast with current world events and join our parent organization in encouraging organizations to restrategize in their line of work as postulated by Ms Nyaradzo Mutonhori in her article published by ZELA.

We have not lost hope. In the midst of the thickest of the darkest cloud there is always a silver lining.