OSISA is part of the global network of Open Society Foundations and operates in ten southern African countries: Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. OSISA promotes open society values by working towards building vibrant and tolerant democracies across the region, through our various thematic and country programmes.

The board of OSISA considers grants over three times a year, and the Foundation accepts applications twice a year through open calls. For the 2015 Strategy Year, OSISA programmes are looking for proposals from civil society or state actors in the following priority spheres:

Human Rights, Justice and the Rule of Law

- Strengthen regional human rights bodies, human rights defenders and advocates, and instituting litigation on a selective basis to supplement other rights-promoting initiatives;

- Lead and support campaigns for the re-instatement of the SADC Tribunal;

- Address the systemic abuse of pre-trial detention through advocacy, legal support to detainees, posing alternatives and strengthening oversight systems;

- Support to organisations representing marginalised groups such as LGBTI people, people with disabilities and indigenous communities to challenge state-sanctioned prejudices through advocacy, litigation and other means; and

- Systematically strengthen the rule of law through working with judges/courts, Bar Associations, states and civil society.

Democracy and Governance

- Contribute towards the realisation of strong parliamentary democracy by supporting state and regional electoral bodies, strengthening civil society’s capacity to monitor elections, encouraging citizen (and particularly youth) participation in the political process and fostering a culture of democracy within political parties and parliaments;

- Strengthen civil society organisations and social movements that empower citizens to hold governments accountable between elections. OSISA’s support will include funding key organisations and movements, facilitating the development of leadership, analytical policy and organisational skills and building linkages across the region; and

- Combat poor governance by working with those who expose corruption and maximising access to information that is critical to the full enjoyment of citizen rights, including social, economic and political rights.

Social and Economic Justice

- Support communities, CSO’s and States to: ensure that the abundant land, mineral and water resources of the region are governed and utilised for inclusive , broad based economic development; combat exploitation by corporations and corrupt political elites of the natural wealth of the region; promote enhanced productivity and economic empowerment of small (especially women) farmers;

- Support movements demanding services - particularly health care and education for marginalised groups, women and young children; supporting government initiatives in policy development and service provision aimed at broadening access and improving quality; and

- Support the development of policy frameworks that draw state, private sector and citizens into an economic policy framework that benefits board oversight and governance.

NB: This call for proposal does not exclude the seeking of funding for unanticipated and opportunistic work during 2015, whereby potential grantees may make submission outside the stated period. These submissions need to include a detailed justification for the submission.


To be eligible to apply for an OSISA grant, the following requirements are essential for established organisations, but not mandatory particularly for nascent organisations:

- Have a mission and implement programmes that are consistent with open society values;

- Demonstrate the ability to operate in a clear niche and be a significant actor within that arena (demonstrated by a record of producing materials, having conducted research and/or advocacy, and having implemented programmes at a sub-regional, national or region-wide level);

- Demonstrate the ability to operate a well-managed and financially viable operation (demonstrated by the submission of three-to-five years of audited financial statements and a letter of support from an existing donor);

- Sound and strong track record of success and impact on its target population (as evidenced by the submission of independent programmatic evaluations that are less than two years old);

- Strong financial management systems and strong capacity for resource mobilization (as evidenced by the existence of a qualified accountant and/or accounting firm managing the organisation’s finances, and evidence of financial systems in place);

- A clear strategic vision for the organization, and an articulation of how this vision will assist the organisation to address the needs of the population and/or open society issue for which it requires support and funding.

Selection Criteria

Grants will be awarded based on available funding and the priorities outlined on our website, for each programme. Updated and mini-calls will also be posted from time-to-time. Short-listed applicants may be required to provide more information, or may be contacted for field visits.

Submission of applications

Applications should be completed using the following methods:

  1. By Mail to: Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, PO Box 678, Wits 2050
  2. By Fax: +27115875099
  3. Online via www.osisa.org

Kindly use ONLY ONE method of application.

Specific guidelines can be accessed on our website through this link: web proposals guidelines 2015

The time required to review a proposal varies according to the complexity of the proposal, the problem being addressed, and the number of proposals being reviewed. Generally, it can take up to three months from the time a proposal is received to the actual award of a grant, although OSISA strives to be as expeditious as possible in its review of inquiries and proposals. Please keep this in mind when planning.

CORAH FM broadcasting live on Channel Zim today from 1- 5pm
NEWS with Rutendo Muqaga where the Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations ZACRAS condemns the arrest of Wezhira Community Radio journalist Wilson Maphosa, And, Mabvuku/Tafara Traders Association petitions Harare City Council over the proposed $3 per day rate payment requirement.

SOCIAL LINK with Enita Cherewo looks at the pros and cons of the Domestic Violence Act .The discussion emanates from recent media reports that Aleck Macheso's daughter, Sharon, who wedded a few weeks ago might divorce her husband over domestic violence issues. Enita speaks to Musasa Project's Netty Musanhu, Padare's Walter Vengesai, social commentator Emilia Mukaratirwa and ordinary people of Harare.

In AROUND HARARE, Enita looks at the beginning of the urban farming season in Harare following rains recorded in and around the capital city. She talks to urban farmers and Harare City Councillor Christopher Mbanga who chairs council's environmental committee.

Enita will then be on WOMEN'S ISSUES programme where she hosts Hopely - based women’s drama group, All Generations. She interviews the group on why they are are into theatre and drama and how this has transformed their lives.

On SPORTS REVIEW, Tinotenda Munyukwi is joined by Philemon Jambaya and they look at sporting games played over the weekend including various social soccer results from matches played in Harare.



We close the day with ZVIRIMUGAPU as Enita engages members of the public on their views on the placement of condoms and other contraceptives at work places and churches.

If you want to speak live on any of these programmes, post your phone number on this page and we will call you back. You can also text/ Whatsapp on 0777 998028 or call direct to the studio on 04 - 782199. N.B Please indicate which programme you want to participate in.

Uproar over Harare demolitions

Thousands of residents in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare and surrounding areas are facing eviction from their homes as local authorities embark on an operation to demolish all illegal structures.

At the end of last month, city authorities turned 70 residential and business buildings into rubble overnight in the dormitory town of Chitungwiza, 25km north of Harare, and served 324 settlers in the high-density suburb of Glen Norah with 48-hour eviction notices. 

However, the demolitions in Glen Norah did not proceed, as residents armed with axes, knobkerries and other objects faced off with police who eventually retreated.

Last week, hundreds of houses in Epworth, a high-density settlement southeast of Harare, were also demolished before a high court ruling on 10 October granted residents a temporary reprieve.

A government audit of illegal structures made public in December 2013 found that more than 14,000 residential stands in and around Chitungwiza had been illegally sold by housing cooperatives, councillors and village heads, all of them with ties to Zimbabwe’s ruling party ZANU-PF. Much of the land where stands were illegally created for the building of homes and businesses, had been earmarked for other purposes such as for clinics, schools, cemeteries, roads and wetlands.

Following the release of the report, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Deputy Minister Biggie Matiza was quoted in the state-owned daily, The Herald, as committing to a “well organized, humane” process in demolishing the illegal structures that would ensure all affected families were offered alternative land. 

"I will not leave my home. I am living in fear that the demolishers can come and I can't even sleep"

However, residents like Eleanor Magaya, whose house in Chitungwiza faces demolition, have not been offered alternative land. “I will not leave my home,” she told IRIN. “I am living in fear that the demolishers can come and I can’t even sleep. They have served us with a seven-day ultimatum to vacate the area as it is reserved for recreational purposes and built on wetlands.”

Magaya showed receipts of payment she made for the stand to former ZANU-PF Chitungwiza Councillor Frederick Mabamba, who was behind one of the housing cooperatives identified in the government audit as illegally selling stands in the area.

“We were even given the go-ahead to start building and occupy the land before the general elections [in July] last year,” she said.

Businessman Boniface Manyonganise has started reconstructing his demolished building in Chitungwiza claiming that he got it lawfully.

“I will demand my compensation later, but for now I need to rebuild my business premise to continue operating,” he told IRIN.

In a statement, Harare City Council Spokesperson Leslie Gwindi urged residents who had been served eviction notices to voluntarily leave or face forced removal.


However, residents are adamant they will not leave stands they had paid for. “We will remain here, even if they kill us, let them kill us here,” said Nomatter Matikiti, a Chitungwiza resident who had been served with a seven-day eviction notice.

Before demolitions in Epworth were suspended, local human rights NGO Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) reported that 33 people had been injured there.

Harare residents have been experiencing severe housing shortages for a number of years with an official housing waiting list of 500,000, although the actual number of residents in need of housing but not on the waiting list is thought to be much higher. 

Dzimbahwe Chimbga, ZLHR programmes manager said: “The demolitions are quite devastating and disturbing as most of these people have only these homes and no other place to seek refuge. The demolitions have happened at a time when not only is the economy ailing, but rains have also started.”

The country is currently experiencing a severe economic crisis which has seen wide-scale company closures and downsizings, forcing many Zimbabweans to rely on the informal sector to make a living.

The demolitions have evoked memories of the 2005 Operation Murambatsvina urban clean-up campaign which left an estimated 700,000 people homeless across the country. 

“It’s difficult to see the difference between these demolitions and Operation Murambatsvina, as the people were served with short notices and under very unclear circumstances,” said Chimbga.

Political motives?

Chimbga alleged that so-called land barons with links to the ruling party had illegally settled people, not only for financial gain, but in an effort to boost support for ZANU-PF in the run-up to the 2013 elections. However, local authorities in affected areas have been overwhelmed by the pressures on resources from the new residents and can no longer sustain service delivery.

“Once these people had been used by their political party during the last elections, there was no need to maintain them,” Chimbga told IRIN. 

Organizations representing residents facing eviction, together with ZLHR, filed a court order on 7 October to stop demolitions in Epworth until affected residents could be relocated or offered alternative accommodation.

On 10 October, the court ordered the Epworth Local Board (ELB) to stop the demolitions citing section 74 of the Constitution which guarantees the right to shelter, and a law which requires local authorities to obtain a court order before demolishing illegal structures. 

The judgement pointed out that land barons had taken advantage of desperate home seekers and that the ELB had turned a blind eye to the illegal structures mushrooming in the area. 

“Having allowed these illegal settlements to take root, at the expense not only of the settlers but also of organized urban planning and public health, local authorities are now waking up and by force and power demolishing the structures without regard to the law and human dignity,” stated the judge.

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