Polytechnic colleges are affected by the prevailing economic and political crises in Zimbabwe and have the potential to contribute to overcoming these crises through an expansive approach to peace building. However, the socio-political dimensions of polytechnic colleges are undervalued, under-researched and receive limited attention in the literature which is very narrowly focused on the role of polytechnics in producing vocational skills for the labour market (Kariwo, 2009). This macroeconomic understanding polytechnic colleges as portrayed in the literature is necessary but insufficient to take the nation beyond negative peace (Murwira, 2022).
This project seeks to unfurl the peacebuilding roles of polytechnic colleges in Zimbabwe through the 4Rs framework (Daoust & Novelli, 2020) and posits a fifth R – reconfiguration. The polytechnic colleges bring young people together across different divisions in the country and address socioeconomic, political and regional inequities. Thus, polytechnic colleges have an unexamined role to play in relation to questions of redistribution, recognition, representation, reconciliation and reconfiguration. The study envisages contributing towards understanding peacebuilding roles of polytechnic colleges through the 4Rs thus reconfiguring the country into its post crisis epoch.