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Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Zimbabweans are starving in the time of Covid

At least 95% of the population of Zimbabwe are informal traders and when the lockdown began all those people were left with no source of income. The government spoke about setting aside money to help people out during the lockdown but very few people if any have benefitted from this money.

Even during this time when the whole country is faced with the pandemic the government is still choosing to distribute food on a partisan basis. The majority of Zimbabweans are faced with starvation and ordinary citizens like Samantha Murokozi have been moved by the plight of the people and started a food kitchen to cater for the children and people of Chitungwiza who can not afford to feed themselves. In Epworth Carol and Sandra who are two single mothers have also started a food kitchen to feed especially the children in Epworth. These are examples of people who themselves don't have much but have been so moved by the suffering of others that they felt that they had to do something. What a great irony that the poor in our society are the ones who are being moved to help their fellow citizens and yet government ministers who drive the most luxurious cars and live in the most opulent houses are not moved and as such are not doing anything to alleviate the hunger that most Zimbabweans are facing.

Who's responsibility is it to make sure that every citizen is at least fed during a pandemic and a government mandated lockdown? According to the Constitution of Zimbabwe Section 77 (b) Every person has the right to sufficient food; and the State must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within the limits of the resources available to it, to achieve the progressive realisation of this right. The government has however been very selective in providing food to those in need whilst completely ignoring the fact that at least 60% of the population were facing starvation before the mandated lockdown. As most people were informally employed the advent of the lockdown meant that those people could no longer fend for themselves and yet the government has not done anything to help those people unless they are part of the government's ZANU PF ruling party. This move by the government has been cruel and inhumane and shows their complete disregard for the masses at large. If the leadership cannot step up and meet the needs of the people that they govern then in my opinion they don't deserve to be a leader at all...

The patterns of abduction, torture and abuse in Zimbabwe

Abductions, torture and abuse have become the order of the day when the government wants to silence those who raise their voices in dissent. The government of Zimbabwe don't want to be challenged and when people challenge them they find creative ways of discrediting those who would have spoken or even silencing those voices for good.

On the 13th of May 2020 Joana Mamombe, Netsai Marova and Cecilia Chimbiri were abducted from the Harare Central Police Station by suspected security agents and were later on tortured and sexually abused by these same people. Instead of having a thorough investigation of what had happened to these ladies first, the government however chose to charge them with holding a demonstration during the lockdown,whilst they were still recovering in hospital. The fact that they broke lockdown rules was more important to the government than ensuring that the perpetrators of their abduction were brought to book. Their reasons of holding the demonstration were valid in that the government put the country in lockdown but did not provide the citizens with any means of survival during this period.

This is not the first time that citizens have been abducted and tortured in Zimbabwe and in all instances these incidents happened because the individuals were outspoken about how the government of Zimbabwe was failing the people. In the recent past Samantha Kureya was abducted and tortured because of her satire comedy which highlighted the government inefficiencies, Dr Peter Magombeya because of his outspokenness and in March of 2015 Itai Dzamara was abducted and was never seen again.

Despite the fact that Zimbabwe has a Constitution that gives people rights, the government has chosen on many occasions to deprive people of those same rights all in the name of governing. There will come a day when the government will no longer be able to silence the voices of dissent with their usual tactics but will be held accountable for every atrocity that they have perpetrated against their citizens....what a day that will be.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

What did 40 years of independence give us?

On the18th of April 1980, after a furious liberation struggle, all Zimbabweans celebrated in exaltation for we were now free from the colonialists who had presided over the people for decades. On this date we finally felt like we could be our own people never to be oppressed again and free to live and build Zimbabwe for our children and our children's children. 40 years on, are we enjoying all the freedoms that we thought we had gained on that exultant day in 1980?....sadly NO.

The liberators who fought and claimed that our people would never be oppressed again have now taken the place of the colonialists and have now become our biggest oppressors. One would think that the injustice that many experienced before Independence would never be seen again but now injustice rules the day. Zimbabwe has been ruled with an iron fist by the ZANU PF party since independence and they have become the greatest instrument of destruction for Zimbabwe. From infrastructure to agricultural output, you name it, they have destroyed it. From donor funds to money in the government coffers, you name it, they have stolen it. From beatings, rape and murder, you name it, they have instigated it. What haven't they done to oppress the people of Zimbabwe?

What started off as cries of exultation on the 18th of April 1980 have now become cries of despair over a government that cares nothing for the needs of its people but rather looks for opportunities to prosper at the expense of the masses. When President Mugabe was ousted from power in November 2017 many thought that the serpent was destroyed and a new day had now come to Zimbabwe but the time under President Mnangagwa has proved that the serpent is very much alive only now with a new head and capable of doing far much worse than we had ever thought...so much for 40 years of independence.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Cry beloved Zimbabwe cry

As 2019 comes to an end despair is the emotion that greatly describes how most Zimbabwean citizens are feeling. The hope that once filled their hearts after President Mnangagwa took office has long since gone and all that is left is an illusion of what Zimbabwe could have been under a better leader.

Zimbabweans are a joyous people but President Managagwa and his government have sucked all the joy out of people's lives. This year has seen people beaten, tortured, raped and murdered all because they dared to raise their voices against this oppressive regime. Not a single person was ever brought to account for all those atrocities. People have died unnecessarily due to treatable diseases that have gone untreated due to the poor state of our hospitals. In the mean time the elite in government have jetted off to countries like China and South Africa to receive medical care and yet they leave the citizens to die.

The unemployment rate in Zimbabwe has risen to a least 90% with  a record number of people having to rely of food aid just to survive. This Christmas many households went without the usual rice and chicken as they could not afford to buy such luxuries. With all these problems that are facing Zimbabwe the corruption within the halls of government has however gone unchecked with hundreds of millions of dollars that could have been used to feed our people and provide supplies to our hospitals disappearing without a trace. So who is to blame for the poor state of affairs in Zimbabwe?

President Mnangagwa made a lot of promises when he was campaigning to get into office and none of those promises have materialised for the ordinary Zimbabweans. Has he failed as a leader...he definitely has!

Friday, 16 August 2019

The never ending struggle of the Zimbabwean people

When President Mugabe was forced out of office everyone breathed a sigh of relief thinking that the days of tyranny were now far behind us. Little did we know that worse was yet to come in the disguise of  ''A new Dispensation'' under the leadership of President Mnangagwa.

For the first time ever since Zimbabwe gained Independence people were gunned down by both police and soldiers who were using live ammunition, in broad daylight. In February 2018 barely 3 months after President Mnangagwa took office, 3 unarmed civilians were shot dead by the police, 6 people were shot dead by the army on the 1st of August 2018 and at least 30 people had gunshot wounds after the army opened fire in January 2019. No one was ever brought to account for the shootings and the lives that were lost showing the government's blatant disregard for the people of Zimbabwe.

Added to the shootings there has been an increase of arbitrary arrests, abductions and torture of civil society leaders, opposition leaders and ordinary civilians whom the government perceive to be a threat to their leadership. On the 20th of May 2019, Tatenda Mombeyarara, George Makoni, Frank Mpahlo, Gamuchirai Mukura and Farirai Gumbonzvanda, a 26 year old woman who volunteers for the Rozaria trust,  were arrested and charged with treason because they had attended a training event in Prague. The government's paranoia and need to suppress people is so great that prison and court life has become a daily occurrence in the lives of some civic society leaders and some members of the opposition party.

On the 14th of August 2019, Tatenda Mombeyarara was abducted and tortured by six men leaving him with a broken leg, fractured hand, damaged kidneys and chemical burns on his skin. All this occurred because they wanted to know what had transpired at a workshop that he had attended in the Maldives and they also accused him of sponsoring and organising the demonstration that had been called for the 16th of August 2019. Tatenda now has life altering injuries but nothing will ever happen to the perpetrators of these crimes.

The bottom line is that  this new level of callousness from both the police and the army will continue to persist because President Mnangagwa allows it.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

President Mnangagwa's matra 'Business before people's lives'

Whist people like President Macron of France have decided to cancel their trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos due to unrest in his country, President Mnangagwa has decided to proceed to this conference despite the unrest in Zimbabwe and the many who have been killed at the hands of his government forces. For someone who says that he is concerned for the welfare of the country his actions signify that he is more concerned about his own status and the need to make money other than the lives of the people of Zimbabwe.

In my opinion it almost seemed as if he timed the fuel increase announcement to coincide with his departure so that he wouldn't have to deal with the blow back that was definitely going to come as a result of his announcement. You don't have to be an expert to know that the increase of fuel would have a domino effect over other expenses like food, transport and health care. I don't know how President Mnangagwa and his people thought that the increase was a great idea especially considering that salaries have remained static. This just goes to show that they cannot relate and do not care about how an ordinary Zimbabwean is surviving from one day to the next.

The shootings that have occurred over the stay away are the third such incident of shootings that have occurred since President Mnangagwa and his government took office. In both the February 2018 and the August 2018 shootings that left civilians dead, no one was ever charged for these murders. It's devastating that after the sham commission of enquiry, we are now faced with yet another similar situation where the government has not shown restraint but have chosen to shoot and kill civilians. By staying abroad whilst all the mayhem is taking place at home President Mnangagwa is putting his stamp of approval on the actions that the police and army have taken in killing and maiming citizens and is also saying he doesn't care about the ordinary Zimbabwean. This cannot be allowed to continue. ED and his people should be held accountable for all these atrocities....enough is enough

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Life for the ordinary Zimbabwean is getting progressively worse with ED at the helm

Ordinary Zimbabweans experienced one of the bleakest Christmas periods this year since Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980. Commodities like coca-cola that were once a staple for many households during the festive period were sourly lacking this year. Added to that long fuel ques could be seen with people spending hours in the ques trying to get fuel. All these shortages have been blamed on the shortages of foreign currency that the country has been experiencing.

What I don't get though is that ED continues to make decisions that are detrimental to the country starting with the decision to have the Motlanthe Commission of Enquiry, investigating the 1 August shootings. If this commission of enquiry had led to arrests and compensations it would have been welcome but instead the commission found out what people already knew with regards to the army being responsible for shooting 6 civilians death and on top of that this commission was paid a staggering $US1.15m in total to come up with their deductions. Not only did this commission waste people's time and waste the country's money but no one was brought to account for the murders that were perpetrated by the army. Instead we were told that disciplinary measures would be conducted internally by the army and to add insult to injury the commander in charge of these murderers was promoted by President Mnangagwa. Given that the government had to set up a GoFundMe page to help combat cholera I'm disgusted that they were able to come up with the money to pay for a sham enquiry that yielded nothing that would benefit the families of the bereaved and the nation at large.

One of ED's mantra's during his presidential campaign was that there would be better health care under his leadership. Well clearly that was not true as hospitals are ill equipped and the doctors are not being paid a fair wage. At least 500 doctors were recently suspended for asking for a better wage. It amazes me that the government would rather suspend the doctors instead of paying them especially after forking out the $US1.15m to the Motlanthe Commission of Enquiry. The domino effect of these suspensions have led to patients being turned away from Parirenyatwa hospital as there are not enough doctors to treat patients. Whilst ED and his people are prioritising inconsequential things, people are dying due to lack of medical care...but then again what do they care because they can always jet out of the country if they need medical care.

ED and his people talk a lot about all the improvements that they are bringing to the country and all the investments that are coming in but the reality is far from this. There are no jobs, there is no adequate food, there is a clean water crisis, the hospitals are ill equipped...in a nutshell most Zimbabweans who are not benefitting from the chaos that ED has brought are very unhappy.