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Cont Mhlanga blasts civic society


PLAYWRIGHT and Amakhosi Theatre Productions director Cont Mhlanga has blasted civic society for short-changing the people it represents.


Mhlanga, who was speaking to NewsDay on the sidelines of International Human Rights Day celebrations said civic society has been depriving the people of information in languages that they understand.

“It is sad that in this country we are saying everyone should understand the meanings of every piece of communication in English,” Mhlanga said.

“Most people speak indigenous languages and if you define everything in deeper English terms, you violate their rights to information.”

“When people are denied the right to information in their native languages, it means they have no access to administrative information and that is a violation of rights.”

The artiste called for accessibility of the new Constitution in indigenous languages and said lack of it was a serious violation of rights.

“There is a lot that needs to be done by government and civic society to ensure people enjoy their rights. Civic society can be worse because they have
a mentality of attachment to hotels with a few selected individuals and they deny access to information to ordinary citizens who have no access to those hotels. They fly from one country to another and when they return they do not send information down to the people who are supposed to benefit,” he said.

Mhlanga said communities needed to be educated on issues affecting them if they were to enjoy their rights.

He listed one of the biggest human rights violations suffered by artistes in Zimbabwe as piracy and called on government agencies responsible for licensing and law enforcement to put more effort to ending such malpractices.

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