ACTIONAID secretary-general Adriano Campolina, currently in Zimbabwe as an election observer, yesterday launched the organisation’s social justice manifesto to provide a framework for the in-coming government to prioritise social justice and rule of law.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Campolina told journalists that ActionAid would expect the new government to be formed after today’s polls to promote policies that promote women’s rights, adherence to rule of law, social protection to people living in poverty, access to resources and public services, as well as land, and food security.
“That social justice agenda should go beyond the elections, and even the next elections, and the manifesto will push for public policy engagement in order to organise people to be able to stand for their rights,” Campolina said.
“We believe that the main priorities after elections are social justice and there is need to policy choices for Zimbabwe that help eradicate poverty and to promote justice,” he said.
ActionAid country director Joy Mabenge said the social justice manifesto represented living aspirations of Zimbabweans beyond the election itself, and thus inform the organisation’s continues engagement with government and keys stakeholders on promotion of social justice.
“Social justice will thrive in an environment where there are independent and democratic public institutions that are transparent, accountable, and corrupt free and non-partisan in provision of goods and services.
“Women want accessible, affordable, available, adaptable and safe health services. Their demands are women’s empowerment and transformation in their lives through their participation in decision making, access to, control over, ownership, utilisation and fair distribution of resources,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, ActionAid regional director (Zambia), Nalucha Nganga Ziba, said: “For this to happen it has to be accompanied by policy and legislative reforms.”
She said the youth were a significant population in Zimbabwe, and there were demands from them that the new government must guarantee youth employment opportunities, affordable and accessible safe education for all.
Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe chairperson Ronika Mumbire said there was need for women empowerment and an end to gender-based violence.
“We notice that representation of women has decreased from 33% to 15% which is disturbing because we feel that there are no women in political structures. If there are no women then the political dialogue will not be gendered,” Mumbire said.