‘Govt disregarding children’s fundamental rights’

By Farai Matiashe

Political and children’s rights activists have accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government of disregarding the fundamental rights of children through socio-economic policies that largely benefit the elite.

“It is regrettable that 39 years after Zimbabwe attained independence, children’s rights are still wantonly disregarded. Sadly, the government of the day is part of the perpetrators and not the protector,” said MDC youth assembly national spokesperson Stephen Sarkozy Chuma in a statement to mark the Day of the African Child.

“From Gukurahundi to Operation Murambatsvina, Operation Makavhoterapapi to August 1 military killings, examples are plenty whereby this monster regime’s actions adversely impacted on children’s rights. So many children of those killed, including Itai Dzamara, are now orphans. What of Sylvia Maphosa’s children, that woman who was shot in the back by the military
on August 1, 2018?”

Chuma said Zimbabwean children could not even afford primary health care, clean and safe water resulting in many dying of malnourishment and cholera, while some die at birth.

He said parents were finding it difficult to pay for the education of their children because their salaries have been eroded eight-fold due to high inflation.

Youth Forum Zimbabwe director Ashton Bumhira called on government to address the socio-economic challenges facing the nation which are fuelling the trampling of children’s
rights.

“We have witnessed children dropping out of school as a direct result of this economic mess. Regular clean and safe water is hard to come by and so is shelter. This direct link between
the performance of the economy and children’s rights cannot be ignored and it is incumbent upon our leaders to address this as a matter of urgency,” he said.

Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children programmes manager Maxim Murungweni told NewsDay that there was need to ensure that the Department of Civil Protection was financially equipped to protect children during natural disasters.

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