COLUMNIST Tendai Ruben Mbofana’s opinion piece in Friday’s edition of NewsDay highlights how the elite, who have raped Zimbabwe and inflicted so much pain on the population, so readily moan about sanctions when they and their family members get inconvenienced by them. Duh!
That is the purpose of these sanctions — to deny the ruling elite the benefits from the products of their violence and vote rigging.
They were imposed by Western counties to try to bring the Zanu PF ruling elite to their senses.
Fat chance of that happening, when they ride the gravy train and feast on all that Zimbabwe has.
Should we be feeling pity for former Finance minister Patrick Chinimasa’s daughter because she cannot sit in a United States school while our children have to sit under a tree for their schooling?
And how does a mere ex-minister afford the schooling in a faraway continent?
How much do the Zanu PF bigwigs collectively take out of Zimbabwe annually in foreign currency for schooling their children, getting healthcare for themselves and family members, enjoying holidays overseas and splurging on shopping trips, not to forget obscene allowances while they travel with the President or otherwise on government business?
This is all not lost on the countries that impose sanctions on our “leaders”.
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- 'Gukurahundi survivors denied food aid'
- Masisi proves ruling elite out of touch with suffering citizenry
- Scrap nomination fees for PWDs
Expecting calls from the likes of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Sadc and the African Union, for sanctions to be dropped is so naive. It is laughable, if not degrading.
All sane minds know that it is only Zanu PF and President Emmerson Mnangagwa who can have the sanctions withdrawn, by adopting democratic, peaceful and sensible policies that have the population at heart.
So, yes it is Zanu PF who imposed sanctions on the citizens of Zimbabwe. - A Mbire
School officials must desist from turning away pupils over fees
AHEAD of commencement of the first school term next week, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) urges administrators at public schools to desist from turning away children due to failure to pay tuition fees.
ZLHR has over the years and months noted a pervasive and worrying practice, where school authorities both in rural and urban areas have increasingly turned away children from attending lessons owing to non-payment of school fees and leading to a substantial increase in numbers of children dropping out of school.
In most instances, the majority of children who fall victim to this practice are those from disadvantaged families and yet the acquisition of education is the only pathway out of poverty.
It is disconcerting that the turning away of children from schools continues to take place, nine years after the adoption of a Constitution, which in section 75(1) guarantees every citizen and permanent resident the right to a basic State-funded education.
ZLHR reminds some overzealous school authorities that excluding children from school for non-payment of school fees is unconstitutional.
This ongoing practice undermines policy pronouncements issued by the Primary and Secondary Education ministry, which on several occasions has categorically denounced exclusion of children from school for non-payment of school fees.
Chasing away children from school on the pretext that they have not paid tuition fees undermines the principle of “the best interests of the child”, guaranteed in sections 19 and 81 of the Constitution and in several regional and international human rights instruments of which Zimbabwe is a State party.
With less than a fortnight before commencement of the first term for the new academic calendar, ZLHR implores all school authorities to respect the laws of the country and guarantee that no child is turned away from school for the sole reason of non-payment of school fees.
ZLHR reiterates that the Constitution emphasises the sanctity of the right to education and this has in recent years been confirmed by government officials including President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Paul Mavima, hence we implore them to fulfil this pledge and stop making hollow promises to parents, guardians and school children.
Upon opening of schools on January 9, 2023, ZLHR expects all public schools to comply with Zimbabwean laws and the provisions of the Constitution and afford all children an opportunity to attend lessons and desist from turning them away from attending lessons.
Since access to basic education is a crucial element in the development of a human being, as education enables enjoyment and fulfilment of other critical rights, ZLHR urges government to:
lIssue, implement and enforce a directive to all publicly-run schools to allow children to attend school whether or not tuition fees due have been paid;
lRespect commitment to the realisation of the right to basic state-funded education as guaranteed in section 75 of the Constitution by adequately funding the Basic Education Assistance Module, and similar social assistance and protection programmes;
lEnsure that teachers are adequately remunerated to industriously conduct their crucial duties;
lFulfil its promise of providing education for all children attending public schools in Zimbabwe and to pay school fees for children of all educators as pledged in early 2022. - ZLHR
Adieu 2022, welcome 2023
THE year 2022 brought a lot of memorable, exciting and fulfilling moments to the Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (Viset).
A lot of lessons were learnt and massive achievements accomplished towards the social and economic transformation of Informal Economy Workers and the communities we serve.
We managed to create new but solid partnerships with important stakeholders in the informal economy ecosystem.
We spearheaded the full actualisation of the Informal Economy Women’s Hub (INHEWO) to become a fully functional information and ideas-sharing platform for women in the informal economy.
The hub now has a strong 2 505 membership across the country.
We have continued to challenge and defend our members against the various human rights abuses orchestrated by municipal police on the one hand, and the State security apparatus on the other.
We will continue to champion the full democratisation of the governance of the informal economy without fear or favour.
We played a central role during the development of the formalisation strategy for Zimbabwe.
We ensured that our members, despite resource limitations, participated in the process and that their voice is heard.
At the regional stage, we witnessed the remarkable growth of our sister union, Viset Namibia Chapter.
We salute their resolve and determination to support the growth and development of the informal sector in that country.
In 2023, two more Viset regional chapters will be established in The Kingdom of eSwatini and Mozambique.
Internationally, we participated in various meetings and conferences that allowed us to share the Zimbabwean informal economy story and building important networks in the process.
Finally, we instituted various research interventions including unpaid care and domestic work, youth employment and informality in Zimbabwe, women and cross-border trading to mention a few.
Research and learning is at the centre of our programmatic thrust as Viset, we can only but improve on this in 2023.
To that end, we would like to salute our members, The Sochamps, for their dedication and handwork.
We will continue to support them as we endeavour to circumnavigate the difficult operating environment.
To all the stakeholders in the informal economy ecosystem, we cherish your time, expertise, resources and information that has allowed Viset to grow to be where we are since formation. - Viset