Letters: Women suffer more in political situations

Political intolerance is soaring

FEBRUARY, the month of love proved not to be so concerning the human rights situation. Though February is a shorter month, ZPP recorded 241 human rights violations, a slight increase from 231 in January 2023.

The general citizens populated the highest percentage of victims, 90%, and Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporters followed with 8%. Zanu PF party perpetrated the most violations (48%), followed by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) at 17%. Midlands (38) and Mashonaland Central (33) — the two provinces recorded the highest violations, while Matabeleland North had (7), South (12) and Bulawayo (12).

The human rights situation across the country was characterised by widespread cases of harassment and intimidation of citizens in general and opposition members, especially at their gatherings which were systematically banned by the police in suspiciously politically-influenced decisions. Inter-party violence was also recorded in Gokwe North, Kadoma, Sanyati and Mazowe. There was also notable coercing of people in communities to join Zanu PF.

In most communities the party is using cell lists to intimidate and ensure everyone appears on it. In some communities known or suspected supporters of other parties are being grafted into leadership roles at the level of the cell. Those who are spurning these demands which infringe on section 58 of the Constitution, are targeted for assaults and discrimination when it comes to the distribution of food and agricultural inputs. Political space continues to shrink for the opposition and many people are not free to assert their rights in their communities. Threats and intimidation were most prevalent in Murewa, Uzumba, Maramba Pfungwe, Mudzi, Gokwe Chireya, Kabuyuni, Gumunyu, Mkoba, Zvishavane, Ngezi, Kambuzuma, Kuwadzana, Epworth, Lupane and Insiza, to name a few.

Political intolerance is soaring, resulting in tensions that have the potential to breed more violence and electoral malpractices in the coming months.

The situation in most rural and some urban communities is not boding well for the election season expected in a few months as rising tensions are keeping citizens in constant fear. They are being forced to attend meetings on a daily basis in some communities largely convened by traditional leaders some of whom are advising villagers to don ruling party regalia for “protection”.

It is at these meetings and through door-to-door visits that villagers are coerced to have their names on cell lists. In urban areas vending sites have become a target for the daily meetings where vendors seeking to maintain sources of livelihoods are forced by officials of the ruling party to toe the line and religiously attend the meetings. The targeting of markets and vending sites is hardly new to the Zimbabwe landscape. A few years back ruling party affiliated “Mandimbandimba” wreaked havoc at bus termini fleecing owners of commuter omnibuses.

Now the ruling party through some shadowy affiliates such as Vendors4ED is causing havoc in some urban areas demanding US$1 a day for vendors to use undesignated sites instead of local authority designated sites. As the election season heats up volatility and tensions will best describe the situation facing the electorate.

Women, young women and women with disabilities are the most vulnerable, they are the majority in rural areas and they make the bulk of vendors in most urban areas.-Zimbabwe Peace Project

Emerging Africa should adopt PPPs

AFRICA was once regarded as a continent with no hope. With some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, Africa has become the newest destination for emerging markets.

What are the investment opportunities in Africa? Over the past decades, Africa has explored great depths in the public–private partnerships (PPPs) for its rise in economic growth and investment opportunities.

While Africa offers great returns compared to most emerging market economies, it cannot be considered as a solitary performing body.

The continent bears 54 distinct economies that have challenges and opportunities significant to their economic activities and operating environments — the two most crucial inputs to investment.

These economies have continued to support their nations and the world at large with their natural resources, skills and labour, but what are some of the untapped investment opportunities in Africa?

The continent is incredibly rich in natural resources. It has huge, untapped reserves of natural gas and oil (10% of world’s reserves) and largely unexploited hydroelectric power.

It is home to vast gold, platinum, uranium, iron ore, copper and diamond reserves.

Currently, only 10% of Africa’s arable land is being cultivated, yet it holds around 60% of the world’s arable land. As such, Africa has become a magnet for foreign direct investment.

The continent has a global comparative advantage in agriculture, being home to more than half the world’s agriculturally suitable and highly unused land resources and its vast water resources have hardly been tapped.

Sixty percent of the world’s uncultivated land is in Africa, while the continent is only responsible for 10% of the world’s agricultural produce.

Agriculture as an untapped investment opportunity is set to be a major growth driver over the next few years, surpassing mining and metals.

Reliable and affordable energy lies at the forefront of Africa’s pursuit to elevate economic growth and sustain the needs of an increased urbanised population.

Many African nations struggle with high costs, low capacity and constant power outages.

The majority of regions in sub-Saharan Africa are putting extra efforts into expanding their transportation networks. East Africa is leading the way.-Tavada Ipambai

Christians must be torch bearers of the world

THE biggest challenge that Christians in Zimbabwe have at the moment is that crooks are at the helm of our churches. The devil has deployed his agents masquerading as men of cloth. On top of that, people who have nothing to do with Christ are launching their own churches from nowhere claiming to represent Christ. Such organisations are mushrooming at an alarming rate.

These forces of darkness will fight, but our victory is guaranteed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Most of the things that the church is focusing on have nothing to do with the commandments that the Lord Jesus gave us.

Just as the Jews followed Jesus for food and miracles, today’s Christians are doing exactly the same.

The Lord says in John 6:51: “I am the living bread which came down from Heaven and if any man eats of this bread, he shall live forever and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

“Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you” John 6:53.

When the Jews heard this: “From that time many of the disciples went back, and walked no more with Him” (John 6:66). 

By this time Jesus had thousands of followers, but they all left Him except His disciples. 

This teaches us a very important lesson, Jesus is not interested in numbers. He is interested in the truth and He is the truth. The church should know that God desires everyone to be saved, but they should not come with conditions. The church has allowed people to come to the Lord with their baggage, their traditional beliefs and practices, including practices such as consulting soothsayers, prophets and witch doctors. To the church, all this is acceptable as long as the numbers are growing, but not to the Lord.

When people consult witch doctors, they are given conditions which they excitedly accept, including drinking dirty water from the river, killing other humans for sacrifice and many other weird things. Why should they come to the Lord with preconditions? No, it is not acceptable. It is the Lord Jesus who should give them conditions. One of the conditions is that if you are unwilling to eat His flesh and drink His blood you have no life in you.

The preachers of today are now packaging their messages to suit the expectations of their listeners. This is a manufactured gospel. People should choose between life and death.-Concerned


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