Over the decades, forced displacement has been frequently used in Zimbabwe as a political weapon. During the Liberation War, hundreds of thousands of rural Zimbabweans were forced from their homes and into “keeps”, so-called “protected villages”, in order to prevent their support for the freedom fighters. It is a tactic that has been repeatedly used subsequently since 2000, with Operation Murambatsvina the most notorious of the many examples.
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
Lord Acton’s words are as true today as they were in 1887. When politicians become corrupted by power, they become arrogant and tend to think that they own the people. They completely forget that their mandate is to serve the people. Instead, they demand to be called titles like “chef” and in most cases join the looting spree.
The Deputy Minister of Education, Lazurus Dokora was quoted as saying, ““We cannot have a situation whereby the country is held at ransom by individuals who spent three years of their lives training to be teachers but later choose to sit at home while waiting to get a place to teach in Harare…” Minister Dokora was responding to a comment on an article which said that qualified secondary school teachers are shunning deployment in rural schools. What Minister Dokora is forgetting is that threats don’t work to solve problems, especially considering that the teachers’ concerns are mostly genu
As V-day approaches I ponder on the very reason why I am rising.
I am rising because my life history is scarred with exposure and experiences of violence against women. I have been through too much, seen too much, and heard too much that not rising is a betrayal to my psyche.
Very few people can be described as heroes. It is a term that should be used to describe a person who overcomes enormous adversity for the common good: such a person was John Makumbe. To be born an albino in Zimbabwe 63 years ago, and to die being remembered for being one of the most tolerant, non-discriminatory, peace-loving, and open persons in the nation is to be a hero. Others will describe his contribution, but I wish to honour the remarkable man that John Makumbe was.
Zimbabwe is a country at peace, yet it resembles a ‘war zone”. This is especially so as the country prepares for the forthcoming elections with dates set to be announced soon. It was clear from the just ended ZANU PF Congress that the tone for elections has been set. This is despite the fact that reforms to enable a free and fair election have not been implemented to the fullest. Previous elections have shown that violence in Zimbabwe is directly linked to the electoral cycle and increases around major political events where political power is contested.
Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre and Network (ZWRCN) and Katswe Sisterhood organised a gender and development (GAD) talk as one of their activities to commemorate this year’s 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence. This talk focused on gender based violence against women who are experiencing violence in places they call home, but which homes are not the conventional structures with 4 walls, a door, windows and roof. These women live and work on the streets. They are homeless women and commercial sex workers. The streets are their homes.
Some people believe that enough has been said and done to improve women’s human rights, or to fight gender based violence, or to realise the goal of gender equality characterised by equal chances for all, equal access to these chances for all and equal respect among all.Could it be forgetfulness or just a sense of acute arrogance of a privileged few to seriously ask, “What is it that women want?” especially if you are also a woman. But yes some men (and women) ask;
“What is it that women want?”“Don’t they have enough already?”“What more do they want?”
In a recent report issued by our sister organisation IDASA in conjunction with RAU, the reforms needed to implement an effective police force in Zimbabwe are outlined. Here is an extract from this report:
The 23rd of November 2012 marks the first day of 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV). This year Zimbabwe unites with the rest of the world under the global theme “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge all forms of Gender Based Violence and End Violence against Women!” Gender-based violence is usually committed against women and girls and although sexual violence against men and boys also occurs there are reportedly fewer cases.