I saw a headline in one of yesterday’s papers which said: “MDC official succumbs to Malaria.” Yes, Malaria, as a disease only becomes topical when it kills a prominent individual. Outside such circumstances, the media pays it very little, if not, no attention. Yet malaria remains one of the biggest health problems our country has to deal with. Did you know that 50% of our population is at risk of Malaria? And, did you also know that 1 in 12 children die before their 5th birthday of Malaria?
The Afrobarometer always provides highly interesting perspectives on what African citizens (as opposed to their governments) believe. Over the past decade the Afrobarometer has demonstrated the sophistication of African citizens’ understanding of politics, governance, and democracy. The findings are often surprising.
Since 2010, RAU has been pointing out that the most important matter to be resolved ahead of any future elections is the reform of national institutions. This position has been repeatedly supported by SAPES and the Zimbabwe Liberators Platform. SADC, both through the Troika and the Summit, has also insisted on the deep message beneath the GPA: constitution AND reforms, then elections. Most recently, President Jacob Zuma himself has pointed out the need for urgent action ahead.
The constitution making process has revealed the utter contempt with which Zimbabwe’s politicians treat the electorate, from Operation Chimumumu of the outreach programme, to insulting our intelligence by constantly claiming that the document they have presented as the proposed new constitution reflects the people views, rather than being the result of inter-party negotiation, and then allowing insufficient time for most people to consider the substance of the draft.
This seems a rather stupid question to ask, and especially in Zimbabwe where we talk about this endlessly. However, this is not a trivial question, and we remember 2008 and 2002 more clearly than we do 2005. Simply put, is the killing, beating, and raping of citizens worse from the point of elections than the threatening, terrifying, and starving of the them? It all depends on the purpose and the consequence.
Michelle Bachelet, UN Women Executive Director: Message for International Women’s Day 2013
Today on International Women’s Day I join every individual who believes that change is possible. We are guided by a founding principle of the United Nations: the equal rights of men and women.
All around the world, our voices are rising, and silence and indifference are declining. Change is possible. And change is happening.
Change is happening when every country, for the first time in history, has women on their Olympic teams, as they did this past summer in London.
We have been speaking about an end to violence against women at every opportunity we have e.g. during the 16 Days of Gender Activism, The Women and Peace Conference and on V Day with the One Billion Rising and we will speak up again on International Women's Day on the 8th March but where is the action?
This year’s theme for Women’s Day is “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.” Let’s all do our part to end the violence against women and girls.
…though Kenya is in a better position than Zimbabwe, neither country has achieved the necessary reforms, as set out by their respective power-sharing agreements, to hold free and fair elections in 2013. While Kenya continues along a slow but determined road towards democratisation, it needs to start focusing on reconciliation and national cohesion efforts, to create a support base for the institutional reforms that are being achieved. Zimbabwe on the other hand, needs to start taking its transition seriously.
Today we are using a piece by Teresa Mugadza which she wants disseminated widely. Leading up to the referendum on 16 March we will continue to put both our researcher's views on the new Constitution and any others we feel may be interesting.
With the breaking of the news about the AidsFree World submission of a dossier on politically motivated rape to the National Prosecuting Authority in South Africa, it is worth remembering that political violence against women is an unfortunate feature of the electoral landscape in Zimbabwe. It is also worth remembering that this is not merely a matter for history.