By Rumbidzai Dube
By Rumbidzai Dube
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?
Of all the millennium development goals (MDGs), achieving universal primary education is something that Zimbabwe has recorded tremendous progress in. We boast of the highest literacy rate in Africa, recording an impressive 90.7%; the only country on the African continent with a literacy rate above 90%. I, as some Zimbabweans do too, consider these statistics with a pinch of salt, given that in my context-it is not how the world views us but how we view ourselves that matters the most.
Sexual violence is seldom about the sexual act itself but about power and humiliation regardless of whether it is performed against a woman or a man. It is acknowledged, but not well documented, that men suffer from sexual violence perpetrated by other men during conflict, be in armed conflict or low level political conflict as the Zimbabwe context.
On the 18th of April, Zimbabwe celebrates its independence from colonial rule. With much jubilation we the sons and daughters of the soil will remember those who gave their lives for us to be here today.
I can’t pretend to know what happened in the colonial era but my parents have painted a pretty vivid picture in my mind for me to imagine what life was in that era. It makes me grateful for all those who gave their lives; though I will never meet them I will remember their ultimate sacrifice.
“The constitution is never cast in stone. These loopholes must be picked up and there should be political will . . . In South Africa, they have failed to deal with the issue of homosexuality because there are homos in high places. The same can be said of the United States and other countries. We need to be vigilant on these kinds of loopholes. This is a big step and let’s subject it to further discussion,” he said.
In this modern world of instant information, have we become inured to horror? Every day we are exposed to pictures and films of extreme violence, they flicker through our consciousness, moving on to the newest examples of human propensity for violence. And we forget each previous example as the newest hits the media.
Issue 507 of the MDC Today (28.01.13), quoting Tendai Biti’s criticism of the indigenisation programme, is likely to draw snorts of derision from the companies affected by Minister Kasukuwere’s policies.
Kasukuwere demands that non-indigenous companies dispose of 51% of “their shares” to black Zimbabweans. This demand immediately appears to be nonsense to lawyers and those with any accounting or business skills. Companies do not own the shares - shareholders do. One cannot legally compel companies to dispose of that which they do not own and over which they have no control.
One in three women on this planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. Set against the world population of 7 billion, and a total global female population of about 3.5 billion, it means not a hundred (100), not a thousand (1000), not ten thousand (10 000), not a hundred thousand (100 000), nor a million (1 000 000), but ONE BILLION (1 000 000 000) women shall suffer some form of violence in their lifetime. This is an atrocity of unparalleled proportions, yet it is happening right under our noses. It needs to stop and there is something that we can all do to change this.