Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

Archive for July, 2012

A death blow for the youth vote in Zimbabwe?

del.icio.us TRACK TOP
Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 by Marko Phiri

A young man pissed off with his joblessness packed his bags over the weekend to join the rest of his family in the now clichéd but still very painfully true great trek to Jo’burg. Another young graduate of the School of Mines found himself jobless after having tasted the sweet mining dollars for a few months somewhere in Gwanda. He is presently holed up with his old parents somewhere in rural Masvingo contemplating his next move. This young man already has a brother working in Mozambique, I suspect that’s where he is also headed. These two young men whose demographic is considered by some pundits as the largest voting bloc in the country is expected to vote in droves in the coming polls. As some parties cry out for the Diaspora vote, it is a rather harsh reality that these parties either choose to ignore or simply have no clue how to address the issue that some potential voters are actually leaving the country. Talk about life’s painful choices: stick around and fix this joblessness through the ballot and still have to contend with the present hunger pangs. Tough choices, hey, and the usual suspects will add, a tough call for patriotism.

Fixing Zimbabwe

del.icio.us TRACK TOP
Friday, July 27th, 2012 by Bev Clark

Members of the Kubatana community continue to put up fix this.please stickers All Over The Place.

Wedza South District, Mashonaland East
Mhare Brdige: Was swept almost two years ago and is now a death trap to both motorists and school children.
Mt St Mary’s Hospital Mortuary: Not functioning for a long time due to erratic power supply.
Dendenyore-Matsvai Road: DDF and Wedza RDC have neglected this road for a long time to the extent that villagers are making frantic efforts with little resources to maintain it.

No! To a curfew on women in Zimbabwe

del.icio.us TRACK TOP
Friday, July 27th, 2012 by Zanele Manhenga

I think we are really regressing as a nation sometimes, what’s with men lobbying for women to be indoors by six o’clock? We cannot go back to the medieval era when women like children were meant to be seen only and not heard. Giving women a curfew is meant to alleviate prostitution they say. Bakers Inn will cease to bake bread the day the bread does not have consumers. The same way prostitution will end when men stop consuming the female product. If this is passed as a law it is going to be disastrous for women like me whose industry strives at night. I am a musician and performer who will be jobless. What other option of work will I have for a job? If the majority of women whom I know work long hours in offices have to be home by six and have no husbands or any other help to make ends meet, how will they survive? Can you imagine the bulk of women jobless wanting to put food on the table for their children and other persons under their care? Women often have more people to take care of than men do, imagine the pressure that this woman will have? If she is not going to be a commercial sex worker she is going to prostitute to her husband, boyfriend, lover or any other man in her life in the comfort of her house and not on the street corner. Prostitution by my definition is having sex in exchange for money or up keep. Putting a curfew on women will not stop prostitution. Instead it will make it rise. Prostitution is not going to be alleviated by this but is going to come to our homes as our mothers, sisters and all the female relations will sleep with men in their lives just to make him happy in hope he will leave a dollar for bread. Need I remind men out there that prostitution knows no time of the day? There are other ways prostitution can be alleviated. I don’t see how imposing a curfew on women will help.

“Nothing about us without us!”

del.icio.us TRACK TOP
Friday, July 27th, 2012 by Elizabeth Nyamuda

Some years back HIV positive people were voiceless as HIV negative people represented them and so their deepest concerns were never really uttered. But Zimbabwe’s 24-year-old Anna Sango has put an end to this as she represented Zimbabwe women both living with HIV and not, at the first ever International AIDS Conference held in the United States. In her line of work back home Anna Sango is a peer educator in Bulawayo. She is a well-known vocal activist who founded her own community-based support group for women affected by HIV. She advocated for the inclusion of all women in matters of policy formulation in matters that affect them.

It is also at this conference that sex workers demanded their fuller inclusion. Sango in her presentation said:

“Frankly we are getting tired of repeating ourselves… why do so many of the same old problems exist? 2012′s pandemic has a woman’s shape… we need to look with clear eyes to see old problems, why are we working on the same old problems every 2 years? What is missing? We are missing! I’m a young woman, transitioning into full adulthood, full womanhood, I would like to do that in a safe space, I ask you, how are you holding yourself accountable?  An AIDS free generation looks like a generation which takes global responsibility for the safety and quality of life of all of its women and girls by discussing, implementing, and following through on plans for addressing racism and women’s equality. Policy decisions that affect women must include them in the decision-making process…This means all women, including women who use drugs and women sex workers.”

The death penalty is revenge and not justice

del.icio.us TRACK TOP
Friday, July 27th, 2012 by Elizabeth Nyamuda

Whose right is it to kill?

Many countries in the world have abolished the death penalty but in Zimbabwe it is still in existence. Zimbabwe is crafting a new constitution and COPAC has submitted a Second Draft Constitution and if it passes will undergo a referendum. In this draft the death penalty is abolished – but only for women. This has led to many human rights organisation calling for an absolute abolition of the death penalty. The Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of the Offender (ZACRO) an organisation committed to advocating for justice in prisons of Zimbabwe is amongst these organisations.

In Zimbabwe there are 71 people on the death row and three of them are women with the last execution being carried out in 2005. Elisha Chidombwe of ZACRO indicated that on each of their visits to Harare Central Prison they visit a guy who has served 15 years waiting for a resolution. Sadly he mentioned that many people facing the death penalty die before their penalty day because of isolation and the fear of death itself.

ZACRA believes that the death penalty is revenge and not justice. The organisation opts for the provision of correctional activities in prisons for those who would have committed offenses that carry the death penalty. The organisation is currently circulating a petition to present to Parliament to abolish the death penalty. They are hoping to get 2 million signatures.

If you want to put an end to the death penalty in Zimbabwe, contact ZACRO and make your signature count as your voice!

Life after prison

del.icio.us TRACK TOP
Friday, July 27th, 2012 by Elizabeth Nyamuda

There is a programme on ZTV, Another Chance, that focuses on reuniting prison inmates and their families. More of like reaching out to the gap that exists between individuals in prison and their families back home. In so doing they ask for forgiveness from their family and the ones they offended when they committed the crimes that saw them sent to jail. I remember in one episode a man who was left with two months of his sentence trying to reach out to his wife and family. When the Another Chance crew visited the wife, she said in the four years her husband had been in prison she had moved on with her life and that to her, the marriage was over. Sadly this is how he learnt his marriage had dissolved. He was devastated and was really worried about where he would go after his release as his wife had abandoned him and his relatives were probably going to shun him.

Many ex-convicts face such scenarios when they finish serving their jail terms. Upon facing such challenges many commit crimes again within a short period of time upon their release and end up going back to prison. Speaking at a Prison Networking meeting organised by Miracle Mission, Elisha Chidombwe of ZACRO (Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of the Offender), mentioned that there is no support offered to people who are released from prison. For instance if one stays in Mutare and serves their jail term in Kariba, upon their release there is no clothing, transportation or any other form of support given to them. This encourages them to commit crimes.

At the same meeting an ex-convict said how proud he is of going back to prison not as a prisoner this time, but as Minister of the Word to share his life experiences both in prison, and his life after the jail term. To him receiving Jesus Christ as His Lord and Saviour whilst in the prison cells, and the support he got from his family upon his release, have been the two strongest pillars in his life. He believes himself to be a better man and would like to reach out to inmates serving in Zimbabwe’s prisons under a prison programme organised by Alpha Zimbabwe.

The Alpha for Prisons programme offers courses to introduce inmates to Christian beliefs. Thus there is need for the government, the church, NGOs and the corporate world to help in the support of prisoners both in prison and their life after they serve their jail terms. Through their work in prisons Alpha Zimbabwe realised some of the needs of prisoners are really small. For example prisoners at Karoi prison requested vegetable seeds so they could start their own gardens.