Author: Nikki Gwati
My heart bleeds over all the atrocities that the Zimbabwean government is perpetrating against its citizens. People are being arrested, beaten and detained for having a voice. The very constitution, that is the bedrock on which the government stands, and swore to uphold is nothing but just mere words to them, as they refuse to hold themselves accountable to it.
According to the Zimbabwean constitution, extracts from paragraphs 58, 59 and 77 state the following:
58 Freedom of assembly and association
(1) Every person has the right to freedom of assembly and association, and the right not to assemble or associate with others.
(2) No person may be compelled to belong to an association or to attend a meeting or gathering.
59 Freedom to demonstrate and petition
Every person has the right to demonstrate and to present petitions, but these rights must be exercised peacefully.
77 Right to food and water
Every person has the right to—
(a) safe, clean and potable water; and (b) sufficient food;
and the State must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within the limits of the resources available to it, to achieve the progressive realisation of this right.
These are the very rights that the government have been carelessly violating. People are being arrested for the very things that the constitution says they can do. Those in government are not suffering as the common man and they live by a different set of rules and we are using are voices to say ‘enough is enough.’
What happened to our beautiful Zimbabwe? I remember growing up with plenty of food to eat and clean water from the taps to drink. Zimbabwe was considered as the bread basket of Africa.We had a great educational system and zimbabweans were considered as some of the best educated people in Africa. The hospitals had medication and the doctors and teachers were paid a satisfactory salary. Now our people are hurting. People are starving and there is no clean drinking water coming from the taps. There is no medication in the hospitals and the doctors and teachers are constantly striking because they are not being paid a fair salary.
Our people are hurting but we will continue to speak. Itai Dzamara a prominent activist who was advocating for change, disappeared in March 2015 and was never heard from again. Evan Mawarire, a pastor has also been arrested in the very recent past because he used his voice to stand up against the bad governance of the government.
Linda Masarira, a prominent activist for human rights has been arrested several times in a bid to silence her. She was recently quoted saying, “I have been barred from enjoying my constitutional rights to demonstrate for 5 years, a judgment that I consider diabolic, wannabe and being an instrument of perpetual repression and continued dictatorship, doing community service everyday from 08:00h to 16:00h everyday, my crime being standing up against injustice. As a mother, how do I look after my children with these conditions?God forbid!!!, this country needs more prayers and more action,” she said.
“I condemn in the strongest sense the failure by government to come up with an independent, competent and impartial judiciary, and the will to implement constitutional provisions on human and social rights, rights to health, education, clean water and shelter. I condemn the ongoing evictions in Mazowe where more than 100 families are being moved to satisfy the interests of the first family.”
I for one want to see a change in how the government is treating its people. I don’t want things to go back to the way they used to be but I want things to be even better than what they were when I was growing up. Even though the government is trying to silence us we will not be silent. If we concede defeat and remain silent what inheritance will we leave for our children and our children’s children? I refuse to be silent and I refuse to accept that this is how Zimbabwe will always be…
1. Nikki Gwati ‘Who will speak for the voiceless?’ from:http://nikkigwati.blogspot.co.uk/