Posts Tagged ‘Zimbabwe’

A Plea To Politicians: Respect Human Rights and Dignity for Mbare Residents

July 11, 2011

Statement on Mbare Violence by Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe

The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe (CCJPZ) is appealing to political parties and politicians as well as the youths to stop violence and respect human rights and human dignity of the people who live in Mbare. Violence in Mbare, since the beginning of this year is largely political. The organising points have been Carter House and Paget House in Mbare. This area is close to a place where some people, especially those who are HIV positive, collect their anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs). But the place has become so unapproachable and inhospitable that some of the victims of violence are now afraid to go and collect their drugs. Systematic about the violence is that it is imported; most people behind the violence are not permanent residents in the area, but have been ‘shipped’ from other areas.

The Commission believes that diversity is a positive value that can be used for the betterment of the country, but it seems we are destroying that diversity and forcing people to follow certain political positions. The victims of violence say they are being punished for their democratic rights of participating in political associations of their choice. But our experience has shown that politicians will never win votes by beating and killing their perceived opponents. The best way of winning votes is by promoting human rights and human dignity. How, for example, can a person (and his family, relatives etc.) who dislocated his jaw as a result of political violence would vote for the political party responsible for dislocating it?

Usually, a family house is the safest place where an individual can seek refuge. But in Mbare, there are politically related groups that force their way into private property of those with alternative political mindsets, confiscating household goods and other personal property. In extreme cases, some families in Mbare supporting a particular political position have lost their houses to people who belong to other political parties. Buying and (re)selling opportunities, some of the most forms of survival strategies in Mbare have been availed on partisan basis. Vending positions, flea market tables have also been politicised. All this is happening amidst tense, but implicit political violence. Families have been broken by the violence, and some men have to go and see their families at night to avoid being caught by the politically dogmatic groups. Is this the freedom that claimed gallant daughters and sons of the soil during the liberation struggle?

However, all these scenarios do not only undermine the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government and guaranteeing to everyone the right that are essential for effective political participation – but are also against the Gospel values and principles which the Church follows. They undermine the principle of the Common Good which requires that political, economic and the social order should ‘allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to make independent choices to reach their fulfilment more fully and more easily’.

The political violence in Mbare also undermines the principle of human dignity, the human worthiness that we derive from God who loved us first and created us in his own image. It is instructive to consider every ‘neighbour without exception as another self, taking into account first of all his life and the means necessary for living it with dignity’. Every political, economic, social, scientific and cultural programme must be inspired by the awareness of the primacy of each human being over society. CCJPZ therefore advises the politicians, political parties and the youths to desist from violence in Mbare to enable citizens to live their normal lives. END! 30 June 2011

A.M Chaumba, National Director.


Zimbabwe’s hunger

May 18, 2009

Children in Zimbabwe are fainting at school from hunger – well at least in the schools where there are teachers. The cost of travelling to their job and buying lunch is often too much for their small salaries.

At home, mum or dad might skip a meal or two so there’s enough left for the children. That’s if mum and dad are still around. Zimbabwe has the greatest number of AIDS orphans per capita in the world.

If mum and dad are still around, dad might have sold his farming tools that he used to farm his small patch of land with so he could buy a little food for the family. If there’s just mum, she might have been forced into sex work, because with no money, fallow fields, no jobs and a broken economy, how else do you get money to feed a family?

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Zimbabwe: No country for old men

May 18, 2009

Until recently, wheelbarrows in Zimbabwe were used to ferry about huge amounts of cash to buy basic food stuffs. The economy was crumbling and hyperinflation meant that even though people were suddenly millionaires, all they could afford was a loaf of bread.

Then, as a cholera epidemic swept the country they were used to carry the frail and the dying to hospital. But as drought cracks the earth and leaves grain stores empty, one thing wheelbarrows aren’t being used for is farming.

“We are hunger stricken. We have nothing to eat,” says Privilege Makerele, a village group representative in rural Zimbabwe.

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Caritas urges global solidarity on “Zimbabwe Sunday”

February 13, 2009

13 February 2009

Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Lesley-Anne Knight is sending a message of solidarity to the people and Church of Zimbabwe for “Zimbabwe Sunday” on 15 February on behalf of all 162 national Caritas members.

The Southern Africa Catholic bishops declared the date as Zimbabwe Sunday in an attempt to raise concern for the humanitarian, political and economic crisis engulfing the country.

Half of Zimbabweans rely on food aid to survive, a cholera epidemic has killed 3,500 so far out of 71,000 cases, and the country’s economic, health, educational infrastructure has collapsed.

Lesley-Anne Knight said, “The people of Zimbabwe need our solidarity in this time of crisis and tragedy. Reports from Caritas staff on the ground are of acute need among the majority of people. The lack of food will be peaking over the next few weeks, a cholera epidemic has already killed too many, and the suffering is deepening.

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Zimbabwe : Situation dramatique des réfugiés

February 12, 2009

La Caritas fortement inquiète

ROME, Mercredi 11 février 2009 ( – La Caritas craint pour le sort d’environ 3.000 hommes, femmes et enfants du Zimbabwe qui vivent dans des conditions désespérées dans un camp de Musima (Afrique du sud), clôturé de fils barbelés.

L’endroit en question a les dimensions d’un terrain de football, sans structures sanitaires et logements appropriés pour héberger ces personnes.

Ces réfugiés ont quitté un Zimbabwe ravagé par la famine qui menace la moitié de la population, par une épidémie de choléra devenue incontrôlable, par la violence et une répression diffuses. Pour le gouvernement sud-africain, ces personnes sont considérées des migrants ‘économiques’, ceci supposant que le droit d’asile peut leur être refusé.


Zimbabwean refugees abused in South Africa

February 11, 2009

(Source: Caritas Internationalis)

They escaped with their lives from a country in collapse. They fled often with nothing. They came to the region’s richest and most powerful nation looking for protection. However, they have been welcomed with abuse, discrimination and a blindness to their plight.

Approximately 3,000 Zimbabwean men, women, children and babies are trapped in dire conditions behind a wire perimeter camp in Musina, a border town in South Africa. The refugee camp on Musina’s Showgrounds is the size of a football field and contains neither adequate shelter, sanitation or protection for the vulnerable Zimbabweans.

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Zimbabweans Flee From Horror To Horror

February 11, 2009

South African Camp Provides New Slew of Challenges

MUSINA, South Africa, FEB. 10, 2009 ( Zimbabwean refugees, fleeing the humanitarian crisis in their own country, have found an equally “horrendous” situation in the South African camp where they are being held, says Caritas Internationalis.

Caritas reported today that an estimated 3,000 men, women and children are living in “dire conditions” in Musina, a South African border town.

Sister Aine Hughes of Caritas said, “The situation for Zimbabwean refugees in Musina is horrendous.”

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