CCC Member Assaulted Over Post-Election Land Dispute
By Lorraine Ndebele and Marko Shoko
A member of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) recently suffered a broken leg after being heavily assaulted by alleged members of the ruling party (ZANU-PF) following a disagreement over land.
Munorwei Chinyangana from Ward 24 Chiredzi East was rushed to Mashoko Mission Hospital in Bikita, Masvingo Province for medical treatment after being attacked by three ZANU PF members who severely assaulted after he confronted them over the invasion of his farm.
Chinyangana says he has owned a farm in Lavanga Ward 1, Chiredzi East District since 2012. He got the farm through the land reform programme and has been occupying and utilizing it since then. However, following Zimbabwe’s most recent harmonized elections held on 23 August 2023, local land officials are said to have allocated Chinyangana’s farm to another person, Blessing Vheremu. Being concerned about reallocation the farm, Chinyangana approached Vheremu at the latter’s home suggesting that they go to the local Village Development Committee (VDCO) Chairperson to amicably resolve the issue.
Vheremu was not amused by Chinyangana’s visit and he angrily proceeded to his neighbor’s home where he mobilized two men and a woman to attack Chinyangana. As Chinyangana said, it was the woman who started the violent attack on him.
“As they attacked me, I insisted that we go and see the VDCO chairman for a peaceful resolution to the dispute”, Chinyangana said.
“However, they pushed me to the ground and started beating all over my body telling me that they don’t care about CCC people because this land is owned by ZANU-PF”, he said.
When his attackers eventually decided to go to Adam Hama, the VDCO Chairman, Chinyangana said he was already seriously injured and could neither walk nor drive his motorcycle. He said he called members of his family who took him to Mashoko hospital where he said was treated for injuries including…
Although he has been discharged from Mashoko hospital, Chinyangana says he is still unwell and is planning to go to Harare for further treatment.
Reached for comment, Vheremu denied assaulting Chinyangana. “His injuries may have resulted from falling on a motor cycle”, Chidoko said, adding: “It was the lady we were with who simply pushed him down.”
Vheremu also denied dispossessing Chinyangana of his land, saying he was allocated eighty (80) meters of the land by Cephus Marape who, he said, is the actual owner of the farm that Chinyangana claims to be his.
“I was given a piece of that farm by Marape who only gave me 80 metres and told me to farm there together with Chinyangana”, said Vheremu.
He also says that Chinyangana was already injured when he approached him which he suspects was a fall from a motorbike
Efforts to get a comment from the VDCO chairman of Chiredzi East, Adam Hama were fruitless as his phone was unavailable.
There was a pandemonium at Kapondoro Business Centre this week during public hearing for the PVO Bill hearing with parliamentary team on justice and legal affairs. Women, men and the youths took turns to reject the bill that is regarded as toxic, politically targeting NGOs and a recipe to disaster for communities wallowing in abject poverty due to climate change reduced rainfall patterns. Women testified how NGO’S in Mutoko have increased their knowledge on issues around human rights, gender justice and HIV/AIDS.
Young people added that the PVO Bill if enacted into law would cripple their ability to provide an oversight role in monitoring elections, combating corruption and poor governance jn Zimbabwe.
The jaw breaker prayer left the audience dumfounded as one faith leader fumed in prayer saying we reject the bill seven times.
The Media must consistently and constantly report on water, sanitation, and hygiene in Zimbabwean, with a view to lay bare some of the bottlenecks hampering the provision of potable water and sanitation services mostly in urban areas.
The need to prioritize reporting on water, sanitation and hygiene in urban areas was reiterated by various speakers at a Zoom Conference organized by Media Center tackling issues of water, sanitation, and hygiene in Zimbabwe’s urban areas.
‘’The Media must constantly and consistently report on water, sanitation, and hygiene in the Zimbabwean Urban areas said Ms. Patience Zirima- the Director of Media Monitors. Zirima further added that the media must consistently and constantly report on water issues than merely wait to report on water, hygiene, and sanitation when there is a disease outbreak like cholera and Typhoid.
Alice Kuveya of Chitungwiza Residents and Ratepayers Associations highlighted that the Chitungwiza water system represents a retrogressive water management system, in the form of dilapidated water infrastructure. She further asserted that Chitungwiza is relying on Harare for water as it has no sources of water of its own.
Kuveya also indicated that due to the lack of clean and potable water from their home taps, residents of Chitungwiza are now resorting to getting water from boreholes dug mainly by development partners. According to Kuveya getting water from boreholes has challenges of its own like lack of social distancing during this Covid-19 pandemic.
Kuveya said municipalities are losing a lot of water through leakages.
The Mayor of Harare Mr. Jacob Mafume argued that it will be difficult to realize actual sanitation in Zimbabwean urban areas as some citizens use rudimentary latrines. He further said that all the water bodies have now been outstripped by demand. He also emphasized the need for proper devolution of city organs and the requirement of municipal bonds to address issues of infrastructure development in municipalities.
Another panelist at the Webinar Conference Mr. Hardlife Mudzingwa of Community Water Alliance(CWA) said their organization is effectively channeling information on water, sanitation, and hygiene through social media platforms such as Whatsapp groups, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on.
Mr. Precious Shumba of Harare Residents Trust (HRT) also bemoaned challenges of polarization amongst the city fathers.
The outbreak of Covid-19 further worsened the plight of women in rural areas, where the impact of climate change on the social and well-being of women was already taking its toll. Rural women who constitute 80 percent of the total national population of women who have been experiencing the impacts of climate change before the outbreak of the pandemic are suffering from a double blow as Covid-19 worsened their burden.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks report, before the outbreak of the Covid-19, placed climate-related risks at the top of 10 global threats.
Speaking to TellZim News, Shamiso Mupara an environmentalist and the founder of Environmental Buddies Zimbabwe (EBZ) that operates in Marange, Manicaland province said in rural areas women are the main victims of climate change because it affects their natural resource base and it has been worsened by the Covid-19.
“Most Zimbabwean cultural norms burden rural women with the responsibility to provide food (relish), fuel, and water. Mostly they depend on natural resources for their livelihoods. Therefore these women are affected by climate change because it affects the natural resources, for example, water scarcity is caused by extremely hot temperatures and droughts. In this covid-19 era women are forced to travel long distances many times to fetch clean water,” she said.
Covid-19 is intensifying the problems created by climate change on rural women whose food security systems and livelihood options are ruined.
Tatenda Mutasa from the Climate Change Management Department in the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry said rural women depend on agriculture for food security and if agriculture is affected by climate change, people need to diversify their livelihoods by venturing into other activities to sustain their incomes which are however hindered by Covid-19 regulations.
If agriculture is affected by climate change, women need to diversify their livelihoods and venture into other forms of livelihood activities like clay pot making but others do not have the skills and those who have the skills do not have the capital to do such projects. Those who can do such activities especially in this Covid-19 era are not able to travel to urban and other areas to sell their products due to Covid-19-induced travel restrictions.
When there is no enough income at the household level, there is a problem. This season agriculture was not bad in some rural areas but in some, they did not harvest well and this is a burden to those women in such areas. Also due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions they cannot travel to areas that harvested well to get food,” Mutasa said.
Mutasa added that women are the pillars of most households but if they are impacted negatively it means everything is distracted.
“Rural women need to make sure that there is enough food, clean water at the house and also make sure that children are safe and protected from the Covid-19 virus. The burden of water and firewood fetching owing to climate change that ruined the natural resources base forces, rural women, to walk for long distances which in most cases can expose them to the risk of infection,” he added.
Mutasa also said that rural women need more support from different stakeholders so they can sustain their livelihoods, especially during this Covid-19 period.
“There is a serious burden among the rural women that need people to work together as rural women need support. Some women are business-minded and can run businesses but they do not have capital. They also need to be educated and make them aware of the changes in the climate system,” he said.
In some rural areas, people travel long distances to get water, one can travel 1,5 to 2 km to the nearest water source during the dry season.
Villagers of the Mabhiza area in ward 23 of Chivi South travel for more than 2km to go to Mutumbwi Dam where there is a borehole, as a result, people will not be able to provide enough safe water to their handwashing points popularly known as Chigubhu giya in the area which was recently launched as a way to curb the spread of the pandemic.
Engaging the donor community and the government to help the villagers by drilling boreholes as a way of addressing the water shortages would go a long way in alleviating some of the impact of climate change and the Covid 19 pandemic on rural women.
The continuous occurrence of child marriages in Zimbabwe has left the girl child with no other choice but to succumb to living a life of pain and misery. Extreme poverty, lack of knowledge of both sexual reproductive health and educational services as well as backward cultural and religious beliefs being experienced in the countrys rural communities are pushing girls to the edge. Girls as young as 12 years are getting married in search of better lives.
Although some of the girls might be considered fortunate to be married off to mature and understanding men, others usually find themselves in the wrong hands. Despite living in good conditions the young girls’ lives and health are risked the moment they become pregnant.
Adolescent pregnancies are a global problem occurring in high, middle, and low-income countries. However, they are more likely to occur in a country’s marginalized communities, commonly driven by poverty and lack of education and employment opportunities which push young girls into early marriages in search of a better living or as a way of escaping from the harsh reality they encounter. This is the case in Zimbabwe’s Mashonaland East provinces remote areas. For instance, in Makaha motherhood is often valued and marriage and childbearing may be the best of the limited options available for the young helpless girls.
Statistics on maternal mortality have shown how societies have failed young women, as many die each year from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. According to the fifth annual State of the World’s Mothers report, published by the international charity Save the Children, 13 million births (a tenth of all births worldwide) each year are to women aged under 20, and more than 90% of these births are in developing countries. Obstructed labour was found to be common in teenage girls, resulting in an increased risk of infant death and of maternal death or disability.
Early pregnancies among adolescents have major health consequences for adolescent mothers and their babies. Pregnancy and childbirth complications are the leading cause of death among girls under the age of 18, with low- and middle-income countries accounting for 99% of global maternal deaths of women aged 1549 years. Adolescent mothers aged 1019 years face higher risks of eclampsia, puerperal endometritis and systemic infections than women aged 2024 years. While complications during childbirth account for almost 25 per cent of newborn deaths, preterm delivery and low birth weight being some of the other reasons for deaths among infants born to adolescent mothers.
“Immature reproductive tract compromise the health of the pregnant adolescents. Early childbirths alienate girls from experiencing a normal childhood and sometimes they end up undergoing unsafe abortions. These abortions have overwhelming consequences such as cervical tearing, perforated uterus, haemorrhage, chronic pelvic infection, infertility, and death, said a nurse from Mudzis local clinics during an interview.
As one of the cultural factors that work against adolescent women child marriage weakens the girl child. Girls married under the age of 18 report being less able than older married women to discuss contraceptive use with their husbands. Thus they end up bearing children at an early age. For instance, in Makaha – one of Mudzi’s rural communities, where child marriage is prevalent, half of the population of all teenage girls give birth before turning 18 years.
Meanwhile, social consequences for unmarried pregnant adolescents may include stigma, rejection or violence by partners, parents and peers. Also, adolescent pregnancy and childbearing often lead girls to drop out of school, although the government allowed pregnant girls to be allowed to go to school, this may jeopardize the girl child’s future education and employment opportunities as it can be difficult for young pregnant mothers to participate or concentrate with school while pregnant.
During the early part of the Millennium Development Goals era, prevention of adolescent pregnancy and related mortality and morbidity and prevention of HIV and HIV related mortality in adolescents and young people were not given sufficient attention due to competing priorities. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) worked with partners to advocate for attention to adolescents, to build the evidence and epidemiologic base for activities such as WHOs Guidelines for preventing early pregnancy and poor reproductive outcomes in adolescents in developing countries”, to develop and test programme support tools, to build capacity, and to pilot initiatives in the small but growing number of countries that recognised the need to address adolescent health.
Although adolescents have moved to the centre of the global health and development agenda as a result of the transitioning of the world to the Sustainable Development Goals Era, gender inequities continue to greatly risk girls lives than boys and are affecting many aspects of young womens lives including reduced opportunities for education, employment, and control over their own reproductive health.
Hence, the reproductive health of adolescent women depends on biological, social, cultural, and economic factors. And more educational programmes that provide education, family planning services, and pre-and postnatal care must be conducted to reduce morbidity and mortality among young women.
WHO continues its work on advocacy, evidence generation, tool development and capacity building, the focus has shifted to strengthening country-level action. It is working closely with partners within and outside the United Nations system to contribute to the global effort to prevent children from becoming wives and mothers.
The World Health Organisation works to strengthen the evidence base for action and to support the application of the evidence through well-designed and well-executed national and sub-national programmes. For example, it’s a partnership with the UNICEF, UNFPA and UN Women on a global programme to accelerate action to end child marriage and its collaboration with Family Planning 2020 ─ a global partnership in which it aimed to enable 120 million more women and girls to have access to contraceptives by 2020.
Nongovernmental organizations have been at forefront of efforts to prevent adolescent pregnancy in many countries through bold and innovative projects. There is now a small but growing number of successful government-led national programmes, for example, in Chile, Ethiopia and the United Kingdom. These countries show what can be achieved with the application of good science combined with strong leadership, management, and perseverance. They challenge and inspire other countries to do what is doable and what urgently needs to be done.
The Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) recently produced the July 2021 monthly monitoring report on Access to Public Health across Zimbabwe. The report covers issues to do with government’s efforts in the fight against Covid-19 third wave. You can read the document here: [ZDI Public Health Monitoring Report – July 2021]