More than 800 Harare residents have petitioned Parliament over the indefinite suspension of holding of by elections, discord between the electoral body and Ministry of Health over by-elections.
The petition by Harare residents comes at time when the City of Harare has been crippled by the recalls which claimed more than half its composition of councilors creating a leadership crisis and vacuum at Town House.
The lack of representation in the 26 Wards of Harare has seen the Council last month making a resolution for the current sitting councilors to “adopt” orphaned wards caused by death and recalls.
Section 159 of the constitution of Zimbabwe provides for holding of by-elections within ninety (90) days after an electoral vacancy has occurred.
Last year the government of Zimbabwe through Ministry of Health promulgated S.I. 225A of 2020 which indefinitely suspended holding of by-elections as a COVID 19 pandemic control measure.
The indefinite suspension of by-elections has become a serious threat and attack to representative democracy.
In the petition Harare residents are seeking Parliament to exercise its constitutional mandate by doing the following;
Reconsider S.I. 225A/2020 in light of the fact that COVID-19 has visibly slowed down.
Require ZEC and the Ministry of Health to appear before Parliament to clear the discord and dispel the speculation around the holding of by-elections.
Require ZEC to appear before Parliament to publish plans and measures to hold by-elections while enforcing the observance of strict COVID-19 guidelines.
CHRA will continue to advocate for quality municipal services and good local governance in Harare.
Seven years after the GNU, the two formations of MDC (MDC-T and MDC Alliance) are all pushing for dialogue. An inclusive government, or a transitional authority.
According to the MDCs, the inclusive government or transitional authority will be for putting reforms that are necessary for credible, free and fair elections.
However, speaking during The Debate on OpenParly, Mukori the opposition doesn’t deserve another chance because they forgot about reforms when they went in the GNU with Mugabe.
He said they are even willing to give Zanu PF legitimacy by contesting in the 2023 general elections without reforms.
“If MDC made a mistake, then we should give them another chance. But was that a mistake, the answer is definitely no.
‘’MDC went into the GNU and the minute they were in power they completely forgot about the reforms. They were confident that without any reforms they would still win the 2013 elections.
“So why should we give them another chance, the truth is they don’t deserve another chance. Right now, MDC are the ones gearing to participate in the 2023 elections and they keep participating in these flawed elections only to give Zanu PF legitimacy. And yet they are determined to do it because Zanu PF is offering them something.
“As long as MDC leaders are getting a share of the spoils of power they will continue to participate in these meaningless elections.
“Even if there was to be another GNU, the MDC guys, as far as they are concerned if they get a concession where they get some Parliamentary or cabinet positions, they will be content with that,’’ he said.
GNU did not deliver in 2009
Mukori added that everyone is agreed that the unity government of 2009 to 2013 did not deliver. He argued that GNU was the reason for the current challenges in the country.
He said Zanu PF was and still is not going to reform itself out of power. Mukori added that MDC had the onus to bring to force those reforms in the GNU, but they failed.
“Many people accept that the GNU of 2008 and 2013 did not deliver and that is the reason why we are in this mess.
“Zanu PF will never reform itself out of office. So, the onus of implementing the democratic reforms necessary for free, fair and credible elections did fall on MDC and it failed to implement even one meaningful democratic change.
“The primary task of the GNU was to move the country away from the one-party state and that process failed in 2008 because Zanu PF didn’t have the political will to do it and MDC slept on the job.”
MDC blew an opportunity, they don’t deserve another chance.
ZIMBABWEANS, particularly youths and women, can create wealth for
themselves by taking up
opportunities generated by the
opening up of Intra-African trade, which will benefit all the continent’s
55 countries, President Mnangagwa
The Head of State made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the
second Intra-African Trade Fair
(IATF) in Durban, South Africa
SOME electricity generation units at Hwange and Kariba South Power stations that had been affected by a technical fault are back in service after concerted efforts to bring
normalcy, acting Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere has said.
Similarly, most units are back at
Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare thermal power stations, which are already contributing to the national grid.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police has received deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis equipment worth
US$327 294 and E185 480, which is expected to enhance criminal justice delivery system for survivors of gender-based violence.
The equipment, which was donated by the European Union (EU) in
collaboration with the United
Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was part of the Spotlight Initiative, a global partnership aimed to eliminate all forms of violence
against women and girls by 2030.
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has
described Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, who was unanimously declared a national hero, as a distinguished
freedom fighter who was ever willing to take any assignment.
In his condolence message to the
Khaya Moyo family, the President who is also the ruling party First
Secretary and President said the death of the liberation war stalwart came as a shock to him.
GOVERNMENT is now engaging
seed and fertiliser producers to
ensure input costs are affordable to
all farmers while working on
enhancing domestic production to
support transformation of the agriculture sector.
This was said by Lands, Agriculture,
Fisheries, Water and Rural
Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka in response to farmers’ concerns over “unwarranted price increases”, especially for maize seed and fertiliser.
ZANU PF Vice President and Second Secretary Cde Kembo Mohadi said the revolutionary party has been
robbed of a gallant son of the
revolution whose loss is difficult to
Cde Khaya Moyo died on Sunday at
Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo after
a long battle with cancer.
He was 76.
In his condolence message, Cde
Mohadi said: “On behalf of our
revolutionary party ZANU PF, and indeed my own behalf, we join the nation in mourning our Politburo secretary for Information and
Publicity, Cde Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo. I am deeply saddened
and shocked to learn of the untimely passing on of Cde Khaya Moyo.
The Supreme Court is today
expected to hear the appeal against the urgent High Court judgment over the extension of Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s service by another five
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and Attorney-General, Advocate Prince
Machaya, and the Judicial Service
Commission (JSC), separately filed their appeals immediately after the lower court’s ruling.
Minister Ziyambi, the AG and JSC,
are challenging the High Court
decision to rescind the extension of
Justice Malaba’s service beyond the age of 70 on the grounds that the
recent Constitutional Amendment
allowing judges, including the Chief Justice, the option of serving to 75 could not include sitting judges of
the Constitutional and Supreme
Courts but included sitting judges of the High Court.
CHINA through the Chinese Women Federation has donated laptops and smartphones to Zanu PF Women’s
League to empower them
The laptops and smartphones
be distributed across the country’s 10 provinces to record data for
women membership in the ruling party.
The handover ceremony was
attended by Zanu PF Secretary for
Women’s League, Cde Mabel
Chinomona, Cde Monica Mutsvangwa who is the secretary
for administration for the Women’s
League and other senior party
At least 30 local companies are
showcasing their products and
services at the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF 2021) currently underway in Durban, South Africa.
The AITF, is a high level trade fair, which will be attended by 15 heads of State, including President Mnangagwa. The trade show provides a platform for international
buyers, sellers, and investors to
share market information in support of the Intra-Africa trade.
KHAMA BILLIAT, who transformed
himself into the poster boy of the
Warriors, has decided to walk away from international football, at the
age of 31, after exactly 10 years of service, for his country. The Kaizer Chiefs forward captained the Warriors, in his final two
matches, for Zimbabwe. Fittingly, both matches were played in the two stadiums he calls his homes, the
FNB Stadium in Johannesburg and the National Sports Stadium, in Harare.
Community members from Makoni who are part of Community Peace Clubs (CPCs) established by communities working with Heal Zimbabwe have expressed concern over the continued abuse of the Pfumvudza input scheme. This came out during a dialogue conducted by Heal Zimbabwe in Makoni on 6 November 2021.
Under the Pfumvudza scheme, the government provides farming inputs to farmers as a measure to address the problems of low productivity, low production, and low profitability. Participants noted that the program has been hijacked by politicians and this has created serious conflicts in the area.
”Most community members have been excluded from the Pfumvudza inputs scheme. Agritex officers have also been sidelined from administering this scheme by local politicians who distribute inputs to their supporters”, said one participant.
Participants also noted that most affected are women who in most cases are either excluded from the beneficiaries list.
”Women have been sidelined from the Pfumvudza scheme because communal land is registered in the name of males. This has seen the majority of families failing to get inputs”, added another participant.
Other issues that came out during the dialogue include a surge in cases of Gender-Based Violence (GBV). As part of resolutions, the dialogue meeting resolved that there was a need to engage other stakeholders such as the Chief and Councillors to resolve the issue of partisan distribution of Pfumvudza inputs. The meeting also resolved to conduct a dialogue on this issue that will bring together local duty bearers on one platform to collectively identify ways in which this issue can be resolved.
The meetings by Heal Zimbabwe are part of efforts to empower local communities to help safeguard against human rights abuse and also help build peaceful communities. Heal Zimbabwe utilizes various strategies to address conflicts in local communities. One of these ways is the use of community dialogues, an initiative for communities to discuss and collectively identify ways through which they can proffer solutions to problems in their communities. Such platforms also facilitate local-level conversations on pertinent issues affecting communities as well as create socially cohesive communities.
7 NOVEMBER 2021
The Election Resource Centre (ERC) on 3 November 2021 filed a complaint with the
Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Honourable July
Moyo against Chief Fortune Charumbira for contravening section 281 of the
Constitution by participating in partisan politics for comments made on 29 October
2021 at the ZANU PF Annual Conference in Bindura. In his comments Chief Charumbira
declared that “…traditional leaders were owners of ZANU PF and rule everywhere and
that’s what defines their relationship with ZANU PF, we are one people… we will never
leave ZANU PF.”
The latest comments come at a time, the Chief blatantly ignores a 2018 High Court
Order (Election Resource Centre v Chief Fortune Charumbira & Ors HC 1718/18)
compelling him to withdraw partisan comments made, calling on traditional leaders to
support ZANU PF ahead of the 2018 Harmonised elections. The conduct of the Chief, if
left to fester, has the potential to destroy rule of law and constitutional supremacy in
Zimbabwe. The Minister of Local Government and all electoral stakeholders must resist
the temptation to exempt the conduct of Chief Charumbira from necessary scrutiny on
The ERC calls on the Minister of Local Government in terms of section 7 of the Traditional
Leaders Act to investigate the conduct of Chief Charumbira and institute disciplinary
proceedings against the Chief and ensure that the supremacy of the Constitution
Managing a menstrual cycle without any sanitary wear is almost impossible for most women and one would imagine how devastating it can be for 10-year or 11-year-old girls. Like any other poverty-related challenges such as homelessness and shortages of food and water, the prevalence of period poverty is high in Zimbabwe, especially in the country’s rural areas, where girls at times have to abscond school because they cannot cope without sanitary wear.
Period poverty is the state whereby women and girls are unable to access sanitary products and will be having inadequate knowledge of how to care for themselves during menstruation mainly due to financial constraints, and it is usually experienced by less privileged girls and women who come from extremely poor backgrounds.
Not having access to a safe and hygienic way to deal with menstruation can have profound consequences, particularly on a girl’s education. With more than 3 million girls in Zimbabwe menstruating, there is, therefore, high demand for feminine products. However, there is a backlog in meeting such a demand as sanitary wear production is low in the country, forcing women to rely on imported pads, which are very expensive.
Most underprivileged girls end up wearing rags and using cow dung, which is risky as it does not only affect their health by exposing them to infections but also degrades their dignity, especially in school where they have to go through the embarrassment of being ridiculed by boys after, for instance, a leakage stains a girl’s clothing or uniform.
According to a study by Stitching Nenderlandse Vrijwilligers (SNV), a Foundation of Netherlands Volunteers – Zimbabwe, 72 percent of menstruating schoolgirls do not use sanitary pads because they can’t afford them. However, with the coming in of reusable pads, the probability of the situation improving seem to be high as are cheap and accessible. But according to health experts based in Mudzi, safety and hygiene are difficult to preserve if re-usable pads are used in the absence of reliable sources of potable water.
“In terms of hygiene, re-usable pads are not 100 percent safe due to lack of knowledge on how to properly use them. Girls here spend long hours wearing the pads which exposes them to high risks of diseases like cervical cancer and other infections as they need to be constantly changed.
Mudzi is one of the areas that have been receiving donations of reusable and disposable pads from various voluntary organizations with an aim to end period poverty in Zimbabwe.
“As girls, we encounter certain challenges while using reusable pads. Reusable pads require thorough cleaning, but some of the girls are not able to properly rinse the pads, which is a risk as it exposes them to sores in genital areas. Other girls in our area come from poor backgrounds where affording laundry soap is beyond their reach. They end up leaving the pads dirty and not properly washed which is a threat to their health and wellbeing. So, we plead that these donations come along with the handy soap to wash them”, added Kimberly Pahuwa, a 16-year-old one of Mudzi’s local schools.
Although volunteer teachers and nonprofit organizations have been making an effort to try and close the period poverty gap, there is need for increased penetration in remote areas, where knowledge deficiency on sexual reproduction is still rampant and sometimes considered taboo.
“It is important that we work together as a country to make pads accessible and affordable to the less privileged girls. It is also important to educate young boys because they one day they may become become single fathers, so they will understand the gravity of the matter”, said Thandekile Magqina, Towels for Girls project founder and co-ordinator,.
Meanwhile, women and girls in other rural communities like Wedza, are forking out US$1 or ZWL$200 for a packet of pads.
“Sanitary wear is very expensive for most women and girls in our community and this undermines our self-esteem, especially that of young girls who usually end up engaging in immoral activities to get money for the pads because if they do not have the pads they abscond from school during their cycles. This is killing any form of development from women in our country,” said Tafadzwa Gwatidzo, a local woman from Wedza.
Zimbabwe’s protracted economic crisis has severely damaged the country’s economic potential. Basic needs like food, water, and sanitary wear are scarce which significantly lowers the standard of living. Girls’ and women’s health must be prioritized, especially during their menstrual cycle. This can only be attained if sanitary wear is made available, accessible,, and affordable for every woman and girl child.
During the period under review, Zimbabwe faced a health sector brain drain that threatens sound service delivery. The problem of brain drain comes against a background of continued failure by the government to address grievances of the health industry personnel. The accessibility of health care in rural areas remains a challenge and the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the situation. The polyclinics have also been hit by a critical shortage of nurses as revealed by an investigation conducted by the ZDI around Harare. The failure by the two governments of Zimbabwe and India to ensure the delivery of a donation of 35 000 doses of the Indian Covaxin vaccine to the southern African country meant the recipients of the first and same quantity of donation had to restart the vaccination process.
The government’s directive to restrict church gatherings to only vaccinated members as a measure to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has been largely viewed by residents in Epworth as is a veiled denial of the freedom of worship.
The directive which was promulgated at a time when there is a shortage of vaccines in the country has been viewed as a tacit coercive way by the government to get believers vaccinated can be an indicator of the failure to strike a balance between public health safety and religious orientation.
A church environment should remain non-discriminatory and a welcoming space for everyone. Any restrictions then automatically violate the citizens’ rights to freedom of worship.
According to section 1(19) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 2) Act 2013; no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of conscience, that is to say, freedom of thought and of religion, freedom to manifest and propagate religious beliefs through worshipping and teaching. The constitution, therefore, guarantees that every Zimbabwean citizen should attend church regardless of whether one is vaccinated or not, as section 19(4) of the same constitution states that, no person shall be compelled to take an oath that is contrary to his religion and belief.
On 11th August 2021, government prohibited unvaccinated citizens from attending church. The restriction allowed the public to attend full church services only if they were fully vaccinated, a directive that triggered mixed reactions from the public.
Epworth resident, one Farai Mutare said being vaccinated has to be voluntary and all people have to attend church.
“Vaccination must be based on a voluntary basis but with this directive, the government is now denying citizens their rights and freedom of worship,” said Mutare.
The tacit denial of the right to worship by the executive works against the principle of openness that guides the church as one pastor based in Epworth noted.
“The reality is that church doors are not yet open. The majority of the population is not yet vaccinated and considering that children are exempted, it is therefore impossible for the elders to go to church leaving their kids behind. So there is need to look for other ways of conducting church services without gathering physically,” he said.
The unavailability of the Covid-19 vaccines in most cases when one wants to access them has complicated matters.
“The problem is there are not enough vaccines, people have to wait for hours or otherwise sleep at the vaccination centers and clinics to get vaccinated. Usually by the time the vaccination center opens the vaccine will not be available yet the government is claiming that vaccines are compulsory” the pastor added.
The government order also violates the rights of churches that do not believe in vaccines and medical solutions to all forms of illnesses such as the apostolic sects.
“We have religions like Johanne Marange who believes in faith healing and do not depend on medical health facilities, by restricting church attendance to the vaccinated members these churches are forbidden to attend church,” said Sarah Njanji of Epworth.
However, the restrictions might prove to be a waste of time considering that congregations like the Johanne Marange Apostolic Church (the sect constituting the largest chunk of the country’s apostolic believers) do not believe in biomedical health and have consistently defied every manner of Covid-19 preventive measures.
Additionally, the fact that intercity travel is now allowed and in most cases with people using public transport without the vaccination cards exposes the fallacy behind the no jab, no church rule. In market places in Harare like Mbare Mupedzanhamo, people are always crowded as they buy their food and clothes without even proving that they are vaccinated. This fact highlights the extent to which the no jab, no church rule is perceived as a violation of the freedom of religious association.
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted normal life and most governments around the world have come up with emergency measures and regulations that are meant to protect the public from the deadly disease. However, the measures have to strike a balance between objectives of public safety and respect of fundamental rights like