This is Nsezi River (between ESibomvu and Mbizingwe) in Matabeleland South province of Zimbabwe, normally it would be over- flowing in this time of the month but due to climate change effects its dry. Climate change is real and here and it is causing massive human rights violations in our communities like right to water, right to food, right to employment, right to development, cultural rights, and rights of peasant farmers and ultimately right to life. We may not be able to stop it but we can mitigate it and can massively document the impacts of climate change to the rights of our people.
Youths in Bulawayo, on 02 January 2020 organized an event to recognise the rights of the elderly at Bulawayo’s Entembeni Old People’s Home honouring the elderly with blankets, clothes, foodstuffs and toiletries.
The function was organized by Friends of Elitah and Raising 1000000 Champions with Activist and Community Influencer Khumbulani Maphosa being the Guest of Honor in the event.
The day long event was also attended by youths from various locations of the City who presented clothing and cooked for the elderly and further sought to get the wisdom of the elderly on various subjects like growing up, dating and other pertinent youth issues.
Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights enhances the promotion, protection and fulfillment of human rights in the Matabeleland region of Zimbabwe and with specific emphasis for vulnerable and marginalized community groups. In the year 2020 the organization is mainly focusing on enhancing youth active participation in human rights promotion, protection and fulfilment in-line with the UN Human Rights Theme: Youth Stand Up for Human Rights. The organization shall also be supporting youths from Matabeleland to stand up for their rights and the rights of members of their community. The organization is further supporting the Campaign by Khumbulani Maphosa for the rights of the elderly in Zimbabwe on #GugawithRights
On the 23rd of October 2019, Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) attended a Parliament of Zimbabwe 2020 Budget Consultation convened jointly by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development and Thematic Committee on SDGs on the 2020 Zimbabwe National Budget on SDGs.
In the meeting, MIHR submitted a written submission where several recommendations were made on the SDGs being prioritized by Zimbabwe. Among other recommendations, MIHR recommended on SDG 4 on Target: By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations.
Part of the MIHR recommendations was that government “Avail funding for free access to sanitary pads by children in school”
MIHR is pleased that the government of Zimbabwe took these recommendations seriously because on the 14th of November 2019 when Zimbabwe Minister of Finance and Economic Development announced the 2020 National Budget Statement, he announced that the government has availed ZWL$200 million towards provision of free sanitary pads for rural primary and secondary students from Grade 4 to Upper 6.
MIHR acknowledges that there are other stakeholders that could have contributed to this success story but the organization has visible contribution on the mentioned issue.
This year, on Human Rights Day, we celebrate the role of young people in bringing human rights to life.
Globally, young people are marching, organizing, and speaking out:
For the right to a healthy environment… For the equal rights of women and girls… To participate in decision-making… And to express their opinions freely…
They are marching for their right to a future of peace, justice and equal opportunities.
Every single person is entitled to all rights: civil, political, economic, social and cultural. Regardless of where they live. Regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, social origin, gender, sexual orientation, political or other opinion, disability or income, or any other status.
On this International Day, I call on everyone to support and protect young people who are standing up for human rights.
The Government of Zimbabwe has poured cold water in prospects
of fully implementing the Constitutional provisions on linguistic rights
(Section 6) as well as detects of international provisions such as the United
Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic,
Religious and Linguistic Minorities.
This comes out as the
Deputy Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs (Hon. Ziyambi) was
responding on behalf of the Minister of Health and Child Care in Parliament on the
28th of August 2019. The question was asked by Hon. G. Dube who had
asked the Minister of Health and Child Care “to
inform the House what Government policy is regarding the deployment of nurses
who are not conversant with local languages, particularly in the Matabeleland
In his response Hon
Ziyambi ruled out any immediate possibility of deploying nurses who speak in
local languages arguing that “there is a
procedure which is followed on deployment of nurses. The student nurses upon
completion of training are required to complete deployment forms. The student
nurse is supposed to indicate one urban health institution and two rural
provinces where he or she wishes to work.
The Ministry will in the future take into consideration the issue of
language before deployment. However, there is no guarantee that we can
completely second candidates who are fluent in the local language.”
Section 6(3)(b) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe
detects that “the State and all
institutions and agencies of government at every level must take into account
the language preferences of people affected by the governmental measures or
communications”. However, the response of Minister Ziyambi shows that the
State is taking into account the deployment preference of the student nurse
above the community being served.
As MIHR we wish to remind the government that is duty
bound by Section 6(3); Section 44; and Section 194(1) to respect the rights of
the people. The deployment of nurses who speak the local language will also be
a step towards the realization of the right to health as enunciated in Section
76(4) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Furthermore, Article 2(2) of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights
of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities
stipulates that “Persons belonging to minorities have the right to participate
effectively in cultural, religious, social, economic and public life.” Realizing that Matabeleland North province is home to over 6
ethnic and religious minorities – the failure by the state to deploy nurses who
speak the different local languages is a denial of the minorities to
participate effective in social and public life.
Zimbabwe Deputy Minister of Informatio, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr
Energy Mutodi has labelled minority Ndebele people who occupy the western side
of Zimbabwe as migrants and refugees in the country.
the 3rd of September 2019 Mutodi posted a video on the xenophobic
attacks currently happening in South Africa. In his video he says:
“For South Africa, you will find
that here in Zimbabwe, if you didn’t know, just about 1836 we accommodated
thousands of South Africans who came into Zimbabwe fleeing from (King) Shaka,
and they were being led by Mzilikazi. They
settled on the western parts of the country, in Matabeleland. As I am speaking
right now, at least three million Zimbabweans have South African origin.”
Mutodi’s sentiments are incorrect and misguided in a number
Firstly, Zimbabwe never accommodated thousands of South
Africans in 1836 because in 1836 there was never a Zimbabwe and never a South
Africa. Whilst it is true that the people of Matabeleland left present day
South Africa in 1836 being led by Mzilikazi and fleeing Tshaka, it is
historically and factually incorrect to say they left South Africa and were accommodated
by Zimbabwe because there were no national borders and boundaries. Boarders
came in as a result of the partitioning of Africa which began around 1884/5.
Secondly, Ndebeles were not accommodated in the western area
of Zimbabwe. They inhabited the area because there was no government to accommodate
statements by Mutodi confirm the arguments by people of Matabeleland that they
are systematically marginalized and treated as second class citizens in
Parliament raised the issue in Parliament on the 4th of September
where the Minister of Information downplayed it. Some senior ZANUPF people from
Matabeleland have also complained but there is still no drastic action by the
Zimbabwean government to discipline Mutodi over the statements.