Despots an insult to the Day of the African Child
By Jacob Mafume
Today the African Continent commemorates the heroic acts of the Soweto Uprising in 1976.Young people took it upon themselves to confront the evil apartheid regime in an endeavor to free the black people from inhumane treatment which characterised the period in South Africa.
Young people in Zimbabwe also made brave commitments when they took arms to liberate the country from colonial bondage, sadly the agenda of the liberation struggle was later hijacked by vultures who now pursue a narrow personal agenda.
The People’s Democratic Party views today as an urgent call for the current generation of young people to pursue the unfinished business of the liberation struggle.
This year’s commemorations theme is “The 2030 Agenda for Children In Africa: Accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunity.”
It is indeed a high sounding Agenda which is ironically not pursued by the African leaders, most of the African countries are led by despots who have made the state personal or family projects.
They have grown bigger than the state but more importantly they pose as Heads of State when they are a mafia milking nations of the precious resources, externalising proceeds by syphoning billions of dollars offshore.
Families linked to the Gushungo clan in Zimbabwe, Dos Santos in Angola, Zuma in South Africa, Mswati and Nguema in Equatorial Guinea are the richest families benefiting from the patronage pipelines created by the despots presiding over these countries.
On the other hand the majority of the young people who ironically make 65% of the total population of the continent continue to wallow in poverty, with joblessness and inequality becoming the new normal in the majority of African States.
The People’s Democratic Party argued on Africa Day as we do now that the danger is that the current generation which is being subjected to poverty despite being educated is highly connected on the Super Highway (Internet), it is the Ipad Generation which if continuously exposed to unpalatable suffering has the capacity to seek unconstitutional means of redress.
We call upon the African leaders to at least consider reform as a way of ensuring peace, harmony, security and sustainable stability on the continent.
Poverty has resulted in many ills, of great concern in our statement today is the rising number of Child Marriages in the wake of the agenda to protect the African Child.
While we in the PDP take great pride in the fact that President Tendai Biti put up a fight in the Constitutional Court standing on Behalf of Loveness Mudzuru and Ruvimbo Tsopodzi resulting the abolishment of Child marraiges, we are however concerned with the state’s complacence.
The failure by Chikwinya and Mnangagwa to push legislation to codify the pronouncement by the Con Court is in part aiding and abating the rise of child marriages in Zimbabwe. The failure by government to design and lead a campaign against child marriages is an indictment on Mnangagwa especially with his unbridled ambition to be president of this country. We condemn his habitual dereliction of duty coupled with power hunger distractions reflected by his focus on amending the constitution.
The failure to uplift the Zimbabwean masses from dire poverty is an indictment on Mugabe and his whole team; we restate the point indicated in the multi sector indicators report of 2014 that poverty in Zimbabwe is directly linked to child marriages.
On the idea of equal opportunities, the People’s Democratic Party is a party of Social Democrats which believes in justice and fairness. Our point of departure is that every young person must have access to quality education in order to compete and be able to live self-determined lives.
On the African Continent and even worse Zimbabwe, Education has been privatised, the quality has been taken away, and the African Liberators turned oppressors now send their children abroad to access education while at home public institutions of learning continue to dilapidate.
We are also aware of the fact that an extra 1.2 billion citizens
will be on the African continent by 2050, we therefore state that Africa must create 150 million jobs annually in order to provide equal opportunities for all. It is time for visionaries to occupy top offices if transformation is to be realised.
In this cycle we urge the Zimbabwean young person to embrace the spirit of the Soweto Heroes, depose of the Zimbabwean despots and pursue the goal outlined in section 8(1) of the Constitution.
“… guide the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level in formulating and implementing laws and policy decisions that will lead to the establishment, enhancement and promotion of a sustainable, just, free and democratic society in which people enjoy prosperous, happy and fulfilling lives.”
Together Another Zimbabwe is Possible