Statement by Lynnet Karenyi, the chairperson for MDC’s Assembly of women on the occasion of International Women’s day

International Women's Day

The MDC Women’s Assembly today joins the rest of the world in commemorating the international women’s Day and this year’s theme, Be Bold for Change is a clarion call to both men and women to take positive action towards gender parity and equality.

The International Women’s Day commemoration comes at an opportune time when the Assembly of women is rallying all progressive citizens, especially women, towards making a bold statement against the ZANU-PF government which has failed the people of Zimbabwe.

We commemorate the International Women’s day amid women losing their lives during child birth due to doctors striking because of poor remuneration. We openly call upon all active citizens to make a bold statement against a government that fails to promote, protect and uphold the rights of citizens, a government whose police officers throw spikes on moving vehicles, putting the lives of citizens, especially women and children, at risk. We commemorate this international women’s day against the background of a government that is failing to deliver basic social services; as women find it hard to put food on the table as families survive on less that US$1 day. In such a depressed economic environment, even sanitary ware becomes a luxury.

While the women’s movement has made significant in advocating for gender equality, the high levels of unemployment in Zimbabwe have blocked the progressive realisation of women’s empowerment opportunities and space for career advancement. The highly partisan allocation of resources has also closed space for women to participate in economic development which is contrary to the objectives of the African Union Agenda 2063 which spells out issues of Women empowerment as being core to development.

The MDC-T’s Assembly of Women calls upon all women and citizens to be bold and take action towards the promotion of gender equity and most importantly towards the removal from office of ZANU-PF---the party at the centre of mis-governance in our country.

As we prepare for a watershed election in 2018, we urge all the suffering women of Zimbabwe to Be Bold for Change, vote out Zanu PF and set the country on a new trajectory of growth, prosperity and development.

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President Morgan Tsvangirai’s statement on the grave humanitarian situation due to flash floods in Matabeleland

President Morgan Tsvangirai’s statement on the grave humanitarian situation due to flash floods in Matabeleland

It is sad that the rains pounding the country have led to a humanitarian crisis of high magnitude, particularly in Matabeleland North province where we have lost villagers and livestock while some of the human and animal life has had to be evacuated.

The statistics make for a sad reading that speaks to a national catastrophe: the floods have claimed six lives, 855 marooned villagers have been airlifted, while among those rescued were 86 terminally ill people and 501 school-going children.

Grim statistics indeed.

The government has done well to declare this a national disaster but it needs to do more to save lives and alleviate human suffering. If individuals in high places can afford to spend $1,3 million in anniversary rings, it means we can afford to do more for deserving situations such as the disaster in Matabeleland.

The flash floods have swept away crops and key infrastructure such as bridges, roads and houses. The situation is reportedly grave mainly in Matabeleland North, South and some parts of Masvingo. Rains should be a blessing and not a curse, as is the current situation in these provinces.

However, more disturbing are reports that key institutions that should help such as the Civil Protection Union (CPU) that could mitigate the huge the impact of this huge disaster remain crippled by underfunding, poor communication and demoralized and underpaid staff, among other factors.

Hundreds of villagers temporarily are sheltered at Sipepa camp in Tholotsho in Mat. North after the Gwayi river burst its banks and wreaked havoc in village communities. These people deserve the support of everyone in terms of mobilizing for food, blankets, medical supplies and other material resources to alleviate the situation.

Fellow Zimbabweans, let us all assist in whatever way we can. This is a predicament that can befall any of our communities and we must all assist our fellow citizens who have been trapped into this situation through no fault of their own.

I urge civic organizations and the international community to assist our citizens mired in this very dire crisis. I and the party I lead are taking this situation seriously and we will do all we can to mobilize assistance for our fellow citizens.

It has been saddening to read sad stories of some of our citizens especially children, the elderly and the infirm who have been caught up in this tragic situation. We should all help but we want to see the government play a more prominent role in mitigating the sad plight.

Let us all help where we can because an injury to one is an injury to all of us.

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