Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) joins the rest of Africa in celebrating the 56th year of Africa Day. We join our brothers and sisters across the Mother Continent in celebrating our Heritage, Culture and History. ZPP wishes Zimbabwe and the African continent peace and emancipation of its citizenry.
This year’s celebration comes at a time when most Zimbabweans are failing to appreciate such significant milestones such as Africa Day. The country is faced with economic challenges characterised by a 10 year high inflation rate of over 75% (Zimstat, April 2019), shortages of fuel, an increase in fuel costs (a litre of petrol is now selling for RTGS$4.97 up from RTGS$3.36 and diesel RTGS$4,89 up from RTGS$3.22), the subsequent escalation of prices of basic commodities and a failing health care system Furthermore, government is taking a radical stance in tackling perceived threats by criminalising human rights work. The arrest of human rights defenders who attended a human rights and peace-building workshop in Maldives on charges of subverting a constitutional government is a cause for concern as it serves to suppress civic space. ZPP condemns in the strongest terms, the harassment and intimidation of civic society organisations and individuals who engage in their constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. The organisation reiterates that Civic Society is there to complement the efforts of government and should in no way be perceived as a threat in a democratic space.
In respect to this, ZPP makes the following calls:
Government should stop criminalising the work of Civic Society and address issues that are likely to cause distress from its citizenry, most evidently that of the economy.
Government should as a matter of urgency put in motion a genuine, “all inclusive” National Dialogue process to move the country forward. Videos published by ZPP on its social media platforms show that citizens want their voices heard in the National Dialogue processes (Twitter-@zppinfo and Facebook- @zppngo)
Government and Citizens should ensure they abide to the letter and spirit of the Constitution in their engagement with each other.
If you are concerned about acts of human rights violations in your community ZPP encourages you to get in touch on WhatsApp numbers: +263 774 883 406 and +263 774 883 417 and Toll free number 080 80199