The Zimbabwe Peace Project joins the rest of the nation in commemorating Independence Day. Independence Day is a symbol for the fight for the one man one vote principle as well as advancement of socio-economic rights. The government has largely not lived up to these ideals as in the past political activity has been restricted for dissenting voices while the quality of life for citizens has deteriorated with more than 800 000 households dependant on food aid.
This year independence comes a few months before the harmonised elections. Zimbabweans have for long waited to truly enjoy one man one vote through freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of conscience. The government has promised a free and fair election but this is not guaranteed unless the necessary constitutional and legislative measures are implemented.
The day also serves as a reminder to the government that enough has not been done to guarantee enjoyment of socio-economic rights. Health continues to be elusive as the public health institutions have collapsed. The increased reports of arbitrary evictions from farms and residential areas have made the independence dream elusive. Food aid continues to be distributed in a politically partisan manner despite a dire food security situation for many households.
As ZPP we urge government to:
- Truly implement the constitution by aligning several laws with the new constitution to guarantee a truly free and fair one man one vote election as was envisaged on 18 April 1980; and
- Implement policies that advance socio-economic rights.
ZPP is a Non Governmental Organization that was founded in 2000 by a group of faith based and human rights NGOs working and interested in human rights and peace-building initiatives. ZPP has become a vehicle for civic interventions in times of political crises. In particular, ZPP seeks to monitor and document incidents of human rights violations and breaches of peace.
If you are concerned about acts of violence in your community, ZPP encourages you to get in touch on Hotline and WhatsApp numbers: +263 774 883 406 and +263 774 883 417 Toll Free: 080 80199
Source: Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP)