Statement as Zimbabwe Turns 40

PYCD joins all progressive gallant sons and daughters in commemorating our hard won independence. The colonial authorities were brutal evil and oppressive and independence from such an evil regime is very much worth our commemoration.

As a community based organisation in the thickets of fighting the scourge of Covid 19, we take note that the 40th Anniversary of our Independence is being celebrated in a somber mood unlike before. PYCD takes note and acknowledges the heroism and risk that is being taken by all front line warriors like doctors and nurses including civic society and community based organisations to limit the impact of coronavirus.

This year’s Independence celebrations will be done under difficult situations as people are staying at home in observation of the government pronounced lockdown.

This year’s theme: Zim@40 Defining a Decade Towards Vision 2030 which has been lauded as a vision for inclusive long –term economic recovery, can be a channel for inclusivity and concerted move towards a national economic vision.

Our Independence of 40 years now is drawn from the values of humanity, freedom, equality among many others, and the next decade becomes a test case for the government to prove its worth to the Zimbabweans.

PYCD strongly believe that the ethos of the liberation struggle that brought us Independence must be protected because these values are on the test.

Land was the cornerstone of the liberation struggle, and PYCD notes with grave concern the displacement, eviction and victimization of common villagers in Chipinge district, 40 years into our Independence.

PYCD has been working on strengthening local communities’ resilience against arbitrary evictions from the land that they are currently living on. The approach is to raise awareness on land rights and community development, and at the same time address the victimization of villagers by state and party players related to land use and community development. Land is key as it qualifies social and community development.

Chipinge district is still witnessing cases of gender based violence. PYCD acknowledge the role that both men and women played in the execution of the liberation struggle, and we strongly believe that in our free society men and women are equal. PYCD is currently embarking on a gender project that seeks to capacitate young women in order to confront harmful cultural practices. We have managed to engage traditional leaders, key community stakeholders in addressing the negative impact of gender inequalities in our community.

The liberation struggle was mainly fought in the villages where it became the war’s theatre of operation. For Zimbabwe to define the decade towards vision 2030, it needs to decentralize its operations to the community level. This will ensure that decisions are made closer to the local people, communities and provide greater freedom and accountability which in turn will improve social services.

PYCD is of the opinion that devolution ensures equitable distribution of resources hence we urge government to be fully committed to the principles of devolution as stated on section 264 of the Constitution as we defined the next decade.

Source: Platform for Youth and Community Development (PYCD)

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