Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, the general secretary of the global rights network World YWCA, said that further economic and social empowerment was needed to change the lives of women in Africa. Credit: Ravi Kanth Devarakonda/IPS
Ravi Kanth Devarakonda interviews NYARADZAYI GUMBONZVANDA, human rights lawyer and general secretary of the global rights network World YWCA.
GENEVA, May 7 2013 (IPS) – Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, a human rights lawyer and the general secretary of the global rights network World YWCA, knows what it is like to struggle against poverty and violence: she herself comes from a poor family in Magaya village in Murewa district, which lies northeast of Zimbabwe’s capital Harare.
But Gumbonzvanda has travelled a long way from her home. And she has spent much of her life trying to change the lives of women who were not as fortunate as she was. Continue reading
Zimbabwean prosecutors have slapped fresh charges on prominent human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa.
Mail and Guardian
A legal group on Tuesday labelled the state’s move a “desperate bid to bolster its case.”
Mtetwa – whose arrest for obstructing justice last month sparked international condemnation – now faces additional charges of abusing the police, according to Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
Mtetwa was arrested a day after Zimbabwe’s constitutional referendum, during a police raid of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s offices in Harare.
She is alleged to have said: “Stop whatever you are doing, it’s unconstitutional, illegal and undemocratic. You confused cockroaches.
Hard times have hit Zimbabweans and forced disadvantaged children to earn a living as vendors in downtown Harare. This 16-year-old boy sells sweets and popcorn to earn a living. Credit: Jeffrey Moyo/ IPS
By Jeffrey Moyo
HARARE , Apr 5 2013 (IPS) – Susan Sithole* is 14 and should be in grade nine or Form Two, according to Zimbabwe’s education system, learning her lessons in Mathematics, English and other subjects.
But instead, you can find her at the corner of Leopold Takawira Avenue and Robert Mugabe Street in downtown Harare, selling cigarettes, sweets and cellphone recharge cards, learning the harsh lessons of commerce and survival.
Sithole, who lives in Harare’s Machipisa low-income suburb, told IPS that the 25 dollars she earns weekly is not enough to pay for her upkeep and still have enough left over to send back to her poor parents in Chipinge, a district over 500 kilometres east of Harare.
Five million registered voters in Zimbabawe have an opportunity to change the lives of this country’s women. Women represent the majority, some 53 percent of the Zimbabwe’s 12.6 million people. Credit: Trevor Davies/IPS
By Nyarai Mudimu
MOUNT DARWIN, Zimbabwe, Mar 15 2013 (IPS) – “Ten reasons why women must vote ‘Yes’ for the draft constitution…” says the Constitution Select Committee’s campaign radio jingle that plays over the airwaves in a grocer’s store at Mukumbura border post business centre on Zimbabwe’s northeastern border with Mozambique.
Zimbabwe is holding a referendum on Mar. 16 to decide on whether to adopt the draft constitution that has taken almost four years to draft and gobbled 50 million dollars of donor funds from the impoverished country’s economy.
The Constitution Select Committee (Copac) is the constitutional parliamentary committee tasked with writing the draft constitution, and ahead of the referendum has been tasked with informing Zimbabweans about the draft and encouraging them to vote.
Reports of violence mar campaign for widely supported charter that would limit powers of President Robert Mugabe.
Polls have opened in Zimbabwe for a referendum on a new constitution that would curb President Robert Mugabe’s powers and pave the way for elections later in the year.
Around six million eligible voters began casting their ballots on Saturday at 05:00 GMT at 9,456 polling stations dotted across the southern African country. Polls across Zimbabwe are due to close at 17:00 GMT.
Official results are expected to be released within five days of the vote.
The country’s main political parties, including Mugabe’s ZANU-PF, are in favour of the proposed law changes, making the simple majority needed for a “yes” vote a near certainty.
Mail and Guardian
Unendorsed results have shown Zimbabweans voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new constitution that would trim President Robert Mugabe’s powers.
Tallies from regional counting centres published by state-controlled daily the Herald found 3.1-million voters of a total of nearly 3.4-million people who cast their ballots approved the supreme law.
The paper said 200 000 people rejected the proposed constitution in Saturday’s vote. An estimated six-million citizens were eligible as voters. Continue reading
Prominent Zimbabwean human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa was arrested for allegedly obstructing the course of justice. She is pictured here existing a police vehicle as she arrived at the Harare Magistrate’s Court on Mar. 20. Credit: Nyarai Mudimu/IPS
By Nyarai Mudimu
HARARE, Mar 21 2013 (IPS) – Heightened political tension between the major rivals in Zimbabwe’s coalition government and increased clampdowns on civil society have left questions about the country’s readiness for a true democracy just days after people voted to adopt a new constitution.
Just over three million Zimbabweans voted on Sunday Mar. 17 in support of the draft constitution, which paves the way for elections later this year, while 179,489 rejected it. There were 56,627 spoilt ballots.
However, on the day of the referendum, prominent local human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa was arrested for allegedly obstructing the course of justice. She is said to have requested that police show her a search warrant when they raided Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s support staff offices on Sunday Mar. 17. Four staffers were also arrested. Continue reading
Mail and Guardian
Robert Mugabe has said he had a “divine task” to lead Zimbabwe, shrugging off concerns about his health and fitness for office.
Mugabe is preparing for what could be one the closest election battles since he came to power in 1980.
Few Zimbabweans are ruling out victory for the 89-year-old Mugabe even though his country, once an African success story, is in a decade-long economic slump worsened by Western sanctions and more than four fifths of the population is unemployed. Continue reading
Independent Catholic News
By: Dan Bergin
Human rights groups are expressing grave concern at the news that the Zimbabwean prison service has employed a hangman. Currently there are believed to be 74 men and two women on death row. Zimbabwe’s last hangman retired in 2005.
Noel Kututwa, Amnesty International’s southern Africa director, said in a statement: “This macabre recruitment is disturbing and suggests that Zimbabwe does not want to join the global trend towards abolition of this cruel, inhuman and degrading form of punishment.” Continue reading
Mail and Guardian
According to the proposed constitution, a person can be president for two five year terms. (AFP)
Zimbabwe’s Parliament has begun discussing a new constitution that will reduce the president’s powers and setup a peace and reconciliation commission.
The talks, which took place on Wednesday, also highlighted political impartiality from President Robert Mugabe’s longtime loyalists in the police and military.
The 160-page draft, completed after three years of tension between hardliners and reformists during often bitter and violent nationwide canvassing, will be voted on in a national referendum slated for April, ahead of elections to end a shaky coalition formed after the last disputed, violent polls in 2008. Continue reading