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Thursday, December 1, 2022
HomeNewsInternational Day Of Peace: Govt Called To Action

International Day Of Peace: Govt Called To Action

Civil society organizations have called on the government of Zimbabwe to deliberately promote peace and allow citizens to take part in socio-political activities as enshrined in the constitution.

The call comes as the world commemorates the International Day of Peace which is observed around on 21 September.

The United Nations General Assembly declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.

This year’s day is running under the theme “End racism. Build Peace” which is a clarion call for all United Nations member states to tackle and dismantle structures that entrench racism and foster lasting peace.

Human Rights advocacy group, Heal Zimbabwe said the state must promote national unity and peace in line with Section 10 of the constitution.

“This is achieved through fostering and respecting fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens such as the right to petition and demonstrate as provide for in Section 59 of the Constitution,” Heal Zimbabwe said in a statement.

It further stated that as the world is still recovering from the effects of COVID 19 pandemic which led to forced migrations across countries, there has been an increase in race-based discrimination at borders.

“For Zimbabwe however, more needs to be done to build lasting peace for citizens who even today are still divided along ethnic, tribal and political lines owing to the reluctance and lack of political will to address past state sponsored atrocities such as Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina and 2008 political violence. In 2022 alone, there was an increase in cases of arbitrary arrests of activists and targeted violence of political opponents.

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Heal Zimbabwe noted that the 2022 By Elections conducted in March 2022 were marred by episodes of violence and nothing has been done to date, particularly by the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) to reconcile and unite political parties in Zimbabwe.

“Fundamental human rights and freedoms such as the right to petition and demonstrate that is exclusively provided for in Section 59 of the constitution have been criminalized and this works against the attainment of peace. Lack of confidence by citizens in the state has created a fearful citizen who is afraid to make positive contributions towards peace. Added to this, the worsening economic crisis has potential of plunging the country into a wave of uncertainty and turmoil. All this dampens the spirit of commemorating the International Day of Peace,” the organization said.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres reiterated that racism continues to poison institutions, social structures, and everyday life in every society.

“It continues to be a driver of persistent inequality. And it continues to deny people their fundamental human rights. It destabilizes societies, undermines democracies, erodes the legitimacy of governments, and… the linkages between racism and gender inequality are unmistakable.”

Another CSO, the Institute for Young Women Development (IYWD) said peace building should be anchored on women’s participation in socio-economic and political activities.

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“As we celebrate, let’s remind one another that to avert a recurring cycle of conflict and for peace to prevail, for peace to prevail, and to avert a recurring cycle of conflict, there is a need to integrate a feminist lens into all spheres of governance for young women and women to participate fully in the peace processes.

“Young women and women‘s inclusion ensures that our concerns and interests are taken into consideration. Young women and women’s participation has greater significance for the communities as our participation strengthens ideals of peace and incorporates gender equality. Empower women, empower the nation and foster a culture of peace,” IYWD said.

4H Zimbabwe, an organisation that is working towards tolerance and unity among youth in Zimbabwe, said the day should be a day to reflect on the role that people play whether individually or collectively to shape the shared future that is more inclusive , just and tolerant towards one another.

“It has been a very delightful experience to be one of the drivers of peace in our country through our peace engagements in the form of dialogues and sports. It is our hope to achieve a future that is free from conflict and violence,” the organization said in a statement.

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Multi-award winning journalist/photojournalist with keen interests in politics, youth, child rights, women and development issues. Follow Lovejoy On Twitter @L_JayMut

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