by Staff Reporter
COMMENT - This is the new MDC tactic - dressing up in communist symbols, and complain about human rights violations. Ever notice that there are economic sanctions against Zimbabwe, Lucia? You may make more money available to poor women by joining the fight to lift the economic sanctions against Zimbabwe, that your party helped create. They are economic sanctions - now own up to them. - MrK
SELECTIVE distribution of food hand outs by government agencies has led to the deaths of women and children across the country the MDC-T claimed this week.
The party’s shadow minister for women affairs and gender, Lucia Matibenga, has claimed that inhuman treatment of women by law enforcement agents was on the increase.
“However, as the world tries to tackle this social humiliation in our homes, the MDC notes with serious concerns that the state has become an actor and perpetrator in various ways,” Matibenga said in a statement marking the end of 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV).
“Thousands of women and children in rural areas are sleeping on empty stomachs as the state is distributing food packs and agricultural inputs in a partisan and discriminatory manner.”
Matibenga lamented the lack of basic healthcare facilities for women and their children adding that more women and children are dying from preventable diseases.
“The MDC is further worried by the inhuman treatment of women especially by law enforcement agents,” she said.
“Most women are being arrested and subjected to torture for vending in order to eke a living, for crossing borders to neighboring countries to order goods for resale in Zimbabwe or for peacefully demonstrating over the availability of affordable hygienic materials they use.”
Zimbabweans suffered under a decade-long economic crisis that forced an estimated 3 million citizens into exile where majority of them have resorted to doing menial jobs.
Said the MDC-T official: “It is cruel for the State to force women to pay for maternity fees and at the same time ask them to fork out exorbitant cancer treatment fees, which is leading to the death of more women when this could be averted if we had a caring government.”
The State has also failed to provide employment for millions of its citizens as well as eradicate grinding poverty because of mismanagement, she added.
“The MDC regards all this as state-sponsored GBV and the MDC’s position is that the State has a role to play in creating a peaceful and conducive environment which minimises all forms of GBV.”
In the past police have engaged in running battles with women’s groups such as Katswe Sistahood and Women of Zimbabwe Arise over demonstrations in Harare and Bulawayo. A number of women demonstrating against non-payment of salaries to their spouses by Hwange Colliery Company resulted in the injury of some while others ended in prison.