FULL TEXT: MDC Statement On Day Of The African Child

The MDC joins the world in Commemorating The Day of the African Child, a day set aside by the African Union to remember the Soweto Massacre.

The focus for this year’s commemorations is on Humanitarian Action and prioritising protection of children’s rights.

The MDC hastens to state that a serious humanitarian crisis arrests our country, we have had cyclical outbreaks of Stone Age diseases like cholera and typhoid in the process exposing the failure to respond of the public health system.

At the present moment, there are serious drug shortages including Anti-retroviral therapy, health services workers are on the verge of a strike and basics like blades, linen and gloves are in short supply.

Child and maternal mortality rates are spiking, a soft genocide is ongoing and the authorities are not even concerned.

They have rather abandoned the social agenda and boast of a surplus instead.

Children are dropping out of school, the education sector is in shambles. The right to education is being violated.

In our SMART document we provide for Free Primary education, we restate this point in line with the theme in today’s commemorations.

Education is the best tool for social mobility and the pursuit of self-determined lives which we pursue as Social Democrats.

Broadly the laws protecting children are weak, those in authority have not prioritized bills on child protection.

In this respect we urge attention of the following:

1.Urgent socio-economic crisis resolution
2. Attending to the humanitarian crisis including food provision to millions who are vulnerable
3. Attending to social service delivery and funding the welfare state.
4. Legal reform of all child-related laws to ensure the protection of children’s rights as dictated by the Constitution including steps on ending child marriages and abuse
5. Access to affordable quality education by all children

The MDC views the ongoing killings in Sudan as synonymous to the Soweto Massacre, while the AU recognised that there is a crisis in Sudan by suspending the country, we urge them to do more.

We are also concerned by the silence of South Africa on the issue.

International instruments and international relations must be a deterrence to autocratic behaviour.

The day of the African Child is a reminder, lives must not be allowed to be lost at the hands of those in control of repressive state apparatus.

Zimbabwe bears scars of such acts and the actions continue to be cyclical.

It is time the continent brings that to an end and recognize that the future is young.

There is a need for a paradigm shift in focus for those in leadership to realize that the young people must take over the reins and steer Africa on a new developmental trajectory that is youth-sensitive and future-focused.

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The Movement for Democratic Change which was known as MDC was formed in September in 1999 out of the labor and civic movement under the banner of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).It was reported to be a strong organized political party with the... Read More About MDC

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