Country Is Under Siege-MDC Alliance
23 May 2021

Tinashe Sambiri|The MDC Alliance Assembly Of Women has implored citizens to register to vote as the persecution of political activists escalates…

This was said during a strategic meeting held by the MDC Alliance UK and Ireland Assembly Of Women on Wednesday.

The MDC Alliance Assembly of Women stressed the need for massive voter education during the meeting.

Read statement below:

MDC Alliance UK & Ireland Assembly of Women
Hosted by UK & Ireland Province AOW Chair Hellena Gusinyu…

Speakers included:
National AOW Spokesperson, Barbara Gwanyanya

Middle East AOW Chair, Miriam Mutombo

North District AOW member, Olive Ruvimbo Ruzvidzo

UK and Ireland AOW Vice Organising Secretary Gladys Meck

UK and Ireland AOW Communications Secretary Luton Branch, Tsitsi Nyirongo (Prayer)

UK and Ireland AOW Wales branch, Kata Richards (Prayer)

The UK & Ireland AOW Chair in her address highlighted that her role works in collaboration with the Assembly of Women team and includes the promotion of all-round development of women and supporting them in building their capacity and confidence, this includes preparing women for leadership positions in not only within the Assembly of Women but also in the main party structures as well as national public positions.

Elections 2023:
The AOW UK & Ireland are very focused on 2023 Elections. There was consensus on the need to support the efforts towards voter education and voter registration as well as Polling agents who are a critical resource during voting. The ‘Red Wednesday’ events are also targeting support for young people who will be eligible to vote in 2023, who need to be aware of what they need to do to register and why it’s important to do so. Their participation is important, it will give them the opportunity to elect the leadership they want, and which will help move the country forward to create a better future for all.

Rural communities were another area of focus. Whilst the MDC Alliance performed well in the 2018 elections, there was need to do more to increase margins come 2023 and to achieve the goals of AOW, they agreed all diaspora AOW teams should come together and support.

Death of democracy:
It was noted that Zimbabwe is in a crisis and witnessing the death of democracy. The Constitutional Amendment No. 2 enacted into law marks another moment of authoritarian consolidation in Zimbabwe.

Because the current regime cannot govern with consent, they are becoming reliant on force and extra-legal mechanisms.

In a normal functioning democracy, any changes to the Constitution would involve the people – the stakeholders of the constitution, they would give consent, but this is not the case in Zimbabwe, the people’s wishes are trampled on and its rule by force.

Human Rights Abuses and targeted persecutions:
There are high levels cases of human rights abuses perpetrated against political and human rights activists, notably the imprisonment of Makomborero Haruzivishe which is an unhealthy precedent set by the regime, this trend will continue if unstopped. There are many ongoing court cases, and the world has been alerted to these abuses.

The spotlight is on the continued unwarranted intimidation and persecution of the MDCA trio Hon Joanah Mamombe, Ldrs Cecillia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova, National Youth Assembly Chair, Obey Sithole not forgeting the long term incarcerated political prisoners – Last Maengehama and Tungamirai Madzokere.

The persecutions against women have an impact on female participation in politics. We need to see more women in leadership posts, what is challenging in Zimbabwe is that the young female politicians who are standing up and fighting for change are being targeted by the regime. This will lead to women’s lack of interest in pursuing politics as a career.

Patriotic Bill:
Very sadly, we are faced with another challenge, the Patriotic Bill. This will seek to muzzle the people even further, and people won’t be able to challenge or speak out against the regime. There will be targeted efforts to persecute opposition political activists as well as human rights defenders and those working in the media sector. We have seen how this is already impacting with the arrests of activists/journalists who speak out against corruption and misgovernance.

Call to action:
To our viewers and readers, what is happening in Zimbabwe is an outrage, our country is under siege and we need to join together to fight this. You must be outraged too. The need to ‘Act’ was strongly called for by Leader Ruzvidzo, we must become active upstanders who speak out against this violation of human rights and our constitution.

The People’s Movement at the core of its heart is defending citizens interests through policies such as Agenda2021 in which we set our position and response to the Zimbabwe crisis, the “Citizens Convergence for Change”: calls on people to act in unity, to come together and speak with one voice – be part of that voice: don’t be left behind.

As citizens, we need to come together in unity. Agenda2021 has a clear call to action, to speak with one voice, act and win Zimbabwe for change.

There is Power in Unity!

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