The 25th of May across Africa is celebrated and commemorated for not only it’s historical significance through the decolonization of Africa but also for it’s present relevance to our contemporary world and also for the commendable visions that the African Continent holds for it’s future.
Fifty nine years ago, like-minded Africans with one vision, one goal and one purpose came together to organize the emancipation of Africa from colonial bondage and the sovereignty that Africa has today from foreign rule is a result of those sacrifices.The theme brought forward for this year is critical in the development of a child to a purely productive individual to society and that through strengthening resilience in nutrition and food security on the African continent, even with the current efforts of the AU as a bloc a lot of children remain malnourished. A number of factors keep on adding to malnourishment despite the verbal promises and half-hearted attempts to end malnutrition, factors such as unending conflict and natural disasters.
Furthermore, the Covid19 pandemic was also a major destabilizing factor in efforts done so far, by July 2020 almost one third of Africa was facing starvation and the major victims being children.In our Zimbabwean context it is going to be a herculean task to strengthen resilience owing to the prevailing environment that has been perpetuated by a soulless regime that is self-serving and not concerned by the welfare of its citizens. The environment in schools especially in rural and marginalized areas is extremely terrible, more than three quarters of learners in these communities come from poor families without the means to live in a healthy manner, these learners have it tough, they walk for long distances to school on an empty stomach, spend the whole day and go back home in their state. The government does not even bother to provide supplementary meals to these learners and when interested parties want to assist they are stopped on allegations of trying to effect regime change.
In the same vein food aid distribution in rural areas is heavily politicized with the ruling Zanu pf party refusing aid to the most vulnerable people accusing them of supporting the opposition, food meant for aid is also looted on a massive scale and later resold. This goes against the very revolutionary ethos that the African Union stands for and the concept of Ubuntu. ARTUZ also calls for the increase in salaries for workers as low salaries are also a major contributing factor of malnutrition in society as people are left desperate after being paid peanuts and are unable to maintain a healthy living.
ARTUZ calls for the immediate prioritization of children especially those in rural and marginalized areas to be assisted by the government in supplementing their diet and come up with policies that supports and aids the strengthening of resilience on nutrition and food security in the country and this is done by ceasing to politicize food aid and also improve the standards of living of the ordinary citizen through salary increments, as we celebrate this Africa Day it is fundamental to note that in our case only a few elites are free as they only have access to better standards and quality of living whilst the rest are suffering in silence, being African should be associated with Pride but there is no pride in hunger, starvation, poverty and avoidable death, FREE US NOW or WE WILL FREE OURSELVES FOR AFRICA.