Heal Zimbabwe end of year statement

Heal Zimbabwe end of year statement

Cognizant that the year 2019 was characterized by numerous challenges ranging from economic collapse to blatant human rights violations, Heal Zimbabwe wishes all citizens a happy festive season and a prosperous 2020.

The year 2019 for all its worth started on a bad note as the state rolled out  a country wide crackdown on its citizens by conducting a series of targeted arrests and abductions after the ill –fated fuel hike announcement by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on 12 January 2019. The citizens’ peaceful protests that followed the fuel price hike and the worsening economic crisis were met by dragnet arrests, brute force and abductions by the state. In the subsequent weeks that followed, the state then launched a manhunt for Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) by conducting night raids and abductions meant to silence dissenting voices and close democratic space. The HRDs were accused of fanning citizen demonstrations and using them as tools to effect regime change. Among those specifically targeted was Heal Zimbabwe Director, Rashid Mahiya whose family came under serious attack and persecution during his unlawful detention. The onslaught worsened as the year trudged on with other prominent activists being arbitrarily arrested and abducted by state agents. As the economic crisis worsened, citizens mobilized under the banner of various civil groups organized demonstrations in August that were again met with state-initiated violence and dragnet arrests.

 In all this, the health system collapsed forcing health personnel to down tools and stage industrial job actions across the country. The state responded by dismissing several health personnel from their jobs and initiating a series of targeted abductions on union leaders. On 15 September 2019, president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA), Peter Magombeyi was abducted. Since this acrimonious fallout between government and health personnel, the country has plunged into a crippling health crisis making the right to basic health care that is provided for in Section 76 of the constitution a pipe dream.

Mostly affected by the economic crisis and the health crisis are women who due to various gender roles that they play require adequate social services. As part of including their voices at national level, Heal Zimbabwe commemorated the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence by conducting a national women’s summit on 29 November 2019. The summit ran under the theme, “Rural Women Building Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”. Find attached copy of the key issues aspirations raised by women during the summit.