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 By Samantha P Chingaira
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There has been a lot of talk about the people of Zimbabwe not having the freedom of anything. A lot has also been mentioned about the absence of human rights in Zimbabwe and how the situation has not and is still not changing even after the formation of the inclusive government. However, I do believe that there are still some elements of freedom and human rights that have been preserved and created for some people who are linked to the Zanu PF and this being the freedom to evade the course of justice from any atrocities they would have done. Anyone one who will try to fight this lot will be deemed the enemy of the state. In Zimbabwe to survive, you have to see no evil and speak no evil when it comes to Zanu Pf and its people.
Apart from political activists and human rights activists, the ordinary girl child and women in Zimbabwe are also at risk of abuse and any other inhuman practices from those associated with the Zanu Pf and those at the helm of the party. How can these thugs not abuse these little girls and vulnerable women when they know that they are immune from prosecution. At one point in time we were rejoicing when Betty Makoni (right), created the the Girl Child Network (GCN) which was meant to help abused children, be it sexually, emotionally or any other form of abuse. Betty started the GCN at a school where she taught, where she was helping a few girls, but in a short time the GCN grew into a big non-profit making organisation that helped a lot of girls by giving them refuge from their abusers, the GCN did everything it could to protect these girls and to see that the perpetrators were brought to book, thereby creating a safer and just country. The GCN had no boundaries, it had no respect of any abusers, it never bothered who would be brought down if justice was to prevail. All that mattered to the Girl Child Network was for justice to take place, irregardless of who you are. I for one, have nothing but respect for the GCN.

 

A lot of people were exposed for their wrong doing. The children who would have suffered from abuse were given a lot of help to rebuild their confidence and trust again. The GCN was providing a service that the government must provide for its people. But did the government of Zimbabwe help the GCN? Your guess is as good as mine, they never did, rather they did everything they could to see the downfall of it. This is why they hated it. The Zanu Pf people believe that they are the untouchables and if you were to expose one of them for any wrong doing you will risk being deemed the enemy of the state rather than a person fighting to create a better society. Betty Makoni the founding member was deemed to be su ch a person after the GCN exposed some relatively powerful people. Here are her crimes and how they dealt with her:  

2007 was the year when the GCN exposed the Zanu Pf affiliated Pastor Obadiah Musindo (left), who had raped his housekeeper. Musindo was popularly known at Zanu Pf gatherings where he would preach, pray and campaign for Mugabe and his party and demonising the other opposition parties. After having raped his housekeeper the GCN brought the case to the courts and this tarnished the name of the Pastor and further more the image of the so-called clean Zanu Pf. This did not go down well with the authorities.

The GCN did not have any political motivations in exposing anyone linked to the Zanu Pf. The GCN also exposed a prominent Zanu Pf member called Chris Mushowe. It was alleged that he abused girls by breast fondling, verbal harassment, forced masturbation and how he had raped some of the vulnerable girls who came mainly from disadvantaged backgrounds who had benefited from the Robert G Mugabe Presidential Scholarship program who were sent to Rhodes and Fort Hare Universities. The girls en route and staying at a local hotel at the government expense when they were abused by Mushowe.

After doing such a splendid job of exposing these people the government rewarded Betty Makoni by arresting her, they charged her with sneaking in some American journalists into the country without proper accreditation. She was soon released but the message had been sent loud and clear. After sometime she was arrested again with Rebbecca Chisamba after they had interviewed some rape victims on the Mai Chisamba show. They were said to have breached the Zimbabwe Child Protection and Adoption Act. Many people in higher positions will rather see her suppressed. Now i guess its still hard to expose any of the big names abusing children in Zimbabwe.

However, I would like to thank Betty Makoni for all that she has done, and I am proud to say that the Girl Child Network has now grown internationally, in-spite of the Zanu Pf trying to kill it, it has become stronger.

 

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