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Zimbabwe aAuthorities must release opposition MPs – Bulawayo24 News

THE continued arbitrary detention of opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) vice-chairperson and Members of Parliament Job Sikhala (Zengeza West) and Godfrey Sithole (Chitungwiza North) is revealing of the politicised justice system in Zimbabwe, 100 days since their incarceration.

The arbitrary detention of Sikhala and Sithole is unjust and abusive.

It has caused unspeakable emotional distress to them and their families.

Zimbabwean authorities cannot continue to incarcerate Sikhala and Sithole and deny them bail at every turn for no apparent reason.

They must be released immediately and unconditionally.

Sikhala and Sithole were arrested on June 14, 2022 after attending the funeral of political activist, Moreblessing Ali, who was missing for three weeks before being found murdered and her body mutilated on June 11, 2022.

Zimbabwean authorities have accused the MPs of encouraging CCC supporters to cause violence in Nyatsime, Chitungwiza, during Ali’s memorial.

They are facing charges of inciting violence and were denied bail when they appeared at the magistrates court.

Several appeals for bail have since been rejected.

As government critics and members of the opposition are frequently harassed and arrested, Amnesty International believes that the charges against Sikhala and Sithole, and the denial of their bail, is an effort to persecute and silence political opposition by the Zimbabwean authorities.

The continued incarceration of Sikhala and Sithole is a travesty of justice. They are victims of a government hellbent on silencing opposition voices.

Zimbabwean authorities must stop criminalising dissent and instead create a conducive environment for people to freely express themselves. – Amnesty International

Free, fair elections only possible when peace is achieved

AS we celebrate the International Day of Peace, running under this year’s theme End racism. Build Peace, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) implores all stakeholders to ensure a peaceful environment ahead of the 2023 harmonised elections as part of efforts to enhance electoral integrity.

The International Day of Peace or Peace Day is observed around the World annually on September 21.

Established in 1981 by a unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to building a culture of peace.

As Zimbabwe joined the rest of the world to commemorate this special day, Zesn strongly believes targeted peace-building efforts will go a long way in preventing election violence in Zimbabwe during the 2023 pre-polling and post-election periods.  Zimbabwe is a signatory to the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, among others which call for the promotion of peace during elections; therefore elections are an important aspect of every society.

Peace ensures that voters are allowed to exercise their constitutional and democratic rights to cast votes and elect their candidates of choice without fear or intimidation.

Free and fair elections can only be achieved when peace is apparent.



Zesn calls for the strengthening of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, faith-based organisations (FBOs), civic society organisations (CSOs), community-based organisations, education institutions, political parties and the media because they are critical stakeholders to fostering a culture of peace and tolerance in communities.

The Network reiterates its previous calls on the media as the sword arm of democracy to serve as a conduit for public debates; peace and reconciliation through promoting dialogue between contesting candidates and not to proliferate hate speech.

CSOs must continue with their watchdog role to ensure tenets of democracy and adherence to human rights are maintained and upheld.

Zesn urges Zec, CSOs, FBOs, media and all institutions supporting democracy to provide citizens with objective civic and voter education focusing on peace messaging and youth engagement as this will go a long way in mitigating against conflict that leads to political and electoral violence at all stages of the electoral cycle. – Zesn

Zim must work on fostering national cohesion

DECADES following independence, Zimbabwe continues to face conflict and violence that impede efforts to build inclusive and effective healing and reconciliation in the country.

Historically, Zimbabwe has repeatedly attempted to promote peace and national reconciliation through numerous policies and agreements.

Major initiatives include the national reconciliation policy of the 1980s and the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration of 2009.

Unfortunately, these efforts failed to bring the socio-political stability they intended to.

In light of previous drawbacks and limitations, an independent commission, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) was constitutionally created and mandated to transform Zimbabwe from a culture of conflict and violence to a culture of peace and cohesion.

Among other actions, the NPRC will fulfil its mandate by conducting investigations and research on the nature, scope, extent and causes of disputes and conflicts.

As outlined in the NPRC’s Strategic Plan, there is an opportunity for evidence-based research to contribute to enhancing and repairing societal relationships, make recommendations for addressing fault lines and leverage the capacities of resilience towards increased cohesion.

The Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE) Index approach, developed by the Centre Sustainable Peace and Democratic Development (SeeD), provides the NPRC with an opportunity to track conflict and resilience trends and patterns, which would inform the design of effective response mechanisms and programmes towards tailored, inclusive, targeted, and effective healing and reconciliation.

Within the framework of this study, the field surveys were conducted by a team of researchers from the NPRC, supported by SeeD.

The data collected was analysed in accordance with the SCORE methodology.

Following the design of the questionnaire, data collection was undertaken from February 22 to March 5, 2022 in Manicaland and Masvingo provinces.

The quantitative data collection was performed using the Kobo Collect software and followed a random sampling approach.

Overall, the data analysed is based on the administration of 785 questionnaires to individuals aged 18 years and over.

Sampling was calibrated and representative, according to geographical distribution (with 272 respondents for Manicaland and 513 respondents for Masvingo).

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Open University Malaysia ushers a new era of online education from Malaysia – The PIE News

One of the by-products of the Covid-19 pandemic was the rise of remote learning across academic institutions. While it initially served as a countermeasure to continue providing education in the wake of the virus, the idea of a fully online tertiary education is gradually gaining momentum as people continue to handle a larger portion of their daily affairs digitally.

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Education has highest inflation: ZimStat – Newsday

education

THE country’s education sector has the highest inflation compared to other sectors, according to the latest Zimbabwe Statistics Agency (ZimStat) report.

ZimStat says education had the highest inflation at 30% as of September  following a hike in tuition fees.

“Zimbabwe’s major groups with high inflation in September 2022 are: Education (30%), housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (12,10%), communication (8,60%) clothing and footwear (4,90%), health (3,50%) and transport (2,20%),” the report read.

Early this month, University of Zimbabwe (UZ) students staged protests over a 1 000% tuition fee hike that saw learners being asked to pay as much as $500 000 per semester for undergraduate degrees.

But government said the university fees were subsidised and cheaper compared to other countries, stoking more protests. UZ authorities later reviewed the fees downwards.

Government and private schools also hiked fees when schools opened for the third term, with some learning institutions exclusively demanding United States dollars.

Last month, World Remit 2022 Cost of School ranked Zimbabwe’s education as one of the most expensive, leading to a rise in school dropouts.

The report said the cost of education in Zimbabwe was six times more than the total average income for any family.

“To advance this annual study, World Remit observed 11 new countries, looking at the standard school supply costs. Of these, Zimbabwe showed the highest costs relative to average family size and monthly income at nearly 700% of the average household income,” the report read in part.

“In Zimbabwe, costs to send a household of children to school this year will (be) more than six times the average household income for a given family.”

Teacher unions have predicted an increase in school dropouts this year owing to the harsh economic climate and given that government has given schools the greenlight to charge fees in foreign currency.

 Follow us on Twitter @NewsDayZimbabwe

 

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Biti questions Zim law schools: graduates ‘ill-trained, undercooked, dangerous’ – New Zimbabwe.com

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By UK Correspondent


LEADING Harare lawyer and opposition legislator Tendai Biti has lamented the quality of legal training at the country’s universities accusing them of churning out poorly trained graduates onto the market.

Speaking in Parliament last week, Biti said when he trained as a lawyer “it was a vibrant community.

“We had international lectures, Law Journals that we used to write as students. We used to invite senior lawyers like Stanford Moyo to come and give us lectures at the University of Zimbabwe.”

However, although Zimbabwe now has more universities training lawyers, the quality of education has gone down in line with the general decline in standards across the country’s education sector.

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“Every university now has a Faculty of Law. I have no problem with that,” said Biti as he contributed to debate on the Judicial Services Amendment Bill.

Opposition CCC legislator Tendai Biti

“I think lawyers are now like teachers, they are everywhere but the problem is that there is no adequate staff and material to teach those students.

“I take interns at my law firm and some of the kids cannot even write their names. I was asking them to say surely you ought to know this and they said for the past two years we did not learn because of COVID.

“So, we are releasing dangerous, ill-trained, ill-prepared, under taught and under cooked graduates onto the market.”

Biti said the condition of law schools was one of many issues the Bill should address, including the dire state of the country’s courts where infrastructure is in disrepair and magistrates are forced to operate without critical provisions.

“To simply introduce this Bill in a country where we are still operating on second generation technology when other countries are on sixth generation will be a disaster,” he said.

“I submit that let us go back to the drawing board. We need to embrace technology but technology must be put in the context of the condition of the country and I doubt whether Zimbabwe is there.

“Technology must also be introduced in a situation where we are not breaching the country’s supreme laws, in particular the Constitution of Zimbabwe.”

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