Child Sex Rife in Zimbabwe

Tens of thousands of children in Zimbabwe have been sexually assaulted over the past 10 years. This is according to Betty Makoni, founder of the Zimbabwean NGO Girl Child Network (GCN).

Makoni, a leading children’s rights campaigner who has been forced to flee the country, points out that the country’s political and economic collapse has created a climate in which its children have become increasingly vulnerable.

Call for SADC Monitoring Force for Zimbabwe

The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) has called on Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders to send a monitoring force into Zimbabwe, until a free and fair election to be held in 2011.

OSISA director, Ozias Tungwarara, says the call was motivated by the surge of reports of violent crackdowns against Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) opponents.

Zimbabwe Deports UN Rights Expert

United Nations human rights expert, Manfred Nowak, has been deported from Zimbabwe on 29 November 2009 after being detained by security officials on arrival overnight.

Nowak says he had been invited to that country by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai whose power-sharing deal with President Robert Mugabe is under severe strain.

Nowak points out that, “I had not anticipated this. This is a serious diplomatic incident."

NGO Leaders Held in Zimbabwe

The heads of the umbrella organisation for all of Zimbabwe's NGOs have arrested amid worsening signs of the disintegration of the country's fragile coalition government.

Spokesperson, Farai Ngirande, says that chief executive of the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO), Cephas Zinumhwe, and NANGO chairperson, Dadirai Chikwengo, were arrested at the small airport in the northern resort town of Victoria Falls after a NANGO meeting.

Zim Officials Sued for Human Rights Violations

A Zimbabwean official says several top officials and cronies of President Robert Mugabe being sued for torture have been renounced by the state and will not receive legal assistance.

Deputy attorney-general, Prince Machaya, points out that the state will not represent officials being sued by prominent human rights activist, Jestina Mukoko and eight others.

The activists are seeking US$500 million for wrongful arrest, torture and abduction after their terror charges were dropped.

HIV on the Decline in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's adult HIV prevalence rate is continuing its downward trend, showing a drop from 14.1 percent in 2008 to 13.7 percent in 2009, according to new estimates released by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.

The 2009 Antenatal Clinic (ANC) Surveillance Survey, based on blood specimens collected from 7,363 pregnant women anonymously screened at 19 clinic sites throughout the country, estimated that 1.1 million Zimbabweans in a probable population of around 11 million were living with HIV.

ZNRI Embarks on Clean-up Exercise in Harare

The Zimbabwe’s National Revival Initiative (ZNRI), a coalition of churches, NGOs and government has taken a bold stand in which the organisation attempts to get rid of the garbage in Harare.

ZNRI project manager, Aaron Mushoriwa, says that the project aims to keep the environment clean while improving the image of Zimbabwe prior the 2010 World in South Africa.

Director in the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity, Sylvester Maunganidze, argues that the initiative will contribute to the attraction of visitors in Harare.

EU Officials to Visit Zimbabwe

A top European Union (EU) team will travel to Zimbabwe to work on normalising ties, the first such visit since the EU sanctioned Zimbabwe's hard-line leaders in 2002.

Swedish International Development Cooperation Minister, Gunilla Carlsson, and EU Aid Commissioner, Karel de Gucht, will travel there after an EU-South Africa summit.

Carlsson and de Gucht will be meeting President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, other ministers, officials and representative of NGOs during their visit.

IMF US$500m Bail-out for Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has received more than US$500 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after 10 years of financial restrictions from the institution, following the injection of US$283 billion into the global economy to boost member countries’ dwindling foreign exchange reserves.

The money, most of which has already been deposited with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, will offer only temporary respite for an economy facing a severe liquidity crunch.

Call for Tougher Action Against Zimbabwe

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged Southern African leaders to put pressure on Zimbabwe's unity government to make greater political reforms to prevent the country from sliding back into turmoil.

"The region's leaders need to press Zimbabwe openly and publicly for human rights reforms to prevent the country from backsliding into state-sponsored violence and chaos," says HRW Africa director, Georgette Gagnon.

Gagnon further calls on Southern African leaders to stop looking at Zimbabwe through what she calls “rose-colour glasses”.


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