Five years after the untold suffering authored by the government of Zimbabwe on its innocent vulnerable citizens from a barbaric inhuman operation dubbed Murambatsvina, Achieve Your Goal Trust (AYGT) held a commemoration of the sad event to reflect on the impact it had on the youths and debate the way forward. The commemoration was held on Thursday 10th June at Machembere community Hall in Highfield, attended by over 80 youths, men, women and children, victims of gross human rights abuses still recuperating from the scars of the horrors suffered.

Presentations were made from civil society organizations which include among others ROHR Zimbabwe, Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA), Zimbabwe Poets for Human Rights. Interest was generated among the participants after being enlightened about their indivisible and inalienable God given rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Mr Mureverwi challenged the youths to take the lead role to push for the domestication of the fundamental rights in the UDHR to be guaranteed in the Zimbabwean Bill of Rights ahead of the envisaged constitutional outreach for the rights to be enforceable before the law. He also challenged the participants not to give up on demanding justice and holding the government to account for the past wrongs through amplifying collective voice.

A representative from CHRA was shocked to learn that there were still rate payers being robbed of their precious hard earned money as they were made to pay for ‘illegal structures long demolished during the barbaric Operation Murambatsvina’. She encouraged the participants especially the aged, widows and less privileged not to accept bills from the council blindfold without demanding clarification on obscene cases like the payment of ‘illegal structures’ and exorbitant bills.

Unanswered questions still linger, haunting the tormented souls of an estimated 3 million innocent people who woke up to watch powerlessly their homes demolished, properties vandalized, livelihoods shattered, families violently scattered, lives lost. More than 700 000 lost their livelihoods after the government man-made calamity struck in 2005. Understanding that human rights are indivisible, Operation Murambatsvina caused a serious violation of fundamental rights ranging from the right to shelter, decent living, right to education, food, health. The dilemma that’s confronts them in their daily lives is whether justice delayed is justice denied as Zimbabwe is in a historic phase of a nearly two year old coalition government.

No justification will ever dignify the madness of Operation Murambatsvina, it simply constitutes a crime against humanity and the fact that no concrete effort has been done to acknowledge the victims besides the window dressing of the Operation Hlalani Kuhle (Garikai) which preceded it giving birth to the sub standard health hazardous Hopley farm settlement devoid of sanitation and safe water.

Operation Murambatsvina is one amongst many wrongs yet to be accounted for from our past legacy of violence and gross abuse of human rights with the recent being the orgy of political violence which swept the country during the harmonized elections of 2008.

The community based event was organized under the banner of Zimbabwe Youth Network (ZIYON) under the stewardship Oscar Dhliwayo the senior programs officer for Achieve Your Goal Trust. Mr Dhliwayo applauded the enthusiasm exhibited by the participants towards activities contributing to shaping national discourse.

For Peace, Justice and Freedom