Govt has failed children: Audit

Clutching a small piece of paper, Ropafadzo Gava (not her real name) moves from one corner of the street to another soliciting for “donations” from passers by.The heavy downpour accompanied by vivid lightning doesn’t deter her from begging.

“I help my mother to buy food with the money that I get from the streets. My mother is here in town and she sells airtime but my father passed away. I get some few dollars every day,” she said.

This sad scenario is one of the rampant cases of adults who are abusing their children by using them as beggars in the City centre.

“When my father passed away, I had to stop going to school. I really want to go back but my mother says she has no money,” said Ropa.

In Epworth suburb scores of children could be seen playing a game of soccer.

Archford Makiwa, aged 12, (not his real name) told The Zimbabwean that he last went to school in 2005 when he was staying in Mbare before his grandmother’s shack was demolished during the infamous Operation Murambatsvina.

“When our home was destroyed we moved here to Epworth. I’m now staying with my aunt.She doesn’t have money to send me to school because she is unemployed,” he said.

The National Convention for the Welfare of Children has blamed the government for failing for enforce children’s rights as says very little is contributed by government to the welfare of children.

Musa Chibwana, child development advisor, said: “Children have been traumatized during the 2008 elections and a lot of them were left out of school during Operation Murambatsvina in 2005.”

A Child Rights Audit Report, done by Alex Magaisa, says the period between 2000 and2010 was a “Lost decade” during which children had suffered much as a result of the political and economic crisis engulfing the country.

The Audit condemned government’s failure to provide free education to all children.

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