​COTRAD against forced contribution towards political party activities

Youths in Masvingo, under the Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD) banner seeks to register its dissatisfaction and put it straight on record that it condemn in the strongest sense the force being used by Zanu PF Officials to make civil servants donate towards the presidential youth rally pencilled for 30 of June 2017 at Mucheke stadium in Masvingo.

COTRAD peace committees observed that teachers and nurses at all schools and clinics in rural Masvingo are being made to contribute US$1 towards the rally by the ZANU PF district chairperson and councillors against their will.

COTRAD College Peace Ambassadors in the 5 tertiary colleges in Masvingo Province confirmed that college authorities are ordering students to confirm attendance and all lectures for Friday the 30th of June 2017 have been suspended to ensure all students attend. This follow the utterances by Minister of State for Masvingo Province Shuvai Ben Mahofa ordering all civil servants and all government schools and tertiary colleges in the province to contribute towards the rally by mobilising funds and students to attend as well as providing buses during the Masvingo youth presidential rally preparatory meeting conducted on 26 June 2017 at Masvingo Civic Centre.

As COTRAD, at this particular juncture we therefore catabolically state that this is against the dictates and principles of fundamental human rights. We are saddened by such tendencies of forced contributions towards political party activities that have now become the normal than the exception. The presidential youth interface rally is not a government programme but a political party rally. It is therefore unjust to force all civil servants and schools to contribute towards a political party programme especially at such a time civil servants are failing to access their hard earned cash from the banks.

This is not only an anarchical tendency but a direct and clear abuse of office. The minister must be reminded to demarcate between political party activities and government programmes and uphold Section 9(1b) of the national constitution that stipulates that the State must take measures to expose, combat and eradicate all forms of corruption and abuse of power by those holding political and public offices.As youth we urge all civil servants not to be cowed by such unruly archaic behaviour and report the culprits to the Human Rights Commission.

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