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Human suffering is unnecessary
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe (CCJPZ)
Extracted from The Standard (Zimbabwe), January 21, 2006
January 18, 2007

The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe is seriously concerned by the worsening of human suffering and severe hardships that the majority of people are facing daily in Zimbabwe.

The hardships people face are wholesale, ranging from accessing the already collapsed health delivery system, the falling apart education system, chaotic transport and communication system, the paralysed agricultural, manufacturing and mining industries among any other sectors of the economy that are in the intensive care units.

In order to bring back the dignity that the people so need, the Commission calls upon the Government of Zimbabwe to immediately set priorities that put people first before anything else. A quick win-win solution with the striking junior doctors and nurses should be found and services rendered to the sick.

The strike by junior doctors and the nursing staff has caused untold human suffering and loss of life to many. They have the right to strike if the employer is insensitive to their needs which are not out of this world if the authorities had set good priorities. The longer this dispute is not resolved the more the ordinary people will suffer.

While the generality of Zimbabweans are hardworking, innovative and resilient, 2007 has started with huge problems that threaten their survival if nothing is done to stop the steep decline in people's standards of (surviving) living.

The once beacon of education system in Africa is now a pale of shadow of itself. Consistent political harassment of teachers without any support from the relevant authorities, high classes and poor conditions of service has seriously impacted on the quality of education delivery system in Zimbabwe. On the contrary, tuition and other fees payable have forced many out of school. A stroll in our residential areas during school hours will bear witness to the large number of school going children roaming the streets.

As many children fail to go to school due to the high costs, most workers are failing to commute to their workplaces and resort to walking tens kilometres daily to and from work. In most cases workers are failing to make ends meet. The closure of companies has meant that the bargaining power is minimal and survives at the mercy of their employers.

The economy should be managed prudently if the human suffering is to be halted. Politics and the economy are interrelated. No amount of fiscal and monetary policies will steer us away from our suffering without the integration of the two.

Alouis Munyaradzi Chaumba
National Director

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