Your Excellency Sir
Over the past years we have had different child leaders who were visionaries with missions to change how the world revolves around children. We have had the likes of great leaders like Tinaye Mbavari who showed resilience and also proved girls have a voice, are strong and able to make a change when she became the first girl child President of Zimbabwe. She made sure that the issue of free sanitary products to children was heard and implemented.
Innocent Chikwanda the former child president vowed to end disability discrimination and brought disability inclusion motive thereby making many realize that disability does not entail inability.
We have had Monica Manyanga who spoke against disability discrimination as the child parliamentarian for the special needs constituency appearing on television preaching the importance of sign language as a child advocate. She was also an outstanding girl child advocate.
These great visionary leaders left footprints on the heart of the nation particularly on children and it remain in our memories. It was child advocacy at its peak and it was unshakable, day in day out they spoke about the importance of the children’s rights.
However, the situation has changed ever since then, we now have you as a leader who does not uphold good service and leadership qualities as expected. When a leader is about authority and power that is not leadership. With all due respect your Excellency President Mukudzeishe Madzivire you have done nothing as a conformist to child rights violations and addressing the children’s needs. Your voice is mute to injustice affecting children. Sometimes we wonder if you exist at all.
We expect a people’s leader, a children’s voice which goes against all odds to make sure children are safe. We expect you to stand firm without any trepidation against violators of our rights. Tinaye Mbavari was spot on and her voice was everywhere in terms of protecting children’s rights despite the criticism that girls are not leaders she proved them wrong and lived to her expectations. Above all she had great communication with people, an important tool for leaders.
Her work during her reign is well documented, we all know the great work she did. I remember World AIDS day 2016 as if it was yesterday when she said “World AIDS day is not for fundraising but for awareness and raising support for fellow colleagues who are living with HIV/AIDS” and how she launched the first pad drive of the child parliament. These memories are meant to be cherished and remembered. She respected but never discriminated those living with AIDS and disability and her last words as a child president, “A leader listens and does the impossible.”
As for you my leader your communication with other child leaders leaves a lot to be desired, you do not allow others to have a voice. We expect communication to be the best tool in the child leadership but the way you communicate with us as fellow leaders is not professional. “A leader is a leader because of his people, they made you so represent them well.”
When Tapiwa Chikore was murdered we never heard your voice even issuing a statement to castigate the evil that befall one of us. Tapiwa was destined for greatness but some people decided against that but you were mute about the issue. The recent murder of Memory Machaya was heartbreaking and as child leaders we should raise our voices against such injustices. As our leader you should be challenging these atrocities. Children killings are making headlines daily but you are nowhere to be found the reason I am wondering if you still existing.
Children with disability do not have a voice they have been left off from e-learning because some of them need special gadgetry to learn. What are we doing about it your Excellency? Girls are being abused daily in the community especially during the covid-19 lockdowns what are we doing about that?
We need change your Excellency. Children need leaders who can stand against the injustices levelled towards them. We cannot tolerate such muteness your Excellency enough is enough, let us stand against injustice for children.
By Junior Brigadier General Dylan S Chiponda