Communities which tolerate and accept gender based violence and early child marriages cannot achieve meaningful development, Vice President Kembo Mohadi has said. Officially launching the International Day of Families at Maramba Primary School in Maramba Pfungwe yesterday, VP Mohadi said the two scourges should be condemned in the strongest possible terms with perpetrators being prosecuted and accorded appropriate justice.
"I therefore call on our traditional leaders, church leaders and community leaders to unite in fighting these devastating scourges, "he said.
"In the same vein I urge all of our families to institute measures such as having an inheritance plan to bridge the intergenerational gap that exists between our youth and our citizens. Our country needs to also take advantage of the youth bulge and harness the benefits that come from having the youths actively participating in our development discourse."
He said the youths should tap into existing indigenous knowledge systems which are passed from generation to generation to ensure that they are equipped enough to carry the country's legacy forward.
VP Mohadi said for Zimbabwe to achieve all its national aspirations and developmental goals, there is need to design, implement and monitor more family-oriented policies and programmes which are essential for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
"Our nation has become a beacon of hope for many countries who witnessed our political transition. The unique metamorphosis demonstrated our love for one another as we stood side by side as one family," he said.
"We evolved with a shared vision for our nation and this resonates well with this day we are celebrating under theme, 'Families and Inclusive Societies'".
Speaking at the same event, Women Affairs, Gender and Economic Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni said the event was dedicated to recognising the significant contribution made by families to national stability and development.
"My ministry is mandated to coordinate and implement programmes which promote women empowerment, gender equality and community development and in the absence of a compact family unit my task as minister would be difficult to accomplish."
She said the event comes at an opportune time when Zimbabwe was under threat from cultural diversion where harmful foreign practices are destabilising the very essence of the family unit.
"The objectives of today's commemorations are to raise awareness on the role of families in ensuring the development of the nation, to promote awareness on issues relating to families, to highlight challenges which Zimbabwean families are facing and how these challenges can be resolved and to sensitise the public on the pivotal role played by families in socio-economic development," she said
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mabel Chinomona, Zanu-PF Mashonaland East chairperson Joel Biggie Matiza, Politburo member Sydney Sekeramayi and other senior party and Government officials attended the event.