President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government has turned rogue and instead of protecting children is at the forefront of violating them, the opposition MDC's youth assembly said Sunday.
In a statement to mark the Day of the African Child, the MDC youth assembly painted a bleak picture of the environment in which Zimbabwean children have to live.
"It is regrettable that 39 years after Zimbabwe attained Independence, children's rights are still wantonly disregarded. Sadly the government of the day is part of the perpetrators and not the protector!
"From Gukurahundi to Operation Murambatsvina, Operation Makavhoterapapi to August 1 (2018) military killings, examples are plenty whereby this monster regime's actions adversely impacted on children's rights," the statement said.
The party added: "So many children like Itai Dzamara's are now orphans thanks to the Zanu PF regime! What of Sylvia Maphosa's children, that woman who was shot in the back by the military on 1 August 2018?
"Not to talk of thousands who die of malnourishment, cholera and at birth due to the economic hellhole and lack of primary health care. It is not mendacious that the failed Zanu PF government is the author-in-chief of all this rot!"
Dzamara was abducted by suspected State security agents in February 2015 and has not been heard from ever since. Maphosa was one of six people killed after the army used live ammunition to quell protests that had broken out in Harare after pro-opposition MDC supporters went on the rampage demanding the release of presidential election results.
The MDC added that only a younger leader would guarantee children their rights. Mnangagwa is 76 this year.
"As such we are not going to watch as the rot continues unabated! We are the vanguard of our future and its preservation calls for action today and not tomorrow! It is therefore our conviction that only a pro-people and young president can safeguard rights of young people and children," the opposition party said..
Independent Norton MP, Temba Mliswa in a statement said the day must be used to improve children's access to education in particular.
"The day should be one of reflection and introspection of how to reconcile and redouble efforts towards providing improved quality and access to education for children," said Mliswa.
The day was set aside initially to celebrate the deaths of dozens of South African children killed by the Apartheid regime in 1976 who were protesting against racial segregation in education.