On Thursday 12 December all roads lead to Kennilworth in Bubi Ward 19 where Habakkuk Trust will be commemorating the International Human Rights Day. The celebrations, to be held at Lukona Primary School grounds will run under the theme: Youth Standing Up For Human Rights; which is a United Nations theme aiming to celebrate the potential of the youth as agents of change.
Bubi District is one of the resource rich Districts in Matabeleland region endowed with vast gold fields and other minerals deposits such as nickel and copper. However, some of the artisanal mining activities in the area are a menace, as reports of attacks and killings within the gold fields where thousands of the young and the old eke out their living are continually increasing. Worrisome reports of coordinated killings, violent clashes by machetes gangs have become a common occurrence in these gold fields as gangs of artisanal miners fight for control. Statistical reports from the ZRP operation dubbed, ‘No to Anarchy by Artisanal Miners’, released in public media on Friday the 6th of December indicated Matabeleland North having recorded the biggest number of arrested illegal artisanal miners, with 546 offenders being nabbed since March 2019. This is an indication of the level of lawlessness caused by artisanal mining activities in the Province as a whole. Abandoned artisanal mining pits are scattered all over the area posing a serious hazard to citizens and animals in the District. Community members have been losing cattle, others being injured due to the severe damage of the environment.
Habakkuk Trust, as a Christian advocacy organization exists to promote the respect and upholding of human rights by all citizens. The gold fields are dominated by the youth who have ceased respecting human dignity, failed to participate in community development. This celebration is therefore targeting the youth raise awareness on the importance of upholding human rights and enhance understanding of the importance of dignity for all citizens at the same time promoting peaceful coexistence within gold fields.
“To celebrate this day there will be arts performances from the renowned Bulawayo Arts Group; Inkululeko Yabatsha Schools of Arts (IYASA) as well as poetry and theatre from local arts groups. The event will also feature former Highlanders Football Club stars who will clash with the local finest football team, an opportunity that will see local Bubi players gaining valuable life skills in football. Qualified netball referees will provide requisite netball skills to young girls in the area. There will be special prizes for outstanding teams,” said Habakkuk Trust Chief Executive Officer, Dumisani Nkomo.
Habakkuk Trust is a Christian advocacy organization which exists to influence Biblical transformation of communities through advocacy, research, information dissemination and capacity building. The organization has been using sports and arts as a tool to mobilize young people and encourage them to participate in community developmental initiatives and share knowledge on human rights.