The realignment of all children’s laws with the Constitution is the bedrock to ensuring they enjoy their rights fully and realise their aspirations.

As the nation celebrates Independence Day tomorrow, Zimbabwe’s children have shared their aspirations on the future of a Zimbabwe they want.

Zimbabwe is signatory to a number of conventions on the rights of children and these rights are also enshrined in the country’s Constitution which places the High Court as their upper guardian.

Legal expert Mr Tichaona Muhonde said the state should financially support all organs that champion the interests of children in order for them to fully realise their rights.

“The state must provide resources to ensure parents and other stakeholders are equipped in order to carry out their mandate of protecting the rights of children. The Constitution guarantees the rights of the children but this can only be implemented of supported financially,” he said.  

The Council for the Welfare of Children representative Mr Taylor Nyanhete noted there is an urgent need to realign the outstanding laws with the Constitution to eliminate inconsistencies in a number of laws that include marriage laws, Children’s Act and other provisions that guarantee the provision of education, shelter and health for children.

“There is urgent need to realign our laws with the Constitution if children are to benefit from the constitution,” he said.

Mr Nyanhete noted; “We have donors who are doing much but the right way is to ensure government allocate enough funding towards children’s issues and donors only come to complement government efforts”.

Those who delivered the freedom being enjoyed today, the war veterans, posit that while the political independence was won their mandate now to is to ensure they guarantee a bright future by safeguarding the economic gains achieved to date.

War veteran Cde Monica Mutsvangwa said sovereignty should now be hinged on the economic sector adding their role is to also inculcate values of patriotism among children. 

“We need to write down everything. These children must access history about where we come from and our vision as war veterans is to ensure we safeguard the aspirations of future generations,” she said.

There should never be total dependency on donor when it comes to upholding the rights of children and for that government should allot specific budgetary allocation to champion the interests of the future generation.

So as Zimbabwe celebrates its 38th independence anniversary the children of this nation are looking up to their guardians to fulfil the dreams they hold of a better development nation.

It is every child’s right to a live a happy and fulfilling life but due to economic challenges that have been bedevilling the country and the burden of the HIV and AIDS pandemic, many children have been forced to take up adult responsibilities at a tender age.

Children in West Nicholson use the school break to help their parents eke out a living through vending but this generation says it is not the life they signed up for.

“Instead of using the school break to relax or study we are helping our parents to sale various wares from dawn to dusk. We do not want as children to be working in order to raise our school fees, we really hope for a better future. All we want is for our country to function well so that our parents can have proper jobs and be able to pay our school fees,” said some of the children who spoke to ZBC News.

ZBC News also spoke to children at the Sizabantu Orphanage who say they want to be assisted to get a good education as they sometimes feel the void of not having parents.

“It’s our wish that as orphans we also get equal opportunities as those with parents. We need our school fees to be paid for and to be provided with food and clothing,” noted the orphans.

While many believe that the call for government to create jobs resonates with adults, children at West Nicholson said the life that they wish to have can be fulfilled if their parents are employed while the future they envisage is a Zimbabwe that has industries that can absorb them after they complete their education.

Meanwhile, the youth constitute over 40 percent of Africa’s population and Zimbabwe is no exception with statistics showing that 62 percent of the local population is below the age of 35.

With government having delivered political freedom, the youth expectations have shifted from their erstwhile position with the predominant call now for economic emancipation through education and better opportunities.