By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
20 June 2014
Rights groups have urged Zimbabweans to turn out in their numbers to support Saturday’s Soap and Shirt Donation Winter Festival in aid of the Tokwe-Mukosi and Tsholotsho flood victims.
The family event will take place in Harare at the Belgravia Sports Club on Saturday June 21st, and will run from 10am until 9pm.
Providing the entertainment will be popular musicians the Charambas, Fungisayi Mashavave, Pastor G, Jah Prayzah, Sulumani Chimbetu, Snipper, Dadza D and others.
Festival organisers hope to mobilise goods such as soap, shirts and sanitary wear for the displaced villagers who are currently living in desperate conditions at Chingwizi Transit Camp in Mwenezi.
Nixon Nyikadzino, an official at co-organisers Crisis in Zim Coalition, said the festival was their way of getting down to the basics and addressing the victims’ needs for food, clothing and shelter.
“We hope this will become a regular fixture in the human rights calendar as we try to address the bread and butter needs of desperate Zimbabweans.
“We are dealing with an incapable government which is even failing to find a suitable relocation model for the people at Chingwizi.
“We hope the festival will also send a message to the government to do the right thing and ensure that these people have access to the basics in life.
“This is just a token gesture by civil society, ultimately it is the duty of every government to deal with national disasters and also to protect its citizens,” Nyikadzino added.
Other groups behind the initiative are ZimRights, Batanai HIV and AIDS Service Organisation and The Women’s Trust.
In a message posted on Facebook, ZimRights said: “We would like to invite everyone in and outside Harare to come with soap, clothes, blankets and pads which will go a long way in assisting the survivors of the floods.
To access the festival venue, the public are asked to bring used or new soap and new or used clothes. Men who bring sanitary pads will get free drinks in the venue.