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President Biti honoured for Human rights work

The 99 year leases issued government are a terrible arrangement which expose women to the risk of being homeless and losing everything they would have worked for in a wince of an eye, President Biti has said.

Delivering a key note address at an event organised by Women's Comfort Corner Foundation, President Biti said once there is a divorce women are not protected and the land ends up with the men.

"The 99 years leases based on the offer letters from government are a strange arrangement, the result is that women lose everything in case of a divorce, Marian Chombo and Jocelyln Chiwenga walked with nothing."

He said the arrangement must be challenged because lease rights of houses owned by municipalities have been divided before therefore the argument that lease rights on state land cannot be divided do not hold water.

President Biti said women who live in the rural areas find themselves in more difficult situations.

"While the law secures the matrimonial home for women, the principle cannot be applied for rural women who upon divorce get chased away like a dog because the home belongs to the natives the Museyamwas and the Chirashas,"he said.

He told the gathering that he would challenge this in court highlighting that countries like Zambia have already developed the law to a level where rural homes are valued by professionals for purposes of a divorce.

President Biti told the meeting that the new battle is the battle for asserting socio-economic rights adding that this is an area which affects women and children.

In a brief overview of his intentions he said he was working on a constitutional case on the right to housing. He told the meeting that the case would be heard by the constitutional court this month.

A constitutional application on asserting the right to health care for chronic illnesses like cancer as provided for in section 76 of the constitution was also on the cards.

President Biti lamented government's failure to enact a law which actualises the judgement of the constitutional court on child marriages.

"I am disappointed by the fact that there is no legislation following the judgement of the 20th of January 2016, the law must have been rationalised by now. This has not happened because our country is arrested by ugly, toxic and predatory politics."

He also expressed concern on the shocking statistics of child marriages, the figures reflect that the scourge is on the rise.

The Women's Comfort Corner Foundation awarded him a gold certificate in recognition of the work he has done. The Constitutional Court also received an award for the Mudzuru judgement which abolished child marriages.

The People's Democratic Party is glad to have a leader who fights to assert people's rights rather than take them away.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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