By Staff Reporter
Society was urged to desist from the mythical assumption that old age is synonymous to witchcraft and embrace the wisdom associated with age as most seek to live to old age by stakeholders at the commemoration of the world elderly abuse awareness day in Highfields today.
“Given that the majority of older persons’ in communities are discriminated against on the basis of witchcraft accusations, another key advocacy point is educating the masses that ageing does not translate to witchcraft.” The Director of Legal Services in the Ministry of Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare Mr Fredrick Mabhena said.
Furthermore, The Director of SODA, Emilia Mukaratirwa said “We feel honored to play host to the 2022 commemorations of the world elderly awareness day and remind society to show love, respectively and apathy to the elderly and not call them witches as this is one continually growing form of abuse against the elderly.”
Society was urged to desist from such abusive myths as the elderly had an important role in shaping culture, knowledge and the ultimate sustainable development goal of leaving no one behind.
“As a nation we should celebrate old age and shun abuse and ill labeling of the elderly as they are a societal imperative. We should take cognisance of the fact that at a later age we will also be old and hence the need to set an example for future generations.” The Acting Director Social Development in the Ministry of Public Service Labor and Social Welfare, Tawanda Zimhunga also said.
The Society for the Destitute Aged was formed in 1968 with the aim of catering for the elderly from Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia and is supported by the Ministry as well as self sustaining projects in agriculture and animal husbandry.
The world elderly abuse awareness day is commemorated every 15th day of June following the United Nations resolution 66/127 with the 2022 theme standing as “Zimbabwe confronting elderly abuse” was held at the Society of the destitute elderly, SODA in Highfield’s Lusaka suburb.