WOZA demands justice, peace, new constitution

Every year for 10 years thousands of courageous members of Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise have marched through the streets of Harare and Bulawayo, risking beatings, arrest and long periods in stinking, overcrowded jails to give roses to the police and beg for love and peace on Valentine’s Day.

Women and Men of WOZA marching in Bulawayo last week.
Women and Men of WOZA marching in Bulawayo last week.

Last week thousands march to celebrate the organisation’s 10th Anniversary. Many were beaten and arrested, as they have been every year.

WOZA’s Valentine’s Day 2012 demands are as follows:

To the principals in the Inclusive Government:

1. We urgently need a new, democratic constitution accompanied by critical electoral reforms such as an updated and accurate voters’ roll, guarantees for media freedoms, equal access by all political parties to state-controlled media during elections and promotion of gender equality. Urgent legislative reforms should include repealing or amending all legislation that hinders free political activity.

2. All soldiers currently deployed across the country must be returned and confined to their barracks and all service chiefs must issue a public statement committing themselves to restricting their activities to their constitutional mandate and to totally separate themselves from politics and from interference in political and electoral affairs.

3. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and its Secretariat Staff, charged with elections management, must be completely demilitarized, independent, professional, adequately resourced with direct technical support from SADC and the AU to enable it to impartially discharge its mandate.

4. Before Zimbabwe can set a date for elections, the AU and SADC must independently examine and certify that the environment is conducive to holding non-violent, free and fair elections. The elections must be robustly monitored and observed by local, regional and international groups who should have unfettered access to all parts of the country.

5. Together with SADC and the UN, the AU should deploy peace-keeping monitors to Zimbabwe at least three months ahead of elections to prevent state-sponsored violence and intimidation and to guarantee peaceful transfer of power to the eventual winner of the elections. The peace-keeping monitors should remain on the ground a further three months after elections have been held.

To the Joint Operations, Monitoring and Implementation Committee:

1. Stop ignoring your mandate as outlined clearly in the Global Political Agreement. Start being an effective watchdog for the GPA.

2. Stop sitting on our letters of complaint regarding ill-treatment of our members by the Zimbabwe Republic Police. Investigate urgently and provide us with feedback.

To the Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC):

Stop delaying the release of our draft constitution and pay attention to our minimum standards as follows:

1. The principle that all legal and political authority of the state derives from the people. That is what Democracy is all about.

2. Universal adult suffrage, a multi party system of democratic government and free, fair and regular elections to ensure accountability, openness and justice.

3. The inherent dignity and worth of each human being and the equal status of all human beings’ right to life. We demand gender sensitivity, promotion of affirmative action to correct past injustices and promote women’s participation in all spheres of life.

4. The devolution of government functions and powers to the people at provincial and appropriate local levels.

5. The right to state-funded education from preschool to the end of primary education and affordable secondary and tertiary education.

6. Independent courts and equality before the law and the right to full protection and benefit from the law.

7. Right to affordable and decent basic living needs (shelter, water, food and health facilities.)

8. Respect for fundamental human rights- we demand a Bill of rights that shall be guaranteed and fully protected (Justiciable).

9. Transparency and accountability on Public Finance.

10. Limitation of presidential powers, 2 terms of no more than 5years each, and an age limit of 75years for the President.

11. No to arbitrarily deprivation of citizenship.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *