Category Archives: Constitution-making

Public Declaration – School Fees Payment Boycott!

#BoycottSchoolFees
For the URGENT attention of: ALL Education Ministries, Cabinet, Parliament and Senate of Zimbabwe

The Government of Zimbabwe has directly retrogressed in its obligation to provide free primary education according to local, regional and international instruments. The State has made no effort to correct this retrogression even after including the right to education in the Constitution Bill of Rights.
The Laws relating to the right to education are all contained in the following
a) The right to education enjoys protection in international law. Section 26 (1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) provides that, ‘Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory…’
b) The International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), in Article 13(2) (a) and (b), obliges states parties to make primary education compulsory and free, whereas secondary education “shall be made generally available and accessible”.
c) The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) provides for the right to education in Article 28. Article 28 (1) (a) places an obligation upon States parties to make primary education compulsory and free, whereas article 28(1) (b) requires states to make secondary education available and accessible to the child.
d) Article 17 (1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights stipulates that every individual shall have the right to education.
e) Zimbabwe has canvassed these international law principles through domestication which means bring these international laws into local laws. The Zimbabwean Constitution provides for the right to education in Section 27 which states that ‘the State shall take all practical measures to promote free and compulsory basic education for children…’ Further in the declaration of rights, Section 75 entitles ‘every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe to a basic State- funded education…’ The Education Act in Section 4 demands that ‘every child in Zimbabwe shall have the right to school education’.

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) representing citizens countrywide, therefore wish to publicly advise the Government of Zimbabwe, Ministry Officials, School Officials and members of the School Development Associations and Committees of the following declarations.

1. Parents will cease to pay school fees and all levies for primary level from this point forward.
2. Parents also cancel all debts accrued.
3. For secondary schooling, only the USD 10 tuition fee and statutory stipulated USD 5 levy will be accepted and paid.
4. Demand that immediately through policy and practice stop disrespecting the right to compulsory free primary and secondary education. Additionally, the government should investigate and penalise teachers or school heads who practice discrimination by chasing children who can’t pay fees from schools and allow accessibility by all children;

Education is an inheritance and a right! It must be FREE! Imfundo yilifa njalo lilungelo – Dzidzo inhkaka nekodzero.
August 2016 school fees boycott Woza Moya

WOZA to launch School Fees Boycott

Members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) will in the next week launch an escalated phase of their free primary school education campaigning.

Members resolved to launch the campaign with a peaceful march. During the march, members will call on citizens to boycott paying school fees or levies. The government of Zimbabwe continues to show no goodwill to transition the nation into a full state funded basic education system. Additionally the state continues to neglect education budgets in favour of defence budgets as if it is at war with its own citizens. WOZA believe that Government and Cabinet continue to allow political power to supercede good democratic governance, and sound economic management systems and as such the ruling political elite must be held accountable by denying revenue. How many children could have been educated by the billions looted without any action.

Just this year alone the state will have received over a 100 million united states dollars in education related revenue but despite this they continue to undervalue education and the need to provide a decent regular wage for teachers.

WOZA members have studied state obligations and international instruments which clearly show that Zimbabwe cares less and less every year for the next generation to have an opportunity to learn.

a) The right to education enjoys protection in international law. Section 26 (1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) provides that, ‘Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory…’
b) The International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), in Article 13(2) (a) and (b), obliges states parties to make primary education compulsory and free, whereas secondary education “shall be made generally available and accessible”. Signing this covenant in 119 Zimbabwe had till 1993 to deliver this right intact for children but instead of progressively fulfilling this obligation the state is retrogressing.
c) The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) provides for the right to education in Article 28. Article 28 (1) (a) places an obligation upon States parties to make primary education compulsory and free, whereas article 28(1) (b) requires states to make secondary education available and accessible to the child.
d) Article 17 (1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights stipulates that every individual shall have the right to education.
e) Zimbabwe has canvassed these international law principles through domestication which means bring these international laws into local laws. The Zimbabwean Constitution provides for the right to education in Section 27 which states that ‘the State shall take all practical measures to promote free and compulsory basic education for children…’ Further in the declaration of rights, Section 75 entitles ‘every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe to a basic State- funded education…’ The Education Act in Section 4 demands that ‘every child in Zimbabwe shall have the right to school education’.

WOZA members believe the time has come to withhold revenue in the form of school fees and levies until the state truthfully and earnestly engages citizens on a plan of action to transition or fulfill its obligation on state funded basic education.

WOZA members will not only stage a peaceful march but have formulated a multi pronged strategy including an array of non violent direct action activities. This will bring the demand to all level of policy makers. WOZA have also secured legal partnership to draft a new Education Act. As the campaign is ongoing members will exposes violations of the right to education and document these so as to report Zimbabwe to the United Nations.

WOZA call on all citizens to participate in this way to hold the Government accountable and force them to the negotiating table with citizens. Enough is Enough!

Woza Moya August 2016

Open letter to Education Minister Dokora

WOZA Bulawayo members will march to hand over an open letter to Minister of Primary Education Minister Dokora. The open letter covers the view of members, adults and children who object to the manner, spirit and implementation of the national pledge.
Open leter to Minister Dokora 6may2016

WOZA members won’t pledge

Members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) have refused to participate in the government dictated school pledge programme.

Members, adults and child human rights defenders met on 30 April and 1st May 2016 and shared knowledge of what school officials instructed children and their parents to do at close of the last school term.

Members resolved to refuse to participate and will refuse to give their consent to their children’s participation on the following basis.
1. There was no consultation of themselves or their school development association representatives.
2. The wording of the pledge is problematic to christians even if it is paraphrased from the preamble of the Constitution.
3. To sequence the saying of the pledge immediately following the Lord’s prayer borders on blasphemy.
4. To force children to therefore make a pledge or oath violates many sections of the Zimbabwean Constitution.
4. WOZA is a movement of nonviolent human rights defenders who believe in democratic solutions to develop Zimbabwe. Forcing children to salute the flag militarises and brainwashes them and such an act should not be allowed by any responsible parent.

WOZA members views are captured in the attached newsletter and members commit to the included plan of action. WOZA Moya April 2016 I wont Pledge

#2Save Education 2Save our children WOZA Report

Constitutional Right to Education Survey Report
The state of education in Zimbabwe and how the deterioration is affecting our children
It’s time for Collective Action to Save Education in Zimbabwe
“Education is a public good and fundamental human right recognised in Article 26 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and upheld in various international and regional human rights conventions and treaties”.

Section 27 of the national objectives and section 75 of the Bill of Rights, Chapter 2, on Education says the following:
(1) The State must take all practical measures to promote
(a) Free and compulsory basic education for children; and (b) higher and tertiary education.
(2) The State must take measures to ensure that girls are afforded the same opportunities as boys to obtain education at all levels.

Despite this Constitutional clause; consultations and surveys conducted by WOZA reveal substantial violations against the right to education by the state which is, overloading parents with a burden too heavy in this climate of economic chaos. This right is also negatively impacted by poor infrastructural development at schools, unqualified teaching personnel, limited and poorly managed resources being allocated to the education sector. Overburdened parents suffering unemployment are unable to participate fully in School Development Committees (SDC) where democratic structures, processes and procedures are not followed.

In assessing the extent of the crisis WOZA believe that no one person, organisation, political party, government department or school can solve this crisis but rather a comprehensive collective solution must be found.
WOZA therefore calls for a “Save Zimbabwe Education” national dialogue by all relevant stakeholders to chart a collective way forward. It’s time to ACT!
Introduction
In later 2015, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) conducted a survey to determine the state of education and the impact on the lives of members and their children. Members of WOZA, like all Zimbabweans are very concerned about the deterioration in educational provision by government and its employees, the teachers, which means that most children are failing to access their constitutional right to a meaningful education. The failure in the education system has many negative consequences for individuals, for families and for the nation as a whole. WOZA member’s number over 100000 but the survey focused on organised structure of urban and rural adults and urban children. They were asked to provide their views on what problems they are experiencing in educating their children, to identify the specific rights abuses involved, and to try to develop a strategy on the way forward to make a contribution towards resolving these problems.
This report presents the findings; these are not quantitative, but qualitative, describing the abuses but not attempting to indicate the extent of each or the numbers of communities in which they exist. Responses to the survey have been categorised according to social groups; there are responses from urban adults, urban children, and rural adults. Thus they provide a snapshot picture of the situation that prevails in our schools from three different perspectives.

See the full report here Its time for collective action to save education to save our children WOZA Zimbabwe Report

see the previous report WOZA published on the state of education here http://wozazimbabwe.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/the-state-of-education-in-zimbabwe-woza-perspective1.pdf

Members urge Mayor to stand up for right to trade

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) today submitted a letter to the Executive Mayor of Bulawayo Councillor Martin Moyo, calling on him to stand with the people of Bulawayo trying to eke out a living by informal trade. The majority of WOZA members are involved in informal trading.

WOZA members urged him to be courageous and defend the Constitutional right to earn a living.

WOZA made recommendations as to what issues the Executive Mayor should address as part of a collect Council and Civic Society initiative and ignore the ultimatum from the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing for vendors to vacate the pavements and streets by 26 June 2015.

The open letter reads, “Executive Mayor we will stand by you if you stand by us. Let’s us find sustainable livelihood’s in a dignified manner befitting Zimbabweans. Don’t be a part of another ‘moment of madness’. We will not be moved from our streets until there is a comprehensive plan in place.”

See the open letter here
Open Letter 24 June 2015

Bulawayo members to march 13Feb2015

Zimbabwe joins citizens of the world in commemorating Valentine’s Day, a day to give each other a red rose that represents LOVE. Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) members, the majority of them are women and some brave men are still drawing attention to the need for LOVE in Zimbabwe.
The love WOZA members wants is LOVE that brings dignity.
Dignity will help us rebuild our lives and our country.
Dignity also comes from Zimbabweans being able to exercise and enjoy all their rights including the right to earn a living.
This year our theme is – Demanding Dignity – Demanding Women’s Empowerment!
These are the roses we want from our Government!

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) members have been conducting Valentine’s Day marches since 2003 demanding LOVE from their Government and asking Zimbabweans to chose LOVE over hate. After 13 years of Valentine’s Day marches, we still need and want the same things.

While we recognise progress it is only words and no deeds to match these high and mighty words.
1. The election promise was one million jobs but lip service was not followed up by the promised jobs. Members continued to try to survive by informal trading.
2. Members thought the ZimAsset would bring jobs, but the document once again lifted our expectations only to crash them down. The very people who wrote the document are ignoring it and enriching themselves.
3. The Constitution has a good complement of the issues we wanted, including the right to earn a living and the right to protest but we are tired of hearing that they are still aligning the laws. Stop making excuses and let us enjoy our Constitution.
4. Even the latest monetary policy is full of promises for empowerment, will these promises be delivered?

WOZA has been busy conducting civic education programmes for members to ready themselves for socio-economic empowerment – we are marching now to say we are ready to receive rapid empowerment.
We have read the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe ‘Chapter 2-National objectives’, sections 13 on National development , 14 on Empowerment and employment and section 15 on Food security and Chapter 4 section 51 – right to human dignity’. We understand that the word ‘Republic’ means –
A political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them.

We – the supreme citizens – elected representatives who immediately forgot about us. They squabble amongst themselves occasionally sending nonsensical directives like introducing prepaid water meters and removal of vendors from the streets. Chombo where is the directive to create jobs? Instead you order the City council to chase vendors off the streets. Mr Chombo enough is enough with your nonsense please reread the national objectives and put Zimbabweans – women – first.

Whilst members wait for the promised jobs, they survive on informal trade which is their source of livelihood and disregarding this survival strategy will increase poverty. Members stated that through vending they are able to feed their families, educate their children, clothe them and pay rent for a decent standard of living. The solutions are clear and known – but lack implementation – the root cause of prolific informal trading is lack of employment. Directives issued that only address the effects – informal traders everywhere – will not fix the problem.

As the supreme citizens, we demand our elected leaders convene an urgent country wide consultation to map a collective way forward on how to create one million jobs and revamp the economy putting women and youth at the centre of the economic empowerment action plan.

WOZA members in Bulawayo Water Rights March

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) members are to participate in a ‘Right to Water’ civic society organised coalition march at 10am friday 14 november 2014 in Bulawayo. The march will start at the Egodini bus terminus and end at the city Hall. The City Mayor is expected to address participants along with civic society leaders.

The march focus is against the installation of prepaid water meters which Civic Society leaders view as a violation of the international instruments covering the right to water. The march sees the launch of a petition drive for residents of the city to get council to reverse the decision to install prepaid meters.

Bulawayo Residents Right to Water Campaign – SAY NO to Prepaid Water Meters Petition

In late 2013, the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) revealed that it would be introducing prepaid water meters as a means of water management in Bulawayo, with the concept set to be piloted in Cowdray Park’s Hlalani Kuhle area. With prepaid water meters, people pay for water up-front before accessing it, in the same manner that they purchase airtime first before being able to make calls. Research by Bulawayo civic society organisations found that prepaid water meters are unworkable in poor communities such as Cowdray Park, and indeed anywhere else in Zimbabwe due to the current economic situation. They would inevitably lead to residents consuming less water than they need for a healthy life, leading to outbreaks of diseases such as cholera. Consultations have also revealed that the majority of residents of Bulawayo are against the move. BPRA in association with several CSOs in Bulawayo is thus carrying out a Right to Water Campaign, which among other things seeks to compel the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to reverse its decision to install prepaid water meters.

• The BCC resolution seems at odds with the new constitutional dispensation which reads – every person has a right to A) safe, clean and potable water B) sufficient food. These two points are interlinked as the one feeds the other and help people survive!
• Pre paid meters will destroy the spirit of “ubuntu” as people will no-longer be free to share water – this is a taboo in our culture.
Sign this petition and JOIN the campaign for the RIGHT TO WATER. Together we can make BULAWAYO CITY COUNCIL (BCC) REVERSE its decision to install prepaid water meters.

CHECK OUT THE MARCH PHOTOS AT facebook.com/woza.zimbabwe

WOZA Harare members love tokens rebuffed by police beatings

ABOUT 980 Harare members took part in the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) Valentine’s Day protest to Parliament in Kwame Nkrumah Street. Marching peacefully in two formations, members were undisturbed and reached parliament to find over 30 Anti Riot Police blocking the entrance to Parliament, signing songs to deliver a message for respect and activation of the constitution.

Members then gathered close and 10 speeches were made outlining the demands on parliament and the situation of women and children in Zimbabwe. WOZA National coordinator and Celina Madukani then went into the august house reception to deliver the petition and roses. However they were informed that the clerk of parliament, and the speaker were in a meeting together and could not be disturbed. The activists realising that this was another delaying tactic decided to leave the petition on the reception table.

These misgivings had proven correct as the anti riot police had begun to disperse and beat the peacefully signing women outside. Over 10 members reported being beaten from behind as they disperse and all had visible swelling and bruising on their upper arms. The beatings were carried out by anti riot officers in black uniforms and it is unclear why their uniform differs from the normal blue uniform.

As part of the protest WOZA members handed our red roses and summary constitution pocket books to bystanders. Unfortunately WOZA did not have many copies and people hung around asking for these and many followed the procession trying to lay their hands on the constitution. The desperation for information evident to all those who were distributing information. WOZA wish to call on parliament and civic society at large to make greater effort to fill this knowledge and information vacuum. Zimbabweans have always shown a hunger for information but they seem to be intentionally disempowered. Zimbabwe seems to have a parliament that neglects awareness raising on the Constitution, a year later no such program has been started. Members of Parliament also seem to ignore the need for such a program during house sessions.

WOZA leaders Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu were followed through the city centre by obviously high ranked suit wearing intelligence officers until they managed to outsmart them and leave the city centre.
see yesterday briefing statement here http://wozazimbabwe.org/?p=1520

Peace must deliver freedom and development

WOZA delivered this petition to parliament on 19 September 2013 – the response was beatings with baton sticks and a 3 hour detention of 3 WOZA leaders, Williams, Mahlangu and Nyamanindi before police politely ‘showed the 3 the way out’!

The 21st September is celebrated the world over as a day of Peace. Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) members will also celebrate this day by presenting their peaceful demands to local and national Government. Our theme: PEACE must deliver FREEDOM and DEVELOPMENT for all!

WOZA members selected this theme as a way to explain to their political leadership that Zimbabweans cannot enjoy ‘peace’ in the absence of or without FREEDOM and DEVELOPMENT. Members have heard so many statements that there is peace in Zimbabwe, that elections were held in peace. It seems that there is too much showing off about PEACE that the word is becoming too cheaply used. The time has come for politicians to respect our right to genuine peace that comes with enjoyment of our freedoms and development. For too long these rights have been sanctioned or abused by politics. We want the sanctions to be lifted on our rights and we want an end to rule by politics and demand Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act be given a chance to rule. WOZA consulted members on their immediate demands to the new national and local governments and submit the following lists.

Service delivery DEMANDS to the new local government
1. Firstly we want to thank council for complying with the ministerial directive for 100% debt forgiveness.
2. We await road reconstruction and maintenance to reduce accidents, the President also promised infrastructure development.
3. More clinics and improved health including a better treatment by health care professionals in clinics and hospitals.
4. A more meaningful education system and a boost to the education facilities and decent salaries for teachers.
5. A consulted and genuine programme to ensure plentiful supply of affordable clean water.Proper Water and Electricity billing systems and the installation of water meters and prepaid meters in all houses.
6. Swift response to sewage bursts and blockages and repairing of trenches and sewer pipes. Provision of sanitary facilities such as clean public toilets.
7. Ensuring a clean environment through efficient and regular garbage collection service and provision of garbage bins. Council to conduct a serious clean up exercise in public places such as beer halls and bus terminuses.
8. Provision of decent housing for all and proper home ownership schemes in the older township communities.
9. We demand for stakeholder participation and consultative decision making in all budgets and equal employment opportunities without tribalism or political discrimination.
10. Provision of hawkers licenses and affordable license fees to vendors and tuck shop owners.
11. Council must introduce income generating projects such as clubs, gardening, sewing to help women to reduce poverty.
12. Repair dilapidated structures such as, community buildings and stadiums. The provision of recreational and training facilities for the youths to reduce criminal activities such as theft, drug and alcohol abuse. Maintenance of street and tower lights.
13. Lastly we want ZETDC to convene public hearings to explain why they are not implementing the political directive for 100% debt forgiveness.
DEMANDS for the new Government

1. An IMMEDIATE and public plan of action as to how parliament is going to undertake the harmonisation of laws to bring them into line with the new constitution. The Zanu PF manifesto can never replace our Constitution and so such talk must stop.
2. EMPOWEREMENT – Despite the spirit of gender equality in the new constitution, women are being actively sidelined out of national processes. Prove us wrong by publicising and implementing the affirmative action policy plan for women and the vulnerable and less privileged groups in society e.g. the elderly, widows, children, orphans and the disabled.
3. JOBS – publicise the policy plan for the creation of the promised employment. Starting with the resourcing and re-opening of Industries and creation of a climate for investment and cooperation of manufacturing our own goods so the scrap yards can become functioning business once again.
4. ECONOMIC RECOVERY – publicise a consulted economic recovery plan which includes attracting foreign investment. If there is a proper climate for genuine business partnership, investors will not mind a 49% shareholding. But threats of invasions will chase even the poorest investor. Indigenization programmes should be implemented with proper long-term planning and not theorized to make the elite more rich.
5. Provision of funding for the mining and agricultural sector to ensure increased productivity and food security to boost the economy
6. We demand fair and equitable distribution and management of community resources. If we are as rich a country as the President said they why are we so poor? Natural resources must belong to the local communities and they must see and understand where they have made profits and where there are losses. We demanded devolution of power in order to bring development to a community level and we still demand it.
7. Allow civic organizations to operate freely without fear and intimidation.
8. We demand an urgent plan of how free primary education and affordable secondary education promised in the constitution will be delivered by 2014.
9. A plan of action to end corrupt practices by all people, even those in political power positions.
10. Sufficient and attractive salaries for civil servants, doctors and nurses to avoid brain drain but full implementation that civil servants must not belong to any political party. We expect an audit of this soon and very soon.
11. Resourcing water pipeline projects in order to curb water shortages resulting in durable water supply. Research and feasibility studies for the construction of more dams necessary for all towns and cities.
12. A public plan of action as to how the police force will be transformed into a police service and the setting up of the independent police complaints mechanism as stated in the constitution.

Finally the 21 September 2013 marks the launch of the WOZA ‘mother your vote’ campaign. The vote cast on 31 July 2013 must be nurtured and cared for as a new born baby. It must be taught to sit, stand, walk and run. This child called ‘Vote’ cannot be neglected as the child called ‘Zimbabwe’ has been neglected. WOZA thinks of the new political leadership as the co-parents of our child ‘Vote’. WOZA members, the mothers of the nation, intend to keep reminding the political leadership that they have to be responsible and good parents. To do this WOZA members will play a game of TAG with the political leadership. Wikipedia explains the game called TAG as a game played that involves one or more players chasing other players in an attempt to “tag” or touch them or make them it! In the game some players always try to escape being touched or made ‘it’. Watchful WOZA members will be hoping to make the politicians ‘it’. Being made ‘it’ means you are playing your co-parenting role of our child called ‘Vote’. Politicians, including the Executive, Cabinet Ministers, MP’s, Senators, Councillors, please participate in giving ‘Vote’ a good life. This may be a game and we may be using it to make a friendly point but this game of TAG will be a very serious game.