Open Letter to President Thabo Mbeki

His Excellency Mr M W Makalima
The Ambassador
The South African Embassy

Your Excellency,

Talking about TALKS – WOZA/MOZA’s view – ten steps to a new Zimbabwe

WOZA has been reading and hearing about ‘the talks’ and wish to express our views about these. We ask that you kindly relay this letter to President Thabo Mbeki.

Women and men of WOZA have initiated a non-violent campaign with the aim of mobilising Zimbabweans to demand social justice from their leaders. Our mandate is to hold leaders accountable and mobilise people to demand leaders who will deliver all aspects of social justice and a genuinely people-driven constitution. We will not vote in an election without the latter.

As we deliver this letter, Zimbabweans are living in a state of fear and uncertainty. They suffer discrimination in all its forms and are unable to earn a living. Levels of poverty are high; unemployment is at 82% and inflation at four figures. Non-existent service delivery also makes life difficult. Access to education, housing and other basic needs is now only for the rich. The HIV/AIDS pandemic, which has created thousands of orphans and child-headed households, is a social catastrophe compounded by a failed healthcare system and little or no access to ARVs. Further loss of valuable human resources is happening due to people leaving the country in large numbers. People have been unsuccessful at holding their government accountable due to a raft of repressive laws and shrinking freedom of expression/media space. Corruption at all levels of government and the politicisation of all aspects of society has led to chaos and disorganization in every sector.

We believe that only including politicians in the SADC initiative will perpetuate the problem rather than deliver a solution. We have an alternate view, which we drew up after consulting widely with our membership, and have attached it below – ‘10 Steps to a New Zimbabwe’.

We would like to know what mandate South Africa has from SADC? What do Presidents Mbeki and Kikwete wish to achieve by this mediation? We are hopeful that they wish to bring about a new government AND assist this new government to bring about meaningful political, economic and social reform. We wish to suggest that for the South African government to establish itself as a genuine mediator, it would need to secure the cooperation of the present Zimbabwean government. They must be persuaded to allow a transitional process to go ahead without interference; this will obviously mean that they have to step down from office. WOZA leaders and members commit to working hand in hand with any political or civic leaders who will honour the wishes of the Zimbabwean people and deliver social justice. By our peaceful presence outside your embassy gates, we demonstrate to you that we will continue to exert nonviolent pressure for them to step down by exposing the injustices they have brought down on the heads of their citizens. Please help us to birth a new Zimbabwe where Zimbabweans can enjoy equality and live with dignity.

We also attach our vision document, a resolution made after an eleven-month, nationwide consultation process. During 2006, over 284 meetings, consulting almost 10,000 rural and urban people on social justice were conducted. The people spoke clearly about what they want in a new Zimbabwe and their contributions are contained in the People’s Charter attached below. We ask that you read it knowing that it contains the dreams and desires of a heartbroken nation.

With respect,

Members and supporters of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (MOZA)

6 thoughts on “Open Letter to President Thabo Mbeki”

  1. Good for you, women and men of Woza & Moza. You have consistently and bravely stood up to raise your voices against Robert Mugabe and his croniies’ tyranny and gross greed.
    Too many people are sitting on the fence, exploiting the chaos for their own selfih ends,simply turning a blind eye to all the suffering around them.
    It’s ridiculous for Mbeki not to at least hear what civil socity is thinking. It is high time he and SADC starting to listen to the people of Zimbabwe, rather than the chefs and sycophants and exploiters!

  2. You indeed the Greatest Women movement the world has ever seen. Where Men has failed to stand up to their responsibility of saving the nation from plunging deep into misery,You have said you will not sit back and watch while vultures are depriving you and your children the future. Halala! BoMama Halala! You have made me and my fellow country men in the UK proud of you.

  3. The initiative by WOZA is brilliant idea that needs to be emulated by every zimbabwean. I write my views with idea that every political leader was there because of people’s votes. now to give the voters a hard time by ignoring their genuine demands is tatamount to shooting self for the zANU PF regeme as this is what they are asking for. We cant just watch on getting old and frail as their bellies potrude pregnant women from holding to power and destroy the nation hoping this will change.

    for Thabo mbeki its time for him to become man enough tell his old ally Mugabe that People need bread and butter. dont turn a blind eye to the suffering zimbabwean as this gonna happen to anyone .

  4. Thanks to your efforts women and men of woza and moza. You stand for the wishes of all the oppressed people of zimbabwe. Long live woza and moza and god bless you in all your endeavours.

  5. You have sttod the test of time and risen to the occasion at a time when most people have chosen to remain silent. You are true heroes of the struggle for the restoration of democracy in Zimbabwe. I always remember the night I spent with you in detention ko Bulawayo after being picked up when I dared voice my concerns against poilice brutality at the Bulawayo centre.

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