AT 10am 7 May 1400 members from Bulawayo civic organisations including WOZA members marched to demand an apology from President Robert Mugabe for tribal slurs made at the SADC summit.
First stop after the march started was at the Human Rights Commission offices along Fife Street. Commissioners did not come out to address the peaceful citizens. Fortunately an ‘early bird’ had already dropped in before the protest to deliver the petition.
The procession then proceeded to the Mhlahlandlela government complex to deliver a petition to government to disassociate themselves with the president’s insults. At the complex 12 anti-riot police officers blocked the gate into the complex refusing to allow any delegation to go in to hand over the petition to the resident minister Ms. Sandi or welcome her to address the crowd. Fortunately a copy had already made its way by early bird into her office.
Members sang song calling for unity of all Zimbabweans and an end to discrimination. Several civic leaders address the crowd calling for the president to apologise soon. Leaders also detailed the long track record of tribal and racial discrimination suffered by Zimbabweans and said enough was enough.
A young Kalanga lady speaking in the Kalanga language also addressed the crowd. She said that it was Mugabe’s intention to push people out of Zimbabwe that is why he has dis-invested the building of schools in Matabeleland causing challenges in people of Matabeleland getting an education.
The procession peacefully dispersed with police officers remaining in position at the government complex gate.
WOZA wish to thank the Zimbabwe Republic Police for practising restraint today unlike the Valentine’s Day procession where they forcefully pushed WOZA members out to the industrial area beating those who tried to divert to their commuter points.
CSOs Petition to the Human Rights Commission of Zimbabwe