WOZA take to the streets of Bulawayo to lodge a ‘people’s protest’ and to call on ZEC to release the results of the presidential election forthwith


Having watched and waited to see if anyone would mobilise nonviolent action and having seen none to date, around 800 members of WOZA and MOZA began their rollout of peaceful actions in Bulawayo today.

WOZA members demonstrate in Bulawayo to demand the results of the presidential election are announced immediately, 9 April 2008The group started their protest at the provincial court on Herbert Chitepo and Leopold Takawira. They processed for several blocks through the city centre to the High Court. The targeting of the High Court was to lodge a people’s protest at the delay in announcing results. The group toyi toyied at the steps of the Court singing an iSindebele traditional (Sangoma) song – ‘Yindaba enjani ehlula amadoda’ (the vote is an issue men are failing to deal with). The leaders then took time to address the crowd, demanding that the results be announced, whereupon they placed their newsletters and placards on the steps before dispersing. This was all carried out much to the bemusement of police officers and court workers who man the entrance.

Police were seen to respond several minutes later, picking up all the flyers left outside the High Court – those that hadn’t been scooped up by eager bystanders. Leaders are still ascertaining whether all those that took part in the peaceful protest have made it home safely.

The aim of the march was to add WOZA’s voice to those calling on the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) to release the true results of the presidential election. The march was also to call for an end to state-sponsored violence that is reported to be happening in rural areas in retribution.

WOZA members march with their demands, Bulawayo, 9 April 2008As they marched, the men and women handed out flyers (the text of which is included below) to the lunchtime crowd that rushed to see what was happening when they heard the singing. Such was the excitement caused by the procession that a group of 100 – 150 people followed the demonstration for the entire route, talking excitably amongst themselves, waiting to see what would happen. When the placards and flyers were left on the steps of the High Court, many people dashed forward to collect them, including several vehicles that stopped long enough for either passengers or the driver themselves to pick up the flyers. During the march, several cars were also observed to be hooting their horns and calling out support to the demonstrators.

WOZA was formed in 2003 amidst severe political violence to demonstrate love and courage to all Zimbabweans. At this time in our country, these motivations are particularly pertinent. WOZA would like to pay tribute to the brave men and women who in the face of great uncertainty and talk of repression defied the threats of a dying regime to speak out clearly and demand that their vote be respected. WOZA would also like to salute our brother and sisters in the police and army who demonstrated today that they are with the people.

WOZA has been encouraging Zimbabweans for the last few months to stand up for their children. People responded by going out to vote on 29 March. Now is the time to keep standing strong – a better future for our children is within our reach – we must just continue to demand it peacefully.

To read a copy of the newsletter, protesters were handing out, click here April 2008 Woza Moya newsletter – English/Ndebele


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Reader Comments

Type your comment here. Good for you!! The world is watching your predicament – keep up the good work, we support you, and God bless you.
Sincerely, M. Gormley , California

Your bravery and courage filled me with hope.

Well Done WOZA – it is time ALL Zimbabweans stood up for their RIGHTS!

Type your comment here.
You are an example to all Zimbabweans.I wish I was with you. Your courage and belief is awesome. May the spirits watch over you all and keep you safe.

Your courage is an inspiration. Stay strong. The strength of people is in their ability to pull together and support each other. Woza Moya. Elaine

To all the courageous women and men of Zimbabwe, who continuously face up to the bullying, morally bankrupt government of mugabe and zanu pf, I and so many others salute you!

Aluta continua!
JG

I applaud your strength and unity in these difficult times – I shall keep you all in my prayers. WOZA MOYA

Type your comment here.For many years i have lacked the courage to do what you do ,today i am joining WOZA. we are all proud of you and i hope to contribute in any way possible.

We as the SA youh are with you in Solidarity,and we pray that Zim overcomes it political crisis and also pray that there be no blood bath in Zim. keep on fighting and never loose hope.

Amandla.

I would like to tell you that I am admiring you all for your continuous actions to a better Zimbabwe. I try to follow your actions since I met 3 of you in The Hague for a demonstration organised by Amnesty International.
Now, with the elections, I hoped that finally justice would come to your country, but we all are worried about the results.
Keep courageous!
Love for you all,
Ank

You are an amazing group of women! My heart and my prayers are with you! May your strength and courage be an inspiration to your country to produce positive change! Andrea, UK.

I want to express my friends´ an my solidarity with your peaceful protests against a violent reppression. I have visited Zimbabwe many times, and hope that your beautiful country will rise again and be free.
The women and men of WOZA! deserve the admiration of the world, and all the practical help we can muster.
Charlotte, GERMANY

Stay strong and do not give up. Your fight gives a very inspiring example to all human rights’ defenders!
Irene

Congratulations!
Group 1589 amnesty international Germany

In the times of Ian Smith I had a girl friend in Bulawayo. She helped me to take care for a prisoner of conscience.
I wish you good luck to save the right to free expression and free assembly.
Friedhelm Kuhl, Hagen

Type your comment here.
Have faith in your own abilities! Throughout the world there are people praying for your success!
Anne

We admire your strong,peaceful and courageous fight! Our best wishes for you and for your country!
Ursula Hausen, Rose Kraft, Marga Kull, Andrea Tech
Hannover (Germany)

Thousands of people in the world are with you. Always remember, that the idea of truth and justice, peace and freedom, solidarity and happiness will never be destroyed!