To all Zimbabweans from WOZA with love on Valentineâ€™s Day 2007
THE PEOPLEâ€™S CHARTER giving YOU a BETTER LIFE â€“ a BETTER ZIMBABWE
When WOZA was formed in 2003, brave women responded to the call to come forward. They heard the word â€˜wozaâ€™, opened their hearts and came forward to join a non-violent struggle. Five years later, the struggle for a better life, a better Zimbabwe still continues. Every day, women and men are still coming forward to join WOZA and are still willing to sacrifice to turn our dream of social justice into a reality.
On 29th November 2006, Zimbabweans joined hands in Bulawayo to launch the Peopleâ€™s Charter at Mhlalandlela Government Complex. On that day our hearts were filled with hope that the authorities would for once listen to our cries, accept the Peopleâ€™s Charter and together we would find a new Zimbabwe. Unfortunately on that day the blood of Zimbabweans was spilt as riot police brutally assaulted women and men, mothers, and their babies. Many are still receiving treatment. Those police officers will one day be judged. Two weeks later, members, some still nursing the bruises and injuries they received in Bulawayo, went to Harare on 12th December to deliver the Peopleâ€™s Charter to Parliament. We commend the police officers on duty that day for allowing WOZA the space to deliver the Charter to Parliament.
As we continue with the non-violent struggle we need more than ever the solidarity of Zimbabweans and friends in the Diaspora. We also call on all politicians and heads of organisations, both inside and outside Zimbabwe, to join hands with us to respect the wishes of Zimbabweans by endorsing the Charter and becoming â€˜Peopleâ€™s Charter Championsâ€™.
We remind members of the armed forces of Zimbabwe that they are our children and we love them enough to discipline them with our tough love. In 2007 it will no longer be acceptable to beat mothers and babies saying you were only following orders. Self-interest may feed your family for a day but we want your family to eat what and when they choose to eat forever. Freedom does not belong to a small group but should be enjoyed by every one â€“ they must join us in demanding the promises of the liberation war.
Now as we plan for our fifth Valentines Day, we reflect on past themes and messages. In 2003 we asked Zimbabweans to learn to love again. â€œSay no to hate and violence in all its forms and yes to love. Love us, respect us and allow us to be women. Love us today and everyday.â€
In 2004 we said, â€œour beloved Zimbabwe is crying – we must defend our right to love and let love overcome hate.â€ â€œThe Power of Love can conquer the Love of Powerâ€ was our message in 2005. Last year we marched for â€˜Bread and Rosesâ€™. Bread signifying the need for affordable basic commodities and roses signifying our need for dignity and the better things in life.
As we prepare to march for a BETTER LIFE â€“ A BETTER ZIMBABWE, we salute the bravery of our comrades and Zimbabweans who need courage to survive every day in a country that has fallen apart. We send you lots of love and ask you keep hope burning in your hearts. We want to live a full life and not die heartbroken! It is said that Zimbabwe now has the lowest life expectancy in the world. Women are only expected to live to 34 and men to 37. Right now the hospitals are empty â€“ there is no medication, nurses and doctors are on strike whilst the mortuaries are piled up with the bodies.
Together we must continue our work to demand that the dreams contained in the Peopleâ€™s Charter are realised – make sure you stand up to be counted! We ask you to join us â€“ join your brothers and sisters who believe that a better Zimbabwe is possible. Join us in saying that LOVE can bring a brighter day.
DREAMING OF A NEW ZIMBABWE – THE PEOPLEâ€™S CHARTER
Zimbabweans, united and resolute, announce:
That after 26 years of independence, the freedoms and equal opportunities we were promised have not been fulfilled;
The dreams we had of a good life â€“ of dignity, comfort and security – have become nightmares. Zimbabweans must dream once again and turn their dreams into a living reality.
We must keep in mind, however, that we deserve better and we must not be afraid to believe that we have the right to a brighter future and we have the right to contribute to building it.
And therefore, we, the people of Zimbabwe, women, men and children, of all races, tribes and religions, come together with respect for each other and as equals to adopt this Charter, knowing that united we can deliver its possibilities;
And we undertake to work together with strength, courage and hope, until all Zimbabweans can live in a genuinely democratic country in peace and with dignity.
AS WE DREAM OF A NEW ZIMBABWE WE KNOW THAT NEED NEW LEADERS â€¦â€¦â€¦.
The Leaders We Want
All leaders shall be responsible, care for the people they serve and take their issues and problems to heart, taking action to develop their communities;
Leaders at all levels shall respect all people equally, listen to their concerns, consult them when making decisions and feedback to them;
Leaders shall understand that they will be held accountable and accept that the people who elected them have the right to criticise policy;
Leaders at all levels shall publicly renounce corruption and nepotism;
Traditional leaders (chiefs and headmen) shall not be chosen by politicians but by traditional methods. They shall be non-partisan and stay in the communities they serve, rather than sit in Parliament.
THESE NEW LEADERS MUST DELIVER â€¦â€¦â€¦.
There will be enough food for everyone;
All basic commodities shall be available and affordable. If necessary, there shall be price controls to make sure that everyone has access to them;
Every person shall have access to decent, affordable housing. Rents shall be lowered and there shall be respect for property rights;
All areas, both urban and rural, shall have affordable access to the services necessary for safe, healthy living â€“ clean water, proper sewerage and sanitation systems and refuse collection;
All areas, both urban and rural, shall have affordable, regular access to electricity;
There shall be a regular, affordable public transport system that provides adequate coverage of all areas of Zimbabwe. The elderly should be allowed free local travel;
The vulnerable in our society shall be protected; the elderly, widows, people living with HIV/AIDS, orphans and the disabled shall be properly cared for by the state;
All people shall have the right to rest, sports and recreation.
OR WE WILL DISMISS THEM â€¦â€¦â€¦.
Join us in holding ALL leaders accountable â€“ TOGETHER we can get leaders who will give us a BETTER LIFE â€“ A BETTER ZIMBABWE