APPROXIMATELY 400 members of WOZA held a peaceful demonstration in the streets of Harare today calling for the immediate intervention of the international community to address the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe. The peaceful protesters marched to the offices of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to hand over a petition declaring the so-called government of ZANU PF incapable of dealing with the crisis and demanding that the United Nations step in immediately to resolve the crisis in order to protect the people of Zimbabwe. No arrests have been reported at the time of this release.
The protest also marks the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence and the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, which was released on 10 December 1948.
As they marched, the peaceful protesters sang a Shona song that decries the hunger facing all Zimbabweans and handed out fliers and copies of the Declaration on Human Rights, which bystanders rushed to receive. Some comments overheard from Zimbabweans reading the flyer were, ‘these women have a very good point. They are speaking the truth.’ Upon arriving at the UNDP offices, a representative attempted to enter the offices to hand over the petition, when the doors were closed. Two representatives from the UNDP came out to receive the petition however.
The group then dispersed before police arrived. A vehicle of riot police and a water cannon were seen to respond to the scene after all protesters had dispersed.
The protest started at the point where 14 members were arrested on 28 May 2008. They were denied bail and imprisoned for 6 weeks but on this occasion have walked home free.