Category Archives: Open letters

Open letter to UNDP regarding the People’s Charter

Dr. Agostinho Zacarias
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Ms Agnes Asekongye Oonyu
United Nations office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Dear Dr Zacarias and Madam Asekongye Oonyu,

Re: The People’s Charter – a blueprint for a better Zimbabwe

The women and men of WOZA have initiated a non-violent campaign with the aim of mobilising Zimbabweans to demand social justice from their leaders. The time has come to put the past behind us and start building a better tomorrow. We plan to hold existing leaders accountable and mobilise people to demand leaders who will deliver all aspects of social justice and a genuinely people-driven constitution. We need help from international friends however and this is why we are approaching you.

Our resolution was 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 formed the People’s Charter, which is attached below.

As Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (MOZA) take to the streets of Bulawayo and Harare today to mark WOZA’s fifth Valentine’s Campaign, they will be marching with the theme ‘The People’s Charter – giving you a better life, a better Zimbabwe’.

In Harare, the protest is starting outside the offices of the UNDP. In WOZA’s first Valentine’s campaign in 2003, then Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, was chosen as WOZA’s ‘valentine’ and a petition delivered to the UNDP at the start of the demonstration. It was decided that it was therefore fitting to go back to where it all began in this, WOZA’s fifth year.

Five years later as we march in our Valentines Day procession, Zimbabwe is in even worse a position than what originally drove the women of this country to take a stand against the deteriorating situation in their homeland. We therefore ask that you consider this Charter to be a plea to the United Nations from the people of Zimbabwe. It is what the people want for their future – it is what we believe can bring a better Zimbabwe. We ask that you consider the Charter as the voices of ordinary Zimbabweans asking your organization to use whatever influence it can to bring about the socially just future we all desire.

Please open up your heart and read it sincerely knowing that it contains the dreams and desires of a heartbroken nation.

Yours faithfully,

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

An open letter to political parties and civic leaders from WOZA

To:

  • First Secretary and Chairman, Zanu PF – R. G. Mugabe and John Nkomo; and
  • Presidents/Chairmen of all other political parties:

Movement of Democratic Change (MDC) Presidents Tsvangirai and Mutambara, PF ZAPU, ZAPU 2000, Zanu Ndonga, UPM, UPP, PUMA, DP, Zimbabwe Peoples Democratic Party, Zimbabwe Youth in Alliance; and

  • Leaders of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civic Movements.

Your Excellency, Honorable Members of Parliament, Senators, Chiefs, Mayors, Councilors, Comrades and Friends,As we write this open 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.

Women and men of WOZA have initiated a non-violent campaign with the aim of mobilising Zimbabweans to demand social justice from their leaders. The time has come to put the past behind us and start building a better tomorrow. We plan to hold existing leaders accountable and mobilise people to demand leaders who will deliver all aspects of social justice and a genuinely people-driven constitution.

This resolution was 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.

Please open up your heart and read it sincerely knowing that it contains the dreams and desires of a heartbroken nation. We are looking to ALL leaders to provide a public reply and endorsement of the People’s Charter and would be happy to have this by Valentine’s Day on 14th February 2007.

WOZA looks forward to working hand in hand with any political or civic leaders who have publicly endorsed the People’s Charter to deliver social justice and honour the wishes of the Zimbabwean people.