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 Peopleâ€™s Charter â€“ 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 Peopleâ€™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 WOZAâ€™s fifth Valentineâ€™s Campaign, they will be marching with the theme â€˜The Peopleâ€™s Charter â€“ giving you a better life, a better Zimbabweâ€™.
In Harare, the protest is starting outside the offices of the UNDP. In WOZAâ€™s first Valentineâ€™s campaign in 2003, then Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, was chosen as WOZAâ€™s â€˜valentineâ€™ 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, WOZAâ€™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 â€“ 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.
Members and supporters of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) and Men of Zimbabwe Arise