WOZA was formed in 2002 by two Bulawayo women – the late Sheba Dube and Jennifer Williams. WOZA are commemorating 10 years of work – defending women and defending the rights of all Zimbabweans. Our mandate is to:
o To mobilise Zimbabweans, and in particular women, to demand social justice on a non-partisan basis, and to participate in all civic processes.
o Carry out civic education programmes to fill the gap in knowledge on rights and democratic practice.
o Facilitate community discussion forums to help women’s voices to be heard by key decision makers.
o Promote the role of women in policy making at the local level.
o Conduct non violent direct action campaigns that influence public opinion and pressure for leaders to be accountable and deliver all aspects of social justice
o To pressurise for a democratic constitution that meets the peoples wishes
The first 10 years has been a hard decade for us. We pay tribute to the members who helped us to reach our 10th birthday and salute their bravery. As WOZA members march this Valentine’s Day we pledge that we will strengthen our campaigns. We will increase our defense of human rights and will work with Zimbabweans to build democracy and demand development. But our first objective of 2012 is to demand a new Constitution that reflects the views and the will of citizens!
Our members send this message to Zimbabweans:
I Love what I do
I Do Democracy
I Do Development
I Defend Human Rights
I Do it in the name of love
I Do it for the love of Zimbabwe
WOZA let’s Do it together
Woza Zimbabwe Woza
Lets Shosholoza for love!
The environment under which we work is not friendly to human rights defenders:
a) Our members continue to be arrested, tortured and persecuted by police officers. Two leaders are even facing fabricated criminal charges of kidnapping and Theft. Instead of the police keeping the peace they are the ones who disturb our peace!
b) Zimbabwe’s political principals are still playing around with outstanding issues and the positions they have agreed to as regards the constitution and elections roadmap are not being implemented.
c) The Principals have denounced violence but instead we see the increased deployment of army and militia and police continue to arrest people arbitrarily.
d) Spokesperson of the South African Mediator President Jacob Zuma, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, says all the right words but nothing is implemented in Zimbabwe. She said, “the role of the Facilitation Team in Zimbabwe is ‘to ensure that the people of Zimbabwe – who deserve better – go for genuinely free elections to elect the leaders they want without any fear of violence.” SADC keep talking about the need to stop violence and promote peace but are not doing anything on the ground to implement peace.
e) The economy is beginning to crash because there are no meaningful economic reforms. Jobs are scarce but police and Zimra loot from informal traders trying to survive. Political heavyweights and the army divert the profits from diamonds to their own personal and political gain.
Our Valentine’s Day demands to the principals in the Inclusive Government:
1. We urgently need a new, democratic constitution accompanied by critical electoral reforms such as an updated and accurate voters’ roll, guarantees for media freedoms, equal access by all political parties to state-controlled media during elections and promotion of gender equality. Urgent legislative reforms should include repealing or amending all legislation that hinders free political activity.
2. All soldiers currently deployed across the country must be returned and confined to their barracks and all service chiefs must issue a public statement committing themselves to restricting their activities to their constitutional mandate and to totally separate themselves from politics and from interference in political and electoral affairs.
3. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and its Secretariat Staff, charged with elections management, must be completely demilitarized, independent, professional, adequately resourced with direct technical support from SADC and the AU to enable it to impartially discharge its mandate.
4. Before Zimbabwe can set a date for elections, the AU and SADC must independently examine and certify that the environment is conducive to holding non-violent, free and fair elections. The elections must be robustly monitored and observed by local, regional and international groups who should have unfettered access to all parts of the country.
5. Together with SADC and the UN, the AU should deploy peace-keeping monitors to Zimbabwe at least three months ahead of elections to prevent state-sponsored violence and intimidation and to guarantee peaceful transfer of power to the eventual winner of the elections. The peace-keeping monitors should remain on the ground a further three months after elections have been held.
Our Valentine’s Day demands to the Joint Operations, Monitoring and Implementation Committee:
1. Stop ignoring your mandate as outlined clearly in the Global Political Agreement. Start being an effective watchdog for the GPA.
2. Stop sitting on our letters of complaint regarding ill-treatment of our members by the Zimbabwe Republic Police. Investigate urgently and provide us with feedback.
Our Valentine’s Day demands to the Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC): Stop delaying the release of our draft constitution and pay attention to our minimum standards as follows:
1. The principle that all legal and political authority of the state derives from the people. That is what Democracy is all about.
2. Universal adult suffrage, a multi party system of democratic government and free, fair and regular elections to ensure accountability, openness and justice.
3. The inherent dignity and worth of each human being and the equal status of all human beings’ right to life. We demand gender sensitivity, promotion of affirmative action to correct past injustices and promote women’s participation in all spheres of life.
4. The devolution of government functions and powers to the people at provincial and appropriate local levels.
5. The right to state-funded education from preschool to the end of primary education and affordable secondary and tertiary education.
6. Independent courts and equality before the law and the right to full protection and benefit from the law.
7. Right to affordable and decent basic living needs (shelter, water, food and health facilities.)
8. Respect for fundamental human rights- we demand a Bill of rights that shall be guaranteed and fully protected (Justiciable).
9. Transparency and accountability on Public Finance.
10. Limitation of presidential powers, 2 terms of no more than 5years each, and an age limit of 75years for the President.
11. No to arbitrarily deprivation of citizenship
WOZA let’s Do it together – Woza Zimbabwe Woza – Lets Shosholoza for love!