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condemns arrest of WOZA activists discussing at private home constitutional
Association of Non-Governmental Organisations in Zimbabwe (NANGO)
February 03, 2010
The National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations
(NANGO), umbrella body of NGOs operating in Zimbabwe is deeply concerned
about the - once more - growing intimidation campaign
against NGOs. On 2 February 2010, 22 WOZA
arrested in a private home in Pumula were they were holding
internal consultations of their structures on the constitutional
reform process. NANGO strongly condemns their arrest. The fact that
they were released without charges shows that they had no case to
The news about
the arrest comes at a time when NANGO has received growing reports
about an intimidation campaign against NGOs and was targeted itself:
At the end of 2009 members of the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) leadership, staff members of
the Zimbabwe Electoral
Support Network (ZESN) and the Chairlady and CEO of NANGO were
arbitrarily arrested and later released.
NANGO is concerned
that these arbitrary arrests come at a time when the parliamentary
led constitutional reform process starts its country-wide outreach-programme
to receive the input by Zimbabweans for the New Constitution. Civic
education, monitoring and evaluation are crucial during this process.
Application of the repressive laws will impact negatively on the
participation of Zimbabweans in the constitutional reform process.
A people driven Constitution can only be achieved in an environment
where before, during and after there is freedom of expression.
calls upon the Government of Zimbabwe to guarantee a conducive operating
environment for NGOs. To this end, the government should condemn
and issue public statements to the effect that freedom of information,
assembly and speech have to be upheld and protected, and that intimidation
against NGOs and Zimbabweans in general has to stop immediately.
It is the right of every Zimbabwean to discuss and input into any
national process without fear.
Visit the NANGO
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