THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index

Zimbabwean protesters interrupt PAP ceremony
September 16, 2004

Police pulled a security cordon around the Pan African Parliament (PAP) opening ceremony in Midrand this morning when protesters arrived to press for democratic reform in Zimbabwe.

About 300 protesters carrying placards reading "We need food not violence", "Democracy Now", and "Restore our basic freedom", toyi-toyied outside the hall at Gallagher Estate where delegates and guests attended the opening ceremony. A spokesperson said the group was made up of Zimbabweans who fled their country for South Africa because of bad conditions.

They came to plead with the PAP to put pressure on President Robert Mugabe to restore the rule of law and human rights in his country, said Jabu Mkwanazi. A petition handed out by the group spoke of a "chronic democratic deficit" in Zimbabwe. "We have been stripped of our basic freedoms: freedoms we fought a liberation war for," the document read.

It called for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe, saying conditions were currently not conducive to this. "Zimbabwe is our home, we want to go back, but we are prevented from doing so by the criminal failings of a government which has lost touch with the people and abandoned the principals which guided our liberation agenda," the petition read.

"We are calling on our fellow Africans to help us move toward a new beginning and create a new Zimbabwe which is a true reflection of the one we envisaged when we were fighting for independence." - Sapa

Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.