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The will of the people shall prevail over coercive power
Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR)
December 16, 2010
that we have been called by our times to assume duty, deliberate
effort and locate ourselves in the journey that Zimbabwe is on as
a country, we reaffirm our undying commitment to the founding principles
of peace, justice and freedom.
Our vision of
seeing a peaceful, just and free nation that is conscious of and
respects human rights still lurks in a distance at a time when much
has been said and projected, with hopes raised in the advent of
the Inclusive Government that followed the Global
Political Agreement between the major political parties.
As ROHR Zimbabwe
we strongly believe in the power of a governance model that is based
on the will of the people through the universal democratic right
to elect leaders of choice as opposed to the current arrangement
which is at best a temporal truce designed to quell a violent political
conflict that has dogged Zimbabwe for the past decade.
We note with
deep concern that in many respects the coalition government has
simply not lived to the people's expectations and neither
can it justify its existence insofar as tackling the root causes
to the Zimbabwe political instability namely a culture of impunity,
selective application of the rule of law, a distorted and corrupted
democracy, state sponsored human rights violations, lack of basic
freedoms, widespread corruption, among many over the two years it
has been in office. More concerning is the continued domination
and abuse of state institutions and central government arms by ZANU
PF to the overall, deliberate oppression and marginalization of
the generality of the Zimbabwe people.
We are aware
that ZANU PF has assumed a deliberate role calculated to frustrate
efforts by sections of the coalition government targeted on reform
and development and this is aimed at strengthening their stranglehold
on power and much to the exasperation of a peace-loving nation.
We are also aware that the sustenance of ZANU PF's hold onto
power, even against the will of the people, has been built upon
an aura of cohesive force and an ideology that promotes fear and
destitution among the people for ease of their manipulation.
We are further
aware that the Inclusive government, at the instance of ZANU PF
continues to limit access to free media with a view to maintain
its siege on the mindset of the oppressed people whilst feeding
them only on partisan state propaganda. We are aware that the deployment
of state propaganda and a restricted media space is calculated to
work to the advantage of ZANU PF; come the next elections!
It has become
clear that the current premature talk about elections by parties
to the inclusive government, without first putting in place the
necessary and acceptable conditions to achieve a credible election,
is meant to send shock waves across the nation against the background
of the state sponsored terror that characterized the 2008
As a human rights
defender, ROHR Zimbabwe therefore pledges to deploy all its energies
and rally other civil society players in the battle to set free
the mindset of the people of Zimbabwe insofar as their basic rights
are concerned and unlocking the fear that has continued to alienate
vast sections of the populations from making effective choices on
issues of governance and their civil liberties. ROHR Zimbabwe also
calls for perpetrators of human rights abuses to be brought to book
in order to put an end to the prevailing culture of impunity and
that this should be viewed as a step towards ensuring a free and
fair election. Likewise, all victims of human rights violations
must be acknowledged and measures taken to ensure justice.
We firmly believe that the future of Zimbabwe rest not on coercive
power or any source of illegitimate authority but rather from the
liberated free will of the people. We therefore re-dedicate ourselves
to the struggle to set free the people of Zimbabwe from fear and
to cause more cadres to join this transformational cause that seeks
to bring about an end to the culture of violence and disregard for
fundamental human rights.
In the same
vein we challenge that the mindset of Zimbabweans be changed towards
a culture of accountability, self respect, dignity and love. We
further assert that all things unjust must be challenged if not
resisted wherever, whenever and by whosoever and in doing so, we
urge unison and solidarity among all progressive forces, the people
and friends of Zimbabwe.
As ROHR Zimbabwe
we hold that elections should not be held under the prevailing defective
conditions as this can only produce more of the same - a stolen
election, more deaths and destitution among the voting populace,
an illegitimate regime and more repression. If elections were allowed
to happen, we foresee overtures being made towards another unity
government to the detriment of the people's will and fundamental
freedoms. We hold that this would not be an acceptable outcome as
this would result in the increased alienation of the people from
matters to do with their own country. To ensure a credible, free
and fair election, ROHR Zimbabwe demands that the Inclusive Government
including all State agents prioritise forthwith the security of
all persons regardless of political affiliation and that the same
be true before, during and after elections. We further hold that
elections in Zimbabwe can only be held after the following concerns
- The Zimbabwe
Election Commission (ZEC) should be freed from the influence of
the Executive and all political parties to ensure full control
and impartiality in the discharge of its mandate.
- The Inclusive
government, through the agreed Global Political Agreement, must
cause the realisation of their pledges through the delivery of
a people driven constitution, an honest and transparent truth
and national healing process and institutional reform.
- The state
must put an end to manipulation of security organs (police, army,
central intelligence, prisons, etc) to end discrimination and
ensure a return to professionalism and fairness in the discharge
of their duties.
pieces of legislation such as POSA
should be repealed to embrace freedom of expression, association
investigation committees should be set up to investigate the allegations
of the existence of the Infrastructure of violence and torture
bases around the country.
and regional monitors must be allowed in the country and given
full movement access into the grassroots communities to carry
out investigative research on allegations of violence well before
elections are held .
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