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NGO Bill - Index of Opinion and Analysis
Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
September 15, 2004
of Zimbabwe Arise, a community based civic movement for Zimbabwean
women, announce that final preparations are underway to conduct
a 439 kilometer sponsored walk to raise a welfare fund for activists.
WOZA along with the community activists are facing an uncertain
future if the NGO Bill goes through parliament on 5 October 2004.
have been held in secret in Bulawayo and Harare to confirm participants
and the starting date. 44 participants have committed to attempt
the full walk whilst 180 others will undertake at least 60 km over
2 day slots. We are in a position to announce that by next week
this time the march will be well underway and public statements
will be issued at this time.
members of WOZA women in the Police and Youth Militia have asked
us to TIP TOE through certain areas so they can avoid seeing us.
WOZA Women, their mothers, sisters and grandmothers have called
on the Zimbabwe Republic Police to demonstrate that they too can
show compassion and allow the fund raising venture to go ahead unhindered
and even to sponsor participants. Over 300 WOZA women have been
arrested for trivial issues like handing out red roses, making tea,
calling for a lowering of food prices and on 19 June over 72 women
were arrested on World Refugee Day. It is therefore a strategy to
ensure the walk gets underway before an repressive behaviour from
the regime can be played out.
and Church partners have confirmed their support and participation
of this initiative.
There is a Zulu
saying - Uthinte Umfazi Uthinte Imbokodo - 'You strike a woman and
you have struck a rock'! We regard the NGO Bill in its current format,
as an attempt to strike women through WOZA. The women of WOZA are
saying we will not be struck in this way!
Since WOZA began
in 2002, women have spoken out and participated, they have had a
taste of the freedom of expression and assembly. The leaders and
activists have had their appetites whetted and they want more not
less communication and action. WOZA cannot let the Bill kill our
spirit of resistance.
As it is drafted
now, this Bill will kill instead of bringing us more LIFE. It affects
the caring people who help us with food when we are hungry, medicine
when we are sick, development, which gives us opportunities. Civic
Society organisations give us knowledge. KNOWLEDGE is POWER so the
Bill wants to make us powerless.
The Bill is
due to become a law in October and over 200 community activists
will loose a source of income. Their families and the orphans they
care for will suffer hardship. After consulting with members, Mother
WOZA has decided to conduct a sponsored walk to raise money for
the welfare of activists and put across our message of protest.
Over 200 volunteers have stepped forward to each walk 60 kilometers,
with some wanting to walk all the way to Harare, 439 kilometers.
The walk will be conducted with 6 teams of 30 with each team doing
Visit the Women
of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) fact
WOZA means 'Come forward'. By women for women and with women, across
race, colour, creed, class or political persuasion. Empowering women
to be courageous, caring, committed and in communication with their
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