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Invitation to cooperation on realising the Peoples Charter
Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
January 23, 2007

The Peoples Charter brings focus to the non-violent struggle for a socially just Zimbabwe

During 2006, Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA/MOZA) conducted countrywide consultations on social justice, which led to the birth of the People's Charter. In 284 consultations, approximately 10,000 Zimbabweans opened their hearts and minds to the activists, sharing with them their dreams for a new Zimbabwe.

Towards the end of 2006, thousands of Zimbabweans joined in Charter launch events in Bulawayo (29th November) and Harare (12th December). In Bulawayo, as men, women and babies peacefully set out their demands for social justice, police officers viciously assaulted the group, including grandmothers and babies, resulting in the spilling of blood at Mhlahlandlela Government complex. Despite this brutality, members of WOZA and MOZA announce to both friend and foe alike that they will not betray the hopes and desires that Zimbabweans have expressed through the People's Charter. In 2007 the streets will continue to echo with voices demanding social justice. The people have spoken and will continue to speak out until their dream of a new Zimbabwe is realised.

As we continue with the non-violent struggle in 2007, those on the frontline need more than ever the solidarity of Zimbabweans and friends in the Diaspora. We also call on all organisations both inside and outside Zimbabwe to join hands with us to respect the wishes of Zimbabweans by endorsing the Charter and becoming 'People's Charter Champions'. We therefore call on all individuals and organisations committed to a democratic and free Zimbabwe and a socially just Africa to undertake the following:

  • Read and understand the People's Charter
  • Send the Charter to any Zimbabwean or friend of Zimbabwe and ask them to read it and distribute it widely.
  • Mobilise Zimbabweans to conduct their own People's Charter launch events. We wish to challenge Zimbabweans that if Muzarabane and Kezi can be planning to launch the Charter then so can Zimbabweans in Pretoria, Gabarone or London. The target of these peaceful launch events can be any political leader - be they ruling party or opposition - councillor or senator. Even the local Zimbabwean ambassador needs to be pressurised to receive the Charter and relay it to Harare. We are willing to assist in planning and mobilising for these events.
  • Co-opt any and all politicians to sign and endorse the People's Charter and promise to raise it in their Parliament. WOZA and MOZA also wish to announce that no politician is a sacred cow - they will all be visited and made to hear our voices, as we demand social justice. We will also not be fobbed off by being told that 'liberation comrades' are sacrosanct - they more than most know what promises were made during the liberation war and they will be the first to be held accountable.
  • Obtain as many signatures as possible committing people to become People's Charter Champions. The world over there are too few people genuinely championing social economic and cultural rights of the poor and underprivileged.

We end this statement by reminding members of the armed forces of Zimbabwe that they are our children and we love them enough to discipline them with our tough love. In 2007 it will no longer be acceptable to beat mothers and babies saying you were only following orders. Self-interest may feed your family for a day but we want your family to eat what they choose and when they choose to eat. Freedom does not belong to a small group but should be enjoyed by every one - they must join us in demanding the promises of the liberation war.

We, the leadership of WOZA and MOZA, pay tribute to the courage of all our comrades, who have been assaulted and arrested, tortured and intimidated, hounded and humiliated. We salute your commitment and encourage you to increase your commitment. Not only continuing to mobilise for peaceful protest but to mobilise Zimbabweans to be part of a non-violent movement struggling for new Zimbabwe - that will mean daily commitment. To Zimbabweans, we also want announce that WOZA marks its fifth birthday on Valentine's Day this year - make sure you are standing up to be counted!

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