activists support WOZA and the People's Charter
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February 18, 2007
Zimbabweans in the UK were
out in force on Saturday in support of WOZA (Women
of Zimbabwe Arise) and their People's
Charter. 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. Now they are demanding leaders
who can deliver what the people want and they have called for the
solidarity of Zimbabweans in the diaspora in their Charter Campaign.
`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` stated WOZA when they launched the charter at
the end of last year.
WOZA Solidarity, a UK support
group for WOZA in Zimbabwe, have taken up the challenge and on Saturday
they joined forces with organisers of the vigil held outside the
Zimbabwe Embassy in London to hold a charter launch event. Hundreds
of passers by stopped to find out more about WOZA and sign endorsements
commending the courage of Zimbabweans in demanding social justice
through the People's Charter. Tokunbo Oke, from the African Liberation
Support Network told the crowd that Zimbabwe's problem was an African
problem, congratulated WOZA on their charter initiative and stressed,
to loud applause, that fellow Africans (Tokunbo is from Nigeria)
were no longer taken in by Mubabe's liberation rhetoric.
Earlier in the
week nearly 2000 WOZA activists had taken to the streets of Harare
and Bulawayo in Valentine's Day actions dedicated to the People's
Charter. Traditionally on Valentine's Day WOZA march under the slogan
`the power of love can conquer the love of power` but this week
they noted that the power of love had those that love power seriously
concerned when water cannons were seen on the streets of Bulawayo
waiting to deal with the love marchers. As in previous years, hundreds
were arrested in spite of their tender message and in the UK Zimbabweans
and sympathisers responded by telephoning the seven police stations
holding WOZA women and men. By 4pm on the day after the arrests
Bulawayo Central were no longer answering their phones and although
the WOZA activists were due to be charged with `intent to promote
public violence` police appeared unwilling to put the statements
together that would enable charges to be brought. It seems they
too just can't help respecting WOZA and their social justice campaign.
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