Back to Index
'power to the people' campaign continues with a day of action in
of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
July 30, 2007
members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) took part in peaceful
street actions in 10 areas of Bulawayo today. The community-based
demonstrations targeted local shops and businesses demanding affordable
food on the shelves and an end to selling to cronies and the uniformed
forces out the back door. The protestors also delivered an open
letter to business owners and the ministers of Industry and Commerce
and Home Affairs to demand meaningful economic reforms, rather than
the unthinking slashing of prices. There have been no reports of
arrests to date from any of the protests.
Men of Zimbabwe
Arise (MOZA) then completed a morning of protest by marching for
four blocks through central Bulawayo to TM Hypermarket with the
same demands. This was MOZA's first demonstration on their
own. Plain-clothed police officers were seen collecting up the open
letter after the protest and presumably it will be delivered through
them to the respective ministers.
shops in Nkulumane 5, Mpopoma, Matshobana, Mabutweni, Njube, Nkulumane
12, Tshabalala, Pumula Old and North and Magwegwe. In the city centre
MOZA targeted OK Bazaars and TM Hypermarket.
The open letter
carried by the protestors outlined several demands to both businesses
and government, including the request that government and the manufacturing
sector should negotiate in good faith to find ways to produce more
affordable food without compromising the living wage of workers;
that the Price Control Task Force be reshuffled and be selected
in a transparent manner and that government stop harassing shop
owners and allow them to stock and trade freely and honestly at
the price set.
Zimbabwean retail and manufacturing business people
Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mr. Obert Mpofu
Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Kembo Mohadi
wish to introduce ourselves to you; we are Women and Men of Zimbabwe
Arise, a socio-economic movement formed to press for the promises
of the liberation war to be delivered. We want a Zimbabwe where
there is equality and respect for all its people. The Zimbabwe that
we dream of is outlined in our People's
Charter that came about after consulting Zimbabweans across
the country last year.
the People's Charter is the demand for adequate, affordable
food with price controls on basic commodities if necessary. We note
that price controls have now been introduced by government, supposedly
as part of an ongoing campaign to ensure that basic commodities
are affordable. We thank you for taking a step in the right direction.
We also note
however that the introduction of price controls on every item for
sale in the country has also led to basic commodities (and just
about everything else) disappearing from the shelves. Slashing prices
it is not enough - something needs to be done to ensure there are
enough supplies of basic commodities for everyone. This will not
happen if corruption and inflation are not tackled by meaningful
political change. Slashing the zeroes did not help - neither will
just slashing prices.
For us to truly
believe that government has the people at heart and wishes to ensure
that its people will have enough to eat today and every day, we
wish to ask that both business and government join hands to take
the following steps.
and the manufacturing sector should negotiate in good faith to
find ways to produce more affordable food without compromising
the living wage of workers. As a priority, fuel needs to be made
available at affordable prices to reduce transport costs.
2. The uniformed
forces should join the queues with others, with immediate effect,
instead of having their own queues. If the Minister of Home Affairs
did an unbiased investigation into the parallel or black market
he would find that it is the family members of police and army
who are allowed to buy in bulk - they take these goods onto
the pavements and sell to us at inflated prices.
3. We ask
the Ministry to reshuffle the Price Control Task Force as they
are now corrupting the programme. There should be transparency
as to how they are selected and what formula is used to work out
the new prices.
4. We call
on Government to stop harassing shop owners and allow them to
stock and trade freely and honestly at the price set.
5. We ask
shop owners to sell basic commodities through their formal businesses
and their front door rather than out the back door and onto the
6. We call
on all Zimbabweans to be part of the solution - not part of the
problem. We should not support or spread the black market and
allow prices to skyrocket. Let us all help to bring down prices
so we can have enough food in our homes. Please our children are
starving - stop hoarding!
7. We also
ask the Ministries of Home Affairs and Industry and Commerce to
realise that WOZA and MOZA have a constitutional right to peaceful
protest. We have the right to demand that food be available and
affordable. Stop arresting and beating us when we only want to
feed our families.
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.