women launch Zimbabwe People's Charter

Starting from separate locations, more than 800 members of Women Of Zimbabwe Arise and Men Of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA/MOZA) recently marched to Parliament in Harare to launch a People's Charter.

Following the brutality with which police had previously attacked WOZA protests, members, who had come from all around the county to join the march, were surprised upon being told that they could go back to their homes after being warned that they were demonstrating illegally, according to a press release.

"At one stage a senior police officer asked the group who the leaders were and when he was told everyone is a leader, he then took five members from the main group, including two men and an elderly woman on crutches, loading them onto the back of a police vehicle and taking down their names. "

"A Human Rights lawyer who was on site questioned this and some time later the five were made to rejoin the rest of the group."

"The response to the People's Charter from Zimbabweans all over the world has been overwhelming and today was no different."

"Pedestrians in downtown Harare rushed to receive copies of the Charter from the marching groups and in fact, the only WOZA items that remain in custody tonight is the People's Charter and placards including those calling for 2008 Parliamentary and Presidential elections."

"The reaction of the Zimbabwe Republic Police today was a victory for WOZA's non-violent strategy and for the power of social justice."

"The WOZA leadership would like to commend the Zimbabwe Republic Police for showing that they are human beings also requiring social justice in their lives."

The involvement of interactive women's and men's groups in political reform with the declaration of a People's Charter furnishes the nation with the opportunity to draft a constitution providing for government comprising women's and men's legislatures presided over by an executive of elders accompanied by courts of women's and men's jurisdiction as the most fair and equitable form of governance.

21 December, 2006