As we commemorate this year’s International Day of Peace under the theme “Shaping Peace Together”, the Citizens Manifesto notes with concern the political and socio-economic crisis as well as polarisation in Zimbabwe. We are totally outraged by the massive violations of human rights being recorded in the country.. It is clear that the social contract that binds the governors and the governed is broken and it has to be renewed through dialogue. .
The continuous attack on civic and political activists must come to an end. In September, we witnessed arbitrary arrests of students who were demanding the freedom of their President Takudzwa Ngadziore who had been arrested for demanding answers to the abduction of Tawanda Mucheiwa whose abduction footage was shared for the nation to see. The same month saw the continued jailing of opposition leaders and activists for exercising their constitutional rights to protest peacefully as enshrined in Section 59 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
On 18 September, the ZINASU President, Ngadziore was later abducted and tortured by assailants captured on camera which left the youthful leader seriously injured and requiring medical attention . Journalists were harassed, including having their equipment destroyed.
The state has gone far in failing to protect or guarantee the safety of the people. The perpetrators of human rights abuses have enjoyed impunity, which has endangered the peace and security of citizens. As long as there are no answers or details produced to expose Tawanda’s abductors, it will be a clear indication that the state has chosen to side with criminals which is unacceptable.
We thus make these critical demands:
- We urge the government to release political prisoners and create an environment that favours healthy dialogue and debate on national issues.
- In line with this year’s International Peace Day, the government of Zimbabwe must engage all stakeholders in shaping a peaceful society.
- We call on the state to prioritise the lives of the people, respect the Constitution and create a society where the sacrosanctity of human rights is always respected.
- We call on the government to investigate all cases of abductions and restore order in the governance system.
- We urge the International community to commence dialogue towards finding a sustainable solution to the national crisis
Amalgamated Rural Teacher’s Union (ARTUZ); Vendors Initiative for Social Change (VISET);Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD); Zimbabwe Alliance; Harare ResidentsTrust (HRT); Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA); National Association of YouthOrganizations (NAYO); Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU); Media Center; GatewayZimbabwe; Institute of Young Women in Development (IYWD); Economic Justice for Women Project; Amandla Centre; Women’s Academy of Leadership and Political Excellence (WALPE);Advocates for Earth; Magamba Network; Platform for ConcernedCitizens; Berina Community Arts; Arcturus Community Assembly; Bindura Community Assembly;Youth Initiative for Community Development-Mutoko, ZimRights