Urgent call for PEACE ahead of the 31st of July 2020
As we approach the 31st of July 2020, a day set aside by some Zimbabweans for peaceful demonstrations against corruption and poverty in Zimbabwe, the Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (WALPE) is calling all Zimbabwean stakeholders to demonstrate restraint, prevent violence and avoid any action that could undermine the peace and stability of Zimbabwe. The planned demonstrations come against a backdrop of worsening economic crisis and endless allegations of corruption perpetrated by the elites.
Protests conducted in the last two years have resulted in outbreaks of violence with state security agents accused of using unnecessary force which has led to loss of life and property. Women human rights defenders and political activists have not been spared of the violence, many cases of torture, rape, assault, murder and arbitrary arrests have been recorded with little or no justice for the victims.
Section 59 of the constitution of Zimbabwe clearly states that every person has the right to demonstrate and to present petitions, but these rights must be exercised peacefully, hence the security forces must refrain from using violence and force against peaceful demonstrators.
As WALPE we note the supremacy of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and we are calling on everyone to uphold, respect and abide by its provisions. Zimbabweans are a peace-loving people, a heritage that we cherish and value.
WALPE through the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has taken the Government of Zimbabwe to court challenging the imposed curfew of 6pm-6am. The curfew is limiting the movement of women victims of gender-based violence, those seeking medical care including pre- and post-natal care and those who work late. Coupled with the serious transport woes exacerbated by the monopolisation of the sector by ZUPCO, many women are struggling to get transport from work by 6pm exposing them to violence, harassment and intimidation from state security forces. The case is yet to be heard before the High Court.
NB: If you are woman human rights defender or political activist and your rights have been violated. Kindly reach out to us on 0784 240 409 for assistance