OCCUPY AFRICA UNITY SQUARE COMMUNITY
PETITION OVER FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT
President of Republic of Zimbabwe
Mr Robert Gabriel Mugabe
Samora Machel Ave
Cc:Speaker of Parliament...
Mr Jacob Mudenda
Nelson Mandela Ave
October 17, 2014
RE: PETITION OVER FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT
I am a Zimbabwean man aged 35 years, presenting a position and demand on behalf of many Zimbabweans, over the failure of your government to properly and effectively manage the country.
Ever since last year's elections and assumption of office by your current government, the country has been backsliding economically.
All economic indicators clearly show that that your government has totally lost control over management of the economy.
High unemployment levels, of over 90%, collapse of industry and commerce, as well as massive decapitalisation, have combined to virtually kill the economy.
The past twelve months have proved the lack of capacity by your government to stem the economic crisis, which keeps worsening by each day.
Consequently, social services delivery has been severely affected by the economic situation, and apparent lack of funds across the economy.
I am sure Sir, that your government's efforts to source for funds required to rescue the situation have virtually failed.
The lack of interest by the global community, to assist our country with substantial financial packages at this time of urgent need, illustrates the crisis of legitimacy affecting your government.
You shall recall that last year's elections, out of which your party Zanu PF claimed victory, were disputed by the opposition.
Even the regional bodies and other observer missions that endorsed the polls, also noted and expressed concern over some serious irregularities.
Your government has further been severely crippled by serious and really blatant fights within Zanu PF, which spill into government operations.
The whole nation has not heard from you for over six months, in terms of state of the nation, government plans and programmes, yet the situation has become urgent.
The overal effect of all these national issues and circumstances is the serious suffering of the majority of Zimbabweans.
I am convinced, Sir, that we cannot continue watching the national crisis further worsen. It does not serve either your government nor the nation, to continue on this path.
There is an urgent need to stop this and therefore l, as a concerned Zimbabwean, hereby make this demand.
I am demanding that you do the following:
1) Immediately admit and declare that you and your government have failed to run the country, and must to step down.
2) Agree and pave way for a process of engagement involving all national stakeholders, towards establishment of an administration that takes over, to manage the country and prepare for fresh elections.
3) Make a commitment and public announcement that you shall not abuse the state security agents by unleashing them to either intimidate the people, or usurp the people's power and responsibility of determing the establishment of a new way for solving the national crisis.
4) Agree to, and accept that your party Zanu PF ceases to be the 'ruling party' but becomes one of the national stakeholders, to be involved in the national engagement, and in equal capacity with the rest.
Sir, l demand an immediate and urgent response on this important national issue.
I demand that you take the responsibility to engage the nation on the national crisis and respond to my call for you and your government to pave way for a new way towards solving the crisis.
My position and demand is backed by many Zimbabweans, who, like myself, await your response.
We are, starting Monday October 20, 2014, convening and gathering at Africa Unity Square in Harare's Central Business District, waiting for your response.
I have invited all the other Zimbabweans agreeing to, and backing, my demand, to join me in waiting for your response.
We shall continue to wait for your response and upholding our commitment to civil, peaceful and resolute means, until you take the important step of facing the nation over the crisis and my demand.
Sir, we shall be resolved to wait for your response at the venue, because, undoubtedly, this national situation must come to an end. I am convinced that we, together as Zimbabweans, can bring an end to this crisis and cooperate towards starting a new chapter for our beloved nation.
Lastly, Sir, l beg of you to appreciate our legitimate concern and demand, so that you respond to it as a mature stateman and individual wanting to be remembered for taking a genuinely humble decision for the good of the nation.
I make a passionate request for you to openly embrace peace and love in responding to our demand and process of waiting for your response. In the same vein, l am sure you should find it prudent that your office arranges for police to be deployed, for the purpose of providing protection to us, during the period of waiting, which shall be determined by your response.
I honestly believe you are capable of taking this opportunity to unite the nation into searching for a solution to the crisis.
As the current chairman of Sadc, you surely can demonstrate true values of a stateman and leader that works for the good of the people.
Looking forward to your response.
OUR 10 GOLDEN RULES
In order to achieve our goals, in a civil, peaceful and resolute manner, we shall be guided by these golden rules, at all times and in all our conduct.
1) We never carry nor use any weapon during our campaigns or the actual execution of our mission - not even the smallest of stones, because we don't need them at all.
2) We never fight anyone, even when attacked and provoked,... because, we want to maintain peace and order. We have a zero tolerance for violence of any form. Our form of defence is shaming and exposing perpetrators of violence or brutality.
3) Our mission and goals absolutely have no need for us to destroy either public or private property. We must remain desirous of walking into a Zimbabwe with it's property in place and intact.
4) We never antagonise people, even those that do not agree with our purpose or join us. We always preach love, respect and upholding of human dignity. For example, we shall be consistent with reference to the police, as 'our colleagues from the police'.
5) When attacked by the police, we do not run away, but rather we lie down and do our best to prevent damage to our heads, using our hands. We shall never be broken nor forced to abandon our mission by violent or brutal attacks from the police.
6) At all times we clearly and openly communicate our plans, among ourselves and to any other relevant recipients. We shall always plan and execute simple, civil, peaceful and resolute strategies to achieve our goals, for which there would be nothing to hide.
7) We shall always persevere and remain resolute, strong and unbreakable, at every stage and point when executing our mission. This shall be one of our major strengths. We do not run away nor tire from the commitment for this noble cause.
8) Our currency shall be solidarity and camaraderie among ourselves and with all Zimbabweans, under the framework of pursuing civil, peaceful and resolute methods for a better Zimbabwe.
9) We never discriminate on any grounds, of race, political affiliation, religious interests, sexual orientation or simply viewpoint. We embrace and work with all the people desiring and committed to a better Zimbabwe.
10) At all times we operate through, and maintain, order and unity of purpose. We are all leaders and uphold effective communication as well as proper implementation of plans. That requires self and group discipline as well humbleness required to follow orders and plans.
These golden rules shall be adopted and every means used to entrench them within our hearts.
We are all leaders and therefore with the responsibility for upholding as well as teaching about these fundamental guiding principles.
POLICE BRUTALLY ASSAULT DZAMARA & LAWYER.
Itai Dzamara and human right lawyer Kennedy Masiye were
admitted at a hospital in Harare after sustaining serious injuries from brutal
assaults by more than 20 police officers in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The police team arrived at Africa Unity Square around 11:30 and approached the Occupy Africa Unit Square team. The head of the police team ordered the activists to leave and immediately started beating them. Dzamara was surrounded by 15 police officers, who prevented him from leaving. They beat him all over the body. Two baton sticks broke during the assault and the police team handcuffed Dzamara. They continued beating him while tearing his belt and trousers open. Tichaona Danho and Tafadzwa Charumbira refused to leave and insisted they wanted to stand by Dzamara. They were also beaten up. Dzamara lost consciousness and the beating stopped. Lawyer Kennedy Masiye arrived to attend to the matter. They immediately attacked Masiye, beating him up with button sticks and breaking his glasses. They chased him away. The police team then ordered Danho and Charumbira to carry Dzamara out of the park. The police team continued to beat the unconscious Dzamara and the two colleagues carrying him for 500 meters away from the park. Dzamara spent about 45 minutes on a tarmac until a vehicle came to pick him and took him to hospital.
The Occupy Africa Unit Square team would like to
deplore this barbaric action. This is a clear disregard of the Zimbabwe
Constitution and Human Rights Charter. Zimbabweans should have the freedom to
protest and gather. We have the right to take our government to accountability.
Just before Itai was assaulted he said ‘the reality of what’s become
the way of life for the majority of Zimbabweans: living from scraps, living in
the muck of crumbling service delivery, dejectedness and the stink of
unemployment, it’s not really a case to argue -our government has become like a
leech draining the life giving blood from its own people....they must look in
the mirror! Respond to the petition.’
Itai and the team would be pleased to know that their efforts are not in vain. The day the OAUS team was assaulted, our petition has got 327 signatures.
We are the people!
We are the numbers!
LAUNCHING STREET MARCHES TOMORROW 06/11/2014.
We are launching street marches tomorrow and have informed the police about our plan.
We will occupy the square from morning as we always do, before embarking on the street march at mid-day.
We have drawn up the route we will take from the Africa Unity Square, along a couple of streets and back to the square. We have furnished the police with the details of the route we will take....
We have played our role of requesting police to provide security for our march.
We have also notified the police that we will stage a similar march and along the same route, on Friday, November 7, 2014.
As we have always done, we shall be guided throughout the march, by our golden rules, aimed at maintaining civil, peaceful and resolute commitment to our protests.
We are embarking on street marches in order to intensify our protests and demand for President Robert Mugabe to respond to our petition and calls for him to admit failure of his government, accept to step down as well as pave way for an all stakeholders engagement, towards charting a new course.
We invite and urge all those wishing to join us in tomorrow's march to come to Africa Unity Square and participate. We shall not be representing any political party but will be staging our protest as Zimbabweans brought together by a common cause.
We are the people!
We are the numbers!
RELEASED. PRESS STATEMENT:
RESOLVED IN OUR DEMANDS & COMMITTED TO PEACE
Speech by Itai Dzamara, November 4, 2014
EXACTLY two weeks ago, history was made here at Africa Unity Square, because, a group of Zimbabweans brave...d all sorts of fears and threats, to commence the sit-in for backing demands we submitted to President Mugabe over the national situation.
We are not flattered, nor impressed by that moment of history, because we are challenged and inspired to go all the way for the real prize or achievement - a better Zimbabwe.
It is no longer a secret, and we do not speak in riddles anymore - we demand an end to the national crisis, and a peaceful transition into a new era of national progress and towards prosperity.
Even Mugabe knows in the depth of his heart, that this is not the Zimbabwe we want.
This is not the Zimbabwe, which Josiah Magama Tongogara, Herbert Chitepo, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, to mention but a few, sacrificed and fought for.
It is clear, despite Mugabe claiming to have things under control, that, the national train long went off the rails and has become an urgent matter.
These pertinent matters, of a nation's livelihood and prosperity, were eloquently articulated to Mugabe in the petition and demands l handed to him on October 17, 2014.
It is no longer my petition nor issue, because, many Zimbabweans have come up to join in making the same demands.
Millions of Zimbabweans agree to the demands and really yearn for an immediate end to the national crisis.
The majority also agree to the position of us, as a nation, having to avoid unnecessary trouble and loss through chaos and disorder.
In other words, like us here, Zimbabweans want civil, peaceful and resolute processes out of the national crisis and towards a new day, of a better Zimbabwe.
Zimbabweans have for long years declined provocation and invitation by agents of evil and darkness, to turn their aspirations for a better nation into anarchy or bloodshed. Our history, in fact, has dark episodes of the Mugabe regime having unleashed terror onto the people.
We ardently hope and desire for a way that avoids such sad chapters and that is why we are here.
We have the guiding principles and compass, for which we are gathered here today, to articulate and entrench into our hearts.
But before l get to the golden rules, suffice to say that Mugabe is with the rest of us on this matter.
Yes, he is aware, of the petition and demands.
He is aware that we are occupying this square and spreading the message, which is gaining traction among Zimbabweans all over the world.
He may pretend - together with members of his government, as well as media outlets - to be unmoved or unconcerned, but the reality is that this is an urgent national situation.
We are not staging a media drama, nor script and shall go all the way even if the media outlets choose to ignore us or distort our story. They may continue enjoying the rhetoric of Mugabe and others, which , by and large, is a hotch-potch of hypocrisy and naked acting, far removed from reality.
We are unrelenting and as each day passes, we are getting resolved in demanding our response from Mugabe.
We want him to stop pretending to have things under control or to be brewing miracles about the national situation.
We want Mugabe to admit that he, together with his government, has failed, and, unavoidably have to step down, in order to allow for a new workable plan that involves all national stakeholders, including Zanu PF.
Yet, Mugabe and Zanu PF must admit and accept to engage the other stakeholders in good faith and equal capacity.
Surely, Zanu PF and Mugabe should by now find it meaningless and shameful for them to want to continue holding the whole nation at ransom when they have failed so blatantly.
Their excuses and forms of escapism no longer make sense to the suffering masses.
The majority of Zimbabweans now know that corruption, plunder, avarice, mismanagement and general leadership frailty, have brought Zimbabwe to its knees.
Honestly, this must make Mugabe feel ashamed, because, from power shortages, water problems, collapsing health and education services, company closures, capital flight, lack of investment and even failure to manage the country's revenue earning resources - there cannot be any other way to describe this, other than failure.
Yet, just last week, on this day, and after he had opened parliament just across the road there, Mugabe indirectly responded to our petition and demands.
He had the audacity to say that, after what he went through at the hands of the colonial regime, he should not be told, 'by a young 35 year old man to step down', in apparent reference to me.
Very sad, and unfortunate, that Mugabe seems to want to justify this national failure through the evils of the colonial regime.
Mugabe must try again, rather than seriously come out implying that Zimbabweans deserve to suffer today, because, he suffered at the hands of the Smith regime.
We want a more direct response to our demands from Mugabe, not his rhetoric of last week.
If he is serious about wanting to continue sinking the nation, he must come out openly and say it to the people, and then we will decide what to do.
Yes, we have come to a point of us, the people, having to decide what to do about the national crisis and Mugabe's attitude about it.
We are not apologetic about taking that stance, at all.
Yet, we are being clear and unwavering, on our commitment towards demanding a peaceful, orderly and uniting way out of the pit of failure, and towards a new day of rebuilding Zimbabwe, together as a nation.
We genuinely and honestly love our country, hence choosing civil, peaceful and resolute means towards engaging Mugabe and making our demands.
I have been saying and hereby repeat, that, it would be very unfortunate and another sad chapter, if Mugabe spurns the genuine desire and offer of the hand of peace and love by Zimbabweans towards a way out of the pit of failure, and, for a better nation.
It no longer requires a professor, nor a prophet to identify and tell that everything around the Mugabe regime is in chaos and paralysis, and that it is a recipe for disaster, of any imaginable nature and form.
We love our country and do not want disaster. We want peace and a way out of the pit of Mugabe's failure.
Therefore, guided by our sacrosanct 10 Golden Rules, and exercising our inalienable constitutionally guaranteed rights, we, as civilian Zimbabweans, reaffirm and make clear our unrelenting push and demands for Mugabe to come out of his comfort zone, become real, and, together as a nation, we stop the crisis.
04/11/2014. ITAI DZAMARA ARRESTED. Just as Itai Dzamara began making his public address, a group of police members moved in to confiscate the megaphone. Dzamara went ahead without the megaphone but was soon arrested, taken away to a police post at First St. The team followed to the police post and five have been put under arrest.
The Occupy Africa Unity Square (OAUS) team has been an inspiration to many of us. Itai Dzamara pioneered the occupation of African Unit Square, Harare, Zimbabwe since 17 October 2014. A handful of brave democrats joined him. We, as Zimbabweans are starting to note that the non-violence approach being applied by the OAUS team is working well. It has worked well in other parts of theworld and it is going to work well in Zimbabwe. This team has exorcised the demons of fear out of many Zimbabweans.
On October 17, 2014 Itai Dzamara handed a petition to the President of Zimbabwe Robert Gabriel Mugabe. RE: PETITION OVER FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT [see full petition below].
Since then, hundreds of fellow Zimbabweans have been interacting and engaging with Itai Dzamara and his team. Many visited the African Unity Square to witness, encourage and get to know what the mission of OAUS is all about.
On Monday 3 November 2014, Itai Dzamara is going to make a public address in the Square and a letter to the Zimbabwe Republic Police has been handed [see letter below].
OAUS has been running an online petition along the same lines of the petition handed to President Mugabe. We want to gather as many signatures as possible. We are going to hand over this petition to President Mugabe via his Embassies in the diaspora. So far, we have representatives in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Belgium organizing and planning when to hand over the signatures.
We would like to encourage all peace loving democrats in the diaspora to get involved in this noble cause.
First, sign the petition on this link and share it with your contacts. http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/occupy-africa-unity-square-community
Get in touch with Itai Dzamara on his or the OAUS Facebook page.
Organize yourselves in your communities to hand over this petition to the Zimbabwe Embassy in your country of residence. We are still collecting signatures and we need as many signatures as possible before we announce the date to hand over the petition. Once we get to know the representatives in each country, we shall send an electronic version of the petition. You will print and handover. For this exercise, please contact me -Tendai Kwari @tendai.kwari or inbox me on my Facebook page.
PETITION – CLICK LINK BELOW and SIGN:
We would like to thank those who took their time to visit Itai Dzamara and his team at the Africa Unity Square, Harare, Zimbabwe and those who have already signed, comment and share the petition. Your comments are encouraging and emboldening us. This is not a partisan agenda. We would like to work with all political parties, non-governmental organizations, church groups and civic organizations. Take a moment to read our 10 Golden Rules [read below]. We condemn all types of violence and we are resolute to maintain peace and love.
Our determination and love for Zimbabwe knows no fear. Our desire to see Zimbabwe working again will cut across all partisan lines, racial shades, tribal demographics, linguistic barriers and gender discrepancies. In a nut shell, we simply love our country – the House of Stones – Zimbabwe.
We are the people! We are the numbers! Let’s go!
THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES UNABATED
PUBLIC ADDRESS AT THE SQUARE
We have just handed a letter to the Zimbabwe Republic Police's Officer Commanding
Harare Central District about our plan for a public address at Africa Unity
Square on Monday, November 3, 2014.
Find a copy of the letter here below.
We have a hard copy bearing the police stamp and confirming receipt of our notification by the police.
October 30, 2014
Chief Superintendent Jairos Saunyama
Officer Commanding Police
Harare Central District
Harare Central Police Station
RE: NOTIFICATION OF PUBLIC ADDRESS
I hereby notify you that we have planned a public address at Africa Unity Square on Monday, November 3, 2014 aimed at preaching and sharing the message of our values enshrined in the '10 Golden Rules' governing our ‘Occupy Africa Unity Square’ initiative.
Since l commenced the sit-in at Africa Unity Square on October 21, 2014, many people have been coming to join and express their backing for demands l submitted to President Robert Mugabe through a petition on October 17, 2014.
At the peak we are having 500 people occupying the park, but most importantly, always and consistently abiding by the 10 Golden Rules.
The numbers are increasing and, together with my colleagues now playing an active role in planning and organising about our sit-in, we have found it necessary to arrange the public address and utilise the opportunity to galvanise the message and value system of our civil, peaceful and resolute conduct.
I, Itai Dzamara, will address the people through a public address system, for two hours, from 12:00 HRS to 14:00 HRS.
The address will focus only on preaching and teaching about our 10 Golden Rules, as we continue with our sit-in. Before I start the address, we will have an opening prayer and singing of the national anthem. There won’t be any chanting of slogans or singing other songs, save for the national anthem.
We are expecting between 2 000 (two thousand) and 2 500 (two thousand five hundred) people to converge at the square for the address, attending in their capacities as civilian Zimbabweans and not representing any particular political or other interests. We will specifically bar any expression of party political sentiments or slogans during the address.
We therefore request your office to arrange for police teams that will provide security at the Africa Unity Square on Monday October 3, 2014, when we hold the public address.
We are using various channels to urge those that will come for the address to conduct themselves in peaceful and orderly ways. We are also aware of the possibility of bad elements planning to cause problems and will have teams of marshals to guard against that.
We also believe police teams that will be deployed shall ensure bad elements and trouble causers are identified and brought to book in order to maintain peace and order.
We are communicating through our well-established channels, such as on social networks, to urge all the people that will come for the public address to maintain peace and order while abiding by our 10 Golden Rules.
We are convinced about the commitment and ability of the people who will come for the address to maintain peace and order. Since we started the sit-in, the people have proved to be fully committed to observing and maintaining the 10 Golden Rules. There have never been any incidents of the people causing any problems either to public order or amongst themselves.
Together with my colleagues involved in planning and organising, we are available to engage your office on cooperating to ensure that our programme is arranged and planned in lawful, peaceful as well as orderly ways.
Looking forward to your cooperation,