Zimbabwe Diaspora Voice—Acts, Decisively

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Zimbabwe Diaspora Voice—Acts Decisively

"Please Act on this Petition" 

The ZANU-PF led government has been oppressive for the last 38-years, abducting, torturing, disappearing and oppressing the people of Zimbabwe. Enough is enough.

Domiciled Zimbabweans have appealed for the diaspora to activate, not abdicate. 

We are in support of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) and support domiciled Zimbabweans who have chosen to heed the call for a mass action to stay home. Further, we are deeply troubled that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has chosen not to come to the immediate aid of his neigbouring population; Zimbabweans. Instead, he's not positively responsive to the plight of Zimbabweans and its diaspora in the 21st century, nor the urgency of the implications to regional security, not even the state-sponsored brutality on women. Please support this petition as we will plan to continue to demonstrate at South African and Zimbabwean embassies, and to foreign institutions around the world in the countries where we reside. President Ramaphosa should work diligently to have the worldwide diaspora (most importantly, its diaspora women) at a genuine, honest dialogue table.

ANY South African government loans BEFORE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and structural, economic reforms, will be considered odious debt by the people of Zimbabwe. WE WON'T PAY A DEBT WE DIDN'T SANCTION!

Early on Tuesday 15 January 2019, the Zimbabwe diaspora began to receive confirmed, distressing reports of family, friends, the elderly, people living with disabilities, marginalized groups living in remote areas and loved ones back home experiencing a shutdown of their internet service. As a result, the diaspora has been wasting countless hours in distress, concerned about their loved ones instead of focusing on productive work that earns income to remit back home. 

Zimbabweans have suffered to date:

  1. At least 17 sexually assaulted

  2. The arrest of at least six (6) legislators, at least two (2) civil society individuals and activists.

  3. In excess of 844 acts of human rights violations.

  4. At least 78 shot.

  5. 172 hospitalized.

  6. At least 242 victims tortured and subjected to other inhuman and degrading treatment.

  7. At least 640 arbitrary arrests and detention.

  8. Tens of opposition and civil society leaders in hiding.

  9. Minors brutally beaten, held in prison cells with adults, tried in courts with no rule of law, but rule by law.

  10. Untold numbers of people experiencing retribution.

  11. At least 12 people dead, many more abducted. Husbands and sons beaten, and possibly torture-killings.

  12. Untold 1000s are in hiding, families separated, and thousands displaced.

  13. Hundreds of 1000s of survivors; past diaspora Gukurahundi family survivors, people who lived through the horrible ordeal of the farm invasions, and post-traumatic stress disorder political asylum seekers, and those who watched the distressing 1 August killings unfold.4 Million+ of Zimbabwe's diaspora deeply concerned about state-blocked communication that cut them off from grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren friends and neighbors back home.

Additionally, with highly distressing digital images of the fast deteriorating humanitarian and human rights crisis in Zimbabwe, little to no information being communicated to the outside world due to the Emmerson Mnangawa-led government’s security sector carrying out acts of impunity, the diaspora have decided to act decisively.  

The state media, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation informed the public via Twitter that the Government of Zimbabwe had shut down the country’s internet and social media. Constitutionally guaranteed individual rights are being repressed and Zimbabweans are living with a sense of foreboding, fear, facing imminent danger, risk loss of life, property, personal security, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, blocked access to information, state-restrictions on freedom of movement, no access to detainee rights, and lack of access to the very basics of human dignity. 

Less than a month after the 1 August Monhlante Commission of Inquiry found that Zimbabwe’s “use of live ammunition directed at people, especially when they were fleeing, was clearly unjustified and disproportionate,” more unarmed civilians died in the January 2019 atrocities from unjustified and disproportionate use of force.  

Monday 14 January saw the second time in six months that Zimbabwe’s security sector has used LIVE ammunition on these unarmed civilian protestors as a national labor union stay-away was expected to last longer across Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe Republic Police riot squad has been mobilized, military deployed and ready to face them. Allegedly in Chikwanha, cars were burned, in Chitungwiza people attacked at least one police station, two were reportedly fatally shot in Epworth and countless incidences of burnt tires and tear gas thrown into civilian homes. 

Worse, though, are the uniformed, armed soldiers hiding their faces with balaclavas, brandishing weapons going door-to-door pulling citizens out of their homes, pulling peaceful citizens out of cars at police-mounted road blocks, unashamedly, and brazenly in the country appearing to be taking extreme measures on peaceful., law-abiding citizens. 

Imminent Danger

When the internet is down, the State can act with impunity hoping the footage and digital images will not be communicated to the international community while Mnangagwa was on his five (5)-nation trip that was to end in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum. 

They have:

  1. Deployed the military.
  2. Carrying out citizen detentions.
  3. Shootings, beatings, maiming, laming and possibly torture-killings.
  4. Door-to-door searches, tear gas being dispersed into unarmed, peaceful civilian homes.
  5. Shutdown of the internet to curtail freedom the free flow of information and social media activity as well as freedom of assembly online. 

The Diaspora Voice

In the 30 July 2018 elections, millions of Zimbabwe’s diaspora failed to be given a voice at the poll. As a result, the diaspora does not recognize Emmerson Mnangagwa as the legitimate president of the country as they were disenfranchised. The diaspora wants a re-run of the election be led by the United Nations as the lead supervising entity (not the Zimbabwe Election Commission), assisted by the EU, Commonwealth and USA, and with the AU and SADC playing a smaller assistive role. 

The Zimbabwe Diaspora has a voice. This statement and call-to-action is that voice. 

Constitutional Rights

The 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe requires ALL to protect right stated in Section 44, “The State and every person, including juristic persons, and every institution and agency of the government at every level must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights and freedoms set out in this Chapter.”  

Freedom of Assembly

The Constitution’s section 60 (1) paragraphs a) and b) indicates that freedom of speech is a sure thing:

“…Every person has the right to freedom of expression, which includes (a) freedom to seek, receive and communicate ideas and other information…” and further, that freedom of expression “…do not include (a) incitement of violence; (b) advocacy of hatred or hate speech; (c) malicious injury to a person’s reputation or dignity; or (d) malicious or unwarranted breach of a person’s right to privacy.”  

Internet Freedom

The Government of Zimbabwe is utilizing suppressive legislation that greatly expands state powers. The diaspora is against internet service providers (ISPs) that appear to be an extension of the government; restricting and/or removing individual’s freedom from interference of their personal email, social media or online activities. When ISP providers comply with government, they appear complicit with it.  

To the citizens of Zimbabwe, and with no approval from the diaspora around the world, Emmerson Mnangagwa has been acting with impunity on our loved ones while making luxury, mega-deal trips to four (4) near-East countries; Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Mega deals whose terms of agreement are done quietly away from the eyes and ears of ordinary Zimbabweans.  

The diaspora is exercising its constitutional rights to free expression, assembly and participation in the future sustainability of Zimbabwe. Mnangagwa is enforcing his insatiable need for power at any cost, obstruction of our constitutional rights with use of excessive force on our family, friends and loved ones back home.  

We, the citizens of Zimbabwe, demand the immediate:  

  1. Zimbabwe Defense Forces retreat and return to the barracks.
  2. Non use of LIVE ammunition for “crowd control.”
  3. Withdrawal of ALL Emmerson Mnangagwa’s delegates participation at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. They must return home, institute, swift, sincere dialogue with opposing ideologies and all stakeholders including the diaspora and diaspora women.
  4. Inclusion of diaspora women, people with disabilities and marginalized groups to be included at every step of the decision-making process. 

This is not the decision of one political party, but rather the Zimbabwe diaspora’s rejection of Emmerson Mnangagwa’s abuse of power, government of impunity and obstruction of the diaspora voice. 

We, the citizens of Zimbabwe, will not allow repressive obstruction of our Constitutional Rights to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, access to information and participation in protests or in any manner whatsoever. Zimbabweans will not be put down by threats of arrest and detention as a means to limit our Constitutional Rights to participate in Zimbabwe’s development. Emmerson Mnangagwa has proven nothing more than that he has failed to lead, failed to listen to the people, failed to unite the country. We prefer that he steps down because the diaspora were disenfranchised at the 30 July 2018 poll. 

He is attempting to silence Zimbabweans. 

The diaspora has a voice; we will act, not abdicate. We act decisively.

"Please Act on this Petition"