Charles Nyoni handed his petition to the Speaker of Parliament earlier on today but has since disappeared, together with three other OAUS members that accompanied him and staged a protest in the House.
Nyoni’s petition, which is backed by 10 other Zimbabweans, is a follow up to the one that was submitted to President Robert Mugabe on October 17, 2014. Since late afternoon, we have been unable to locate the whereabouts of Nyoni, together with Tichaona Danho, Terry Manzini and Shungu Mutize.
MPs that witnessed what transpired in the House have told us that Nyoni interjected from the public gallery and requested for the House’s attention for him to briefly explain his mission and thereafter handed the petition, including copies to the MDC and Zanu PF House leaders. Thereafter, the MPs say, our four members were apprehended. We are making frantic efforts to locate their whereabouts and have enlisted the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
Below is the petition handed to parliament.
Mr. Jacob Mudenda Speaker of Parliament Parliament Building Nelson Mandela Avenue Harare
Cc Honourable Emmerson Mnangagwa Zanu PF Leader in House Parliament Building Nelson Mandela Avenue Harare
Honourable Thokozani Khupe MDC Leader in House Parliament Building Nelson Mandela Avenue Harare
Dear Honourable Speaker
RE: PETITION OVER GOVERNMENT FAILURE
I am a Zimbabwean man, aged 32 years and together with fellow citizens who have signed below hereby follow up on the petition that was submitted to President Robert Mugabe over his government’s failure and demand for it to step down.
On October 17, 2014 Mr. Itai Dzamara submitted a petition to President Mugabe demanding that he should admit and declare failure of his government to deliver in terms of national governance and economic management. The petition further demanded that President Mugabe must step down, together with his government, to pave way for an engagement process involving all national stakeholders and which should create a temporary administration to prepare for fresh, free and fair elections. Hon. Speaker, many Zimbabweans have come up to support those demands and we have been staging protests that include sit-in at the Africa Unity Square right opposite parliament building. Rather than getting the response that was demanded from Mr. Mugabe over the urgent national crisis, we have been subjected to harassment and brutal assaults by state security agents and the police. On several occasions the state authorities violated our constitutional rights by using force and violence to prevent as many as 350 people from staging the peaceful sit-in at the square. On November 6, 2014, a group of more than 20 individuals in police uniform, which was led by an Assistant Inspector Mutemi, brutally assaulted peaceful protesters at the park. Three individuals were seriously injured while Dzamara collapsed three times and had to spend four days admitted in hospital. Human rights lawyer Kennedy Masiye, who had attended to the assaulted civilians, was also brutally assaulted by Assistant Inspector Mutemi and his team. Masiye sustained multiple fractures and a broken hand. In spite of these disproportionate responses to our demands and protests, the national crisis continues to worsen and requires urgent attention. The economy is bleeding from serious levels of deflation, with company closures, capital flight and dis-investment choking the national economy to death. Acute power shortages are emblematic of unmitigated failure, the same as water problems across the country. The health and education sectors are struggling under lack of funding, increased brain drain and very low levels of morale among professionals. Clearly there are no chances nor hope for the failed government of the day to address this multi-faceted-crisis. Mr. Mugabe cannot even justify the credibility of his government’s economic programme. Mr. Speaker, most worryingly, in the face of all these glaring signs of failure, parliament is either quiet or pretending to be existing on a different planet. In the face of barbaric violence, brutal assaults and human rights abuses occurring in broad daylight just across the street, parliament is quiet. Parliament is totally quiet even in the face of blatant revelations of entrenched corruption right at the tip of President Mugabe’s administration and cascading all the way through government structures. Mr. Speaker, this is a huge shame and serious questions should be raised about whether representatives in the House still care about the masses they are supposed to represent and whether parliament is fulfilling its role of providing a check to the power of the executive. Those masses are suffering because of the failure of Mr. Mugabe and his government. Those masses are being subjected to serious violations and abuse by the state, without anyone protecting and safeguarding their rights.
We therefore, Mr. Speaker, submit these demands to parliament: i) That parliament must immediately and urgently attend to the issue of failure by President Mugabe and his government. Members of the House must join the masses in demanding that Mr. Mugabe admits and declares failure, steps down and paves way for engagement of all national stakeholders towards coming up with a new administration that should oversee preparations for fresh, free and fair elections. ii) Parliament must debate and adopt a resolution that commits to protecting the rights of Zimbabweans to protest against the failed administration headed by Mr. Mugabe, as guaranteed in the constitution. iii) To that end, parliament must investigate and bring to book perpetrators of violence and violations, such as Assistant Inspector Mutemi, who led a group that almost killed Dzamara and seriously injured human rights lawyer Masiye on November 6, 2014.
ULTIMATUM Mr Speaker, we demand that the House immediately and urgently attends to the matter of government failure, violations and brutal assaults of peaceful protesters. We demand a response and progress on these urgent issues within seven days. Be advised that we shall exercise our constitutional rights to protest as a way of pushing for these demands we have submitted to the House. We hope that will prioritise our urgent demands.
Charles Nyoni Signature Terry Manzini Tichaona Danho Itai Dzamara Shungu Mutize Dirk Frey Abel Mavura Elvis Mugari Shadreck Dhliwayo Tafadzwa Charumbira Allan Chinewaita Jerry Mugwenhi