Friday, December 02, 2005

Police Crush World AIDS Day March in Zimbabwe

In an act of outrageous callousness and barbarity the Zimbabwe Republic Police descended on yesterday’s World Aids Day march and ordered the marchers to disperse, just hours after the regime's president, Mugabe, vowed to keep the promise. Five of the organisers of the protest are in police custody since midday Thursday. These are Munyaradzi Gwisai of ISO, Mao Nyikadzino (NCA), Sostain Moyo of Zimbabwe Activists Against Aids), and Anna and Gladys from the Women Aids Support Network (WASN)

The police had given clearance for the World Aids Day march and the gathering in the Africa Unity Square. They then suddenly turned around, outlawed the procession and arrested people. This is clearly a matter of setting up a trap and waylaying people on the way.

The success of yesterday’s action is very inspiring. Hundreds of us marched on the streets of Harare singing and raising our banners for over 30 minutes. People carried banners demanding access to ARVs and demands from the Action Against Poverty. These included living wage for workers, fuel, affordable sanitary pads and baby milk and reduction of taxation. People were also calling for transparency on the AIDS levy to which workers painfully contribute but some heartless regime bureaucrats are looting. There was also significant presence of NCA activists calling for a new people driven constitution.

Lawyers from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights are busy trying to get the arrested comrades released. We are asking cdes to bombard the police station with calls and faxes demanding the release of those in police custody.

Harare Central Police Station
Phone: (+263 4) 733033, 721212, 736931, 725903
Minister of Home Affairs
Phone: (+263-4)723635, 703642, 703644

ISO Zimbabwe
(+263-91)719717, (+263-91)908847, (263-4) 704209