Monday, 29 March 2010

Free Zimbabweans United in Voice, Purpose, Peace and Determination
1 Million Zimbabwean Voices Limited,
P O Box 519, Swansea,
SA1 9DA,

Press Statement: 17 March 2010

Re: Planned Demonstration, 17 April 2010

A few months ago, responding to the popular mood among Zimbabweans, a small group of compatriots based in the United Kingdom started a movement called 1 Million Zimbabwean Voices. The basic aim is to gather 1 million Zimbabweans across the world to declare with one voice that the continued slide of our country towards the precipice cannot be countenanced any more, that we cannot be passive any more or seek only to "survive" or ride the tide, but rather we should rise up and claim our destiny. It is regretable that the situation in Zimbabwe has gone to this stage, but it will be even more deplorable if we do not act immediately.

1 Million Zimbabwean Voices is non-political and non-partisan, drawing its membership from all walks of Zimbabwean life, bound by our common belief that Zimbabwe is all we have over and above everything else.

Since its foundation, 1 Million Zimbabwean Voices has grown phenomenally around the world. In the UK, 1 Million Zimbabwean Voices is registered as not-for-profit company for purposes of financial matters, taxation etc. Branches are being established wherever Zimbabweans are to be found.

The 18th of April is Zimbabwe's Independence Day, and 1 Million Zimbabwen Voices is staging a protest near the British Prime Minister's official residence to draw attention to the Southern African nation's plight and to call upon the International Community to support Zimbabweans in our quest to establish our right to free participation in the political process of our country. It was this negation of our right to vote freely that impacted negatively on what was regarded as one of Africa's socio-economic showcases and forced millions of Zimbabweans in to exile. While some Zimbabweans have managed to secure for themselves a decent living and to support those still back home, the fact that none of us actually wanted to be in the countries where we are now has been a festering psychological sore.

Zimbabweans want the right to vote without fear of violence or destruction of property. We want a Government that is subject to the people, and an army and police that are non-political. That is all we have ever wanted, and it is this conflict between the wishes of the Zimbabwean people and the interests of a small group of politicians that has been the root problem in Zimbabwe.

Sister demonstrations have been confirmed in Edinburgh, Scotland, organised by Zimbabwean jazz singer Cynthia Gentle, and in South Africa, organised by 1 Million Zimbabwean Voices South Africa. Demonstrations in other countries are yet to be confirmed. Some celebrities have expressed interest in addressing demonstrators, it being clearly understood that the demonstration is non-political and the appearance of any such personality is not to be construed to mean that they espouse a particular ideology or stand for a political party.

We are calling on Zimbabweans and other people of good will to join us in a show of strength that will send a clear message to the political forces in Zimbabwe (those in power as well as aspirants) that the will of the people cannot be ignored or marginalised any more.

M. Musodza, Publicity & Press Relations Officer