Saturday, December 6, 2008

Statement on the Abduction of Ms Jestina Mukoko, the Director of Zimbabwe Peace Project,

4 December 2008, 2pm

Civil society in Zimbabwe joins Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) in registering its shock and grave concern over the abduction of Ms Jestina Mukoko, the Director of Zimbabwe Peace Project. It is reported that Jestina Mukoko was kidnapped at gunpoint by 15 armed men driving unmarked cars at about 5am on the 3rd of December. One of the vehicles used in the get away was a silver Mazda 323 Familia. Her whereabouts are still unknown.

The Zimbabwe Peace Project is a frontline defender of human rights engaged in monitoring and documenting human rights abuses. This kidnapping is a blunt mockery of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed by Zimbabwean political parties on the 15th of September and shows the extent of the breakdown of the rule of law and insincerity of state authorities in Zimbabwe. This confirms the concern that civil society in Zimbabwe has about the ability of the security services to act in the public interest and in an impartial manner.

We therefore demand the following from the current establishment running the affairs of the state and the guarantors of the 15 September Global Political Agreement: SADC Chairperson His Excellency President Kgalema Motlante and AU Chairperson, His Excellency President Jakaya Kikwete:

1. the immediate and unconditional release of Ms Jestina Mukoko by the state authorities in Zimbabwe
2. the immediate release of human rights defenders who have found themselves under the same predicament
3. an immediate cessation of systematic purges and human rights violations by the current establishment and its security agents on human rights defenders
4. that Zimbabwe observes its duty to respect and protect internationally guaranteed human rights
5. drastic action to ensure that no human rights abuses committed by state authorities and party militias receive any pardons in the future as the trends of violence seems to be escalating
Please find attached a list of organizations which endorsed the statement.

Endorsed by the undersigned

Zimbabwe Peace Project
Human Rights NGO Forum
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
National Constitutional Assembly
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe
Women in Politics Support Unit
National Association for the Care of the Handicapped
Bulawayo Agenda
Combined Harare Residents Association
Zimbabwe Urban Residents Association
Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development
Restoration of Human Rights Zimbabwe
Federation of African Women Media in Zimbabwe
Transparency International Zimbabwe
Nhimbe Trust
Media Institute of Southern Africa
Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust
Zimbabwe Women Resource Centre
Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Women Resource Centre
Savannah Trust
Bulawayo Agenda
Artists for Democracy Zimbabwe Trust
Zimbabwe National Students Union
Women of Zimbabwe Arise
Women’s Coalition
Ecumenical Support Services
Zimbabwe Farmers Union Dev Trust
Build a Better Youth Zimbabwe
Media Monitoring Project in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Students Christian Movement
Media Monitoring Project in Zimbabwe
Build a Better Youth Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe National Students Union
Students Solidarity Trust
International Socialist Organization
Youth Forum
Youth Agenda Trust
Zimbabwe Poets for Human Rights
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
Zimbabwe Doctors’ for Human Rights
Legal Resources Foundation
Zimbabwe Liberators Platform
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace
Counseling Services Unit
Zimbabwe Association of Editors
Community Radio Harare
P.I.R.F Hwange
Zimbabwe Union of Journalists
Zimbabwe Press Clubs Association
Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe
Jesuit Communications
P.I.R.F Bikita
Gweru Press Club

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