Independence Day Message from ROHR Zimbabwe

By Ronald Mureverwi         18th April, 2013

What have we learnt and forgotten at 33?

The news that President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai have agreed to work on the modalities of the next polls is a welcome development. The centres of power in the coalition government, have given a nod to the preparation of a poll road map that will pave way to pegging of the poll date for the next elections. Parliament legally dissolves by 29th of June 2013.

The daily, Newsday of 17/04/2013, reports that Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga have been assigned to prepare the legal political electoral road map. Addressing journalist after the meeting in Harare, Prime Minister Tsvangirai said, “The roadmap will set out the steps needed to validate the new Constitution and create conditions for free and fair elections. The same ministers have been tasked with aligning the existing laws with the new constitution.”

The brokered coalition government has been a bumpy road to navigate for the divergent political players tasked with running government. There is evidence however, of significant national progress that is a result of sensible politics that is bent on achieving national development ahead of narrow partisan interest. How things stand today is never the wish of any one of the political parties involved. Each of them would have handled matters differently had they been left to their own devices, for the better or for the worse.

What stands out clearly among Zimbabweans is that only a few want to be associated with the reign of terror of 2008. There are lessons to be learnt from the dark past never to be revisited again. The COPAC March Referendum is a good example of the building blocks towards a firm foundation that has greater chance of ensuring that ‘things will not fall apart’ in the future.

Conscious of the outstanding reforms necessary to enable administering of a free and fair election: freeing of the media waves, respect for human rights, strengthening of independent commissions, among other important reforms, ROHR Zimbabwe puts it that it is incumbent upon Zimbabweans to put heads together and take heed of the will of God. Those in leadership should be as responsible enough as those who are being led. A peaceful outcome is the broader picture that should determine the way people engage.

As the country commemorates 33 years of independence from colonial rule, it is our hope that it is not just a celebration of lapsing years but a time for seriously introspection on the journey which has left permanent scars and bitter memories for the majority. This is the time to check our compass, whether our actions denote any signs of maturity or evidence of stunted growth and self destruction. As Zimbabwe is on the spot light, this is the best time to exhibit that we have come of age, that the 33 harsh years have taught us a lot and left us in a better position to avoid making repeated and avoidable mistakes.

We are very concerned at the resurgence of political violence and continued persecution of human rights defenders and activists, and we urge those in power who have, over the years, made it their business to persecute and murder innocent Zimbabweans to start respecting the rights and freedoms of people as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Zimbabwe Elections 2013 we are watching campaign – Bradford branch leads the way’, zimbabwe-elections-2013-we-are-watching-campaign-bradford-branch-leads-the-way

27th April, 2013

Having learnt from bitter lessons of the violence and vote rigging that accompanied elections in Zimbabwe in yesteryear, Lorraine Mudjgiwa, the chairperson of ROHR Zimbabwe’s Bradford branch came up with an idea to run a campaign dubbed “Zimbabwe Elections 2013 we are watching”.

The idea is to throw the spotlight on the Zimbabwe elections this year and to lobby the United Nations and individual countries in the international community, including the UK, to get involved in the process of ensuring that the Zimbabwean elections are held in a peaceful and transparent atmosphere and that power is handed to the winner of the Presidential elections. This is as opposed to what happened in the last Presidential elections of 2008 the run up to which was bloody and where it took months on end for the results to be announced. At the end of the day the winner never got into office but rather, on the basis of doctored results, a re-run was ordered.

Having hatched the idea of the campaign, Lorraine Mudjgiwa set down with other members of the Bradford branch’s executive committee, namely Gladys Jinjika (Vice Chairperson),Justice Sibanda (Organizing Secretary), Melusi Sibanda (Information & Publicity Secretary) and Peter Jaure (Secretary) and set about putting the plan into action.  

After going through the formalities with the council, they were allowed to use a venue in Bradford town centre to run the campaign. It was game on from then on and the first of the campaign was launched on 6th April, 2013 with members of National Executive Committee of ROHR Zimbabwe’s UK Chapter Delina Mutyambizi (Deputy Organizing Secretary) and Panyika Karimanzira (Information & Publicity Secretary) officiating.

The second of the campaign, which took place on 20th April, 2013, was a “one lady” event with Lorraine Mudjgiwa going it alone after the other members failed to attend due to pressing commitments elsewhere.

The main thrust of the campaign is to seek signatures from members of the public to a petition to the United Nations seeking their involvement in the Zimbabwean elections situation.

The campaign will be taking place once every two weeks on a Saturday in Bradford Town centre and the dates will be announced in advance from time to time.

There are indications that this initiative will be replicated in other cities, towns and places in the UK where ROHR Zimbabwe has branches, with Lorraine Mudjgiwa, this time in her capacity as regional co-ordinator for the northern region in the National Executive Committee leading in the co-ordination of these campaigns. 

For more information on the campaign please contact: Lorraine Mudjgiwa 07826141885, Gladys Jinjika 07403140034, Peter Jaure 07592128008, Justice Sibanda 07766017624, Melusi Sibanda 07533199872, Delina Mutyambizi 07833787019, Panyika Karimanzira 07538534375 or Paradzai Mapfumo 07429654465 / 07932216070.

For pictures of the first two events so far click here and here.

Inserted by: Panyika Anselm Karimanzira on behalf of ROHR Zimbabwe – UK Chapter, Information & Publicity Department.