10th July, 2016

ROHR Zimbabwe General Meeting – Manchester, Saturday 9th July, 2016 Report

On Saturday 9th July, 2016 UK based Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe human rights activists converged at Holy Cross Hall, Aldred Street, Eccles M30 8QD, Manchester, for a general meeting which started at 14:00 hrs.

Attendees included Thobekile S. Gumbo, Egster Chemusora, Letwin Gidgi, Nophrigious Kasirori, Pythias Makonese, Chipiwa Stella Makaranga, Grace Makoni, Karen Nhakaniso, Mary Nyarai Muteyerwa, David Kadzutu, George Shambela, Lorraine Mudjgiwa, Peter Sidindi, Delina Mutyambizi, Phylis Chibanguza, Panyika Karimanzira, Paradzai Mapfumo, Isheanesu Mutyambizi and Chris Deda.

Apologies were received from Petronella Mahachi, Artwell Pfende, Mavu Chinyani and Irene Kamdefwele.

The meeting started at 14:00 hrs. It was co-chaired by two members of the Board of Trustees, Panyika Anselm Karimanzira (International Spokesperson) and Paradzai Mapfumo (International Director). Karen Nhakaniso took the minutes.

Panyika Karimanzira gave a detailed history of ROHR Zimbabwe right from the very beginning in March 2007 up to date highlighting such milestones as the registration of the organization with the Registrar of Deeds in Harare on 30th August 2007 and the expulsion of three Board members, namely Ephraim Tapa, Tichanzii Gandanga and Ray Muzenda from ROHR Zimbabwe in July 2011 for theft and misappropriation of the organization’s funds and asserts.

He also briefed the meeting on the current programmes which ROHR Zimbabwe was embarking on in Zimbabwe. These included the Basic Education Assistance Programme (BEAP) under which ROHR Zimbabwe had so far distributed pens and stationary to Dungwiza Primary School in St Marys’, Chitungwiza and Jairos Jiri in Harare with many more schools as far afield as Binga, Mutoko and Inyanga having so far been identified among potential pending beneficiaries

Paradzai Mapfumo dwelt on the essence of activism, the evolution of the UK Chapter of ROHR Zimbabwe, its branch network as well as the structure of ROHR Zimbabwe starting from the Board of Trustees right down to the branches and how the various committees fitted in the mix. He also spoke about the future plans of the organization.

Panyika Karimanzira and Paradzai Mapfumo also led a robust discussion on the various international human rights instruments, dwelling mainly on the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the AU’s African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (The Banjul Charter). There were thought provoking contributions from everyone in the meeting on this item especially in the context of the poor human rights situation in Africa in general and in Zimbabwe in particular.

The meeting then moved on to the main agenda item of the day, which was the setting up of a steering committee to run the affairs of the UK Chapter of ROHR Zimbabwe. This was due to the incumbent members of the UK Chapter’s National Executive Committee having either moved on to other roles within the organization or to pursue studies and other family related challenges that often come with attaining an immigrant’s attaining of a status in the UK. This steering committee would evolve into a substantive National Executive Committee in due course subject to the filling up of all key posts, the mentoring of portfolio holders and satisfactory performance.

The election was preceded by a contribution by Delina Mutyambizi who also happened to be the convenor of the meeting. She chronicled the evolution of the Manchester branch from around early 2010 and how it had evolved into the flagship of ROHR Zimbabwe’s UK Chapter in a short space of time and how it had maintained that status up to today.

The meeting elected the following members into the new steering committee;-

George Shambela – Chairperson, Grace Makoni – Secretary, Egster Chemusora – Organizing Secretary, Mary Muteyerwa – Treasurer, Panyika Karimanzira – Information & Publicity (to act until suitable candidate has been identified), Chris Deda – Committee Member, Karen Nhakaniso – Committee Member, Thobekile Gumbo – Committee Member.

There was jubilation upon the confirmation of the new steering committee.

Next on the agenda was a presentation by David Kadzutu and Peter Sidindi the Secretary General and Chairperson of MaZimbabweans Yes We Can (MZYWCAN) respectively. The duo outlined the history of their organization, its vision, its aims and objectives and how they sought to work with ROHR Zimbabwe in pursuit of the human rights agenda. They also invited members present to join their organization and went on to outline the membership process. They indicated how they were on a recruitment drive and how they intended to establish a branch in Manchester in the near future.

After this, there was a lively question and answer session during which everyone present contributed to the ensuing debate on a wide range of topics, including ROHR Zimbabwe’s ongoing involvement with and impact on the activities on the ground in Zimbabwe.

The meeting ended at a around 17:10 hrs all agenda items and AOB having been exhausted.

To view pictures taken at the event, click here or follow link below.


By: Information & Publicity Department

Cover picture:-