BRADFORD BRANCH IS BORN 24th November-2012
By Panyika Karimanzira 25.11.12
Having been a key member of ROHR Zimbabwe’s Liverpool and Manchester branches for years, Lorraine Mudjgiwa, a passionate human rights activist, finally came up with the idea of setting up a branch in her locality, Bradford. She liaised with the National Executive Committee – UK Chapter and other human rights activists, including Gladys Jinjika, Hildah Mpofu and Patrick Gore and set about mobilizing for the launch of ROHR Zimbabwe Bradford branch
Their efforts culminated in the meeting, from 2:00 pm to 6:00pm, at Touchstone, 32 Merton Road, Bradford BD7 1RE where thirteen Zimbabwean human rights activists, namely, Lorraine Mudjgiwa, Gladys Jinjika, Hildah Mpofu, Sibonokuhle Ndlovu, David Ngwenya, Melusi Sibanda, Justice Sibanda, Lyle Mupinda, Delina Mutyambizi, Panyika Karimanzira, Peter Jaure, Norence Johnson and Patrick Gore turned up to partake and witness the historic event.
The National Executive Committee – UK Chapter was represented by its Deputy Organizing Secretary, Delina Mutyambizi, its Secretary for Information & Publicity, Panyika Karimanzira and designate Advocacy team member, Patrick Gore who officiated at the event.
The three representatives of the National Executive committee took turns to outline the history of the organization, membership requirements, aims and objectives, activities on the ground in Zimbabwe, activities in the UK, including the ROHR Zimbabwe vigils as well as the current work being done in Zimbabwe to improve the livelihoods of the disadvantaged sections of the society.
A case in point is the current Activism Against Gender based Violence Fair, taking place at Africa Unity Square, 2nd Street, Harare at which ROHR Zimbabwe is sponsoring some participants, in partnership with FEMPRIST (Female Prisoner Support Trust) and for which donations, however small, are being solicited from ROHR Zimbabwe members, especially in the diaspora.
Attendees at the Bradford Branch launch meeting were afforded a question and answer session. Notable questions came from Norence Johnson, Peter Jaure, Hildah Mpofu and Gladys Jinjika and all were answered to satisfaction by the National Executive Committee representatives.
Members from the Bradford catchment area were then afforded a separate session to elect their branch committee after which the rest of the attendees were called back into the meeting and the results were endorsed and announced by the representatives of the National Executive Committee.
The announcement of the new committee, which signalled the birth of Bradford branch was greeted with jubilation. The committee for the newly born ROHR Zimbabwe Bradford branch is as follows;
Chairperson – Lorraine Mudjgiwa
Secretary – Peter Jaure
Organizing Secretary – Justice Sibanda
Information & Publicity Secretary – Melusi Sibanda
Treasurer – Norence Johnson
Co-ordinator – Gladys Jinjika
Fundraiser – Hildah Mpofu
The National Executive Committee representatives emphasised the fact that it is the attitude of the new committee that will determine the success of the branch and that the NEC and the neighbouring Manchester branch stood available to assist the new branch whenever called upon.
In her maiden speech and closing remarks, the Chairperson of the Bradford Branch Committee, Lorraine Mudjgiwa thanked everyone for making the launch a success and for the solidarity shown by those who had travelled from outside the Bradford Catchment area. She pledged to work hard with her new team to further the human rights cause and to highlight the poor human rights situation in Zimbabwe to the international community. She also promised to seek to establish partnerships with likeminded organizations.
For pictures taken at the event, click here.