By Samuel Mangoma, Programmes Officer     21st May, 2014

ROHR ZIMBABWE held its inaugural Risk Management workshop on the 19th of May in partnership with the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR). The workshop which was targeting ROHR Zimbabwe’s board of trustees, technical staff and one provincial representative was held against the backdrop of renewed efforts to resuscitate ROHR Zimbabwe’s activities and programmes as a civic society organisation after more than three years of limited action in the Zimbabwean chapter. Among other issues, the workshop managed to tackle the following items on the agenda:
•               Definition of risk management
•               Strategies of minimising risk
•               Manifestation of risk
•               Office security
•               Management of information
•               Security life cycle
•               Risk management process
•               ROHR Zimbabwe stakeholders analysis
•               The role of the government
•               The risks faced by Human Rights defenders before, during and after the Government of National Unity (GNU) era
•               Digital management
•               An analysis of ROHR Zimbabwe’s Threats, Capabilities and Vulnerabilities

Strategic Interventions
The strategic intervention is informed by the emerging security gaps at the low levels of the organisation. In addition to the one that was held on the 19th of May ROHR ZIMBABWE seeks to convene another two day risk management workshop that will be facilitated by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
The workshop’s Chief Facilitator was Mrs Agnes Mzondo from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights assisted by the organisation’s Chief Human Rights Lawyer Advocate Jeremiah Mutongi Bhamu

§ Development of a risk management plan that speaks to each district’s unique needs.
§ Development of a shared security strategy
§ Enhanced knowledge of the ROHR ZIMBABWE values, operational frameworks and systems and procedures.
§ Establishment of effective networks and linkages within the civic society constituency
§ Enhanced Coordination, collaboration and information sharing within the ROHR ZIMBABWE
§ Development of a shared vision, mission and team spirit within the new leadership of the ROHR ZIMBABWE both at the BOT and technical levels

The security challenges that were faced by human rights defenders in Zimbabwe before the GNU came to existence have significantly changed. In the same vein, the operating terrain has also ushered in a new dispensation and these calls for the crafting of new strategies and tactics of dealing with issues of security. Most of ROHR Zimbabwe’s work is done in communities, it is therefore crucial to ensure that security trainings cascades to the lower levels of the organisation where the real work is done. The trainings will go a long way in placing the entire organisation at the same level of security and risk appreciation

ROHR Zimbabwe Combined Manchester & Liverpool Branches Meeting Saturday 12th July, 2014 Report

On Saturday 12th July, 2014 Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe human rights activists from Manchester, Rochdale, Bolton, Liverpool, Darwen, Crewe and Stoke-on-Trent in the UK converged at Salford University (Room A213, Allerton Building), in Manchester for a meeting of the combined Manchester & Liverpool Branches which started at 2:00 pm.

Attendees included Pythias Makonese (Chairperson and from Crewe) as well as activists Chipiwa Stella Makaranga (Activist 1), Mavu Chinyani (Vice Chairperson and from Darwen), Petronella Mahachi (Secretary and from Liverpool), Sithembiso Sibanda (from Stoke-on-Trent), David Ngwenya (Treasurer and from Bolton), William Shoriwa (Organizing Secretary), Tichapondwa Shoriwa and Ruth Chitsanzo Goba.

Apologies were received from Paradzai Mapfumo (a member of the Board of Trustees), Pamela Dunduru (Chairperson – UK Chapter), Delina Mutyambizi (Treasurer in the National Executive Committee – UK Chapter), Lorraine Mudyiwa (Co-ordinator – North – UK Chapter), Phyllis Chibanguza Co-ordinator – UK Chapter), Eve Mwadiwa, Kelly Muranganwa, Susan Ndlovu, Chris Deda and Artwell Pfende.

The meeting was also attended by a member of the Board of Trustees, namely Panyika Anselm Karimanzira (International Spokesperson) who updated the meeting on current human rights situation in Zimbabwe as well as the activities of ROHR Zimbabwe on the ground in Zimbabwe and also in South Africa and the UK. He also updated the meeting on a judgement by the High Court in May in which a policy of the UKBA on discretionary leave was ruled unlawful. The case in point is R(SH and others) v SSHD [2013] EWHC 1144 (Admin). He also updated the meeting on recent changes in the Immigration Rules in the UK as announced in a statement of changes by James Brokenshire MP(also see actual statement in pdf format) as well as the negative Court of Appeal outcome in a test case challenging the minimum income threshold for spouses wishing to enter the United Kingdom i.e. MM vs Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 985. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was discussed in considerable detail and so were the Aims & Objectives of ROHR Zimbabwe. This was in line with the ongoing theme “Who is a human rights activist”.

The meeting was interactive with everyone participating in the proceedings. The issue of the way forward for the Manchester & Liverpool Branch in its ever-important role of providing material and intellectual resources to the people on the ground in Zimbabwe was revisited and deliberated upon. Also discussed were the potential themes and subjects for the branch’s next batch of petitions and the targeted audience and modalities for same.

There was also 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 then proceeded to elect Mr Sithembiso Sibanda as the substantive Deputy Secretary and Ms Ruth Chitsanzo Goba as Fundraiser 3, both in the Manchester & Liverpool Branch Committee. The resultant substantive Branch Committee is as follows;- Chairperson:- Pythias Makonese, Vice Chairperson:- Mavu Chinyani, Secretary:- Petronella Mahachi, Vice Secretary:- Sithembiso Sibanda, Organizing Secretary:- William Shoriwa, Deputy Organizing Secretary:- Vacant, Information & Publicity Secretary:- Vacant (Panyika Karimanzira to act), Deputy Information & Publicity Secretary:- Vacant, Fundraiser 1:- Chris Deda, Fundraiser 2:- Mishell Chirunga, Fundraiser 3:- Ruth Chitsanzo Goba, Activist 1:- Chipiwa Stella Makaranga Activist 2:- Hedwig Tabikira, Activist 3:- Artwell Pfende. Delina Mutyambizi would act as Deputy Organizing Secretary.

The meeting reaffirmed the new committee’s immediate task as being that of steering the revitalization of the two branches and the resumption of the Manchester and Liverpool Vigils and petitions. The meeting also set an annual calendar of events and meetings for the branch whereby there will be a branch activity (either meeting or vigil) every second Saturday of every month.

The meeting ended at a around 4:00 pm.

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

By: Panyika Karimanzira – Information & Publicity Secretary