09 May 2017
ROHR Zimbabwe Midlands Branch Meeting 06th May, 2017 Report
On Saturday 06th of May 2017, Restoration of Human Rights Zimbabwe met at the ‘Monty Hind Youth Club, Leengate, Nottingham, NG7 2LX,’ for the ROHR Zimbabwe UK Chapter’s Midlands Branch, monthly meeting. In attendance to support the branch chairperson, Tsungirirayi Kahiya and her committee, were; Panyika Karimanzira (ROHR Zimbabwe International Spokesperson), Paradzai Mapfumo (ROHR Zimbabwe International Coordinator) and Grace Mupfurutsa (one of the founding members for ROHR Zimbabwe), all 3 are members of the ROHR Zimbabwe’s Board of Trustees.
Midlands Branch Committee:
Chairperson: Tsungirirai Kahiya
Vice Chairperson: Olive Ruvimbo Ruzvidzo
Secretary: Nicolate Gwati
Organising Secretary: Lungile Dlodlo
Treasurer: Grace Makoni
Information & Publicity Secretary: Chinofunga Ndoga
Deputy Information & Publicity Secretary: Agnes Magumbe
Fundraising Committee Member: Lovemore Patrick Mzondo
The meeting started at 13:30hrs.
The chairperson, welcomed everyone and read out the agenda for the meeting. On the main points on the agenda for the meeting centred around membership drive for the Midlands Branch. The meeting was to discuss ways of how to engage the Midlands Region communities with the aim of raising awareness and increasing membership.
Panyika Karimanzira was given the chance to educate current and new members present at the meeting on what it means to be an activist and how each of them present at the meeting can participate in activities here in the UK that contribute directly to the efforts that ROHR Zimbabwe play on the ground in Zimbabwe to address the Human Rights violations carried out by the current government of Zimbabwe.
It’s worth mentioning in this report, a question was put to the Board of Trustees, if whether ROHR undertakes any Humanitarian work in Zimbabwe. Paradzai Mapfumo and Panyika Karimanzira confirmed and citied efforts that ROHR Zimbabwe has taken in performing Humanitarian work in Zimbabwe. The recent donation of stationary equipment to the Jairos Jiri Orphanage in Harare and the provision of lingerie to females in prisons in Zimbabwe. It was added that; ROHR Zimbabwe would like to do more to assist the under privileged in our country of our birth but financial constraints as an organisation prevent us from undertaking more humanitarian work in Zimbabwe as most of our funding is reliant on subscriptions from members. Efforts to engage funding from donors here in the UK are in progress and looking very promising. Other than just the financial constraints, ROHR Zimbabwe has also faced challenges from the ruling Zanu PF regime, at one point added Panyika Karimanzira, “ROHR Zimbabwe had been banned from undertaking any humanitarian work in Masvingo by one Maluleko of Zanu PF.”
Grace Mupfurutsa also addressed those gathered, focusing on also giving a historical account of how ROHR Zimbabwe came about to be founded back in 2007. She asked everyone what they are willing to sacrifice and what they have sacrificed by joining ROHR Zimbabwe. Being an activists is a fulltime job and we should stay focused as we need to speak for those that are facing a situation, on a daily basis, whereby their human rights are being violated.
Invited guest speaker, an activist and lawyer Pardon Tapfumaneyi also addressed the meeting, covering his area of expertise on the legal implications of being a human rights activist. He spoke about Stendrick Zvorwadza and Evan Mawarire’s efforts on the ground and how we should be motivated by such public persons that stand up for what is, ‘the right thing to do to improve the lives of those around us.’
Towards the end of the meeting before a lively Question & Answer session, Delina Mutyambizi (Organising Secretary of ROHR Zimbabwe UK Chapter Steering Committee) spoke about her anger and pain at the Zimbabwean situation especially in the tobacco industry where the Zanu PF government is abusing the rights of tobacco farmers and their families who many are being made to live in poverty. She stated that as ROHR Zimbabwe members living outside Zimbabwe we can make a difference in all the areas that are affecting Zimbabwe. She appealed to all Zimbabweans saying that we need to fight so that we can have a better Zimbabwe and also for us to have a spirit of togetherness. She also encouraged us to speak to our children about our history and our country – explaining to them why we are activists.
Following on after all the speakers, there was an open floor discussion reference initiatives that can be done by the branch to raise awareness within the Midlands about the Human Rights violations that are happening in Zimbabwe and also on how to engage other Zimbabweans as well as friends of Zimbabwe to register as members of ROHR Zimbabwe.
Register of attendance:
The following people entered their details in the register of attendance;-
Nicolate Gwati, Marian Mangani, Lilian T Ndleya, Tsungirirayi Kahiya, Gamuchirai M Phiri, Judith Phiri, Olivia Chamboko, Pardon Tapfumaneyi, Kudakwashe Utshwaya, Mary Chabvemuperu, Grace Makoni, Olive Ruvimbo Ruzvidzo, Panyika Karimanzira, Mervin Chidarikire, Paradzai Mapfumo, Patrick Lovemore Mzondo, Kingdom Mvumi, Delina Mutyambizi, Lorraine Zakeyo, Kuziwa Mafaro, Grace Mupfurutsa, Bev Maso, Atoba fata, Alfred Savage
There are others that opted not to register, citing security related reasons.
The meeting adjourned at 16:15hrs
There was a fundraising family barbeque organised by the ROHR Zimbabwe Midlands Branch that started after the meeting which ended at 21:00hrs. This was a fundraising initiative which also provided the perfect setting for further discussions amongst the members to share ideas.
To view pictures taken at the event follow link below. https://www.flickr.com/photos/rohr_zimbabwe__manchester/albums/72157681438577001
Secretary ROHR Zimbabwe UK Chapter Midlands Branch