On Saturday 20th July 2019 Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe human rights activists from various cities and towns in the UK converged at Motel One, 78 – 82 Oswald Street, Glasgow G1 4PL, Scotland for a meeting and the official launch of the Scotland Branch of the UK Chapter of ROHR Zimbabwe. The meeting was chaired by Panyika Karimanzira (Board member and Spokesperson for ROHR Zimbabwe). It started at 15:00 hrs.
Also, officiating at the meeting was another Board member, Delina Mutyambizi who, together with two other ROHR Zimbabwe members Magadaline Moyo and Estery Dhliwayo had travelled all the way from Manchester to partake in this special event.
The meeting was a culmination of a process, the brainchild of Olivia Chamboko that started with the coming together of members resident in Scotland to form a branch. After a period of caucusing via a bespoke WhatsApp group they then agreed on a date for the official launch of the Scotland branch.
Register of attendance
Olivia Chamboko, Alvina Chibhamu, Vongayi Mufara, Edward Rhappozzoh, Lindah Chenyama, Abigail Chidavayenzi, Sean Chipango, Delina Mutyambizi, Estery Dhliwayo, Magadaline Moyo and Panyika Karimanzira.
Apologies were received from Don Mangisi, Bethuli Makuwe and Margaret Jenkins.
Upon calling the meeting to order at 15:00 hrs Panyika Karimanzira asked for self-introductions before delving into the business of the day. He went on to narrate the history of Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe first before explaining, in detail, the roles and responsibilities of each portfolio (Chairperson, Secretary, Organizing Secretary, Treasurer, Information & Publicity Secretary, Committee Members, Fundraising Committee Members and, where relevant, their deputies). Participants were afforded an opportunity to ask questions or seek further clarification and the Chairperson duly obliged.
Delina Mutyambizi explained, in detail, the role of Organizing Secretary and also took questions from the floor on this topic.
Magadaline Moyo, the LGBT Coordinator, explained the importance of activism, networking and forging alliances with other human rights organizations and social movements, e.g. LIST and LGBT Foundation, both of which are LGBT organisations in Manchester of which she is also a member.
Once everyone had confirmed that they had understood what would be expected of them if they were nominated and accepted a role in the new Branch’s executive committee, the chairperson called for the nomination and election process to start in earnest.
The process was presided over by the two Board members present. The process led to the election of individuals into portfolios. At the end of the process Delina Mutyambizi officially announced the new executive committee of the Scotland Branch of the UK Chapter of Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe as follows;
The new Scotland Branch committee
Chairperson: Olivia Chamboko
Secretary: Alvina Chibhamu
Organizing Secretary: Vongayi Mufara
Treasurer: Abigail Wadzanayi Chidavayenzi
Information & Publicity Secretary: Sean Chipango (acting) with the assistance of Olivia Chamboko
Fundraising Committee Member: Lindah Chenyama
Committee Member: Don Mangisi
Committee Member: Edward Rhappozzoh
After the usual congratulatory civilities and protocols Panyika Karimanzira handed over the chairing of the meeting to the newly elected Chairperson of the Scotland branch committee, Olivia Chamboko to mark the official birth of the branch.
Olivia Chamboko led a robust discussion covering several topics including the potential of the new branch, the recruitment of new members, campaigns, demonstrations, petitions and networking. Everyone in the meeting participated in the ensuing discussion.
Apart from campaigns, demonstrations and petitions, Delina Mutyambizi challenged the new branch to come up with practical ways to further the human rights cause. She gave examples of some of the practical ways in which ROHR Zimbabwe uplifted the lives of the disadvantaged in the past. This included the donation of lingerie to female prisoners in Zimbabwe, the payment of school fees for children from poor backgrounds, the micro-finance project and the ongoing distribution of stationery to needy schools in Zimbabwe.
On campaigns, Delina Mutyambizi proposed that the new branch considers, as part of its programmes, stepping up the campaign for Paul Westwood, a former Zimbabwean businessman whose business was usurped by a prominent ruling party politician in Zimbabwe and who was subsequently hounded into exile by the said Zimbabwean politician. Paul Westwood now lives in Scotland.
Abigail Chidavayenzi described how she had since established contact and rapport with a prominent human rights activist on the ground in Zimbabwe and how the new branch could benefit from this relationship. The meeting agreed to pursue this matter further together with that of potential networking partners mentioned by Sean Chipango.
Vongayi Mufara, Lindah Chenyama and Edward Rhappozoh were upbeat about their new roles and each promised maximum effort in seeing to the success of the new branch.
During her closing remarks, Olivia Chamboko singled out the following members for a special vote of thanks; –
- Sean Chipango for securing the venue of the meeting and for offering to assist the Information & Publicity portfolio.
- Alvina Chibhamu for volunteering to take the minutes of this meeting.
- Delina Mutyambizi and Panyika Karimanzira for mentorship in the run up to the branch launch
- Estery Dhliwayo for the travel logistics of the delegation from Manchester
- The Manchester delegation comprising Delina Mutyambizi, Estery Dhliwayo, Panyika Karimanzira and Magadaline Moyo for travelling all the way to officiate at and support the launch of the new branch.
The meeting ended at 17.15 hrs.
To view pictures taken at the event, click here or follow link below.
By: Information & Publicity Department