29th February 2020

On Saturday the 29th February 2020, the North Branch of the UK Chapter of Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe held a meeting at Salvation Army, 167 Church Street, Eccles, Manchester M30 0LU.
The meeting was co-chaired by Karen Nhakaniso and Farai Nhakaniso.

Register of Attendance
Farai Nhakaniso, Karen Nhakaniso, Magadaline Moyo, Estery Dhliwayo, Petronella Mahachi, Pauline Makuwere, Delina Mutyambizi, Panyika Karimanzira, Tsungirirai Kahiya, Musawenkosi Dladla, Phylis Chibanguza, Nicolate Gwati and Paradzai Mapfumo.
Apologies were received from Silvanos Mudzvova and Vengai Mutsawu

1. Updates from the Board of Trustees
2. Updates on UK Chapter
3. Updates on Zimbabwe
4. Election of new Branch Committee for North Branch
5. Interactive Session – including Questions & Answers and suggestions
6. Any other business

Meeting start 15:36 hrs
Former Chair lady, Karen Nhakaniso opened the meeting by welcoming all to the meeting and noted that this was after a long hiatus from branch activity.

Updates from the Board of Trustees by Panyika Karimanzira, Paradzai Mapfumo and Delina Mutyambizi
Firstly, we would like to welcome back Pauline Makuwere, a vanguard of ROHR from its early days and through its turbulent Tapa saga. As a branch we need to be consistent and take inspiration from the history of our branch. This branch was the one branch that stood up to Tapa and stayed focused throughout those times. This branch was a vigorous branch and it should remain that way. If the branch remains consistent then this will also allow for it to grow to its former self and continue the fight for human rights in Zimbabwe.
During the latter half of 2019, there were some issues at the Board of Trustees level. The former Board Chairperson was interfering with the operations of the UK Chapter and ordered that the UK based Board members stop working with the Executive Committee of the UK Chapter. Apparently she did not realize this was not feasible without making the UK Chapter dysfunctional. This was because she was out of touch with the day to day affairs of the organization. The UK chapter became dysfunctional. The rest of the Board members were unhappy with this and the general functioning of the board. A vote of no confidence motion was moved. It gave the former chairperson the option to resign or to risk being removed by a resolution of the Board of Trustees. The former chairperson chose to resign, and the Vice Chairperson followed suit. A new board was then appointed with Paradzai Mapfumo as chairperson, Delina Mutyambizi as Treasurer, Panyika Karimanzira as Spokesperson and Edgar Chikuvire as Secretary. The board has been streamlined and we will be looking to replenish the ranks.

The Board is also looking to address issues to do with the organisation’s policy documents that are still pending. The Board will need to make amendments to the Deed of Trust & Donation, the constitution and other relevant policy documents. The Board will look to be involving all the members in amending and creating the documentation. ROHR will also be looking to address the registration of the organisation as a Charity or Charitable Incorporated Organization (CIO) so the organisation can expand its operations. The members will play an active part in that process.

The meeting suggested the rebranding of ROHR as the name ROHR was soiled by some scandals (e.g. the Ephraim Tapa saga). This would entail the realignment of policies and documents to the true aims and objectives of ROHR. This may open up the organisation to grants and funding that can be accessed at branch level. This will be discussed at the next meeting so members can give their opinions and suggestions and national executive can address these and implement as seen fit.

The Branch and National Executive Committees will be lean and only have core portfolios as we rebuild the organisation and grow. Lean committees will allow for better efficiency and better functioning of the branches. Lean committees will allow for quorums to be met easily, better meetings and better organising.  The branch and organisation will be built from that.

Updates on UK Chapter by Panyika Karimanzira, Paradzai Mapfumo, Delina Mutyambizi, Nicolate Gwati and Tsungirirai Kahiya

Summary of branches:
1. Midlands Branch – Thriving and keeping the flag flying
2. Scotland Branch – Opened in August and doing great work with small numbers
3. North Branch – Reinvigorate the branch
4. South Branch – inactive and we will soon be going there to re-open branch.

Ongoing Campaigns
There are several ongoing campaigns at ROHR, and these are:
#Restore Don’t Ignore Campaign, #Meet Your MP Campaign, #No to Miscarriage of Justice Campaign, #No to Police Brutality Campaign and Zim #Lives Matter Campaign,
Any member in the organisation can participate in any campaign and members are encouraged to do so.

Updates on Zimbabwe by Panyika Karimanzira
Despite the ED Mnangagwa government’s claims of being tolerant and democratic, Zimbabwe remains a difficult and dangerous place to live for human rights and political activists. ED Mnagngagwa’s government has proved to be more brutal than the Mugabe regime. As an organisation, ROHR Zimbabwe has been forced to temporarily close our Head Office in Harare for the safety of our members and staff. Our members and staff are operating from home for now. We now have only one Zimbabwe based Board Member and he is based in Bulawayo. We continue to work with other organisations and human rights activists. We are keeping a low profile until it is safe to be fully visible again. Our human rights work continues underground nevertheless.

Election of new Branch Committee for North Branch
The meeting took the route of self-nomination. Members were encouraged to volunteer and self-nominate according to their capabilities and availability to carry out the work expected of their respective portfolios. After due process overseen by members of the UK Chapter Executive Committee Secretary, Nicolate Gwati and the members of the Board of Trustees present, the following members assumed office with immediate effect with a 6 month tenure;-
Chairperson – Farai Nhakaniso,
Secretary – Karen Nhakaniso
Information & Publicity Secretary – Petronella Mahachi
Organizing Secretary – Pauline Makuwere
Treasurer – Estery Dhliwayo
Fundraiser – Magadaline Moyo

The meeting agreed future meetings dates as every 2nd Saturday of the month as was the case when the branch was last active. This allowed members to visit other branches or attend national events during other weekends.

The meeting also agreed that today’s venue becomes the default venue for all our future North Branch meetings until further notice.  This is because The Salvation Army, Eccles, Manchester is a good venue that has good access to transportation links. The venue also accepts donations as they are aware of the fact that our membership included refugees and asylum seekers who had no source of income. The members agreed that this was an ideal venue. Delina Mutyambizi will speak to the Head Officer of this Salvation Army branch to book the hall for coming months.

Interactive Session – including Questions & Answers and suggestions There was also a lively question and answer session during which everyone present contributed to the ensuing discourse covering a wide range of topics, including ROHR Zimbabwe’s ongoing involvement with and impact on the activities on the ground in Zimbabwe
Next meeting was thus slated for 14/03/2020.

Any other business
Vote of thanks – by Farai Nhakaniso
We would firstly like to thank Nicolate Gwati and Panyika Karimanzira for conducting an orderly election of the new committee. We hope to continue raising the ROHR flag high.
We would like to thank Mr Paradzai Mapfumo and members of his Board for attending and supporting North Branch.
We would also like to thank Nicolate Gwati and other members of the National Executive that have shown their support and attended today.
We would like to thank members of other branches, namely Musawenkosi Dladla, Phylis Chibanguza and Tsungirirai Kahiya who have also joined us today.
Thank you also to all that brought food and drink for all to eat at the meeting today.
May we continue to see this form of attendance going forward.

All agenda items and any other business having been exhausted, Farai Nhakaniso declared the meeting closed at 17:40 hrs.

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

By: Information & Publicity Department