ROHR Midlands branch zoom meeting held on Saturday 1st August 2020 – Report
1st August 2020
On Saturday the 1st of August 2020 the Midlands Branch of the UK Chapter of Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe held a zoom meeting. The meeting was chaired by Nicolate Gwati.
Register of attendance
Nicolate Gwati, Lilian Nleya, Laina Murape, Harriet Ndlovu, Alvina Chibhamu, Marian Mangani, Maruwiza Nkhambala, Grace Makoni, Blessing Goronga, Nigel Mbohwa and Thenjiwe Ndlovu
Apologies: Nomagugu Sibanda
Meeting start 14:00hrs
- Two years on from the 1st of August 2018 killings and injuries
- Outcomes of 31st July 2020 demonstrations in Zimbabwe
- Any other business
Nicolate started the meeting by welcoming people and by finding out how everyone was doing in the area where they live.
Two years on from the 1st of August 2018 killings and injuries
Nicolate asked people what we could do as activists to highlight the atrocities that happened in Zimbabwe on the 1st of August 2018 and whether the recommendations that the Motlanthe Commission made to the government in the aftermath were implemented?
- Alvina highlighted that people need to keep on sharing the petition that ROHR did which highlights all the human rights abuses that have occurred since President Mnangagwa came into power in November 2017 to date
- Grace spoke about doing placards with our message and perhaps also doing a demonstration
- Marian also reiterated about doing placards and posting the messages on our social media platforms. She also indicated that the government never provided help to the people who were injured as a result of police and army brutality
- Laina also mentioned that the soldiers who shot the people were never held accountable
- Alvina indicated that we need to call upon the international community to intervene and speak to the Government of Zimbabwe over their failure to uphold the human rights of citizens
- Maruwiza commented that ZANU PF seem to be in denial that they are the killers especially taking into account the press conference that Chinamasa gave in response to the July 31st demonstrations that had been called for
- Nicolate suggested that people do their placards after the meeting highlighting everything that happened on the 1st of August 2018 and all those who were in the meeting were in agreement
Outcomes of 31st July 2020 demonstrations in Zimbabwe
- Nicolate asked people what they observed from the demonstrations that were initiated by citizens on the 31st of July 2020.
- Marian highlighted that people who had used social media to demonstrate spoke about all the things that were not going well in Zimbabwe. She also indicated that as an individual a person can stage their own demonstration
- Harriet commented that at the moment its difficult to sort out the problem that is ZANU PF as they are oppressing people
- Marian also commented that people were intimidated and as such they couldn’t exercise their Constitutional right to demonstrate due to the deployment of the army on the streets
- Thenjiwe commented that she attended a demonstration in George Square in Glasgow but there were only a few Zimbabweans who attended. She also emphasised that people need to work together in order for them to make an impact. She also commented that whilst we are here in England we are privileged in that we can demonstrate without any fear of reprisal from the police but many are not taking advantage of that privilege of being the voice t o the voiceless. She also commented that the people in Zimbabwe are so hungry that their loyalty is easily bought
- Marian also added that people are willing to post articles, but they are not interested in actually standing up against injustice
- Alvina also reiterated what Thenjiwe had mentioned indicating that there had been so much planning and involvement for the Glasgow demonstration but on the actual day of the demonstration only 5 people turned up. She also observed that in these days of zoom there was still limited participation from members which was very disheartening.
- She also indicated that Howard Nyoni who facilitated the demonstration also highlighted that if the demonstration had been a South African thing there would have been loads of people in attendance
- Nicolate added that people had to be aware of what was happening on the ground in Zimbabwe in order to be effective activists. She gave an example of Greta saying that she started off demonstrating alone but because of her consistency she now has a following of millions. She also encouraged that even as individuals, people can still state demonstrations in designated public places
- She also observed that many people who took part in the demonstrations were in very small groups and of those who took part at least 13 people were arrested including Fadzayi Mahere and Tsiti Dangarembga. She also commented that many of the people who were demonstrating were the youth and some even in the rural areas like Chiredzi. It seems as if everyone did what they could to highlight the government’s inefficiencies including posting videos and photos on Facebook, Twitter, etc
Any other business
- Nicolate asked people to think of reliable news sources that others could use to find out what was going on in Zimbabwe in real time and Zimeye, ZLHR, and Bulawayo24 were mentioned.
Before the close of the meeting it was concluded that people would do placards with messages highlighting what had happened on the 1st of August 2018 to mark that anniversary. With all matters of business on the agenda concluded the meeting was closed by Nicolate.
Meeting ended 1550hrs
To view pictures taken at the event, follow the following link;-
By: Information & Publicity Department