29th August 2021
On Saturday 28th August 2021, the Scotland Branch of the UK Chapter of Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe held a meeting via zoom. Olivia Chamboko (Vice Branch Chairperson) chaired the meeting.
The minutes were taken by Olivia Chamboko and compiled by Alvina Chibhamu
Register of attendance
Alvina Chibhamu, Olivia Chamboko, Harriet Ndlovu, Edneth Mutengwa, Vongayi Mufara, Thenjiwe Ndlovu, Linda Mafu, Collen Ndlovu, Lilie Khanye, Malvern Dengu
Apologies: – No apologies were received.
- Welcome remarks and apologies (Olivia)
- Branch Secretary- Meeting Minutes (Alvina)
- Update on Human Rights violations in Zimbabwe-August (Harriet & Alvina)
- ED Mnangagwa’s visit to the UK (Vongayi)
- Child marriage Campaign (Harriet)
- Any other business
Alvina welcomed all guests and acknowledged new members. She explained basic rules of our constitution. Visiting members from other branches also introduced themselves and their respective branches. She then handed the meeting over to the meeting chair- Olivia Chamboko.
Alvina called for seconding of minutes of our last branch meeting held on 31st July 2021. They were approved by all present and were adopted as a true record.
Matters arising from previous meeting
Alvina cited no pending issues from previous meeting.
Updates on human rights violations (HRV’s) in Zimbabwe
Olivia called upon Harriet and Alvina to report their findings of the HRV’s for the month of August and they reported the following:
– 4th Aug- 14yr old girl, Anna Machaya died giving birth in Bocha, Mutare at a Johanne Marange shrine. She was denied medical help as her church does not allow members to get hospital treatment. She was impregnated by her 26yrs old after having been forced to drop out of school and to marry him. These paedophiles are hiding behind religion. President ED Mnangagwa attends this same cultic organisation-Johanne Marange.
– 8thAug– The government is busy planning to build a mausoleum for late dictator- Robert Mugabe, which will cost thousands of dollars, whilst the country wallows in poverty.
– Whilst giving birth in a Shurugwi hospital, a 15 year old girl reported to the midwife and her mother that she had been raped by her father. Said father is 34yrs old.
– 11th Aug- Self styled traditional healer by the name of Tsikamatanda, has been sexually abusing under age girls. This man operates from Maranda, Matara and Chiredzama villages in Zaka. He forces villagers to pay him for witchcraft cleansing ceremonies. If there is no money he demands sex from their under age girls. It is also said he dupes villagers of their livestock such that he now employs 6 herd boys to look after his stock. The villagers are crying for help to the police, and no help is coming.
– 19thAug-The money that ED Mnangagwa used to buy 4×4 vehicles for his buddies with taxpayer’s money could have been invested in transport for citizens. Instead, citizens are enduring untold woes and are suffering great indignity just to go to and from work due to lack of public transport.
– 23rdAug- Lupane: School authorities of Fatima High withholding O” & “A” Level examination results for Wellington Nyoni (2015 & 2017 respectively) & “O” Level examination results for Sithembinkosi Ndlovu (2016 exams) claiming their parent Francisca Ncube & guardian Lochi Stephen Ndlovu, who are liberation war veterans had not paid-up fees while the fees were being paid by the government at the time. Upon being engaged by ZLHR school head B Moyo claimed not to be aware of the situation and requested to have both students come to see him personally to resolve the issue.
– 25thAug- persecution continues for pro- democracy campaigners Namatai Kwekweza and Vimbai Zimudzi as they once again stand for trial with charges of promoting public violence. They were arrested in 2020 while they waited to hand in a petition to Justice Minister Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi protesting against the government for not holding public hearings into proposed amendments to the Constitution.
– 26thAug- dams reportedly under threat in Bulawayo because of the rampant illegal gold panning taking place in the catchment area of our dams. This is a major threat to Bulawayo & Zimbabwe. Why aren’t the police there arresting people to bring this to an end?
– 26thAug- In Buhera, ZANU-PF convened an illegal gathering and held a rally which violates the COVID-19 regulations. The police ignored this evidence- no arrests were made.
ED Mnangagwa’s visit to the UK
Vongayi reminded everyone that ROHR Zimbabwe UK Chapter was running the campaign #NoToEDVisitToUK and encouraged all members to participate. We are in the process of finding out if ED Mnangagwa would be allowed to visit the UK for the Climate change conference. Suggestions were put forward that we should start campaigns to hinder his coming here as he has grave human rights abuses to answer for and should not be allowed audience with UK and other world leaders. In the event that he manages to come to Glasgow, then we also need all hands-on deck to ensure the Zimbabwean diaspora inthe UK turn up in their numbers to express their displeasure with his regime, governance, zero human rights and environmental record, among other atrocities to his name. To continue discussions in-house as Scotland will be the host branch of all ROHR wider membership.
Child Marriages Campaign
Following the Human Rights violations report on the death 14-year-old Anna Machaya during childbirth at a shrine in Bocha, Mutare, Harriet suggested to the Scotland branch to start a campaign on child marriages. The deceased case is that of a minor who was denied access to medical care. Her life could have been saved had she been taken to hospital. The Johanne Marange church is indoctrinated to the extent of watching a child die while they continue to chant, speak in tongues and beating their trumpets. The fact that she had become pregnant is the result of a criminal offence after all since she was still a minor.
Alvina added that sadly in Zimbabwe, tradition, religion and poverty are the fundamental reasons for child marriages. Johanne Marange is one of the leading indigenous churches with a large following. They mix Christianity with traditional beliefs. But they have been found wanting; guilty of taking and justifying child brides, polygamous marriages etc. Children as young as 9 years old are married off- exposing them to sexual and reproductive health complications, at high risk of death to themselves and their newborn babies due to physiological immaturity. Child brides are prone to inequality, domestic violence and lack choice about their sexual, reproductive and developmental rights -all clear violations of their human rights.
Vongayi also commented that due to the large following of the Johanne Marange sect, ED Mnangagwa seems to be silent so as to secure votes for the 2023 elections, which is a crying shame. No belief or form of religion is ever an excuse for subjecting girls to any form of violence. The law needs to protect us from being victims.
The branch resolved to research other cases of child marriages, collect stats and legislation on child marriages for this campaign. We agreed on two hashtags for the campaign; #NoToChildMarriages and #JusticeForAnnaMachaya
Once the campaign kicks off, we are to invite the rest of the wider ROHR membership to participate in the campaign.
Harriet reminded everyone of the need to keep up with our monthly subscriptions.
Olivia announced that the date of the next branch meeting is 25th September 2021.
All agenda items and any other business having been exhausted, Harriet thanked everyone for attending and declared the meeting closed at 1530hrs.
To view pictures taken at the event, follow this link.
By: Information & Publicity Department