15th August 2021
On Saturday 14th of August, the North Branch of the UK Chapter of Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe held their monthly meeting over zoom. The meeting started at 1400hrs. The meeting was chaired by Nontokozo Malaba Ncube (Branch Vice Chairperson).
Minutes were recorded by Karen Nhakaniso (Branch Secretary).
Register of Attendance:
Nontokozo Malaba Ncube, Emma Josaya, Laina Murape, Thabani Muleya, Vongayi Mufara, Estery Dhliwayo, Shamiso Bhobho, Karen Nhakaniso
Vengai Mutsawu (Branch Chairperson) – he has been in hospital and is recuperating at home.
- Feedback from Treasury
- Current Deportations
- Current affairs in Zimbabwe
Feedback from Treasury on freight forwarder
The meeting started with Nontokozo giving feedback to the branch on their fundraising project. We have received 6×300 PPE, 2000 surgical masks and 12 bottles of sanitizers. The aim is to send these items to Harare Hospital to assist during the pandemic. Estery donated these and they are at the Chairperson’s house. Our Treasurer Omega was to give us a feedback from the freight forwarder tasked with the shipment. Unfortunately, treasurer is at work. We are still appealing for more funds as we now have less than £100 in our account as of today.
Our last campaign was #StopDemolitions. This is an ongoing campaign. We have yet to have people come forward. We encourage people to send us their representations so we can compile our posts for this.
There has been a lot happening with the deportations and the national campaigns that have been happening.
Right now we have the campaign against the impending Emmerson Mnangangwa visit to the United Kingdom to attend the COP26 summit in Glasgow. This is a national campaign. Vongayi Mufara advised that branches are encouraged to strategise what they want to do as a branch.
As a branch we should raise our voices to highlight how the UK is welcoming a man with many atrocities that he has committed. Vongayi advised that there is a suggestion from Delina Mutyambizi for ROHR to hold a three day demonstration even at the hotel that Mnangangwa will be staying. Let us raise our voices even prior to the visit so people know that this man is coming. There has also been news of an Energy company based in the UK that has been granted the Beira-Harare pipeline deal. It is suspected that this company is linked to Mnangangwa and this is another scheme to siphon funds from the public coffers.
Karen made a suggestion that as North we do a campaign that supports the executives plan to hold a demonstration. If possible what if we do pictorial posters that highlight the atrocities that are attributed to Mnangangwa and why he should not be allowed in the country. As the branch let’s highlight the president’s human rights violations so we call the UK government to order as they seem to be supporting a criminal. So let’s ask our branch members to choose pictures and then we make noise on online platforms about this. Nontokozo suggested naming the campaign: #SayNoToEDVisit
We are seeing the UK deporting criminals back to Zimbabwe. We know that this is a rouse and these individuals are not safe. The next flight is said to be on the 25th of August 2021. What we are hearing is that it is important that as activists we put our cases forward. Do not take it for granted. Vongayi advised for members to ensure that we have taken steps to regularise our stays. There is legal aid available in Scotland and there is talk in the Zimbabwe Community of funds being put together to try help those that are unable to afford lawyers. Activists be active with other organisations that support asylum seekers and refugees
Nontokozo advised that if activists can join the groups that are providing support for activists. It is important that they join these groups not just ROHR.
There is a checklist for when we go to report. It is important that we take non-smartphones so if anything happens you are able to take it with you into detention so if you need to contact someone you can. It is therefore to take the ‘kambudzi’ phone with no cameras when going to report. Make sure you tell someone that you are going to report and they have your solicitors’ details so that, in a case of an emergency they know who to call.
Current Affairs in Zimbabwe
We know the issue of Anna Mashaya the 14 year old girl that died during childbirth. The girl was married and the couple were members of the Johane Marange Apolstolic Church. Nontokozo made a point to say that this is against our constitution and Zimbabwean law for a child under 16 to be wed and that this girl was raped. It is unfortunate that these churches are made to feel above the law by the ZANU-PF government, for political expedience. Vongayi noted that there are photos of the President Mnangangwa dining with these church leaders for the sake of gaining votes. He only cares for procuring votes. As ROHR we need to raise our voices and make noise because Mnangangwa is dining with paedophiles. He is condoning this behaviour. The Apolstolic church force girl children into forced marriages and work the land. It won’t be surprising that she may not have a birth certificate.
Shamiso wanted to point that we have so many things happening with children in our country such as Anna Mashaya dying in child birth or Tapiwa Makore who was murdered in a ritualistic manner. We need to raise awareness of these crimes against children in the country.
Thabani Muleya advised that it is not enough to talk in the meeting but we need to raise our voices on all online platforms. That is how we act. There are several ways to raise conversations in our community. Let’s make use of Twitter and Facebook and others.
Any Other Business
Vongayi gave an update on the letters about the Tapiwa Makore case and she advised that she has passed it on to Mr Panyika Karimanzira for editing. But with the things that have happened in recent weeks he has yet to deal with it. She will chase him up.
All agenda items and any other business having been exhausted, Nontokozo Malaba Ncube thanked everyone for attending and declared the meeting closed at 1545hrs.
To view pictures taken at the event, follow this link.
By: Information & Publicity Department