ROHR Zimbabwe is holding its UK conference in Birmingham on 8 December 2012. Apart from renewing its leadership and strategizing for the difficult years ahead, ROHR will also use this occasion to mark International Human Rights Day. Delegates will be drawn from branches all over the UK and ordinary members are invited. Also invited are dignitaries from civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations, other Zimbabwean community groups and representatives of the UK political establishment.
ROHR will also use the conference to drum up a petition to the UKBA against recently surfaced allegations of deportees being sedated to ease their removal from the UK. The ROHR President has stated that “ROHR will continue to impress upon the UK immigration authorities the need for respect of international human rights statutes in their treatment of other nationalities, regardless of their status. ROHR believes that all people must have equal protection before the law and that arbitrary detentions and degrading treatment of deportees must stop. Further, ROHR calls upon the Home Office to seriously reconsider the timing of deportations to Zimbabwe to at least 6 months after the planned 2013 elections”.
The 2012 National Conference comes after a year aptly described by activists as hectic but progressive following the infamous boardroom 2011 fall-out. Once the UK Interim Executive was put in place on 4 February 2012, there was nothing to stop the mission towards greater emancipation, empowerment and freedom from suffering. Under the able leadership and stewardship of the Founder and President, Ephraim Tapa, ROHR was able to get the organisation back on track. As the year ends, ROHR has been able to resuscitate most of its structures in the UK Chapter. More and more activists are coming on board as more branches continue to open. ROHR has been strengthened by the mixture of setbacks and victories in its quest for freedom, justice, the rule of law and democracy.
ROHR recognises that fighting a dictatorship was never going to be easy, more so once the Inclusive Government had come in being. So far, the envisaged reforms critical to a free and fair election have remained elusive as all parties in the Inclusive Government have tended to put their mouths and pockets ahead of their moral values and the Zimbabwe agenda. The human rights situation remains precarious and the appetite for real change by people in power is fast waning. Zimbabwe’s violence spreads but there is no sense of urgency. This strengthens ROHR’s role to stand up for the voiceless. ROHR’s resolve and commitment to peace and freedom has never been stronger as the behaviour and priorities of the political elite continue to remind us that ‘power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’.
As we take time to mark UN International Human Rights Day in Birmingham, members and activists of ROHR stand more determined to reaffirm our support for human rights. The ROHR Birmingham branch is honoured to be hosting this conference ahead of watershed elections expected to be held next year.
Those being made to suffer by the Zimbabwe regime cannot be expected to suffer indefinitely. We will always remember our friends, families and human rights activists who were slain, brutalised, raped and maimed in the past three decades for daring to stand up for what they believed in. Atrocities of the 1980s Matebeleland massacres, the 2005 Operation Murambatsvina and the 2008 election bloodbath come to mind. Today many Zimbabweans find themselves far away from their beloved homes and families. ROHR believes in speaking out for those who remained and the displaced.
As Zimbabwe approaches the 2013 constitutional referendum and the general election, we know with certainty there will be more deaths, disappearances, rape and untold suffering. Another Unity Government is an increasing likelihood as the will of the people is crudely manipulated to give way to the politics of accommodation. ROHR’s cause cannot be clearer; the people must rise and have their way!
Zimbabwe must rise once again!
Date and time: Saturday 8th December 2012: from 1100—1900 hours
Venue: St George’s Church and Centre, Bridge St West, Newtown, Birmingham B19 2YX.
All are Welcome!
For Peace, Justice and Freedom