Mashonaland Central activity report, 5 – 9 October 2009

Public Hearing – Fact Finding Mission

Introductions
The Bindura fact finding mission was mainly aimed at assessing the situation of the victim villagers who fell victim to eviction from a place they had known as home their entire lives. The foothills farm is the place and the villagers are being evicted on political grounds and specifically because they participated in a ROHR Zimbabwe demonstration and that they are supporters of the MDC. The delegation comprised of Programmes and Networking Director Clifford Hlatywayo, Information and Advocacy Director Ronald Mureverwi, Mashonaland Central Field Officer Gladys Kalonga and MDC Representative Peter Mabika. There were 22 participants at the Ray Suburbs in Bindura. The visit was on Monday 5th October 2009

Aims and objectives of the visit
•    Fact finding on the prevailing situation
•    Ascertain the nature and extent of problems faced by the evicted families.
•    Gather views on how ROHR Zimbabwe could possibly help.

The victims
There are 26 families who were evicted from the foothills farm. The main driving force behind their eviction are the fact that they are MDC members and had taken part in the election times as MDC election agents and that they had participated in the ROHR Zimbabwe demand for Justice and Democracy campaign demonstration in Bindura on 1 December 2008.

Submissions from the victims
From the deliberation done during the fact finding session and from the interviews conducted, it was emphasised that the ZANU PF regime is determined to wipe out any opposition supporters from the community. The victims lamented how the ZANU PF leaders in the area had influenced the decision in support of their eviction citing incidents where the magistrate had been seen at a local hotel with ZANU Pf
leaders and supporters a day before the ruling was made. The victims are suffering much and their children have since dropped out of school owing to lack of income, and the families do not have the basic needs of food and shelter.

Achievements
ROHR Zimbabwe managed to get first hand information on the evictions that are taking place in Bindura. ROHR Zimbabwe also managed to get clear expectations from the evicted families and they also were able to determine the actual causes of the evictions.

Challenges
The evicted families expected the ROHR Zimbabwe delegation to immediately assist them and the fact that the delegation did not have any form of assistance at hand meant that ROHR Zimbabwe did not fulfil
the immediate expectations of the victims.

Recommendations
•    Victims be helped with lawyers to represent them in further court sessions
•    That family support projects be identified and extended to them
•    That there be a programme of assisting them pay school fees of their children
•    That they be provided for with books and any other educational support material

Overall rating – very successful

Conclusion
People in Bindura are suffering much at the hands of ZANU Pf despite having signed an agreement and forming a unity government with The MDCs. There are quite a lot of victimisation taking place in Mashonaland central and it seems as if ZANU PF wants to create a previous perception of the province being declared a no go area for opposition forces hence the victimisation of all people perceived to be anti ZANU. This calls for major programmes in the communities which will strengthen the current crop of human rights defenders and empower new ones so that the dream of transforming
Zimbabwe into a democracy can be achieved.

For ROHR Zimbabwe Mashonaland Central
Gladys Kalonga (Field Officer)


 


Manicaland Province Activity Report, 28 September – 02 October 2009

Chipinge South Member of the House of Assembly Hon. Meki Makuyana was suspended from Parliament following his conviction and 18 months imprisonment sentence for kidnapping two ZANU PF supporters last year in Chisuma village of ward 29 in Chipinge South.

The suspension was confirmed by the Clerk of Parliament, Mr. Austin Zvoma who is a ZANU PF loyalist. Hon. Makuyana was convicted together with Chipinge South Councillor for ward 29, Hardwork Masaiti and two other MDC activists Wedzerai Gwenzi and Simon Chaya by Chipinge magistrate Mr. Samuel Zuze who is also a ZANU PF apologist. Hon. Makuyana was suspended without benefits and any other privileges accorded to a Member of Parliament. He no longer attends Parliament sessions and is not allowed to sit in any Parliamentary committees. He is the third Member of Parliament from MDC-T to be suspended from Parliament in Manicaland Province among them Hon Shuwa Mudiwa of Mutare West constituency and Hon Mathew Mlambo of Chipinge East. They are all out on bail pending appeal against both the conviction and sentence.

This has been the barbaric way in which ZANU PF is behaving as it desperately hunts for ways of trimming the opposition’s majority in the august house. Chipinge District, and by extension, Manicaland Province seems to be the main ZANU PF focus and target because since time immemorial, it has been supporting the opposition. The times of Ndabaningi Sithole and ZANU Ndonga bear testimony to this. Although Hon. Makuyana is the third to be suspended from Parliament in the Province, and the second in Chipinge District, other MPs have different cases to answer in courts and as long as there are sympathetic ZANU PF Judges like Zuze, they stand chances of being convicted.

Behaviours like these are sharply against the spirit of the Inter-party political agreement signed between the three main political parties. These MPs do not have real cases but they were merely arrested on trumped up charges so that they could be jailed and open spaces to accommodate ZANU PF people should there be any by-elections which ZANU Pf seeks to terrorise. This can never result in the actual national healing desired by Zimbabweans as those who perpetrated the actual human rights crimes are walking free while the victims are languishing in jails. As ROHR Zimbabwe Manicaland, we demand that those who perpetrated violence for whatever reasons under whosever’s influence should be brought to book. The actual national healing process should be based and built on truth, justice and compensation.

For ROHR Zimbabwe Manicaland
Thokozani Bote (Field Officer)
Programs Department