Present: Ephraim Tapa (ROHR President), Fungayi Mabhunu (Chair, Central London Branch), Cynthia Mutede (Secretary, Central London Branch), Helen Rukambiro, Febbie Mpofu, Thandiwe Gwarumba (UK Vice Chair), Mary Muteyerwa (Treasurer), Everisto Makora, George Ncube, Tanaka Samuriwo, Consolata Ngwenya, Chipo Matavire, Peter Sidindi, Admire Mhindurwa, Dellia Muwalo, Roseanah Paradzai, James Chiwocha, Brighton Chido Mbwizhu, Jonathan Kariwoh (UK Co-ordinator), David Kadzutu (Zimbabwe We Can), Darlington Sibanda, Dhumisani Karakadzai, Collin Chitekwe (National Co-ordinator), Christopher Kamuzonde (Leicester), Patricia Masamba (National Fundraising Committee)
Apologies: Mrs Sheron Makhosi-Bhebhe (Vice Chair)
- ROHR revamp
- Feedback on the Birmingham Conference held on 8th December 2012
- Fill in the other committee members posts
- Plans for 2013
Fungayi Mabhunu (Chair) wished everyone a happy New Year and a warm welcome. He noted there were 26 Vigil supporters attending the ROHR Central London branch meeting. He updated members on the most recent information of what has been going on with issues that affect Zimbabwean in the diaspora. Topics that were discussed included the launch of a book about Zimbabwe which covers the way in which land redistribution was conducted and recent visit by Tendai Biti to London on business opportunities in Zimbabwe. It was mentioned that there is need to try and get access to have a meeting with the authors before the book is published. The Chair also reminded attendees of what ROHR is all about – its long and short term goals. He emphasised on the huge role that the Central London branch plays. As London is the financial hub of the country, a lot can be achieved for ROHR as a whole through the London Branch.
Ephraim Tapa (ROHR President) welcomed everyone to the meeting and wished everyone a Happy New Year. The president clarified and emphasised that ROHR is not a political party. ROHR is there is challenge the abuse of human rights in Zimbabwe. He emphasised that ROHR is there to live forever and for that to happen its members must work hard. He also said that ROHR is a watchdog watching over the governors of people and will oppose any wrong doing to the people. ROHR’s remit was to:
- Challenge any civil disobedience and human rights abuse in Zimbabwe
- Support anyone with their rights abused
- Work for Zimbabweans to be granted dual citizenship
- Work for Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to be allowed to vote
The President summed up the resolutions of 8 December 2012 Birmingham National Conference as follows:
- Branches and the national executive are to help develop a fundraising programme under the leadership and co-ordination of the National Fundraiser.
- Branches to commit to a monthly members meetings in addition to committee meetings, and participate in public demonstrations and national events
- All members to be up to date with their monthly subscriptions
- All members to help with recruitment and support of new members
- All branches to replace non-committed elected office bearers who are unavailable for ROHR work
- Branch members to share administrative expenses at the local level ie booking of venues
- All branches to focus on rebuilding ROHR Zimbabwe structures and help with the revival of programmes in Zimbabwe. These are to include educational workshops, protests, network lobbying, victim assistance, community welfare
- Website updating
- Embark on public awareness, campaigning, lobby MP’s and solidarity with other human rights defenders
- Establish offices in the UK to support ROHR growth and service delivery
- Continue to demand that the UKBA’s approach detentions and deportations in accordance with international law and to plead with the Home Office to stop deportations to Zimbabwe until six months after the planned 2013 elections.
- Develop welfare programs to benefit members who fall on hard time, suffer bereavements or get deported
- Create departments to run various projects. ie investment possibilities, social schemes for the benefit of members
- Members to migrate to the new membership card
- Embark on educational workshops and training to empower human rights activists and develop commitment, local leadership, skills and knowledge
- Increase the presence of ROHR and improve its image through media
- Help create a global human rights movement through the increase of internationalisation of ROHR programmes of justice, peace and freedom
- To link and network ROHR with other organizations in efforts to help create justice and freedom not only in Zimbabwe but globally
Mr Tapa emphasised that not all goals set above could be achieved in one calendar year but that some resolutions would continue to be regarded as work in progress.
A question and answer time then followed and members took the opportunity to applaud the good work that the leadership continued to do, embrace the conference resolutions and generate ideas on how these could be achieved.
Chair Fungayi Mabhunu then raised issue over vacant posts within the branch. The President gave the go-ahead to gap-fill.
Co-ordinators Jonathan Kariwoh and Collin Chitekwe with help from branch secretary, Cynthia Mutede, conducted the gap-filling election and results were as follows: Vice Secretary: Tanaka Samuriwo, Vice Organising Secretary: Consolata Ngwenya, Fundraising members: Febbie Mpofu and Darlington Sibanda, Committee Members: George Ncube & Chipo Matavire
The President then extended a warm welcome to the new committee members with the hope that all would work together as a committed family and be fully available for ROHR work.
Fungayi Mabhunu closed the meeting by congratulating the newly elected members. He stressed the need to do more fundraising for the branch whenever possible. Members were also encouraged to purchase T-shirts as this also frees up tied-up cash. He thanked everyone for attending the meeting. It was agreed that the branch, being in Central London, would organize a demonstration to hand over ROHR’s petition to the UK Border Agency asking them to stop deportations until after the elections in Zimbabwe. Fungayi ended by affirming that everything is possible if we all work hard together and show a lot of commitment.