ROHR Central London branch had its general meeting on 12 January 2013. The meeting was attended by members who came to listen to an insightful presentation delivered by the president of the organisation Ephraim Tapa. This meeting attracted other members from Birmingham, Leicester and Bournemouth. We were also fortunate to have new members, all the way from Southend. With approximately 40members in attendance this meeting was one of the liveliest ways to kick start the new year.

Mr Tapa started the meeting by reminding us what ROHR stands for, the mission statement and the many ways in which the organisation made a difference in people’s lives. The meeting learnt that the Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe is a non political organisation, whose members are passionate and committed to bringing about change in Zimbabwe. He further stated that ROHR strongly subscribed to the founding principles of peace, justice and freedom and shared the belief of returning Zimbabwe to the fight for human rights. He told members that we all had a role to play to achieve this and that there was need for a committed, loyal and selfless cadreship. Mr Tapa expressed pessimism that the 2013 election would be free and fair, let alone violence free. He clarified that ROHR was not affiliated to any political party and that it would continue to operate whatever the election outcomes.

This meeting gave the members the opportunity to update themselves and express any concerns they may have about human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and the organisation. There was also much discussion on how to further help the people in Zimbabwe and to make sure that the Zimbabwe offices continually received funding and any other help to resume programmes and make a difference on the ground. Members were highly receptive and many ideas came up to help advance the cause of human rights and the rule of law. Concern was raised over the high probability of another violent election in Zimbabwe this year and members agreed that ROHR needed to keep volunteers on the ground to keep track of those who perpetrated violence against innocent civilians.

At the end of the meeting, a collection was taken to contribute towards the cost of hiring the hall.