The Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Reading branch, conducted an outreach exercise to the Reading community on human rights awareness on 24th March from 11 am – 1 pm. They utilised the moment to engage with various community members explaining what the organisation stood for and highlighting the human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The group later gathered at The Pakistani hall from 2 – 4:30 pm for their monthly general meeting.

 ROHR members believe the stance taken so far by the illegitimate Mnangagwa regime to address issues of police brutality, Itai Dzamara’s disappearance, genocide, repressive constitutional laws such as: Access to Information and Protection to Privacy Act (AIPPA) and Public Order and Security Act (POSA), muzzling of public press and social media is inadequate, and seems to have avoided any action. ROHR also sees Zimbabwe as being a military state under a leader widely implicated in gross human life loss during the post-independence era. It is for those circumstances and many other reasons that ROHR Reading went into the streets to raise awareness in the community. Despite the day being cold and wet, the group remained dauntless handing out prepared leaflets and singing revolutionary songs. They also held one on one sessions to convey their messages to shoppers and passers-by who showed interest in the country’s political developments.

 At 2 pm, the team gathered for their general meeting at the Pakistani hall where they discussed a wide range of issues including 25th May 2018 Reading branch’s 5th anniversary action plan: lobbying MPs on Zimbabwe issues, fundraising ideas and a forthcoming food-bank donations presentation ceremony. They also discussed ways of promoting delivery service and efficiency in some departmental organs of the branch. The Chairperson and Deputy, Cde Nicodimus Muganhu and Sihle Sibanda respectively, gave their addresses outlining some of the most recent vicious leadership upheaval infights in some opposition political parties in Zimbabwe to stay in power. The deployment of the army in some rural areas was also noted to be a potential hazard resulting in possible human rights abuses and strategy to cause fear especially at election time. They also reminded members to continue to support and fundraise for the Zimbabwe Peace Actors Project (ZimPAP) and continue with their membership subscriptions.

 As a tradition, members had an opportunity to celebrate some March birthday anniversaries for Cdes Nicodimus Muganhu, Charles Mararirakwenda and Saziso Zulu who received combined presents from the branch.

 At 5pm Cde Joshua Kahari gave a closing prayer and the meeting was officially closed. Members left the building to travel to their various destinations.

 Joshua Kahari (Information and publicity officer Reading branch)