On 20th May 2017, Restoration of Human Rights Zimbabwe (ROHRZ) Reading branch held its meeting at Royal Festival hall on London’s Southbank from 11:30am until 1:30pm.

The meeting began with the Chairman Nicodimus Muganhu thanking everyone present and for being on time. A prayer followed and was led by Alice Shimika. The day’s agenda was deliberated and comrades present agreed to proceed without objections. The meeting was mainly dominated with finding ways of fundraising for the branch, national and international projects. Cde Josephine Jombe and Alice Shimika gave some outstanding ideas based on what they had experienced elsewhere in fundraising projects. They promised to take lead in acquiring more information until the ideas were tangible and sustainable. All members present emphasised on the branch to do better as the scheduled time and dates for performing those projects were getting closer.

Members also discussed on the failed state of Zimbabwe. Cde Joshua Kahari spoke of ZANU PF’s dictatorship as very devastating and detrimental to the future of Zimbabwe. Mugabe’s age of 94 in 2018 come elections left a lot to be desired. Denial of civil liberties to the ordinary people meant no voice to the voiceless. The divided and clueless opposition was still in waiting for Mugabe’s time. The partisan approach to the rule of law by the police also contributed to why Zimbabwe is in a failed state. He further mentioned these reasons as, ‘threat to national security’. Some members felt Zimbabweans must keep protesting, challenging and resisting all things unjust as a way of putting pressure on the government to change. There was also a general consensus of agreement that the capture and control of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) by the government would result in no 2018 free and fair elections. The elections were already stolen by Zanu PF before voting!

Cde Nicodimus Muganhu updated members on the Zimbabwe Peace Actors Platform (ZimPAP), a collaboration of organisations in unity to prevent the outbreak of violence, peace building and its sustenance. He encouraged members to continue supporting the fundraising bike ride by comrade Sipho Hobane, a ROHR London branch member, and to spread the messages beyond borders for more support. He also thanked branch members Deborah Harry, Shylette Chipangura, Alice Shimika and Josephine Jombe who took their time and effort on 18th May 2017 to receive cde Sipho who had Reading as one of his stopping points on his bike ride journey.

After the meeting, members attended the Zimbabwe Vigil (ZimVigil) outside the Zimbabwe house to celebrate the completion of a successful fundraising bike ride journey by cde Sipho, from 2pm until 6pm. Sipho arrived at Vigil at 3:30pm. He had many comrades waiting and he was embraced by many as soon as he arrived. Sipho had travelled well other than tyre punctures and bad weather which delayed him a bit. His journey started on 14th May in Nottingham and travelled through parts of Leicester, Birmingham, Oxford, Southampton, Reading, Slough and ended in London 20th May.

At 6pm the Vigil ended and members left for their various destinations.

Joshua Kahari
ROHRZ Reading Information and Publicity Officer/ROHR UK Information and Training Department)