Venue – Chinanga Village, Ward 32. Bikita West Constituency. Masvingo
No of Beneficiaries – 48
The Chinanga village, Masvingo clothes distribution exercise was the first of its kind in the operations of ROHR Zimbabwe aimed at the achievement of the undersigned objectives. The items were donated by ROHR Zimbabwe Chemelsford Branch, UK. The driving force behind the programme was aimed at setting an example of what constitutes a good and desirable national healing programme we want as the people of Zimbabwe. We believe in a process which begins with truth, justice then reconciliation. As ROHR Zimbabwe, we believe that the political victims should be compensated without fail, the perpetrators be brought to book and then reconciliation follow. We do not and will never accept the proposed government process (forgive and forget) which entails leaving important aspects of the process like arresting the perpetrators and compensating the victims.
The beneficiaries were drawn from two wards, ward 32 under Councillor Zondai Chinanga, and ward 11 under Councillor Rukweza both of MDC-T. Both councillors were in attendance. The Member of Parliament of the constituency is Hon. Heya Shoko of MDC-T. Other members who made the delegation include Mr. Ray Muzenda the ROHR Zimbabwe National Chairman, Clifford Hlatywayo the Programmes Director, Mr Timothy Ndongwe Provincial Vice Chairperson, Mr Murambatsvina Provincial Organising Secretary, Charles Magombedze the acting Bikita ROHR Zimbabwe Chairman, Mr. Cassiano Rukomwe the Masvingo Province Field officer.
Aims and Objectives of the Programme
§ Setting an example of how National healing should be done
§ Material support for victims of and beyond the 27 June 2008 political violence.
· Taking ROHR Zimbabwe’s activities to the grassroots.
· Consolidating ROHR Zimbabwe’s programmes to be centred on improving peoples lives.
· Facilitating the provision of relevant support services to victims of human rights violations.
Mollen Tavengwa, Samson Madhande, Musengi Jokoniya, Clifford Marozva, John Urawa, Beula Garobhe, Maturunane, Gladys Jaricha, Mirriam Mananga, Esnath Mujore, Rosania Njarava, Madhuhu Theresa, Murema Evelyn, Machiya Nyengeterai, Zvahumbira Nyaradzo, Amber Mamei, Shumbu Vaida, Musengi Modesta, Chidhakwa Alice, Foroma Energy, Mwanza Anna, Pakini Charity, Chipengura Cecilia, Muza Mavis, Kuhava Judith, Marozva Paida, Tumbure Laiza, Mapanga Tinotenda, Moyo Veronica, Bvuka Chara, Muza Lovemore, Masawi Ropafadzo, Bhuka Esther, Chari Emma, Mapurisa Ndowenyu, Chari Eustina, Chibaya Loice, Chinanga Dorothy, Moyo Laiza, Munahi Brian, Nomwedzo Ben, Tanda Ndivindivi, Zvirinani Teererai, Chinyanga Faith, Chipare Davison, Muchafa Semai, Mudanhi Judith and Shangwa Dorren
Resolutions from deliberations
· That programmes like these be increased as they help bring ROHR Zimbabwe to the people and popularise its mission and objectives.
· That more clothes and other support services be sourced as there are many victims who need assistance.
· Since there are victims with fresh wounds from the 27 June violent campaign, the National Chairman pledged on behalf of ROHR Zimbabwe that we are going to help them for medication.
· The clothing items were distributed to the victims of politically motivated violence.
· People in Bikita West got to know ROHR Zimbabwe physically and better.
· The items were limited. The number of the affected and needy surpassed the available items.
· Transport problems to the intended destination as a result of limited financial resources
· Programmes of this type be increased
· More clothes be sourced to cater for more victims
Overall rating: Very successful
So many people suffered losses in the last ten years as a result of political violence orchestrated by ZANU PF. Thus, Zimbabweans are traumatised to such an extent that if an election is called today and the victims have not been attended to they cannot stand the pressure of intimidation. It is our responsibility to strengthen them; to heal them of this trauma they are currently going through. This gesture is small but it goes a long way in setting the path and pace towards genuine national healing which subsequently leads to the democratisation of this country. It is therefore important that we systematically identify the victims of political violence and help them before any election is done in the country.
There are quite a number of opportunities and activities that ROHR Zimbabwe can exploit and undertake which will lead to its recognition in society for improving people’s lives. This exercise is one such activity and judging from the feelings of the beneficiaries it was a resounding success. The Chief Executive Officer Mr Tichanzii Gandanga extends gratitude to Martha Angeline Magwaza and her branch on behalf of ROHR Zimbabwe for the items they donated, as they have made a great impact to the beneficiaries and for the organisation as a whole. He would also like to extend special thanks to Rodah Kuhlengisa of ROHR Zimbabwe Hayes branch for the donation of office equipment and video camera that was used to capture the proceedings and photos on this occasion. Such donations are critical for programmes like these and it remains our desire that each province be adequately equipped. ROHR Zimbabwe stands a greater chance of growing bigger and known throughout all corners of Zimbabwe if programmes like these continue to be done. Mr. Gandanga is thus appealing to all well wishers to make donations so that this programme can be taken to other constituencies facing similar situations.
Prepared by: Programmes and Networking Department.
Villagers of Wards 11 and 32 of Bikita West constituency gathered on Friday around 1300hrs at Muti munyoro to receive a donation of clothes from a ROHR Zimbabwe team led by the National Chairman Ray Muzenda. The handover ceremony was attended by ward 11 Councillor Mr. Rukweza and ward 32 Councillor Mr. Zondai Chinanga.
Councillor Chinanga hailed the people of his ward for remaining resolute despite the suffering they went through during the March-June 2008 bloody election violence. He described the violence that characterised ward 32 as ‘bloody.’
Vulnerable women and children were the worst affected as more often than not they were subjected to severe beatings as punishment when the intended targets were not found at home. Children missed school as they resorted to sleeping in the bushes in fear of their lives.
Mrs Evelyn Murerwa, Nyengetedzai Machiya, Eustina and Anna Chari, Gladys Tavengwa and Evelyn Maware were identified by the villagers present at the handover ceremony as some of the worst affected victims with threatening wounds that require urgent attention. The National Chairman for ROHR Zimbabwe, Ray Muzenda pledged medical assistance for all the villagers who sustained injuries from the organised violence of last year’s elections. Those needing assistance were told to report to the ROHR Zimbabwe Masvingo Office, number 7 Robin House.
From the interviews that were carried out by ROHR Zimbabwe from the same occasion it emerged that most of the crimes of violence were committed by known people who reside in the same village. The most featuring on the list of the people who promoted acts of violence were Chief Marozva, and businessman and ZANU PF losing Councillor Candidate for ward 32, Mvuto.
Councillor Chinanga expressed gratitude to Martha Angelina Magwaza of ROHR UK Chelmsford branch for the donation of clothes and remembering the plight of the victims of politically organised violence.
Following an outburst by Mrs Eustina Chari who was brutally assaulted by ZANU PF supporters, that the national healing will never be achieved, it emerged that, before people can make constructive contribution to National Healing it is a pre-requisite to embark on education awareness campaigns on the available approaches to transitional justice which include restorative and retributive justice.
Societies emerging from a past painful legacy like Zimbabwe can try a number of transitional justice options hinged on the rule of law from which to reconcile people and communities to prevent future abuses of human rights. People need to be taught on the various transitional justice methods which include Criminal prosecutions, Truth commissions, Reparations and Institutional reforms.
ROHR Zimbabwe Masvingo Provincial Vice Chairperson, Mr. Timothy Ndongwe encouraged the villagers to remain law abiding citizens and refrain from taking revenge as that would induce them to the same levels of their assailants. He emphasised that although he too was a victim of political violence, it was foolish to seek justice outside the confines of the law.
Restoration of Human Rights Zimbabwe is a radical grassroots based organisation working towards promoting a culture of human rights through community mobilisation, capacity building and active responses to human rights challenges in Zimbabwe. As an organisation we believe in the incredible power of the community as a structure unit for people to defend, protect and champion their fundamental human rights and responding to issues that affect their daily lives.
Being aware of the role that was played by the jobless youths in acting as instruments of violence under the auspices of politicians, as an organisation we acknowledge the central role that the youths have to play in transforming the nation from a culture of widespread human rights abuses towards a democratic society that embraces differences in political activities and engagements at the same time upholding fundamental human rights and freedoms guaranteed under international law.
ROHR Zimbabwe is currently holding Leadership Development and Capacity Building Workshops in the country’s ten provinces creating networks with communities, like minded organisations and individuals in the fight for human rights. Other projects underway include the Demand for Justice and Truth Campaign which is advocating for a holistic victim centred National Healing Process that captures three broad steps TRUTH, JUSTICE and COMPENSATION.
NB Videos clips of the interviews with victims of political violence from ward 11 and 32 are available upon request.
From the information Department of Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe