- Sub-standard schools struggle in Zimbabwe’s backyards while ’Dis-Grace’ Mugabe gets ‘doctored’ through the backdoor – Fungisai Mupandira ***
- Immigration and Xenophobia in the African Context: How our Leaders are the Craftsmen of Destruction – Edward Mukuze ***
- Temba Mliswa’s call is a little too late but still welcome – Edward Mukuze ***
- Current Unpleasant Zimbabwe Situation – Andrew Benyure ***
- EU says Dzamara case straining relations – Similenkosi Matiwaza ***
- Everyone has the right to education – Patricia Masamba ***
- ROHR condemns Mnangagwa and Chombo’s undemocratic actions – Ben Semwayo ***
- A touch Guti too much: Man of Cloth says 91 year-old Bob is fit for office – Edward Mukuze
1. Sub-standard schools struggle in Zimbabwe’s backyards while ’Dis-Grace’ Mugabe gets ‘doctored’ through the backdoor
Shakespeare said that the evil men do lives long after they die. In the case of Zimbabwean education it seems the effects of the wicked regime of Robert Mugabe is undoing the last shred of his legacy. Robert Mugabe’s only salvation is a legacy of an educated and literate generation during his first decade in power. Since then the quality of education has deteriorated with children being taught in squalor while Mugabe and his wife squander money on frivolous shopping trips around the world. This is a new low even by this dictator’s muddy standards. The thought of Disgrace Mugabe being handed a dubious 3 month doctorate degree with pomp and ceremony while sub-standard schools struggle to survive in the backyards of Zimbabwe is sickening. This trend has not been helped by the poor working conditions and low salaries of teachers.
Education was declared a basic human right by Robert Mugabe’s incoming government in 1980. However, since 1988 the government has steadily increased charges for school enrolment and the economic downturn has resulted in many vulnerable schoolchildren dropping out of school. Zimbabwe is a country that once prided itself on high quality graduates and a literate population. Only time will tell how disadvantaged the next generation, that has been schooled in the last two decades of Mugabe’s bitter reign, will be. The cry for education as a fundamental human right seems a distant dream only attainable when this regime is over.
Fungisayi Mupandira, ROHR UK Chapter, National Publicity Officer. Information & Publicity Department – 6 May 2015
2, Immigration and Xenophobia in the African Context: How our Leaders are the Craftsmen of Destruction
Oh how I so wish our African leaders would think, twist, straighten and perfect every original idea they intend to make public. Hate speech such as we frequently receive from President Robert Gabriel Mugabe causes infection and Xenophobia breeds and thrives on this. Our leaders are so often craftsmen of destruction.
Mugabe said our people should not migrate. It is as if he is oblivious of the reasons for this migration. It beggars belief. Mugabe’s own father migrated to South Africa when Robert was still a boy but never returned home. Robert Mugabe himself migrated to South Africa’s Fort Hare University for his Bachelor of Arts degree in History and English which he attained in 1951. Was it not him who also migrated to Ghana in the late 50s where he met and married Sally in 1961? Sally migrated to Zimbabwe did she not? Mugabe seems to have cast away his mentor Father O’Hea’s teachings that all people should be treated equally and with respect, regardless of where they hail from.
Graca’s speech on the other hand has shown that people can integrate and live together beautifully despite coming from different nationalities. What the President should be doing is alleviating our people’s plight instead of fanning hate by saying the Kalangas are an uneducated thieving lot. I read with shame his spin doctor Jonathan Moyo’s script trying to water down what Mugabe had clearly uttered to the world. Moyo should be hanging his head in shame for having to do such a job.
A generous person will prosper and anyone who gives water will receive a flood in return.
Edward Mukuze, Publicity Secretary, ROHR Southampton – 5 May 2015
3. Temba Mliswa’s call is a little too late but still welcome
Personally, I feel that while Temba is only denouncing ZANU PF after the party kicked him out, it is still a good thing that he has, albeit late, seen the light and is now doing the right thing of apologising to the nation. He will without doubt encounter a backlash from some quarters for his also rather lacklustre statements but methinks it is still a step in the right direction. ZANU PF members never apologise for doing wrong to the masses.
Now that Temba is on the other side of the fence, he clearly sees what we have been mourning about all along that the rule of law takes a back seat when people’s rights are being abused in Zimbabwe. Now he must understand why there must be a human rights protocol that promotes, protects and respects human rights.
I think it is an advantage to the general Zimbabwean populace, to have people like him and his uncle defect because they can prove to be useful when it comes to understanding how the ZANU PF machinery operates, especially on issues like vote rigging. Mugabe has denied Zimbabweans basic rights such as those pertaining to police protection, voting and fair trials.
I welcome Temba’s recent action of denouncing the oppressive regime and reminding them that The Hague awaits them. The onus is now on him to work together with democratic forces that will better our nation.
Jesus said that there would be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Edward Mukuze, Publicity Secretary, ROHR Southampton – 6 May 2015
4. Current Unpleasant Zimbabwe Situation
In Zimbabwe the economy is failing. The social capital in the form of roads, water reticulation, electricity generation and other infrastructure is crumbling with the government diverting funds to non-essentials and vanity.
The government should be focussing on rebuilding the country not destroying it. Government attempts to raise more revenue by overtaxing the already suffering lowly paid Zimbabweans is self-defeating. There is no meaningful development on the ground. The Zimbabwean economy has no middle / working class to drive the economy The poor are left with nothing and the mega rich are laughing all the way. They don’t reinvest but concentrate on their lavish lives without creating more employment. Instead of promoting the likes of Mutumwa Mawere and Strive Masiyiwa who drive the economy by creating employment, they create the super-rich, who are legends in bragging and kings of bling, from the Mugabes’ bootlickers. In Zimbabwe there is a de facto dynasty with Grace Mugabe being in charge thanks to his husband’s ill health. A good example of this, is when she held her rallies and was steadfast with her rhetoric of purging members of ZANU PF.
As political opponents, human rights activists we continue to fight for good governance and Grace Mugabe should not be seen at the frontier of the presidium let alone defence ministry. Campaigning or demonstrating against the regime in Zimbabwe means activists risk being tortured maimed or killed as shown by the bludgeoning of Itai Dzamara, human rights defenders and other political opponents.
The political situation leaves a lot to be desired. The Judiciary is no longer independent it is controlled by the regime with most of their decisions being influenced by the political setup of ZANU PF. It puts itself above the law and is never tried for inhuman deeds and everyone is supposed to toe ZANUPF line. There are laws that allow individuals to be arrested and detained while evidence against them is gathered.
ZANU PF is a party which has seen better days and is always in defence mode. They treat every month as an election month and recently they dispatched their youth to urban areas to register and identify their supporters. This was a ploy to identify and intimidate their opponents before inflicting violence. The military junta is involved in economic sectors and their activities, especially mining. Where the money generated by mining is going is anyone’s guess. it is certainly not going towards repairing roads, building bridges and humanitarian work. Pretty soon they will be involved in platinum mines with the Russians.
The economy will continue to suffer and the fat cats get fatter. There will be no employment ,and living standards will not improve with the government’s defensive policy of silencing opposition, human rights groups and NGOs using their scorched earth policies .Instead they should be on the offensive to rebuild the economy.
Andrew Benyure, Vice Secretary, ROHR Reading – 6 May 2015
5. EU says Dzamara case straining relations
To this day Itai Dzamara’s whereabouts are still unknown thanks to a silent Zanu PF government which has violated human rights and chooses to remain quiet about his abduction.
Zanu PF’s conduct as untouchable under the rule of law and in regard to human rights abuse in Zimbabwe should not be ignored by the international community. We as Zimbabweans should all stand up and fight, not only for Dzamara’s release, but for the many other brave activists who have gone missing, never been accounted for and killed – all those whose human rights have been violated and who have been tortured, assaulted and indecently treated.
Innocent captives should be released. If you do not agree with what someone says, engage them in conversation. The use of violence as the only way to solve problems shows a lack of humanity.
The EU should continue to keep a close eye on human rights abuse in Zimbabwe – it is important to expose the hateful regime now. More should be said about Zimbabwe by Western governments.
We hope the newly elected UK government will continue condemnation of Zanu PF and its human rights record. Zanu PF have a bizarre seem to believe that the Tories will be lenient towards them because they were in power when Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980. This is just Zanu PF’s wishful thinking and should not be allowed to happen.
Human rights discrimination against the people of Zimbabwe must cease despite a despotic regime with no care or consideration for the impact they have on a population they have driven into poverty and the mal-administered economy.
The UK Chapter of the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe totally condemns all human rights abuse in Zimbabwe and association with regimes that perpetuate this is disgusting. We will continue to fight for the restoration of human rights in our land. See: http://www.newzimbabwe.com/news-22448-EU+says+Dzamara+case+straining+relations/news.aspx.
Similenkosi Matiwaza, Secretary ROHR Slough – 11 May 2015
6. Everyone has the right to education
On 30th April 2015 a group of vigil supporters sang and danced at a fundraising event organised by the Ruth Hayman Trust held at Morley College in London. The performers were Cephas Maswoswa, Fungai Mabhunu, Fungisai Mupandira, Ishmael Makina, Mary Muteyerwa, Mavis Chisvo and Patricia Masamba.
Ruth Hayman was a lawyer and anti-apartheid campaigner. She was one of the first woman lawyers to qualify in South Africa. She offered free legal advice to people and appeared in court to represent them. Her activities brought her into direct opposition with the National party and she served with a banning order. She was placed under house arrest. This was a punishment for representing people. Law society refused to come to her aid.
She moved to London and taught English as a second language to adults. She died in 1981 and a trust set up in her memory gives small grants to support the education of adults who live in the UK whose first language is not English
Patricia Masamba, 11 May 2015
7. ROHR condemns Mnangagwa and Chombo’s undemocratic actions
The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) would like to register its disquiet at the way the government of Zimbabwe is trampling over people’s rights by not implementing the provisions of the national constitution in relation to the holding of elections. The by-elections that have been held and those that are due to be held show that the government has no political will to effect the requisite changes and to uphold the rule of law.
Press reports indicate that intimidation in the constituencies where by-elections have been and are due to be held has been raised to new, unprecedented levels, with Mnangagwa and Ignatius Chombo, among other top government officials, brazenly and publicly fixing the results by threatening the local voters and barring opponents from campaigning. Mnangagwa intimated that if he were God he would deprive MDC supporters of oxygen. How wonderful that he is not and will never ever be God despite his wild, contemptible dreams!
For his part Chombo, in an obviously dim-witted attempt to outdo the benighted Vice President, allocated one of his henchmen to each of the 43 headmen in the Hurungwe West constituency, to snoop on them so that they cannot act freely in the exercise of their rights. Their task is to ensure that their subjects vote Zanu PF without fail. They have been told big brother will watch them round the clock and the taskmasters will only give them respite after the elections. A by-election is due to be held in the constituency to fill the vacancy created when Temba Mliswa was recalled by ZanuPF, and Mliswa himself has been barred from campaigning.
There is no law that allows democratic elections to be held in this way and ROHR calls on the government of Zimbabwe to give people their rights back. Zanu PF has always acted in a carefully choreographed manner that disenfranchises its citizens and has thus stolen every single election. How can a man occupying the lofty position of the Vice Presidency of the country sink so low as to be involved in such misdemeanours in the full glare of international watchdogs, and still expect their respect?
Opposition parties are to blame for allowing Zanu PF to get away with flimsy reasons for not acting on levelling the playing field. They should get serious, organise themselves, engage other stakeholders, and fight this rot. Failure to do so is an abdication of duty that makes them complicit to the crimes that Zanu PF is guilty of.
Ben Semwayo – 9 May 2015
8. A touch Guti too much: Man of Cloth says 91 year-old Bob is fit for office.
I found this very disturbing, coming from a man of the cloth, to say the least. Church leaders are supposed to encourage democracy in their communities. How can Guti surely feel that Mugabe’s continued rule is justified? Leadership in the region has swapped hands so many times but not in Zimbabwe. What is so special about Mugabe that he cannot be replaced? The man is so old now that the issue has become an embarrassment to Zimbabweans. We need a new leader to safeguard Zimbabwe’s national interests. For goodness sake, Mugabe has been at the steering wheel for the past 35 years and what has Zimbabwe got to show for it? He should have passed the baton on decades ago. He surely cannot be the best possible person to be in the country’s highest office at 91!
Apostle Ezekiel Guti’s encouragement to Mugabe to stay on leaves a lot to be desired. Is it perhaps because Guti himself is 92 and still leading ZAOGA? Or is it because the two are related through intermarriage of their offspring as rumour has it? One would not expect this from a man of Ezekiel Guti’s standing. Guti holds referent power which, used in the right way can help bring back democracy and satisfy Zimbabwean and international expectations. Would it not be beneficial to us if the power this man holds was channelled in the right way instead of being a propagandist that tells us that Mugabe is still sprightly at 91? Mugabe is obviously a wee too old to be laden with the task of ruling Zimbabwe and chairing the two organisations, SADC and the AU.
Zimbabwe’s present problems are manifestly Mugabe who should be retired at his age but unfortunately does not feel safe from human rights activists and others who he feels might take him to task on his human rights and corruption track record hence he has continued to fiddle elections and cling on to power. Like Solomon’s in the bible, Mugabe’s rule will eventually collapse, leaving a trail of destruction behind. Shame on Ezekiel Guti for supporting Mugabe’s continued rule.
Edward Mukuze, ROHR Southampton Publicity Secretary – 20 May 2015