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Police State – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 24th August 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 25 August 2019 10:21

Within days of President Mnangagwa lecturing the West about how ‘the rule of law is sacrosanct’ in Zimbabwe, the police in Harare arrested representatives of rural teachers for trying peacefully to present a petition to the Finance Ministry complaining about their poor pay.

Also arrested was their legal representative Doug Coltart who was thrown on the ground, kicked and handcuffed by riot police. His father David Coltart, a leading opposition figure and former cabinet minister, said ‘only police states detain and assault lawyers for representing their clients’.

President Mnangagwa’s comment – a virtuoso demonstration of hypocrisy – was part of the angry government response to Western condemnation of the suppression of opposition demonstrations over the deteriorating economic situation.

The European Union, as well as representatives from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Sweden and Romania individually, together with the United States, Canada and Australia, called on the Zimbabwean authorities to respect the constitutional right to freedom of assembly and ‘to peacefully demonstrate and petition’.

Meanwhile the popular comedian Gonyeti was abducted, beaten, stripped and made to drink sewage by masked gunmen after making a joke about police brutality.

The writer Petina Gappah has now had enough of the Mnangagwa regime and has resigned from the trade and investment role she was given when ‘the new dispensation’ was announced at the end of 2017.

Dr Gappah, who previously worked for the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, accused the Zanu PF leader’s close lieutenants of pursuing personal wealth accumulation at the expense of genuine reforms to turn around the country’s fortunes.

Other points

  • A comment article in the UK Times newspaper is headlined ‘Zimbabwe’s hope is devoured by the Crocodile’. The article by Ian Birrell puts the boot into the British Foreign Office,to asserting ‘Britain’s complicity in backing another tyrant to replace Mugabe has betrayed a suffering people’. You can read the article on our campaigns page: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1031-zimbabwes-hope-is-devoured-by-the-crocodile.
  • More congratulations to those who raised funds from their sponsors for the fundraising walk on 27 July: Abigail Chidavaenzi £240.25 (this in addition to £483 already contributed making a total of £723.25), Pamela Chirimuta £40 and Josephine Jombe £76.
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Josephine Jombe, Alice Majola, Dambudzo Marimira, Lucia Mudzimu, Hazvinei Saili and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Alice, Josephine and Chido Makawa for looking after the front table, to Hazvinei and Heather Makawa for handing out flyers, to Dambudzo for drumming and to Hazvinei and Heather for photos.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 11 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Beach Barbecue. Sunday 25th August. Venue: Frinton-on-Sea, Essex CO13 9DN. Tickets: adults £20, Kids £10. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Heather Makawa 07716391800, Esther Munyira 07492058109 and Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
  • ROHR Reading branch outreach and general meeting. Saturday 21st September. Community outreach from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Broad Street, Reading. Awareness campaign on deteriorating human rights in Zimbabwe. General meeting from 2-5pm: Venue: The RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. Contact Nicodimus 07877386792, Josephine 07455166668, Shylette 07828929806, Josh 07877246251.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Facebook pages:
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
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Police State – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 24th August 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 25 August 2019 10:12
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Within days of President Mnangagwa lecturing the West about how ‘the rule of law is sacrosanct’ in Zimbabwe, the police in Harare arrested representatives of rural teachers for trying peacefully to present a petition to the Finance Ministry complaining about their poor pay.

 

Also arrested was their legal representative Doug Coltart who was thrown on the ground, kicked and handcuffed by riot police. His father David Coltart, a leading opposition figure and former cabinet minister, said ‘only police states detain and assault lawyers for representing their clients’.

 

President Mnangagwa’s comment – a virtuoso demonstration of hypocrisy – was part of the angry government response to Western condemnation of the suppression of opposition demonstrations over the deteriorating economic situation.

 

The European Union, as well as representatives from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Sweden and Romania individually, together with the United States, Canada and Australia, called on the Zimbabwean authorities to respect the constitutional right to freedom of assembly and ‘to peacefully demonstrate and petition’.

 

Meanwhile the popular comedian Gonyeti was abducted, beaten, stripped and made to drink sewage by masked gunmen after making a joke about police brutality.

 

The writer Petina Gappah has now had enough of the Mnangagwa regime and has resigned from the trade and investment role she was given when ‘the new dispensation’ was announced at the end of 2017.

 

Dr Gappah, who previously worked for the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, accused the Zanu PF leader’s close lieutenants of pursuing personal wealth accumulation at the expense of genuine reforms to turn around the country’s fortunes.

 

Other points

  • A comment article in the UK Times newspaper is headlined ‘Zimbabwe’s hope is devoured by the Crocodile’. The article by Ian Birrell puts the boot into the British Foreign Office,to asserting ‘Britain’s complicity in backing another tyrant to replace Mugabe has betrayed a suffering people’. You can read the article on our campaigns page: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1031-zimbabwes-hope-is-devoured-by-the-crocodile.
  • More congratulations to those who raised funds from their sponsors for the fundraising walk on 27 July: Abigail Chidavaenzi £240.25 (this in addition to £483 already contributed making a total of £723.25), Pamela Chirimuta £40 and Josephine Jombe £76.
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Josephine Jombe, Alice Majola, Dambudzo Marimira, Lucia Mudzimu, Hazvinei Saili and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Alice, Josephine and Chido Makawa for looking after the front table, to Hazvinei and Heather Makawa for handing out flyers, to Dambudzo for drumming and to Hazvinei and Heather for photos.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

FOR THE RECORD: 11 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Beach Barbecue. Sunday 25th August. Venue: Frinton-on-Sea, Essex CO13 9DN. Tickets: adults £20, Kids £10. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Heather Makawa 07716391800, Esther Munyira 07492058109 and Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
  • ROHR Reading branch outreach and general meeting. Saturday 21st September. Community outreach from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Broad Street, Reading. Awareness campaign on deteriorating human rights in Zimbabwe. General meeting from 2-5pm: Venue: The RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. Contact Nicodimus 07877386792, Josephine 07455166668, Shylette 07828929806, Josh 07877246251.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Facebook pages:
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
 
Constitution ignored – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 17th August 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 19 August 2019 06:18

The Zimbabwe government has made it clear that the much vaunted new constitution counts for nothing. The MDC fulfilled the legal requirement to inform the police before Friday’s demonstration in Harare but the government nevertheless banned it at the last minute. 

As usual, peaceful people were beaten and tear-gassed by the police for their temerity in protesting against the government. Among them were women singing protest songs. One helpless protester was repeatedly kicked. But they escaped comparatively lightly considering that half a dozen human rights activists had earlier been abducted and tortured. 

Interestingly, the government blamed the abductions on CIO agents loyal to Mugabe – just as they blamed the Harare killings by soldiers in January on people who had ‘stolen’ military uniforms.

This time the MDC was forewarned by wild police allegations that the opposition was planning violence and they finally called off the protest to save unnecessary bloodshed.

But the damage to the government’s reputation is inestimable. The UN human rights office said the government should heed the people’s legitimate grievances over the economic situation and stop cracking down on protesters.

Who is going to take seriously Zimbabwe’s ‘open for business’ message when the constitutional rights of the people are trampled underfoot like this? Even Mugabe is so disaffected that he says he doesn’t want to be buried in Heroes’ Acre, prompting Mnangagwa to immediately send a delegation to Singapore to warn Mugabe that he had no option but to accept the badge of shame. 

Heroes’ Acre badly needs Mugabe – and, for that matter, Mnangagwa and the rest of the Zanu PF leadership. As it is, hardly anyone bothered to go to the annual ceremony there on Monday.

Like Disneyland, it needs some new attractions. Fill up Heroes’ Acre as soon as possible.

Other points

  • A large group of Zimbabweans including Vigil activists joined an MDC demonstration outside the Embassy on Friday.
  • More congratulations to those who raised funds from their sponsors for the fundraising walk on 27 July: Abigail Chidavaenzi £483, Simbarashe Jingo £100, Alice Majola £10, Tatenda Mandiki £65 (in addition to £64 he has already contributed), Dambudzo Marimira £245, Patricia Masamba £110, Tarisai Matambanadzo £10, Esther Munyira £100 and Sikhumbuzule Sibanda £100. A special thank you to Esther Munyira for her hard work in collecting and accounting for all the contributions.
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Nathan Chiyanja, Beaulah Gore, Alice Majola, Netsayi Makarichi, Tatenda Mandiki, Dambudzo Marimira, Nyarai Masvosva, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Mary Muteyerwa, Farai Mutumburi, Tsitsi Nyirongo, Hazvinei Saili and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Margaret Munenge and Joice for looking after the front table, to Farai, Nyarai, Hazvinei and Netsayi for handing out flyers, to Mary for drumming and to Tatenda, Netsayi and Tapiwa Muskwe for photos.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 20 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Beach Barbecue. Sunday 25th August. Venue: Frinton-on-Sea, Essex CO13 9DN. Tickets: adults £20, Kids £10. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Heather Makawa 07716391800, Esther Munyira 07492058109 and Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Facebook pages:
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Don’t shoot on Friday – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 10th August 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 11 August 2019 15:32

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/48505766712/sizes/m/

The Vigil demonstrated on Saturday against the failure of the government to implement the recommendations of the Motlanthe Commission of Inquiry into the army’s murder of unarmed civilians during a demonstration in Harare last August.

Outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London activists carried placards reading: ‘No to shooting of unarmed civilians’, ‘No to army brutality in Zimbabwe’, ‘Jail killer troops’, ‘Compensate army victims’, ‘The people are not the enemy’, ‘The army is the enemy of the people’ and ‘Protest against Zimbabwe army violence’.

The violent suppression of the anti-government protests last August and again in January have not stopped the situation in the country continuing to deteriorate with millions facing starvation. Some of this is, of course, attributable to drought and climate change but the government must bear full responsibility for its disastrous handling of the economy, which has created a widespread feeling of hopelessness among a people driven to desperation. In one tragic case, a  woman is said to have killed her two young children and committed suicide.

Mnangagwa has refused to talk to opposition leader Nelson Chamisa who has called for a demonstration on Friday. In the unlikely event that permission for the demonstration is granted the government would be wise to keep troops in the barracks. It is the job of the police to deal with demonstrations and any over-reaction would be disastrous.

The West is fast losing patience with the Zimbabwe government although it is pouring in millions of dollars to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis. Perhaps China will also contribute something although further government to government loans from Beijing are unlikely. A Chinese bank has even put Zimbabwe on its sanctions list for non-repayment of debts (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/top-chinese-bank-places-zimbabwe-on-sanctions-list/).

How’s that for irony: ‘All-weather friend China joins in “illegal” sanctions’ causing Zimbabwe’s crisis! ‘

Other points

  • The Vigil hailed as a breath of fresh air the election on a reform agenda of Tanzanian President Magufuli in 2015 (see diary of 28/11/2015: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/738-ugly-budget--zimbabwe-vigil-diary-28th-november-2015). Coming to power he cancelled independence day celebrations and embarked on a clean-up campaign. We are sad to say we have been proved wrong. Magafuli has now turned out to be just another dictator (see: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/mood-darkens-in-tanzania-as-magufuli-silences-his-critics-l7x6vwc8l).
  • More congratulations to those who raised funds from their sponsors for the fundraising walk on 27 July: Marvellous Chinguwa £55, Shylette Chipangura £52.50, Beaulah Gore £50, Isabell Gwatidzo £20, Deborah Harry £50, Tatenda Mandiki £64, Charles Marirakwenda £20, Cephas Maswoswa £155, Joice Mbairatsunga £148, Margaret Munenge £40.20, Tapiwa Muskwe £14.40 and Sinikiwe Sigola £50.
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Marvellous Chinguwa, Isabell Gwatidzo, Deborah Harry, Charles Mararirakwenda, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Esther Munyira, Farai Mutumburi and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Marvellous and Tarisai Matambanadzo for looking after the front table, to Farai, Isabell and Nyarai Masvosva for handing out flyers and to Isabell and Deborah Harry for photos.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 17 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Beach Barbecue. Sunday 25th August. Venue: Frinton-on-Sea, Essex CO13 9DN. Tickets: adults £20, Kids £10. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Heather Makawa 07716391800, Esther Munyira 07492058109 and Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Facebook pages:
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Unhappy anniversary – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 3rd August 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 04 August 2019 17:58

August marks the first anniversary of the army massacre of six civilians in Harare during a protest over the delay in releasing the election results. At least 35 others were wounded. The Motlanthe Commission appointed by the government found that the use of live ammunition against fleeing civilians was ‘clearly unjustified and disproportionate’. It called for prosecutions and compensation.

A year on not a single prosecution has taken place. Instead the government promoted the officer in charge of the Presidential Guard responsible for the shootings, Brigadier General Anselem Sanyatwe, and blamed the violence on the opposition which it said had ‘unleashed mayhem’. 

The government recently went so far as to name Sanyatwe as Zimbabwe’s Ambassador-designate to Tanzania, only for the United States to place him under sanctions for ‘gross violations of human rights’. The government’s self-righteous protests that this was ‘undermining Zimbabwe’s sovereignty’ has been met with laudable directness by the US Embassy: ‘No one has been held responsible for these heinous acts. The people of Zimbabwe deserve better.’

Judge for yourself whether the Americans are correctly informed about Zimbabwean affairs by reading an article in the influential New York Times which describes the situation in Zimbabwe as a nightmare, pointing in particular at the water crisis, apart from the energy crisis and shortage of fuel and medicines. 

The paper quotes the chief economist of the National Chamber of Commerce, Kipson Gundani, as saying: ‘We had a window of opportunity when Mugabe left power but we missed that window’. (See: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/31/world/africa/zimbabwe-water-crisis.html).

Next Saturday the Vigil will be devoted to a protest against the government’s inaction over the army’s killing of civilians last August and again in January.

Other points

  • Grace Mugabe heads a list of Zanu PF bigwigs accused of looting $160 million from CBZ Bank. She is alleged to have irregularly obtained a loan of $4.5 million without collateral. Number two in the looters’ list is predictably Obert Mpofu who owes $2.5 million, followed by Gideon Gono, the former Governor of the Reserve Bank, with $2 million. Vice President General Chiwenga’s wife Jocelyn owes a mere $900,000. The chastened bank has employed the law firm of former Finance Minister Tendai Biti to try to recover the money.
  • Congratulations to those who raised funds from their sponsors for last week’s walk: Hazvinei Saili £468.20 (in sterling and euros), Ephraim Tapa £225 (more to follow), Molly Ngavaimbe £92 and Miriam Gasho £60. We expect this list to expand as others are still collecting contributions from their sponsors. Esther Munyira’s report on the walk can be seen here: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1027-report-on-the-rohr-peace-walk-27th-july-2019.
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Happy Chazuza, Jane Kaphuwa, Lucia Mungwari, Richard Munyama, Casper Nyamakura, Hazvinei Saili and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Lucia, Margaret Munenge and Miriam Gasho for looking after the front table, to Hazvinei, Jane, Esther Munyira and Bigboy Sibanda for handing out flyers and to Casper and Jonathan Kariwo for photos.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. 

FOR THE RECORD: 22 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 10th August from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625.
  • Demonstration to mark anniversary of army’s shooting of civilians. Saturday 10th August from 2 – 5 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. Organised by Esther Munyira 07492058109.
  • ROHR Beach Barbecue. Sunday 25th August. Venue: Frinton-on-Sea, Essex CO13 9DN. Tickets: adults £20, Kids £10. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Heather Makawa 07716391800, Esther Munyira 07492058109 and Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Facebook pages:
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
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