Campaign News
Rerun of Kenyan Election PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 03 September 2017 11:05

Kenya’s top court orders rerun of presidential poll

Aislinn Laing, Johannesburg 02/09/2017

President Kenyatta called Kenya’s Supreme Court judges “crooks” last night after they declared his election win a sham and ordered a rerun of last month’s tense contest.

Mr Kenyatta appeared to threaten the six-man bench with vengeance, warning: “They will know we are also men . . . let them wait for us after elections.”

While the judges’ decision was praised as a pivotal moment for African democracy, the president’s unscripted comments raised the spectre of the tribal violence that caused 1,500 deaths in unrest after the 2007 election.

In a ruling that stunned the country, the court said that last month’s count was marred by “irregularities and illegalities” and that the election should be rerun within 60 days. Raila Odinga, who lost with 44 per cent of the vote to Mr Kenyatta’s 54 per cent, called it a “historic” decision that he said would reverberate across Africa and strengthen democracy on the continent.

Mr Kenyatta, 55, initially appeared to accept yesterday’s 4-2 majority verdict and urged his countrymen to keep the peace. During a televised address to the nation, he said: “Millions of Kenyans queued and made their choice and six people have decided that they will go against the will of the people.

“To Kenyans, I urge peace. The fault is not yours. Your neighbour remains your neighbour and that is the person that is most important to you. We are not at war with our brothers and sisters in the opposition because we are all Kenyans.”

However, within hours his tone changed when he visited a Nairobi market that is a stronghold of his Jubilee coalition with William Ruto, the deputy president with whom he was tried and acquitted by the International Criminal Court on a charge of stirring the 2007 election violence.

Mr Kenyatta told supporters that “whites and other trash” had paid the judges to throw out his victory. However, yesterday’s ruling blamed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) rather than Mr Kenyatta and said that a new vote should be held by November 1.

“The court was satisfied that the [electoral body] committed irregularities and illegalities in the transmission of results,” David Maraga, the chief justice, said. “As to whether the illegalities and irregularities affected the integrity of the election, the court was satisfied that they did.”

Ahmednasir Abdullahi, Mr Kenyatta’s lawyer, described the ruling as “very political” and took to Twitter to accuse the judges of launching a “judicial coup d’etat” in a “third world court”.

The judgment represents an astonishing twist in a dynastic battle between Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, whose fathers served as president and vice-president in Kenya’s first post-colonial government in the 1960s.

The recent election was fought on issues of corruption and a failing economy but it also represented a renewed clash between two of Kenya’s largest and historically opposed ethnic groups: Mr Kenyatta’s Kikuyu and Mr Odinga’s Luo. All but one of Kenya’s post- independence presidents have been Kikuyu and it had been hoped by the Luo and other tribes that Mr Odinga’s fourth tilt at the presidency might bring them greater representation and state resources. Instead he lost and in the ensuing protests 21 people were killed, including a nine-year-old girl and a baby.

Mr Odinga’s jubilant supporters thronged the streets of Nairobi and his stronghold of Kisumu, in west Kenya. Mr Odinga, 72, praised the determination of his supporters, called for “rotten” electoral officials to face criminal prosecution and condemned the international teams of election observers from the European Union, African Union and United States, who rubberstamped the poll as a largely free and fair. They included John Kerry, the former US secretary of state, and Thabo Mbeki, the former president of South Africa.

Mr Odinga’s lawyers claimed that Mr Kenyatta’s team had been behind the torture and murder of the IEBC’s technical chief days before the election and used information obtained from him to hack into its new database to rig the result. The opposition claimed that it had seen enough to suggest that the votes of up to five million people, a third of those who voted, had been manipulated. Dennis Onyango, Mr Odinga’s spokesman, said of the verdict: “Nobody believed it would happen but it has and it shows that sometimes there are moments in history that we can make.”

Raphael Tuju, secretary-general of Mr Kenyatta’s Jubilee coalition, predicted that when polls were rerun more of his supporters would turn out, giving them a 64 per cent share of the vote, adding: “There’s a silver lining to this.”

A triumph for the rule of law in Africa

Michael Binyon – September 2 2017

The Kenyan Supreme Court decision is a victory for the rule of law that will resonate throughout the continent.

It will be especially keenly felt in other Commonwealth countries such as South Africa, Uganda and Rwanda where democracy is under threat. It is also a slap in the face for the international observers — led by John Kerry, a former US secretary of state — who declared that the last election had been largely fair.

The rebuff will force the new observers to focus on the computer system used to tally the votes. This was identified by the judges as the point where hackers were able to break in and falsify the results.

The court’s verdict is being hailed by Raila Odinga, the opposition leader, as vindication of its accusations of vote-tampering. The danger now is that the opposition will refuse to accept anything other than victory in the next vote, while the apparent margin of victory by the government in the last election means it is quite possible that President Kenyatta will win the rerun.

Many Kenyans will applaud the court’s political courage, but their neighbours will be aghast. President Museveni in Uganda has held several elections marred by accusations of vote-rigging. In Rwanda, President Kagame has just won an unlikely 99 per cent of the vote and in South Africa, President Zuma may still fear accusations of ANC vote-rigging.


I’m no witch, says Robert Mugabe after ice cream ‘poisoning’ PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 03 September 2017 10:19

I’m no witch, says Robert Mugabe after ice cream ‘poisoning’

Aislinn Laing, Johannesburg 30/08/2017

President Mugabe of Zimbabwe has denied that he is a witch after being accused of casting an evil spell on his deputy and potential successor.

Another theory among supporters of Emmerson Mnangagwa is that an illness was caused by poisoned ice cream from the Mugabe family dairy.

The 74-year-old was airlifted to hospital in South Africa almost three weeks ago after falling sick at a political rally that Mr Mugabe was addressing.

The ruling Zanu-PF party said the vice-president had eaten stale food which caused a severe bout of food poisoning, but Mr Mnangagwa’s supporters insisted a rival faction of the party had sought to kill him.

Nicknamed the Crocodile for his role in the massacre of political opponents in the 1980s, he leads the so-called Lacoste grouping which is vying with another led by Mr Mugabe’s wife Grace, known as Generation 40 because of their relative youth, to take over the party when the president, aged 93, dies.

Mr Mnangagwa spoke for the first time about this illness this week, telling an audience that he was very concerned for his life.

Doctors are said to have told him that his liver had been damaged by poisoning with palladium, a rare metal mined in Russia and South Africa that is combined with platinum to make catalytic converters.

Mr Mugabe rejected suggestions of any complicity, saying his deputy was simply too weak. He also denounced claims by Mr Mnangagwa’s associates in his stronghold in Masvingo, central Zimbabwe, that the president had resorted to witchcraft to harm his deputy. “During the armed struggle, we never had weak cadres like what we are seeing today,” the president said.

“This is not the Masvingo tradition that we know. Now the talk of witchcraft is the order of the day. Some are even saying the president is a witch, how many did I kill?

“We have travelled a long journey together and why kill today? Down with your witchcraft issues.”

Claims of assassination, poisoning and witchcraft are not uncommon within politics. The husband of Joice Mujuru, the former Zimbabwean vice-president, died in a mysterious house fire, while Mr Mnangagwa previously claimed his office had been sprinkled with cyanide, leaving his private secretary battling for her life.

In South Africa, President Zuma has claimed “foreign forces” have tried to poison him in order to thwart his economic transformation agenda.

The battle over the succession in Zimbabwe has become increasingly bitter in recent months, with supporters of both camps trading insults online, and Mrs Mugabe accusing the vice-president of plotting against her husband. This week Mr Mnangagwa told mourners at a colleague’s funeral that he was “too concerned” about his own chances of survival into old age.

“I would not know that after surviving this close shave, how many more years would the creator allow me to live,” he said. “He could very well come and yank me away. God is above everything. If he decides to take you, there is no question.”

Mr Mugabe, who has astounded his countrymen with longevity, said even senior politicians fell ill from time to time. “It is common to be sick. We often hear that when a leader falls sick he would have been bewitched, no.” he said. “That’s why we say please, please go to doctors and hospitals for constant check-ups.”

Police have said they cannot investigate the alleged poisoning because no official complaint has been made.

Refutation of the allegations made against the Vigil and ROHR PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 09 July 2017 19:51

From Rose Benton: The story from Silvanos Mudzvova that a collection was made for him at the Vigil of 17/09/2016 is untrue. No collection was made for him at the Vigil and he never phoned me and I had no missed calls. I always respond to missed calls and try to help the caller.   


For the record every penny John Burke put into the ROHR and Vigil accounts was sent to support our programmes in Zimbabwe. His contributions were made unconditionally and voluntarily. He was never asked for money. Whenever I thanked him, his response was that it was better to give the money to the Vigil and ROHR rather than the taxman. Ephraim Tapa and I prepared accounts to show that the money had been sent to Zimbabwe and how it had been spent there to present to the ROHR Conference of October 2016. Because of the disruption at the Conference there was no opportunity to present the figures. The figures are available and can be presented.


Some time ahead of the conference John spoke of his plans to book a two-night stay and conference facilities at a hotel. I warned him that he would be very unlikely to be repaid by all the participants and suggested that a simpler plan would be more in keeping with our organisations such as booking a room for the afternoon at a venue close to the Vigil. He was adamant he wanted to go ahead with his plan and my fears were borne out.



From Ephraim Tapa: Following the highly successful walk last Saturday, ROHR and the Zimvigil are under attack. They have singled out Ephraim Tapa, and co-ordinator Rose Benton as targets for their attacks. One may be wondering what this is all about.  The success of ZimPAP since its launch in December 2016 has disturbed the waters; it's causing enemies of the Zimbabwean people and proxies of Zanu PF troubling headaches. I now believe by launching ZimPAP, we have touched a raw nerve. 


The truth of the matter is that the Zimeye owner is a self-declared enemy of the Zimvigil and ROHR. From 2010 to date, he has not missed an opportunity to pull my person and ROHR down. Today's attack is only one of many before and perhaps more to come.  The Zimeye website seems to be used by anyone who has an axe to grind against Ephraim Tapa or the causes of ROHR or the Zimbabwe Vigil.


Silvanos Mudzvova: we do not know this man. He called me on 18th April and stated that he had been told that money had been collected for him at the Vigil towards his hospital fees. He queried why the money had not reached him. I responded by advising him that I was not aware of such a collection, that whoever was claiming that was up to some mischief making and invited him to attend the following Vigil (22nd April) to allow us to establish the truth. He then cut off the phone. When I tried calling his number again a couple of times I did not get through. I then texted him the following message: ‘I will be investigating your claims. Like I said I don’t handle such monies at all. May I invite you to come to the Vigil this Saturday (22/04/2017) so we can get to the bottom of this.’ He did not turn up at the Vigil. As such, it is an utter and absurd lie that we collected for this man when he was in Zimbabwe. We have never mentioned his name at the Vigil. Simply put, we don't know him. We suspect he is being used to further the interests of our detractors.  


But why all this now? You will all be aware that John Burke (a British man of pensionable age who prides himself in our black sisters, throws his money around, and knows nothing about Zimbabwe) tried to hijack ROHR at the October 2016 conference by spreading falsehoods against me and he failed dismally. You are also aware that he hijacked the ROHR Facebook page, the money raised from the Brighton and Croydon walks and ROHR's new website. He is currently using these instruments to prop up a fake ROHR. Going by today's attack, it is clear that John Burke, Silvanos and Zimeye are not happy with the successes against the Mugabe regime that ROHR and the Vigil continue to post week in week out; that they are angry their plans are not working but that they are determined to continue fighting from Mugabe's corner.  


To all of us, this attack is confirmation that Mugabe and his friends feel the pain, that we are making progress and that we are on track!  In the following days beginning now, we shall be exploring all avenues seeking for advice as to stop this libellous activity. We have never minded them for it is pointless, and we wonder why we are their business. We shall have to escalate our activities. Kuti Satan abhowekane! Together we can and we will! Aluta!!!!

Interview with Matabeleland Pastor PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 02 July 2017 11:49

What time do you get up and what time do you go to bed?
My prayer time is 3 – 4.30 am.  Then I go back to bed and get up at 6.30.  I go to bed at 10 pm.

On average how many people come to your home every day seeking help?
12-15 people, and many telephone calls!

How many people are you feeding?
We were feeding up to 1800 families 10 kg of maize porridge per month with help from Zimbabwe Victims’ Support Fund, Zimbabwe Partnership Trust and Barnabas Trust but now we have only 630 bags to distribute.

Just how dependent on the relief food you are distributing are the people?
Totally.  There are many families that if we don’t give, have no food.  Many are very desperate.

What is the mood of the people?
They are sad, very depressed.  The only time they are happy is when they receive food from us.

How are they surviving?
They are trying to grow food for themselves but for those who got a harvest, it will only last them three months.

How are you getting funding?
Zimbabwe Victims’ Support Fund has been supporting us for more than ten years and more recently Zimbabwe Partnership has helped and Barnabas Trust helped for two months. Ex Zimbabweans linked to local churches also give from time to time.

Are there any other agencies distributing food to the hungry in the areas you and your team cover?
In some areas Barnabas Trust gave, but only for two months. Last year the government distributed food in some areas.  These were one-offs when a politician came for a visit.

Has the recent harvest improved their situation?
In some areas it has, like Lupane and Nkayi.  They will be able to feed themselves for 3-4 months.

How open are they to receive the Gospel?
They are very open.  Many come to church to get food but by God’s grace we teach them and they grow in faith. But I need to train more people to teach and would welcome teaching material and trainers.  It is not always easy to identify the right people to lead; it takes time.

How many new converts have you and your team of Pastors introduced to Jesus, say in the last 6 months? 

In April 52 were baptised, June 44, and more recently 47. However there are more in the outlying areas like Binga and Beitbridge which I do not have numbers for.

What have you noticed happening in Zimbabwe recently?
There is a lot of witchcraft going on around Zim as well as in the church.  The reason is because of suffering due to the economy collapsing.  Most businesses have closed down and people can’t get jobs so can’t get money to pay their bills, or buy food, or school fees, or get treated for their illnesses. There is a high level of corruption and as a result people seek the services of false prophets and nyangas (traditional healers).

There is a group of intercessors at Nkulumane.  The pastor’s son (6) was stolen.  The intercessors began to pray and alerted us to pray when the child had been missing for two days.  The person who had kidnapped the child also stole three other children. On the third day he was travelling in his car, on the way to South Africa, when it broke down. He asked for help from three male passersby and one of them (related to the pastor) recognized the missing child.  They asked where the boy was going to and they became aggressive with the driver and even threatened to kill him. The driver pleaded with them to allow him to phone his boss in South Africa and the South African offered them USD20,000 if they promised not to report the case. However the men phoned the police, who came out and took the man in and towed the car to the police station.  The number of the South African was also given to the police. The boys were all returned safely to their families.  Sadly we cannot be sure the police will take action as they are greedy for money.

In the newspaper it was reported that a girl (15) was found in a state of decomposition with body parts missing. Four families came to claim the body hoping it was their child.

Also in many churches leaders are focusing on miracles and healing for which the congregation have to pay.

What is the most difficult part of your job?
Originally my focus was simply to bring people to salvation through Christ.  But now there is a suffering that people are going through because they don’t know the Lord.  Jealousy is widespread among families because they cannot meet their basic needs, especially if one part of the family has children supporting them from outside the country. Because the needs are so great people are just looking out for themselves and neglecting other relatives.  Married couples are breaking up bitterly and often the children are deserted. I have many times tried to bring some new street kids back to the family but often the parents don’t even want them. The children say they are happier to be away from the relatives.

Very old people are also deserted by the family members who leave and never send anything for them.  I have many grandparents now.

Another thing that is difficult for me is children dying from malnutrition; up to five a month.  At the cemetery in Luveve the ground is spreading with children’s graves. According to traditional beliefs if a child is less than three months the women are expected to bury the child, especially very elderly women. This is very difficult to watch. These things keep us on our knees.

How do you keep going?
People help and encourage me: my mentors and my pastors and the people in the churches who pray for me.  I still desire to obey the Lord’s call. God’s grace is sufficient and he sustains me. I love people and I really like to talk to them and understand their problems and pray for them. I have seen situations changed for the people, and in my own life, as God has worked.

How many kms do you travel in an average week on kingdom work?
500 km at least.

When did you last get a break of a few days away from the demands of ministry?
Two years ago.

Do you ever despair?
Yes. My child has just started school and fees are a problem.  Prices of general goods have gone up.  I worry that I might get sick and not be able to do my work.

What difference does it make to know your brothers and sisters in Christ 6000 miles away are holding you and your ministry up in prayer?
I get very, very encouraged to know that people are behind me. I do have problems but I know I am being uplifted.

Would you like to say a sentence or two to them?
I really thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Without your support this ministry would not be going.  We don’t have buildings but many churches and these people are fed by you.  Food relief, teaching materials, prayers, phone calls from pastors overseas all build me up and keep me and our church going.  Through all this I see the grace of God.  I don’t deserve all these things. God bless you all for your part in the Kingdom.

Report on demonstration on Wednesday’s 8th February PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 12 February 2017 15:21

By Rumbidzayi Sambana


The arrival and immediate arrest of Pastor Evan Mawarire on Wednesday 1st February caused quite a stir among Zimbabweans. Euphoria swept many but questions why he had returned flooded social media platforms. Within hours we learnt that he had been charged with a serious offence, denied bail and remanded in custody.


When his bail hearing was set for 8th February, we realised that we needed to have a demonstration to show our support for the pastor and all other activists who have been arrested or reported missing. More than a dozen people braved the freezing weather and turned up to protest against the flagrant abuse of human and political rights of all those who do stand up and speak out.


Upon arrival the embassy was open, both the consulate and the tourism office. Our small band of singing and dancing protesters made enough noise for the Embassy to close their doors and call the police, who were very friendly and more than willing to be in a photo with us.


Towards the end of our protest we got news that Pastor Evan had been granted bail to the relief of the group.


ROHR and the Vigil are holding another demonstration outside the Embassy on Friday 17th February when Pastor Evan appears in court again.


Attendees: Rumbidzayi Sambana, Gift Moyo, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Rose Maponga, Fungayi Mabhunu, Yvonne Bonde, Flemming Diza, Junior Mapanga, Bianca Monica Mpawaenda, Howard Zikhale, Ebson Chigwedere, Salome Nkiwani and Lloyd Mudzengere.

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