NO TO VIOLENCE: UN International day of Victims of Enforced Disappearance

MDC -T UK and IRELAND Youth Assembly together with Zimbabwe Human rights Organisation (ZHRO) organised a peaceful demonstration on the 30th of August at the Zimbabwe Embassy in London.

The “NO TO VIOLENCE” demonstration was to draw attention of the fate of victims unlawfully imprisoned by the state and those that are missing or maybe even days dead because of their political preferences and opinions, a violation of Section 56(3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Enforced disappearance is a strategy used by the ruling regime to spread terror within the society, leaving a feeling of insecurity to any who dares to oppose them.

MDC members on this day remembered its members and activists that died of torture and those that have faced political motivated abuse since 1999.

The protest was in honour of Civic society leaders, political activists, students, lawyers, journalists and ordinary citizens asserting their rights, who were abducted, arrested, tortured and killed. Some of those we remembered where: Tonderai  Ndira an MDC youth leader  who was abducted in Mabvuku, his body was later found in a decomposing state, with some body parts missing in 2008. Also murdered was Cain Nyevhe, Godfrey Kauzani and Godfrey Chokururama, all four victims had one thing in common: they were MDC members.

We had the pleasure to meet Sylvanos Mudzova a Tajamuka activist who was unfortunately abducted in full view of his family, detained and was subjected to electric shocks during interrogation and He still had the strong Zimbabwean heart we all thrive to one day have. He then went on to express his experiences through poem dedicated to the missing people, it gave us the thrive to keep pushing in our fight for freedom.

ZANU PF is still in power because it uses violence and intimidation across the country. In the rural areas, those that had deserted the ruling party left more than a 100 dead and +/-200 abducted with some of them still missing. Hundreds more were jailed and thousands beaten.

As MDC members, we feel the continued persecution of political activists and human rights defenders on invented charges only serves to authentic the worldview of an absence of the rule of law and we believe the increase in cases of arbitrary arrests will affect the credibility of 2018 elections. The police, as law enforcement agents, should arrest perpetrators of violence instead of victims, they should be protecting the public but they are responsible for 66% of these violations, more than 30%of the victims being MDC supporters. MDC will remain committed in pursuing the fight against impunity for these crimes.  Article 4:3 of the MDC constitution states “MDC is against all forms of violence and does not believe in the use of violence as a way or means of attaining any political, social, economic or religious objectives”.

The citizens of Zimbabwe have rights to freedom of expression at home and abroad as stipulated in the constitution. The government should know and accept that not all of their decisions are popular hence will be criticised, and criticism is likely to grow and the language used is also likely to be stronger as we draw nearer to 2018 election. Zimbabweans in the UK in one accord on the 30th sang and danced to revolution songs, in recognition of all Zimbabwean political and human rights activists MISSING AND THOSE THAT HAVE PASSED ON.

Thank you to the youth provincial  organisers Sharon Moyo and Zakhele Maphosa and  all those who attended.

OUR THOUGHTS ARE WITH THE VICTIMS AND THEIR FAMILIES

Mandifusa Mushambadope

Youth Member Slough Branch

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