Category Archives: Save Zimbabwe Campaign

Statements on Deepening Zimbabwe Crisis

Philani Zungu from Abahlali was able to travel to Zimbabwe with activists from other social movements last year. He gave a powerful report back and since then the movement has done its best to keep in touch with shackdwellers made homeless in Zimbabwe and to keep abreast of the worsening situation in Zimbabwe. Abahlali have screened a film on Operation Murambatsvina in various settlements and it will probably be screened again this weekend in the shattered remains of Juba Place and, perhaps also at meetings of the churches sub-committee and of the people developing the youth and women’s leagues all scheduled for this weekend.


The Save Zimbabwe leadership arrested

By The Save Zimbabwe Command Center

Today, 11 Marc h 2007, around 1200 hours, 110 Save Zimbabwe Campaign leaders and members were arrested in Highfields high density suburb, as they were heading for a prayer rally scheduled to be held at the Zimbabwe Grounds Stadium.

The arrested leaders include Morgan Tsvangirai (President Movement for Democratic Change), Arthur Mutambara (President MDC), Dr Lovemore Madhuku ( National Constitutional Assembly Chairperson)and MDC secretary general Tendai Biti.

Others include legislator, Job Sikhala, Elias Mudzuri, Grace Kwinjeh, Sekesai Hollard, Nelson Chamisa (Spokesperson) Honorable Madzimure (MP Kambuzuma), Professor Arthur Mutambara (President), Grace Kwinje, Job
Sikhala (MP St Mary’s), Crisis Coalition Advocacy Officer Gladys Hlatshyayo, National Constitutional Assembly (NCA Chairperson) Dr. Lovemore Madhuku, Murdock Chivasa (NCA Spokesperson) and provincial NCA leadership.

Whilst five students from the Christian Students Movement were arrested in Kambuzuma at YWCA where they were conducting a workshop.

The Save Zimbabwe Campaign had decided to go ahead with the prayer rally because religious gatherings are exempted from the ban on rallies imposed by the Government last month. Lawyers are being denied the right to see the arrested leaders.

By the time of going to press, Biti, Mudzuri and Mutambara were still detained at Highfields police station, whilst Sikhala, Madzimure, Kwinje whilst Hlatshyayo, Chivasa, Madhuku, Chamisa and others were at the Central Police station.

HIghfields has been turned into a war zone where churches, shopping centers, beer halls were closed by the police. At Gaza land, armed police stood at the beer hall entrances beating up the patrons who had been besieged inside.

All roads leading to the high density suburb were barricade by road blocks; cars were heavily vetted before getting into the homestead area which had been turned into a war tone zone.

By the time the leadership entered Highfields, the Save Zimbabwe Press team spotted 12 police tracks making their way towards the venue, as they beefed up their reinforcement.

Yesterday, the police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzinjena appeared on national television, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH), issuing out grave statements to the people who had plans to support the rally, threatening that they were prepared to employ all means at their disposal to quell up and mop any attendance at Zimbabwe grounds.

Before the leadership took to Highfields, Assistant Inspector Mhondoro,of the Law and Order Central Police station pounced on the leadership meeting in the city center threatening arrests on the grounds that the
meeting was not sanctioned. However the leadership remained defiant only to regroup at another venue after three tracks of riot police dismissed everyone.

The leadership re-grouped in Kambuzuma, at Y.W.C. A conference center, were more than 25 students from the Students Christian Movement were running a workshop on gender issues and the crisis engulfing the education sector. In a clear indication that the communication system
had been bugged, two Lorries fully packed with armed police officers arrived at the venue about five minutes after the leadership of the campaign had left for the venue. They went on to bundle the students, harassing and threatening them with imprisonment if they did not disclose the route which the leadership had taken and their plan. After
two hours of interrogation 20 were released and the other five, whose names could not be identified, were locked at Warren Park Police station.

11 March 2007


Save Zimbabwe Campaign

In a typical fascist behavior and reminiscent of Rhodesian political thuggery, the Zimbabwean police thoroughly assaulted leaders of the Save Zimbabwe Convention while in custody contrary to the provisions of the law and international statutes governing the treatment of detainees.

In addition to the killing of Gift Tandare, a Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activist by the regime’s murderous police in Highfields on 11 March 2007, reports received this morning indicate that Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) President Morgan Tsvangirai, National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) Chairman Lovemore Madhuku, Nelson Chamisa, the Member of Parliament for Kuwadzana , Mike Davis the Chairperson of the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) and Elton Mangoma the MDC deputy treasurer were tortured in custody.

There are disturbing reports that Professor Arthur Mutambara, the leader of the MDC pro-senate group is missing and his condition could not be ascertained amid these wanton attacks against the leadership of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign. The same status surrounds Tendai Biti, the secretary general of the anti-senate MDC who was arrested together with Mutambara.

Save Zimbabwe Campaign, comprising labour unions, students, churches, youths, women’s organizations and political parties had organized the prayer meeting for Zimbabweans to meditate on the social, economic and political problems afflicting the country.

Among the Save Zimbabwe Campaign leaders arrested were, Nelson Chamisa, Job Sikhala, Morgan Changamire, Grace Kwinje, Willas Madzimure, Alois Dzvairo, Madock Chivasa and Mike Davies. Also arrested were Gladys Hlatywayo, Manex Mawuya, Rashid Mahiya and several students from the University of Zimbabwe.

The Save Zimbabwe Campaign is utterly shocked at the heavy-handed manner in which police quashed what was meant to be a peaceful prayer session. We are further shocked by the brazen assault of Save Zimbabwe Campaign leaders, including MDC leader Tsvangirai. Harrison Nkomo, a human rights lawyer was also brutally assaulted on top of being denied access to give legal assistance to the arrested activists.


Save Zimbabwe Information Center
Issued on 12 March 2006

As the Save Zimbabwe Campaign, we view yesterday’s events as yet another testimony to a deepening national crisis. The death of Tandare, arrests and torture of Save Zimbabwe Campaign activists open yet another sad chapter in the country’s unfolding history. It is unfortunate that precious lives continue to be lost for the furtherance of selfish political interests.

Lawyers of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign who visited the detainees report that Tsvangirai fainted three times after severe beatings by the police while Madhuku passed out and was rushed to Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare for urgent medical attention early this morning.

In Highfields, the police last night were assaulting ordinary citizens in the suburb for allegedly supporting opposition politicians and the organizers of the rally. It is reported that several people were injured during the melee instigated by the State.

In the interests of peace and national development, we call upon the Minister of Home Affairs to unconditionally release all the political detainees. Our position on the development of Zimbabwe remains that we need a new democratic constitution leading to free and fair elections in 2008. Shedding blood of innocent Zimbabweans is retrogressive and inimical to the virtues of the liberation struggle.

As the nation mourns another lost life, the people of Zimbabwe and the international community are urged to continue rallying behind the cause for a democratic and prosperous Zimbabwe. The death of Tandare and yesterday’s arrests will take the people’s agenda forward. Our just, legitimate and peaceful struggle will not cease until a new, free, prosperous and democratic dispensation unfolds in Zimbabwe.


Feminist Political education project statement

This weekend a young man was shot and killed by police in Harare, Zimbabwe. He was on his way to a prayer meeting. He was committed to joining others for peace, for change and respite from the political and economic problems facing his country.

His crime: being an activist for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, MDC.

Rest in Peace Gift Tandare. Zorora Murugare.

Today, his family is huddled over the empty breadth that was his life. His family is mourning the loss of a son, a child, maybe a father, a brother, a friend, definitely a life. A loved one.

His death is the result of repression. His grave will be a marker of how rights denied, end.

In Zimbabwe, we live in a country where police run riot. Where our rights to lawyers and doctors are denied because certain elements of the state want to hold on to a kind of power that they can see they no longer have.

110 people are being held in police cells across the country. Many of them are leaders of the opposition political group, the Movement for Democratic Change. They have been beaten up. Some of them in a critical, life threatening way. We are worried about more graves.

20 years ago Robert Mugabe ordered his forces to murder women, men and children in Matebeleland. I am reminded of that shameful Gukurahundi past today. A past that seeks to eliminate difference and disagreement, rather than harness it for all it is worth. A past that discards human life as if it were nothing.

But Mugabe will not stand alone when the time for judgement comes, and it shall. All other African leaders who have applauded his excesses will finally feel their guilt. Especially you, who had the power to intervene but chose instead tosay, “Zimbabwe, it’s an internal issue.
Zimbabweans, what are they doing for themselves?”

My lesson: May we, the Feminists of Zimbabwe, never let you stand alone in the face of brutality. May we the feminists of Zimbabwe sing out for you loud and proud, for your peace and freedom. And may we know that we are because you are, so we can be.


Detention diary…day 3

2 youth activists shot and seriously injured

2 MDC activists were shot at point blank around 4 am today at the house of Gift Tandare in Glen View. The two, Nickson Magondo and Naison Mashambanhaka were among a group of 500 mourners observing a vigil, consoling the Tandare family, a common practice at funerals in Zimbabwe. The two are recuperating in hospital.

Detainees health failing…as police refuse them food

We have received disturbing reports that various leaders and activists in detention at Braeside police station have gone for 2 days without eating or drinking as the police refuse the Save Zimbabwe team to take them food. Sekai Holland at Avondale Police station, Nelson Chamisa at Highlands police station, Lynette Mudehwe at Southerton Police station have all complained of illnesses and have not been attended to as the police keep them in-communicado. Grace Kwinjeh, who was seriously assaulted, is among the Braeside detainees who have been denied food for 2 days. Lovemore Madhuku and Morgan Tsvangirai remain in acute pain due to the torture they suffered at the hands of the police.

At Marlborough, the Save Zimbabwe press team spoke to a female detainee who could only be identified as Faith from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) structure. She was heavily tortured and is nursing swollen legs and arms. She is eating food whilst lying down since she can not manage to stand on her own feet. All along she has been held in solitary confinement.

A journalist who could only be identified as Tendai from Reuters is also detained at the police station. Tsvangirai Mukwazvi, former Daily News photographer is detained at Avondale police station along with Mutambara and other detainees, who are being denied access to health care, legal id and food.

Gift Tandare’s funeral arrangements.

The MDC has declared Gift Tandare a national hero and is joining the family to organize the funeral procession. Dates and the place for his burial have not been finalized, but the two possibilities are that he could be buried in Harare or in his rural village in Mt Darwin.

Police raid ZCTU offices

Police in Harare have raided Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)offices located at Chester House in the Central Business District. The Criminal Investigations Department raided the offices in search of what they termed subversive material. Police have detained employees
at their offices refusing them exit from Chester House.


Dear Women of Zimbabwe however it is that you may positioned right now,

As the commemorations for International Women’s Day draw nearer, I am
inspired to write to you all about the legacy Sekai Holland and Grace
Kwinjeh have made to our movement in ZImbabwe. I realise that in their
immediate roles they are largely seen as representatives of opposition
politics, but that is not where they have always been located, and it
is certainly not what I wish to focus on through this email.

Last night I spent a long time in a telephone conversation with
Isabella Matambanadzo. She told me of her visit to both of them on
Tuesday when they were admitted in the late
afternoon to Avenues clinic. Her intention was to offer any kind of
help, be it with making calls to family and friends, just chatting or
in the spirit of sisterhood that the women’s rights movement of
Zimbabwe has taught us, just being there.

Sekai Holland is over 60. Her mother founded the Association of
Women’s Clubs in 1938, one of the oldest women’s organizations in
Zimbabwe. Sekai built on that tradition. She fought the battle at
the high court for the rights of non-Zimbabwean men who married
Zimbabwean women to have citizenship. at the time the law was
discriminatory in favour of zimbabwean men whose non zimbabwean
spouses received citizenship quite automatically. Her battle against
the Citizenship Act was an important win for women’s rights to equal
treatment before the law and opened up the way
for many more women’s equality cases to come before our domestic courts.

Details are available from an IPS publication that is fortunately on line:

Sekai was influential in supporting demands for the creation as early
as 1981 of the Ministry for Community Development and Women’s Affairs.
It was envisaged as a national mechanism for women’s advancement. The
Ministry provided an invaluable platform for debate on women in
development issues. It was also a critical force in the reealistion
that the women’s movement, operating from outside of the ministry and
government space, could advocate for political demands for women’s

We all know the Grace Kwinjeh, the journalist and the opener of spaces
in the media for the women’s movement, even at a time when those
spaces were monitored and shut off for other civis formations. We
know the Grace Kwinjeh who strategised with us in pushing the NCA
male leadership and caucusing for a women from the movement to head
the Assembly.

We all know and have worked alongside Grace and Sekai and the other
comrades who are now in hospital brutalized.

I am told that last night ztv aired an advert for the Ministry and
Unifem inviting
Zimbabweans to commemorate international women’s day on March 17. The
“end impunity for violence against women” slogan, with its the take
off point as the domestic violence bill could not have been more

Grace and Sekai were brutalised while in police custody, hearing about
their trauma and their bodies in hospital once again shows us how much
the patriarchal state machinary, in this instance the police, has
mirrored the battering husband.

So I sit here, far away from you all, with a sinking heart as I hear
about the invitation to a ceremony to mark international women’s day
to end violence. Because in the face of this we are living state
perpetrated violence. So I sit here and have to question … How do you
go and and spend money on buying the official regalia and being
collected from the usual pick up points …while sekai, grace and
other comrades of our movement have been battered. And the formal
systems of women’s protection, the women’s movement, has kept so
alarmingly quiet.

The report of the Doctors say: the injuries documented were consistent
with beatings with blunt objects heavy enough to cause:
• Multiple fractures to hands, arms and legs
• Severe, extensive and multiple soft tissue injuries to
backs, shoulders, arms, buttocks and thighs.
• Head injuries and laceration
• Ruptured bowel and trauma to the abdomen.
• A split right ear lobe sustained by Grace.

I have since heard that prolonged detention without accessing medical
treatment resulted in severe haemorrhage in Morgan Tsvangirai leading
to severe anaemia which warranted
a blood transfusion. Injuries sustained by Sekai Holland were also
worsened by denial of timely access to medical treatment which led to
an infection of deep soft tissue in her left leg. Denial of access to
treatment in another individual suffering from hypertension has lead
to angina.

Whatever our personal views and emotions, especially about their
present political location, there is no denying Sekai’s and Graces
contribution to feminism and its development in Zimbabwe.

An appropriate response this year with the themes of women’s day would
be for political peace and the machines of violence, be they public or
private, to stop brutalising women. the WOZA women have reaptedly
given testimony of their dire treratment in jail cells, as have the
women in the union formations.

Let’s get beyond the rhetoric of celebrating an international day with
pomp and costume, and demand our rights to peaceful societies, as so
boldly outlined in the Beijing Platform for Action.

If our movement is really not partisan and does not make choice based
on political location, but rather on the true principles of feminism,
can we show it? This violent machine that beat up Grace, Sekai and
other sisters, called them “whores of Tsvangirai” and “Prostitutes of
Bush and Blair”. What does our individual and collective silence mean
in the face of such an assault on womanhood by patriarchal forces?

Kind Regards

Shereen Essof


Below is an email sent by one of the young women who attended the
femnist political education project workshop that we held last month.
She lives in a suburb of Harare called Glenview. This has reminded me
that the need for citizen journalism at this point is crucial.


guys i never thought that living in Glen View will have its
disadvantages but our area has been without electricity for the past 5
wks and you can imagine.beside that like i know you all see about the
MDC rallies and stuff but the real thing guys is that people are being
beaten like no body’s buzness in ma since sunday a convoy of
15 military policevehicles with about 20 soldiers in each convoy have
been harrasing people in ma area .on monday i was awoken by gun shots
being fired at the public who were returning from mourning a certain
MDC activist and like the activist resides like 3 streets from mine
and like in ma hood there aint no magesti so like people are doing
JAMBANJA [weed] in ma hood @ nite using the cover of darkness as scared guyz coz about 2 guyz were shot one pa ankle & the
other pa shoulder .and like the guy who was killed musiwe [last]
sunday was supposed to have been buried on tuesday kumusha kwavo [at
his rural home] but the Mp of Bindura [rural area] said she did not
want him buried there.the MDC people took advantage of that and said
the guy is to be buried pa Granville cemetry [in harare] after the
president of the party has been released on saturday.they say that pa
Mbudzi ndipo pa Hereos Acre chaipo [he is a hero but can’t be buried
at the national hero’s acre] coz masses are there including ma
personal hereo yea im talking about ma departed Queen, mis her big
time always but well such is life you lose some and you gain some @
least i,ve gained you guyz.I hope you all heard about the petrol bomb
thrown at police officials guyz high density surburbs can be
terrifying when they choose to.for those who go kuma [to the]
beerhalls people are being thrashed like ripe mapfunde and the
thrashers will be like “so thingz are ok for you since you can afford
to come and relax munhu wese pasi [and sit here] for those who do not
know the military police they have ordinary uniforms but they wear RED
BERETS so watch out


The Daily Catalyst

March 16, 2007

Detention Diary 6

The Zanu PF led government which shot Gift Tandare dead on 11 March
2007 is denying family members and relatives the body of the deceased.

Church service at Tandare’s funeral…

17 Christian Alliance pastors held a church service at the home of the
late Gift Tandare in Glen view. The pastors argued that no man has the
right to take away human life since it is only God who gives life;
hence He is the only one who has the right to take one. The pastors
maintained that they will continue with peaceful prayer meetings
nation wide till the will of God prevails.

Inside the Hospitals…

At the Avenues clinic, Grace Kwinjeh, the deputy secretary for
International Relations underwent a scan and blood clots were detected
in her brain. Grace has been suffering from memory loss.

Elton Mangoma, the party deputy treasurer suffered a fractured knee
cap, he is recovering from an operation which was carried two days


The 18 MDC political activists, who were arrested in Bulawayo
yesterday after they took to the streets protesting against police
brutality of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign leadership, were released in
the evening. Among the arrested included the MDC senior leadership of
Samuel Sipepa Nkomo and Lovemore Moyo. They will be appearing at the
Presswood Court this morning in Bulawayo. They have however vowed that
they will continue with the resistance campaign.


The Save Zimbabwe Campaign leadership vows to continue with its
defiance campaign to pressure the ZANU PF government to agree to a
new, people-driven and democratic constitution before the 2008
presidential plebiscite.

Addressing a press conference held at the Bumbiro House today, leaders
of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign deplored police brutality saying that
the heavy-handed manner through which police responded to a peaceful
prayer rally reminisces an unrepentant dictatorship that has no
respect for people’s civil and political liberties.

“As leaders of our various organisations under the umbrella of the
Save Zimbabwe Campaign, we call upon the people of Zimbabwe to
continue with the inevitable pursuit for democratic change against
repressive odds”, read a statement released to the press.

Leaders of civic and political formations, including Lovemore Madhuku,
chairperson of the National Constitutional Assembly, Tendai Biti, the
MDC Secretary-General, Jonah Gokova, the Co-ordinator of the Christian
Alliance and Arthur Mutambara, the MDC (Pro-Senate) President spoke
passionately about the need for an urgent solution to the
ever-deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe.

The MDC (Anti-Senate) president, Morgan Tsvangirai who sustained
severe injuries from police attack was only discharged from hospital
at around 9 am and could not make it for the press conference. The
press conference was attended by activists, civil society leaders,
journalists and diplomats.

CHRA STATEMENT 16 March 2007

The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) appalled by the
spiraling descent of our society into an abyss of violence and
destruction. We hold the Mugabe regime that has created our crisis
through its incompetent and nonsensical policies and its brutal
repression of our legitimate opposition to their insanity.

The violence witnessed in Marimba, Highfields and Glen View and
elsewhere is a regrettable but understandable reaction by citizens to
the brutal response of the occupied State to our grievances.

In the complete absence of non-violent conflict resolution mechanisms,
coupled with the refusal of the regime to be held accountable for its
policies and actions, we fear that the violence will escalate. Indeed
the belligerent statements from the regime indicates that they are
keen to put into practice their ‘degrees of violence’ that they seem
to be so proud of and that fill us with dread for the future of our
beloved Zimbabwe.

Residents of Harare have been exploited by an illegal Commission that
steals our resources on a daily basis. In spite of the rulings by the
Supreme and High Courts, the regime continues to hold onto the city
and to distribute the stolen resources to its cronies. We have been
very patient and dedicated to seeking a non-violent resolution of our
local crisis. However our members and residents have reached breaking
point and many have started to reject our policies as ineffectual. We
call upon the regime to correct its ways and to respect our rights.
Their current route will only lead us into yet more suffering, misery
and violence.