On her way back from the conference NANGO chairperson Dadirai Chikwengo made a two day stop in Britain where she was met and hosted by protest singer cum political activist Viomak.
Dadirai Chikwengo analyzed developments over the past month and looked at scenarios for ways to move forward as seen by Zimbabwe’s non governmental organisations. Ms Chikwengo was arrested shortly after the MDC announced its decision to disengage from the Government of National Unity.
According to various media reports, on October 24, 2009, Ms. Dadirai Chikwengo and Mr. Cephus Zinhumwe were arrested at the airport of Victoria Falls by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Central Organisation after participating in the Annual NGO Directors Summer School, allegedly for contravening the Public Order and Security Act by holding a “public and/or political meeting without police clearance”.
On October 27, 2009, they were remanded out of custody on a US$ 100 bail each, following decision of Victoria Falls Magistrate Richard Ramaboea. Charged with contravening Section 25(1)(b) of the Public Order and Security Act or allegedly failing to notify the regulating authority of an intention to hold a "public political gathering", Ms. Dadirai Chikwengo and Mr. Cephus Zinhumwe will appear in court again on November 25, 2009.
Dadirai Chikwengo, who is also Tearfund’s policy officer for Zimbabwe showed Viomak some scars of mosquito bites on her legs and back whilst explaining how she was exposed to terrible conditions in a cell.
The two human rights defenders discussed the problems facing mainly women human rights defenders in Zimbabwe with Dadirai Chikwengo sharing that a documentary discussing such problems is something she was looking forward to work on in future.A name that quickly came to Ms Chikwengo’s mind is that of Jestina Mukoko ,the director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project and a campaigner for human rights, who was abducted and tortured for catalogueing cases of murder, rape and torture in Zimbabwe.
The protest singer who is ready to officially release two music albums specifically themed for girls and women issues learnt that there was urgent need to produce more women albums as some of the problems facing Zimbabwean women can be partly resolved through music.The two agreed to work together and in collaboration with other human rights defenders to highlight the issues affecting women development whilst mapping the best way forward to empower disadvantaged Zimbabwe women artistically and how music can be used to spread messages of hope and encouragement.
Some issues of concern in Zimbabwe as we speak today are national healing and constitution.It will be great to consider lyrics to that effect,"said Ms Chikwengo.
Viomak who took the idea seriously confirmed that she will consider releasing songs on national healing and the constitution as soon as possible.
The Zimbabwe government needs to put an end to human rights abuses .Please write to the authorities of Zimbabwe asking them to respect human rights and stop arresting human rights defenders:
Contacts are :
President of Zimbabwe, Mr. Robert G. Mugabe, Office of the President, Private Bag 7700, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe, Fax : +263 4 708 211 / + 2126.96.36.199.58
Mr. Khembo Mohadi, Minister of Home Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, 11th Floor Mukwati Building, Private Bag 7703, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe, Fax : +263 4 726 716
Mr. Patrick Chinamasa, Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Fax: + 263 4 77 29 99 / +263 4 252 155
Mr. Augustine Chihuri, Commissioner General, Police Headquarters, P.O. Box 8807, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe, Fax : +263 4 253 212 / 728 768 / 726 084
Mr. Justice Johannes Tomana, Attorney-General, Office of the Attorney, PO Box 7714, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe, Fax: + 263 4 77 32 47
Mrs. Chanetsa, Office of the Ombudsman Fax: + 263 4 70 41 19
Ambassador Mr. Boniface Chidyausiku, Permanent Mission of Zimbabwe to the United Nations in Geneva, Chemin William Barbey 27, 1292 Chambésy, Switzerland, Fax: + 41 22 758 30 44, Email: email@example.com
Embassy of Zimbabwe in Brussels, 11 SQ Josephine Charlotte, 1200 Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 96 05 / + 32 2 775 65 10, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org