Patriotism

Nancy Mteki, Honai
Wednesday 5 August 2015, 6 – 8 pm

Please join us for the opening of Nancy Mteki’s solo show ‘Honai’ from 6-8pm on Wednesday 5 August 2015 at Njelele Art Station at 131 Kaguvi Street, Harare.

Nancy Mteki exists on the axis of self-exploration in a society that shames whilst simultaneously sexualizing and objectifying the black female form.  Through the series ‘Honai’ her body transcends space encountering and challenging the public gaze, revealing her vulnerability and displaying her power. Equipped with the camera and experience of rejection, mothering and loss she invites the audience to her reawakening. She boldly stares at you against the backdrop of domesticity rewriting history and challenging the narrative of Black African female voicelessness. Each image layered with political force, freezing time and space, pushes one to reimagine ‘woman’, ‘man’ and ultimately ‘self’. Nancy Mteki is a Zimbabwean artist whose work draws on women and their daily experiences in society. Introduced to photography in 2008 at Iliso Labantu (The Eye of the People) founded by Alistair Berg and Sue Johnson, she has exhibited her work, in addition to participating in workshops and residencies, in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Maputo, Aberdeenshire, Abu Dhabi and Harare. – Tawanda Appiah

Home-grown inspiration

Nyasha Munodawafa impressed us by telling us about Louis, the homeless 16 year old who started a car wash business to make money and get off the street. He also impressed us by helping Louis with some basic items to set up his business so we went Inside/Out with Nyasha … here’s what we found out:

Describe yourself in five words? Making the world my playground. / What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? To live an unapologetic life. / What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever done? Tried to make toast with a microwave. / What is your most treasured possession? My health. / What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Not having shelter. / Do you have any strange hobbies? Debunking generalities that society considers as fact. / What do you dislike most about your appearance? Being familiarised to Energy Mutodi. / What is your greatest extravagance? $4-00 Chai Latte. / What have you got in your fridge? Zimbabwe beef. / What is your greatest fear? Not having lived. / What have you got in your pockets right now? Lip balm and handkerchief. / What is your favourite journey? Chivhu – Gutu highway, a clear sky and one hour before sunset. / Who are your heroes in real life? My Father and Mother. / When and where were you happiest? Kariba, on the Talisman house boat, at the age of 10 laughing hysterically with my brother and cousin in the Jacuzzi. / What’s your biggest vice? Listening to people. / What were you like at school? Below average, overstimulated and testing the boundaries. / What are you doing next? Creating at least 20 jobs in Zimbabwe by year-end.

theSpace is Zimbabwe’s only international platform convened by young people designed to provide solutions and opportunities for growth and thought process to current and future challenges. Make sure YOU get to theSpace. More here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lWpmxvW9xY

Zimbabwe: Persecution by prosecution

Well said Lance:

It’s the all too familiar story of Zimbabwe where the regime employs ‘persecution by prosecution’ tactics to demobilize those who are a threat to their continued stay in power. The strategy is to de-motivate those who are prepared to fight the system and ultimately create a docile, compliant citizen. The three civil society leaders were arrested when they had gone to visit and show solidarity to detained National Vendors Union Zimbabwe leaders and several informal traders. The message is clear, they want to contain if not decimate all possible pockets of resistance. – Lance Guma, Nehanda Radio

Hunting is a coward’s pastime. If, as has been reported, this dentist and his guides lured Cecil out of the park with food so as to shoot him on private property, because shooting him in the park would have been illegal, he needs to be extradited, charged, and, preferably, hanged.  To get a thrill at the cost of a life, this man gunned down a beloved lion, Cecil with a high-powered weapon. All wild animals are beloved by their own mates and infants, but to hunters like this overblown, over-privileged little man, who lack empathy, understanding, and respect for living creatures, they are merely targets to kill, decapitate, and hang up on a wall as a trophy. The photograph of this dentist, smiling over the corpse of another animal, who, like Cecil, wanted only to be left in peace, will disgust every caring soul in the world.
- Ingrid Newkirk, President, PETA U.S.

Press statement from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

A Zimbabwean Magistrate on Monday 27 July, 2015 ordered the release of three civil society leaders who were arrested and charged with contravening one of the country’s tough security laws after  faulting the Zimbabwe Republic Police for over-detaining the trio in breach of the country’s new Constitution.

Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services (ZPCS) and police officers on Saturday 25 July, 2015 ambushed and arrested three Civil Society Organisations (CSO) leaders Mfundo Mlilo, the spokesperson of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, (CiZC) and the director of the Combined Harare Residents Association, CiZC programmes manager Nixon Nyikadzino and Dirk Frey, the spokesperson of Occupy Africa Unity Square movement and charged them with contravening Section 25 (5) of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

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The prison and police officers alleged that the three CSO leaders failed to give notice of a gathering that allegedly took place on Friday 24 July 2015 outside the premises of Harare Remand Prison or alternatively Section 5 (2) of the Protected Places and Areas Act. The police claimed that Mlilo, Nyikadzino and Frey were part of 60 CSOs representatives and informal sector traders who visited Harare Remand Prison on a solidarity visit to some detained National Vendors Union Zimbabwe leaders and some traders.

But the trio’s lawyer Gift Mtisi of Musendekwa Mtisi Legal Practitioners and a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights on Monday afternoon filed an application seeking the immediate release of his clients and arguing that their rights had been violated and should be set free as they had been detained beyond the prescribed 48-hour period as provided for in Section 50 (2) and (3) of the Constitution.

While the State which opposed Mtisi’s application and which wanted to have the CSO leaders placed on remand in custody to 06 August 2015, the human rights lawyer insisted that his clients must be released as the police had not secured a court order to extend their detention beyond the 48 hours.

Mtisi argued that it would be illegal for Harare Magistrate Tendai Mahwe to entertain the State’s intentions as doing so would perpetuate an illegality. In the end, Magistrate agreed with Mtisi and ordered the immediate release of Mlilo, Nyikadzino and Frey.

Press statement from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights:

Zimbabwean authorities on Friday 24 July, 2015 and Saturday 25 July, 2015 arrested some civil society leaders, activists and a journalist in a fresh onslaught against non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services (ZPCS) officers first arrested journalist Edgar Gweshe and activists Charles Nyoni and Don Makuwaza, the mobilisation and membership recruitment officer for Chitungwiza Residents Trust on Friday 24 July, 2015 and handed them over to the Zimbabwe Republic Police, who charged them with contravening Section 5 (2) of the Protected Places and Areas Act Chapter 11:12 for allegedly failing to comply with a directive from an authorised officer regulating conduct and movement.

The three, who are represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights member Tonderai Bhatasara of Mupanga Bhatasara Legal Practitioners, were arrested at Harare Remand Prison during a solidarity visit by leaders and representatives of CSOs to some detained informal sector traders and their union leaders.

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Prosecutors charged that the activists were part of about 60 vendors who gathered outside Harare Remand Prison and held a meeting whose agenda was not known. ZPCS Superintendent Renias Chiwakaya reportedly ordered them to disperse but they allegedly resisted the order resulting in a police officer firing some warning shots. The prison officers reportedly confiscated a camera and some mobile phone handsets which they claimed had been used by Gweshe, Nyoni and Makuwaza in taking photographs outside the prison complex.

On Saturday 25 July, 2015, some prison and police officers teamed up at Rotten Row Magistrates Court, where they ambushed and arrested three CSO leaders Mfundo Mlilo, the spokesperson of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, (CiZC), Nixon Nyikadzino, the CiZC programmes manager and Dirk Frey, the deputy chairperson of the Occupy Africa Unity Square, who were following up on the appearance in court of Gweshe, Nyoni and Makuwaza.

At the time of their arrest, the prison and police officers alleged that the three had taken pictures and had led a “resistance” at Harare Remand Prison on Friday 24 July, 2015 where they allegedly led about 60 CSOs representatives and informal sector traders on a solidarity visit to some detained National Vendors Union Zimbabwe leaders and some traders.

Mlilo, Nyikadzino and Frey, who are represented by Gift Mtisi of Mtisi Musendekwa Legal Practitioners, a member of ZLHR, were taken to Harare Central Police Station, where they are detained.

Meanwhile, Gweshe, Makuwaza and Nyoni were on Saturday 25 July, 2015 released on $50 bail and ordered to report to the police once in every two weeks and continue residing at their given residential addresses.

Press statement from Civil Society in Zimbabwe:

On Saturday 25 July, 2015, Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services (ZPCS) officers teamed up with some Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers arrested three CSO leaders Mfundo Mlilo, the CiZC spokesperson, Nixon ‘Mao’ Nyikadzino, the CiZC programmes manager and Dirk Frey, the deputy chairperson of the Occupy Africa Unity Square.

The three were arrested while attending the bail hearing of CiZC Information Officer Edgar Gweshe and activists Charles Nyoni and Don Makuwaza who were arrested on Friday while visiting National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe activists who are detained at the Harare Remand Prison.

Civil Society in Zimbabwe condemns the sustained onslaught against civic society leaders which have culminated with the reprehensible and arbitrary ambush and arrest of civic society leaders and activists on charges of violating one of the country’s tough security laws.

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At the time of the arrest of Mlilo and Nyikadzino, the prison and police officers alleged that the three had taken pictures and had led a “resistance” at Harare Remand Prison on Friday 24 July, 2015 where they allegedly led about 60 CSOs representatives and informal sector traders on a solidarity visit to some detained National Vendors Union Zimbabwe leaders and some traders. Gweshe, Nyoni and Makuwaza, who were first arrested at Harare Remand Prison on Friday 24 July 2015 during a solidarity visit by leaders and representatives of CSOs to some detained informal sector traders and their union leaders were charged with contravening Section 5 (2) of the Protected Places and Areas Act Chapter 11:12 for allegedly failing to comply with a directive from an authorised officer regulating conduct and movement.

Civil society is deeply concerned by the actions of the state through launching an unwarranted assault on civil society on cooked up charges of leading an unspecified “resistance” in a bid to close up the operating space.

Civil society condemns the unprofessional conduct of the ZPCS and the ZRP officers of firing gun shots in the presence of unarmed civilians who were visiting their relatives and colleagues.

It is quite clear that the arrest of the CSO leaders and activists is part of a calculated and sustained assault on CSO’s. These actions are meant to divert the attention of the Zimbabwean public from the agonising economic crisis and deteriorating living conditions which the government has failed to arrest.

Responsibility for the current crackdown lies squarely and fully on the government which has either been powerless to stop the attacks on CSOs, directly or indirectly involved in the coordination and implementation of the attacks, or simply unconcerned with the challenges faced by those outside their ivory towers.

Should further harm befall those within the civic society sector as a result of such ongoing and future attacks, it is this fascist government that we will hold responsible.

Civil Society demand and call upon:

- The Government of Zimbabwe to immediately release the civil society leaders and activists.
- The Government of Zimbabwe must desist from intimidating, harassing and interfering of legitimate operations of civil society in Zimbabwe.
- The ZPCS and ZRP to exercise professionalism and carry out their duties in non-partisan manner with due diligence and stop harassing and intimidating human rights defenders.
- The Government of Zimbabwe should create an enabling environment for CSOs in accordance with the Zimbabwean Constitution and the various regional and international norms which Zimbabwe has signed which protects fundamental rights of human rights defenders to exist and be protected by law, to organize associate and carry out peaceful and legitimate activities.
- The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to condemn this act of repression and de-mand, from the current Chair, guarantees for Zimbabwean CSOs to operate freely.

Issued by / Contact Persons: 1. Mfundo Mlilo, Spokesperson, Mobile: +263 772 127 397 / +1 612 483 0685 Email: mfundomlilo [at] gmail [dot] com 2. McDonald Lewanika, Executive Director, Mobile: +263772 913418 Email: mlewanika [at] gmail [dot] com Email: info [at] crisiszimbabwe [dot] org ; publications [at] crisiszimbabwe [dot] org Website: www.crisiszimbabwe.org

Louis Car Wash

louis_car_wash

Please could you help get the word out about Louis Car Wash? I met him today while walking back from the Fife Avenue shops. He was clearing up an area to start his own car wash business. He is homeless and wants to, and can work to make himself a living. Please find attached a JPEG image I made to help spread the word that his car wash is up and running. Your assistance in helping Louis get clients, or get long term help to get him out of the poverty trap is greatly appreciated. – Nyasha, Kubatana member