[Marxism] Zimbabwe activists in danger of unlawful prison sentences – Solidarity needed! | Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
glparramatta at greenleft.org.au
Wed Mar 14 17:18:22 MDT 2012
The following statement was issued by the South African Municipal
Workers Union (SAMWU). Readers of /Links International Journal of
Socialist Renewal/ are urged to phone, email or send protest messages
demanding the release of the six Zimbabwe activists
<http://links.org.au/taxonomy/term/171> to the Zimbabwe embassy or
consulate in their countries. Solidarity actions are being organised in
South Africa. Please send copies of protest messages sent to
ashley_fataar at yahoo.co.uk <mailto:ashley_fataar at yahoo.co.uk>.
Text messages can be sent to:
Home affairs (police) minister Kembo Mohadi: +263 712 605 424(mobile)
State security (C.I.O.) minister Didymus Mutasa: +263 0712 200 532 (mobile)
Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena +263 712 801 172
Police commisioner Augustine Chihuri: +263 712 808 290
Secretary for justice can be phoned on: +263 4 774 560 or +263 4 774 620
or +263 4 774 62/7
* * *
March 14, 2012 -- The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) is
alarmed to hear reports that the six Zimbabwean activists who dared to
show and discuss a film of the Egyptian uprising last year in Harare and
who are currently in court defending themselves, are in danger of
receiving heavy prison sentences. The Zimbabwe state is behaving in a
hysterical and irrational manner.
The evidence put before the court by the state is flimsy, biased and
shrouded in innuendo and paranoia. If the six are convicted it will mean
that the security apparatus in Zimbabwe will have unlimited powers to
send perfectly innocent people to prison for watching a film, or worse,
for even daring to discuss events unfolding in another country! The
so-called evidence emanating from the state verges on the paranoiac. As
far as the state is concerned, this group of peaceful socialist
activists were about to launch a revolution and take power from themselves!
In other words, if you watch a film about the events in Egypt, you must
be preparing to organise a violent uprising in Harare! On this
reasoning, thousands of those who tuned into Al Jazeera during the North
African turmoil are guilty too!
Michael Reza, for the state said in his submission that the six clearly
conspired on February 19 last year to cause public violence and the
uprising had gone beyond the planning stage. “The uprising had gone
beyond the planning stage. The date had been set (March 1, 2011), the
place set, (Africa Unity Square, Harare) communication method agreed on
(email, texting).“All what remained was the arrival of the appointed
date. The crime had been complete at that stage. “If the accused persons
are found guilty as charged (and the state firmly believes that it
should be so) then they should be punished heavily”. And “were it not
for the police, who scuttled the plan, Harare would have burnt on March
1, 2011”, he said. Logic and reason are not being applied in court by
the state. Instead it is deploying the worst forms of guilt by
association and conspiracy mongering to stifle any opposition to rule by
The state is desperate to close down any avenue for discussion in the
build-up to the coming elections that might allow important questions to
be raised about the illegal human rights abuses of ZANU-PF, the state of
corruption and patronage at work in the country and the continuing
poverty experienced by the masses. This is the real agenda. Speak out
and you can expect to be punished and sent to prison.
SAMWU urges all of those who stand for democratic and human rights,
including members of South Africa's Tripartite Alliance
[ANC-COSATU-SACP] and all of civil society across the region to be ready
to defend the six socialists who are currently in court if the
outrageous and unjust convictions materialise. We must all be ready to
send a message to the Zimbabwean government that intolerance of this
type is not acceptable and must be condemned in the strongest possible
We sincerely hope that the Movement for Democratic Change in the Zimbawe
government will publicly disassociate itself from this travesty of
justice, and along with civil society demand that the charges be dropped
and those who have been victimised and vilified be properly compensated
and given an official apology. Failure to do so will make everyone less
secure in Zimbabwe.
The right to meet, discuss events in the world, share ideas and speak
openly and freely is not a luxury reserved from a small political elite,
but a fundamental human right that must be enjoyed by all.
Release the six accused now!
Say no to intimidation and state repression!
An injury to one is an injury to all!
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