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Zimbabwe Human Rights Association conducts mobile clinic

by Stephen Jakes
23 Jul 2017 at 10:12hrs | Views
On the 17th of July 2017, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum intended to conducts a mobile legal clinic at Nyamapanda shops in Nyamapanda.

ZimRights said an estimate of 40 participants from various villages and wards in Nyamapanda and Kotwa were expected.

"The mobile legal clinic was slated to start at 1100 hours and end at 1500 hours. The team conducting the legal clinic met with the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) coordinator, Fani Thembo, who was on the ground at Kotwa at around 1000 hours on the 17th of July 2017 and proceeded to Nyamapanda Police Station. A police clearance had been obtained and the officer in charge assigned to the team 2 police internal security intelligence officers to monitor the event.," said ZimRights.

"Thembo advised the team that the Councillor, Nyamande, had requested to meet with the team as he wanted to get clarity on the event. Upon meeting with Mr Nyamande, he informed us that the District Administrator (DA), Mr Misi, was not aware of the programme and as such he had told the people in his ward to not attend the legal clinic until he had given further notice. The team proceeded back to the district offices to clarify the issue with the District Administrator."

ZimRights said upon arrival at the district offices, the team was given an array of bureaucratic procedures only to be advised that the District Administrator was in Harare and could not be reached on his mobile number as it went unanswered because he was in a workshop.

"The officers present described the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum work as potentially 'corrupting the people of Mudzi', 'inciting the people of Mudzi' and 'harmful'. Resultantly, all other officers present at the offices indicated that they were unable to make such a decision on whether or not the mobile legal clinic to take place despite having obtained the requisite police clearance," said ZimRights.

"Having faced such an impediment to our programme of a mobile legal clinic being construed as a political agenda, the team decided to schedule an appointment with the District Administrator on the 18th of July 2017 to clarify the purpose of the mobile legal clinic. The District Administrator informed the team that he was available to meet them at 0645hours on the 18th of July 2017."

ZimRights said the team met with the District Administrator who arrived at his office at 0735hours.

"The District Administrator intimated that he had no issues with the mobile legal clinic but required prior notice different from the police notification. He indicated that he wanted to know what programmes were being held and by which specific NGOs. He also wanted to know their mandates as it was his duty to 'to protect the people of Mudzi'. The team then described the purposes of the legal clinic to which he was in agreement to. The team also highlighted that they would share the Forum constitution and registration documents as requested by the DA," said the organisation.

"The District Administrator proceeded to give the team permission to host the legal clinic on the 18th of July having negotiated with the Officer in Charge of Nyamapanda Police Station because the police clearance obtained prior had lapsed. He, Misi contacted the Councillor of the new development at which juncture the conducting of a legal clinic failed as the Councillor began to highlight that 'his' people needed adequate notice through the village heads."

ZimRights said in the politically tense areas such as Mudzi, the local leadership now shifts roles frustrating the purpose of any intended action despite it being beneficial to the residents in the community until it is too late to implement.

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