Zimbabwe

Mining, gender and militarism in Africa

Samantha Hargreaves from WoMin - an African gender and extractives alliance - speaks to Andrew Dey from WRI about the links between gender, extractive industries and militarism in Africa, and what this new network is doing to counter it.

Tell us about your work – what is Womin, when did you form, and who makes up your network? What are the critical issues you are working on?

Samantha: WoMin was launched in October 2013. We work with about 50 allied organisations in fourteen countries across Southern, East and West Africa. Most partners are working on issues of land, natural resources, extractive industries, environmental and climate justice and women’s rights. Our work with women rights organisations has generally been challenged by their focus to more 'traditional' gender issues like violence against women, women and girl child education and health, with a small number working on the terrain of environment, land and other economic justice questions.

WoMin Southern African women and coal exchange. Photo: Heidi AugestadWoMin Southern African women and coal exchange. Photo: Heidi Augestad

Solidarity: a barrier between you and fear

Dear friends,

My name is Hülya Üçpınar, I am a human rights lawyer in Turkey. I write on returning from an exchange on nonviolence training co-hosted by War Resisters' International. The event reminded me of the distinctive contribution that WRI makes to movements for peace and antimilitarism.

Fundamentally, WRI is a network -- a collective of like-minded groups, each struggling against militarism and warmongering in our own contexts. With the support of two staff in the WRI office in London, we lend each other vital solidarity and encouragement.

Why resistance to war is a central and important part of a 
queer struggle

A common sight: police monitoring  the Milton park neighborhood; GALZ offices are in this area. (Photo by Miles Tanhira)A common sight: police monitoring the Milton park neighborhood; GALZ offices are in this area. (Photo by Miles Tanhira)Steve Biko, an anti-apartheid activist, once said the oppressed aspire to be the oppressor. This is true when it comes to the effects of war on minorities such as LGBTI people. In most African countries for instance, the issue of homosexuality has been used by power hungry politicians to hoodwink people into believing that homosexuality is the cause of their misery.

War Resisters' International Executive statement on the harassment of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ)

War Resisters' International (WRI), the international network of pacifist organisations with more than 80 affiliates in more than 40 countries, calls for an end to the harassment of our affiliate Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) and to the physical attacks on members of GALZ. Furthermore, WRI strongly condemns the violation of basic human rights of the members of GALZ, such as freedom of association, freedom from arbitrary arrest, and freedom from torture and degrading treatment.

Harare police launch manhunt for members of WRI's affiliate GALZ

GALZ Alert 17 August 2012

Harare police have launched a manhunt of the 44 GALZ members who were beaten and detained before being released without charges last week. From last night the police have visited the homes of about ten members. It is not clear what they want from the members, so far three of them who were detained, interrogated and their personal details recorded have been released.

African Nonviolence and Peace-builders Network Formed

Gathering Hosted by War Resisters' International and Ceasefire Campaign

Between the 26 – 30 July in Johannesburg, peacemakers from 12 countries in Africa met to share experiences, and birthed a new, continent-wide African Nonviolence and Peace-building Network. The delegates from over a dozen organizations pledged to intensify coordinated nonviolent resistance from the South to the North of Africa.

GALZ: The sign of a victory

“I feel relieved and elated! Thank God! Today I will have a good night sleep in peace,” these are the words of victory echoed by Ignatious Muhambi a consultant accountant with GALZ following his acquittal today.

Muhambi was on trial facing charges of allegedly possessing pornographic material, in breach of the country’s censorship laws.

In her ruling Magistrate Sandra Mupindu who presided over the matter said that there was no prima facie evidence to prove the essential elements of the case which are possession, indecent or obscene and without lawful excuse.

Zimbabwe: GALZ activists bailed; 'persecution' not 'legitimate prosecution' says Human Rights Forum

Related peace activists: 

GALZ (Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe) staff Ellen Chadamena and Ignatius Muhambia were bailed on Thursday, 27 May, and will have a "remand" hearing on 10 June, before appearing in the high court on 18 June. They face charges of ‘insulting the office of the President’ and allegedly possessing ‘pornographic material’. Their lawyer told press that they would be medically examined "so that we can pursue an action against the people who were responsible for the beatings and torture.”

Gay rights pair finally released on bail

http://www.swradioafrica.com/news270510/gayrights270510.htm

By Violet Gonda
27 May 2010

The two members of the gay rights group Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe,
who were arrested last week after a raid on their offices, were finally
released on $200 bail each on Thursday by a magistrate’s court.

Ellen Chademana and Ignatius Muhambi, who are facing charges of
‘insulting the office of the President’ and for allegedly possessing
‘pornographic material’ are expected back in court for their remand
hearing on June 10th.

Lawyer David Hofisi said they also filed an urgent High Court

Arrested GALZ employees allege torture by Zimbabwe police

Related peace activists: 

ZLHR Press Release – 26 May: Two Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) employees on Wednesday 26 May 2010 alleged that police severely tortured them in their holding cells.

David Hofisi and Dzimbabwe Chimbga, the lawyers representing the two employees Ellen Chademana and Ignatius Mhambi told Harare Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi that their clients were tortured during their
detention in police cells and asked for an investigation into the alleged torture.

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