Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Anna Manjoro Behind the Headlines

Anna Manjoro, mother of Cynthia Manjoro, a 26 year old IT specialist who is still behind bars, charged alongside 24 others for allegedly killing a policeman, speaks to SW Radio Africa journalist Lance Guma on Behind the Headlines. Mai Manjoro expresses her frustration in trying to get an audience with Co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone despite Makone’s much publicized attempts to help the son of Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa when he was arrested last year.


Tendai Chabvuta, Mr Manjoro, Gladys Hlatywayo, Anna Manjoro and Hopewell Gumbo on a visit to Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison to see Cynthia Manjoro and the other detainees. In the picture is also Cynthia’s 2 year old son. (Picture courtesy of Hopewell Gumbo)
Tendai Chabvuta, Mr Manjoro, Gladys Hlatywayo, Anna Manjoro and Hopewell Gumbo on a visit to Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison to see Cynthia Manjoro and the other detainees. In the picture is also Cynthia’s 2 year old son. (Picture courtesy of Hopewell Gumbo)

Interview broadcast 04 July 2011

Lance Guma: Hallo Zimbabwe and thank you for joining us on Behind the Headlines. Today we are joined by Anna Manjoro, she is the mother to Cynthia Manjoro, the 26 year old IT specialist who alongside 24 other MDC members was charged with allegedly killing a policeman in Glen View last month. Mai Manjoro thank you for joining us once again.

Anna Manjoro: Thank you for having me Lance.

Guma: Okay, last Friday, 12 denied bail, 12 granted bail, Cynthia still locked up, let’s just get your reaction to the ruling on Friday – how did you feel about it?

Manjoro: I nearly collapsed actually when I got the news that my daughter had been denied bail. Looking at the reasons given, I couldn’t imagine anybody saying that somebody cannot be granted bail because one, they are employed, employment is not a sin; two, having one child is not a sin. So for somebody to assume that if Cynthia is granted bail she will run away, I didn’t see those as being real reasons why one was not be granted bail.

As a parent we should be having a feeling for other people; Cynthia is as good as anybody’s child, the way they treat their children is the way they should have been treating my daughter because if she was guilty of whatever crime is being alleged that she committed, it would be better but I want to emphasise that Cynthia was nowhere near Glen View. Cynthia does not live in Glen View; Cynthia has got nothing to do with the incident that took place in Glen View and for her to be denied bail it was really, I don’t know how to express it, I was so disappointed.

I know in Zimbabwe, abortion is a crime but for somebody to be denied the right to be with her child, a two year old child, I don’t understand it at all, I don’t understand it at all. If she had committed abortion they were going to arrest her but now they are denying her the same right that they want an unborn child to be given.

Guma: Now the thing is, everyone knows that in this particular case the police themselves have confessed to the fact that they know she is innocent which is why I suppose there was a lot of outrage on Friday that she was denied bail. Everyone was expecting that she was going to be freed. Now and the other shocking thing is everyone knows they are using her as bait because they are interested in her alleged boyfriend Darlington Madzonga. How frustrating is that particular situation for you and the policeman that you are speaking to, what are they saying?

Manjoro: I haven’t got any good response; I was expecting a call from at least somebody in the higher offices. I tried to speak to Comrade Chamisa, I was told that I will get back to you – I didn’t get any feedback. I tried Mai Makone, she didn’t even talk to me; I tried the Speaker of Parliament’s office, I didn’t get any joy because I just wanted to find out what the situation is. For my daughter to be labeled an activist and a murderer, it’s really disturbing to be very honest with you.

I didn’t bring up Cynthia as a violent somebody for her to be going through all this. If they really wanted Darlington Madzonga, Darlington Madzonga is a Zimbabwean who has got parents and relatives in Zimbabwe, they should have at least taken one of Madzonga’s relatives, close relative then that way Darlington would come because it will be a close relative.

In this case he doesn’t care because he has got many girlfriends I suppose. If he had been committed to marrying Cynthia at least it would make sense but in this case I don’t even know him and for them to expect Darlington to come because Cynthia is behind bars, ah I don’t understand it.

It’s only when a close relative is locked up when one could say okay my relative is suffering because of me, then one can stand up. I would be happier if they could go and take either Madzonga’s sister or father or mother and put them behind bars, then they will have (inaudible)

Guma: When you tried to talk to Theresa Makone, the co-Home Affairs minister, what did she say in response?

Manjoro: Ah she promised she will come back to me and I want to believe that she will honour her promise.

Guma: Hmm. So where do you go from here in terms they were denied bail? What are the lawyers saying to you regarding this case now, what else are they going to be trying?

Manjoro: I spoke to Mr. Kwaramba who indicated that they were going to lodge an appeal against that decision so I believed there was more when I talked to him I should be getting something on the move, the way forward actually because I can’t have my child there for not having committed any crime. It’s getting cold and I want to still emphasise that Cynthia is asthmatic and this is not very good weather for a person who is asthmatic to be locked in a place like Chikurubi.

So if somebody out there could assist me to let these people see some sense and not keep my daughter behind bars for having not committed any crime. Cynthia was not in Glen View; Cynthia is not a Glen View resident so I don’t see the reason why she should be denied bail. If it’s a question of her car as I mentioned earlier on, they can keep that car. Cynthia is not going to run away from Zimbabwe because of these things because she is not guilty of anything.

Guma: Now they’re keeping Cynthia because they want to use her as bait to get Darlington Madzonga; our information is that Darlington Madzonga is already in South Africa. Are you aware of this?

Manjoro: No I’m not aware of it; the last time I spoke with Darlington Madzonga he was still in Zimbabwe where he was indicating that he was going to go with the lawyers to the police. Unfortunately he didn’t stand as a man enough to honour his promise to go and face the consequences because he is the man who was driving my daughter’s car. I haven’t even seen that car, it was only a week old since Cynthia bought that car and somebody put my daughter in this mess and he doesn’t stand up, to be man enough to face the consequences.

Guma: But there is no suggestion that, simply because he was driving the car in Glen View, he might have taken part in the murder. A lot of people are thinking this is just victimization of perceived MDC supporters.

Manjoro: Yah, he could have just come to say this is the thing I was there, I was driving the car. Look, we have people like Last Maengahama they are out right now, what was going to stop him from getting bail like the others who were there in Glen View, who live in Glen View actually? They might not have been at the scene, I don’t know whether he was at the scene himself so I can’t say he was at the scene, he’s the person who knows why he is running away.

But what I am bitter about is that he took my daughter’s car and now my daughter is suffering because of him. Darlington Madzonga’s relatives are the people who should be there as bait for Darlington and not my daughter.

Guma: If I may go back to the Theresa Makone situation – we reported several months ago when the son of the Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa was arrested and Theresa Makone went to the various police stations looking for, I believe it’s Martin Mutasa and a lot of people that I’ve been speaking to have been comparing or making comparisons with her involvement in this particular case. With Mutasa’s son she actually went to the police stations trying to get him released, in this particular case she has not been as, shall we say, equally active. Are people saying this to you also?

Manjoro: I haven’t spoken with anybody in that connection actually but I read about the issues in NewsDay and I saw some comments which were really nasty, which were castigating her actions, so like I said that it’s like we are in an Animal Farm where other animals are more equal than others, that’s how I would put the situation because if they really knew that Cynthia is a human being who has got rights like any other human being such things wouldn’t be happening to her at all because she has no case to answer. The question of a car, Darlington Madzonga is the person who should answer as to why Cynthia’s car was there because he is the person who was driving it.

Guma: So in general, although the MDC are not the ones who have got Cynthia and the other 24 arrested, you are not happy with the way they have handled the case in terms of trying to help?

Manjoro: Cynthia is labeled as an activist and if I could have heard from somebody to say look we are doing ABC to assist these people because Yvonne or any other person who is there, they are all human beings who don’t deserve to be there for a crime which they didn’t commit. Unless somebody can say these or so-and-so did ABC, then it would be fair but the top guys should be seen to be more concerned about these people.

They have lives to live as well. Right now my daughter hasn’t been going to work for almost (inaudible) this is the second month. No employer will tolerate this and my daughter, if she loses her job, jobs are so hard to come by in Zimbabwe and for her to lose her job because of something that she didn’t commit, a crime she didn’t commit, I think it’s very, very, very unfair.

People should be human enough and put themselves in the shoes of somebody. We were taught that do unto others as you would want them to do unto you but that doesn’t seem to sync with us. Let us be human enough and treat other people as we would want to be treated. Not to treat other, fine some people are poor, some are rich but we shouldn’t look at people according to that status.

Guma: Now the last time we spoke to the co-Home Affairs minister, she had indicated that she would like to meet you; any chance of that meeting taking place?

Manjoro: I’m not very sure; like I said that she had said she will phone me. When she phones, if a meeting is to be arranged, we will meet.

Guma: Well Zimbabwe, that’s Anna Manjoro. She is the mother of Cynthia Manjoro, a 26 year old IT specialist who alongside 24 other MDC members was charged with allegedly killing a policeman in Glen View and the case continues. Twelve of the 24 were granted bail while the other 12 were denied. Thank you for joining us again Mai Manjoro.

Manjoro: Thank you very much Lance.

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