By Tatenda Dewa | Harare Bureau |
Scores of protests who recently took to the streets are still jailed despite being granted bail and citizen activist leaders have sent out an SOS for financial support.
“We are appealing on well-meaning Zimbabweans to come in with any funding support they can manage so that our comrades who are in jail can get back their freedom.
“Protesters who were arrested by the police have been granted bail, but the numbers are so overwhelming and the amounts required are huge,” said Tererai Sithole, one of the Tajamuka leaders.
Food is scarce at prisons and when it is available, is hardly fit for consumption, so Tajamuka has been visiting the jailed protesters and helping with brought-in supplies.
“This is the time for all Zimbabweans to show solidarity with us. We are calling on fellow citizens to remain steadfast in these trying times and to rally with the protesters so that we deliver a new Zimbabwe,” said Sithole.
Harare, Beitbridge and other urban centres were recently hit by a wave of violent protests led by Tajamuka and other demonstrators demanding an end to President Robert Mugabe’s rule and a reversal of unpopular policies such as a recent ban on imported commodities.
A new initiative, Zimbabwe Freedom Fund that is led by Freeman Chari is also appealing to sympathisers to donate money to help protesting citizens.
“We are starting this fund as an emergency chest that can be used to offset the financial, medical and logistical burden that may fall on Zimbabweans in the course of this revolution,” said Chari.
The money will be used for legal assistance, even though the group will also work with the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
“We have seen the rampant brutality by police and many will need medical assistance. We know that a point might come where we need to escalate our voice from shutdowns to peaceful marches and demos. God willing, this fund will be used to help mobilise people,” said Chari.
Chari said they were setting up a fundraising committee that would oversee the disbursement of the funds.
He said his group would closely work with Tajamuka, #ThisFlag led by a pastor, Evan Mawarire, and Occupy Africa Unity Square (OAUS) which Chari said would be accountable for the funds.
Sithole, however, said Tajamuka was not yet part of Chari’s team. Nehanda Radio