I Am Being Persecuted For Winning Human Rights Defenders Award: Obert Masaraure
15 June 2022
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By Obert Masaraure| Fellow Citizens, thank you for the massive solidarity after the Mnangagwa regime decided to abuse office and instruct the police to arrest me for a trumped up murder charge. That the charge doesn’t hold water is common cause. That a concluded case if inquest is resurrected after the teacher union I lead wins the Human Rights Defenders Award shows the extent this regime is fearful of workers.

They fear that we have continued the struggle against all odds. The state coercive machinery is desperate to stop the people’s struggle. They gave chosen a path to open wounds of a tragic event when a young life was lost. The life in question, Cde Roy Issa, ( May His Dear Soul Rest in Internal Peace), was lost under tragic circumstances whose specifics are on judicial record. Everyone is well aware that I was nowhere near the incident that claimed Roy’s life.

If anything, I was expelled from the FES cohort of 2016 because I allowed Cdes to use my room on the fateful night. The reason being that they were scheduled to visit incarcerated Occupy Africa Unity Square Cdes who were in detention at Harare Remand Prison. The arrested Cdes were protesting against Mugabe’s authoritarian regime and the return of Itai Dzamara. I had a room, as a Cde could not have failed to share it to advance the struggle.

For the record, I was never invited for the inquest into the death of Cde Roy because I was never a witness. My Cdes who were using the room submitted evidence and my name was never mentioned, because I was at home with my wife and family.

The Security at Jameson Hotel made submissions and my name was never mentioned because I was not at the scene. I feel sorry for the Issa family who are being forced to revisit this painful part of their history.

The State wanted to scare me away from my beloved country. I was warned at the airport when I was about to fly to Dublin that they would arrest me on my return. I received follow up phone calls when I was planning to return home from Dublin, advising me that there was a plot to arrest me. An otherwise silly plot had it been emotionally tragic.

I came back to Zimbabwe fully aware of the evil plot to arrest me and press the wild charge of murder. I am innocent and the State knows that. I am not a coward, I am ready to face anything. Our demand for labour justice is legitimate. The Liberation struggle was fought for a just society and we will press on until we complete the liberation project.

I resolutely declare my innocence in the face of clearly contrived charges. Frivolous and vexatious claims which are meant to set the stage for persecution and not prosecution. These charges are designed to serve an ulterior agenda, I have already faced similar bogus charges of treason. It is self evident that there is an agenda to frighten and intimidate us from the ongoing struggle for justice for the working class. But we will neither be intimidated nor be deterred.
The job action of 20 June 2022 will proceed. Civil servants from all sectors should join the week long job action demanding a living wage.

This persecution is the price we pay for choosing to be active citizens under an authoritarian regime, a regime which is preoccupied with only one thing, power retention. The criminals in charge are bastardising our state institutions in pursuit of power retention. We wait to see how the judiciary will handle this case. Whether the courts will stand for justice or otherwise.

Whatever the outcome we declare our innocence. We will soldier on! We are ready to fight for what we believe to the grave. Compatriots let us complete the liberation project and deliver a just Zimbabwe to the next generation.

As Fidel Castro and Nelson Mandela said “history will absolve me.”

Comradely and under persecution
Obert Masaraure