HABAKKUK TRUST ACTION TEAM MEMBERS THREATENED IN TSHOLOTSHO
A female Habakkuk Trust Advocacy Action Team member in Tsholotsho ward 5 (Siphepha) has been summoned to the local police station by the Inspector Zengeya for wearing a Habakkuk Trust t-shirt.
According to reliable sources from Siphepha, the lady (name withheld) who is a member of the neighborhood watch committee and an active Habakkuk Trust Advocacy team member left her home last Saturday to the local clinic (which is adjacent the police station). On her way to the clinic she met Inspector Zengeya who called her and cautioned her for wearing a Habakkuk Trust t-shirt as he claimed that ‘Habakkuk Trust is affiliated to MDC’.
Sources further explained that Zengeya further ordered the lady to report at the police station for further questioning.
The Habakkuk Trust Action team members in the ward have, however vowed to continue wearing their t-shirts as they know the organization is non-partisan.
Since the beginning of 2011 Habakkuk Trust has been faced with massive resistance from Tsholotsho following a Public Dialogue meeting on local resource management and beneficiation that was held at Tsholotsho in January 2011.
On the day of the public dialogue meeting, some senior local authority personnel did not turn up though they had confirmed their attendance prior. Soon after the meeting Habakkuk Trust staff members were told by the Tsholotsho Rural District Council Administration Officer that the organization shall be ejected from the district. The reasons for the ejection were not explained but seemed to be bordering on grounds of speculation. Since June 2011 Habakkuk Trust has been working on renewing its expired Memorandum of Understanding with the local authority but was told that it has to change its programming and focus on food aid and other relief work for the MOU to be renewed.
Habakkuk Trust has also had a public meeting stopped at Siphepha centre as the clearing officer castigated the organization for inciting people against their leaders.
On the 19TH of October 2011 Habakkuk Trust staff members who had gone to Siphepha centre for an action team meeting were unceremoniously forced to cancel the meeting by the Officer in Charge who claimed the meeting was not cleared. The team was further barred from distributing the Voice of Habakkuk Trust newsletter as the officer in charge deemed it to be politically inclined.