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Twenty six Zimbabwean Diaspora Zimbabwe Human Rights Organisation (ZHRO) #WalkForFreedom members embarked on a 105 km charity walk to raise funds from Brighton Pier to protest against the injustices by the Mugabe led Zanu pf regime in Zimbabwe.
Photo-Zimbabwean Diaspora Zimbabwe Human Rights Organisation (ZHRO) #WalkForFreedom at first stage Devils Dyke.
The gruelling but exciting charity walk took place on Friday (18th August) at 07:30 and encountered heavy rainfall just an hour into the walk but the brave walkers did not give up and kept walking in the rain
The route took them through Devils Dyke on a difficult stretch as they progressed uphill most of the trek.
The happy walkers took in lovely sights along the countryside and psyched each other up with reminders of why exactly the walk was important, such as the struggles faced by Zimbabwe.
The first break was at Devils Dyke where a DRONE video organised by John Burke was taken. The drone and stills operator, James Coutts, operations Manager of Airborne visual solutions limited was so inspired by the impromptu singing at Devils Dyke that he joined the walkers for more filming.
The walkers on trail The walkers reached “Christ’s Hospital” at the 40 km peg stage at about 16:00 hrs where they enjoyed a meal of the traditional Zimbabwe sadza delivered by Sarah Bayisayi, Eddie Murota, Mabel Russel and Chipo Parirenyatwa [ZHRO Chairperson].
Sadly as expected in such trying journeys, some walkers did not make it as some withdrew along the way due to injuries and they were ferried to a base in Horley.
Even though the walk was aduous, Hillary Chikomba held on to his camera to take pictures along the way.
“I took part in the 105km Brighton to London walk. It was one of the best physical thing I’ve ever done. It was an incredible experience and I met some truly inspiring people Rev Canon Mutete, John Burke to name a few. My reasons for walking was to raise money to help those who are standing up against injustices in Zimbabwe and also to bring awareness to the wide world about the devastating situation in zimbabwe” said Hillary Chikomba
The walkers also changed from their wet socks at Christ Hospital, Cranleigh, and Guilford which was very important for this long walk.
Hats off to Rashiwe Bayisai, Patience Musasiwa and Salom Nkiwane for doing the full 105 km with a few stops, finishing first, and in good time of 28 hrs. The three girls were met with applaud-cheers of support, more singing and drums beating as they entered ZimFest gates. There were more cheers as the walkers were presented with their Medals on the ZimFest stage.
Rashiwe looked as if she had plenty of energy left in her as she jumped for joy of triumph on the ZimFest stage. She even took Masline and Melody for a walk from Worthing up to Cisbury on the Sunday!
Speaking after completing the 105 km, the route finder and leader of the trek Rashiwe Bayisai said that she will continue walking for freedom.
Salom is patient who survived a stroke and is with other health issues – went to her Doctor – he said “go for it!” She went for it.
“This walk was like a journey to freedom. After reaching the finishing line having walked 105 km, I felt that with determination we are going to get our country back. We walked through rocky roads, hills, streams, and rivers which was a stumble block to reaching our destination but we got there: similarly, Zimbabwe is going through untold suffering, oppression, violation of human rights, living beyond poverty level, high unemployment rate and its so painful that we have no freedom of speech” said Salom Nkiwane.
Patience Musasiwa does not have the look or build of a walker – but she walks 100 km per week nearly every week – and records it all on an app of time, distance and average speed. She could not wait to continue from Guildford, 70km mark.
Patience Musasiwa began with a quote from Desmond Tutu
“[If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor]”
“My 105km walk is a plea for freedom in our beloved country, Zimbabwe. I yearn for freedom to express our views as a nation, freedom to speak and act, freedom from corrupt leaders”
“We need emancipation from unjust political, social and legal restrictions. Liberate Zimbabweans who are suffering both home and away. Home is not rosy, Diaspora is thornier. We are humans and need to belong and to me the heart lies home- Zimbabwe”
“Our people deserve better and more, lets claim our freedom. It is a long awaited right, I claim freedom with my 105km looooooong walk” she added
“Even when I sprained my ankle, I soldiered on with the knowledge that the pain I felt was nowhere near what activist like Silvanos, Itai and Linda have endured at the hands of the Mugabe regime and as a citizen of Zimbabwe I say, enough is enough” said Tsungirirai Kahiya.
Many walkers opened up after the walk.
“The walk for freedom to me was very much about commitment, endurance and perseverance. I kept repeating in my head ‘take your shackles off my feet’ as I pushed on and on. We as a nation of Zimbabwe are shackled to oppression, to poverty, to abuse by a mafia system that has robbed us of life. I will continue my walk for freedom in different ways for a better Zimbabwe, for a better future and against tyranny and exploitation.
With your help we can amplify our voices as we raise awareness and demand the walls of oppression to fall. I may be nursing my wounds pains and aches from the walk but it’s given me more courage to demand freedom. It won’t stop here. I’m only getting warmed up. My freedom is non negotiable. I demand this right” said Mable Kayiya
“There were many dark moments when my faith in my country was sorely tested that is when i wanted to give up but i came to the realisation that I would not and could not give myself up to despair. I had to take responsibility of my actions if the dream of a better Zimbabwe has to be fulfilled” said Nancy Mukurira.
“This walk made me a better person that i am today because it liberated me from my own fears of challebging the corrupt and ruthless government in my country Henceforth I will devote myself to the liberation of my people; instead, I simply found myself doing so, and more until a better zimbabwe is manfested” added Nancy.
The walk ended with a welcome and a triumph speech from Alfredy Mukuvare and the presentation of medals by Rev Canon Lameck Mutete who also took part in the first and last stage of the walk. He was accompanied by Rev Mukucha and Robert Chilowa, the hero who saved children from a fire in Withington, Manchester.
Some of the walkers have participated in many demonstrations against human rights abuses that have been organised by ZHRO so far this year.
The following people took part in the walk;
105 km – Rashiwe Bayisayi
70 km – John Burke
Phillip Mahlahla [in detention but registered had registered to take part]
105 km Patience Musasiwa
Rev Canon Lameck Mutete [Trustee of ZHRO]
105 km Salom Nkiwane
Masline Xavier Anesu Mutatapasi [only for last 4 miles]
Pride Nyandoro [only for last 4 miles]
Support Teams – Cars, Deliveries of food, ferrying the injured!
see attached photos of the walk proceedings up to their final destination at Zimfest 2017 at kempton park in london on 19/08/2017:
By Kingston Jambawo