Given the harrowing circumsatnces of a change in Home Office policy and a decision [somewhere by someone] to forcibly remove 100 Zimbabweans every month - this aspect dwelt on the minds of all the walkers at sometime or another during the 30 hours on foot!
"Walk for Freedom" started in 2016 as a symbol of solidarity with Zimbabweans 'back-home', and those within the diaspora. The 'Walk' symbolises the struggles we face at home and in 'Foreign Lands. Walking in the sun, rain, cold, day and night to give "awareness" to the British Public, and the World at large of what is happening in our Home Country. I call upon my fellow Country men and women to come and join the 'struggle' because united we stand and our 'plea' may reach all courners of the World. I trust that one day Freedom will come our way. I beleive in our lifetime Human Rights will be respected, Freedom of speech will be recognised without fear of persecution.
We are not going to stop until Zimbabwe is FREE. Let's "Walk for Freedom".
#Walk for Freedom
by Rashiwe Bayisayi
- Principal Walk Pathfinder and 5 time completion medal winner.
Walk For FREEDOM:
Walking for Freedom is also walking for justice. This movement “Walk For Freedom” is huge and it anchors all that which we all fight for. Thank you John and Rashiwe for being visionaries.
As I was walking, I could hear the sounds of freedom ringing around us. We walked in the rains, in the hill tops, in daylight, in darkness, over rough terrains, steep and we also saw the beauty of what we can achieve in unity.
Inside my heart I was singing “Let Freedom ring”
We want justice, good rule in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabweans Lives Matter: We are a worthy people, we are a people of value and we want our dignity to be respected by both British and Zimbabwe governments. Stop Deportations.
“Let freedom ring”
One thing I learnt during this Walk is, we are a team of strong determined persons….. as we walked some were making sure we are well supplied with hope, encouragement, food, water, tea, coffee, maize cobs, fruits and leg massages and photographing.
We sang, we voiced our campaign, we walked and conquered together.
We wish to encourage others that if we need Freedom we must work for it. Join us Next year 2022.
We decided to walk towards Freedom. The enemy is aware of what we are doing.
Our Publicity reached the enemy’s ears…..
We will continue to march on for Freedom.
I felt the pain of sacrifice when I saw among ourselves we had two kids who walked almost half way through just to support their parent who is facing deportation (being separated from his young family).
His wife, Daisy also, she has such a great determination, she did her best to “Walk For Freedom” in solidarity.
I learnt how deep this movement is and we must continue on until Zimbabweans are free and attained justice.
“We shall Overcome one day”
The following are my Recommendations:
We must diversify our walk. Let us introduce other modes and models e.g Use of scooters for our young children to participate on 25 miles route or more.
**Introduce bicycles also for some who want and making it that those who use bicycles or scooters will pay to participate. This will help with your overheads.
In conclusion; thank you all and
Sing with me “We shall overcome one day.”
Let Freedom ring. Walk for Freedom.
Zimbabwe must be Free.
Written by Ben Tsikwa
twice walker of the "Walk for Freedom"
Walk for Freedom: Testimony from Moses Mbano
I left Newcastle and travelled all the way to Brighton Sussex on Friday 20/08/2021 together with my wife and two children. The journey was too long and very tiring but inspiring. The four of us left around 1400 hrs and arrived in Brighton at 2300 hrs It took us this long as the road had so many diversions and bumper to bumper traffic jams.
My children were very excited because they were also members of the "Walk for Freedom". The walk was to start from Brighton Pier to London on foot. This walk was organised by ZHRO.org UK championed by Rashiwe Bayisayi and John Burke, founding members of ZHRO.
For me it was the best moment to raise awareness that people are suffering the oppression and repressive governance in Zimbabwe under president E D Mnangagwa.This also involves the time that I spent in detention at Colnbrookfor the whole of July 2021.
Zimbabweans are being rounded up and thrown into detentions, suffering illnesses as these places are so filthy. When I left detention on bail I found the need to raise this awareness as much as I can until charter flights are stopped. The Home Office UK has agreed to work with a rogue government of Zimbabwe. Putting our lives at risk of torture and murder.
On This day Saturday 21/08/2021 we met all the participants at 06:30 hrs to start our Walk for Freedom campaign. This was my first longest walk of my life. It was full of energy and joy as we all left the Brighton Pier for London. John Burke was very adamant that all the participants can manage the first segment of the walk to the resting point. Surely, this first segment was really heavy as the foot paths and terrains were uphill. We met with the logistics crew at the end and we all had drinks and fruit. I was very much happy that we sang and danced to encourage each other and showed solidarity that deportations and charter flights have no place in our hearts.
The campaign resumed and we all set off. We cut through paddocks and fields as the footpaths meanders, twisting and inclining. My children walked the 38km stretch absolutely at ease and I felt for them to join with the logistics team.
The number of participants started dwindling as the campaign was heating up and it was night time. We had few other resting points before we entered Guildford in Surrey. Here we met with the logistics as usual and we had our snacks with hot drinks and the time was around 0300hrs on Sunday.
The Walk for Freedom resumed and we left Guildford and followed the river in darkness. I felt a bit worn out. my under foot started prickling like there were some thorns piercing me through. I was so determined to reach the finishing point at the same time. What I needed most was to send a message to the Home Office that deporting people to Zimbabwe is against humanity. These charter flights must be stopped immediately and breaking families apart is a complete violation of human rights under the ECHR.
When the night began to fade away I could feel more energy in my body that we were almost getting to the final destination of the campaign. We followed the river along, then we met with the first dog walkers and all the people began to chat as we had long stretches walking silently. We reached a resting point and I was told now that we were setting off for the last segment.This walk benefits not only the participants but all Zimbabweans that fall into these despicable deportations.
The weather was so good that we walked the whole day and the whole night. It was now around 10h30 and we and the last part were marred by cyclists and joggers. However we carried on until we crossed over the bridge that marked the end of our "Walk for Freedom". I was very excited and so was everyone as we all met at the train station at Hampton Court in jubilation. I want to thank the organisers, the logistics crew and all the participants, not forgetting my two children that walked the 38 km stretch.
They are real warriors chanting Stop Charter Flights and Stop Deportations slogan.
Moses Mbano first time on "Walk for Freedom" and completed the full 105km
Walk for Freedom
"There are various times when walking is an enjoyable and social part of an individual's lifestyle.
This year 2021 was the ZHRO 5th walk from Brighton to London. The ZHRO Walk for Freedom illustrates, demonstrates, or represents the suffering, torture, and oppression the Zimbabwean people face in their own country. This has led to thousands of Zimbabweans leaving the country to seek asylum, unfortunately some have found themselves facing real challenges in host countries and end up being deported.
The sacrifice of walking from Brighton to London, climbing mountains, walking along rough paths, in the rain, throughout the night without sleep and enduring the pain as a sign of standing in solidarity with fellow citizens. These walks always remind me that great things never come from a place of comfort, but that it is mostly through pain that freedom is gained.
Democracy will not come on a platter of gold. What I understand is one day we shall overcome, and we shall be free.
Democracy will prevail one day, and human rights will be respected. We shall all be free and express freedom of speech without fear of intimidation."
By Chipo Parirenyatwa
"'Evangelism' we will continue to speak about the human rights abuses in Zimbabwe until it changes. The journey is long, winding and difficult but we will get there. #ZHRO walk for FREEDOM"
“WALK FOR FREEDOM 21-22 AUGUST,6:30AM TO SUNDAY NOON”
I take part in the the ZHRO 105 km walk of freedom from Brighton Pier to London. Due to excessive abuse of human rights in Zimbabwe. There is gross human violations, torture, issues of rape , disappearance of activists, deaths and denial of basic rights by zanu pf. As ZHRO activists we are determined to fight against this inhuman. It was a hard walk through the hills and valleys, I managed to walk 24 miles (Brighton Pier to Christ Church) and participate in the 2days spreading the word to people we meet on our way to London and spreading the word to the world. ZHRO has the mandate to fight against any abuse of human rights. I say,
#NOTOABUSEOF HUMAN RIGHTS
BY Mevis Mutsvangwa
"I participated in the ZHRO 105km "Walk for Freedom" to STOP DEPORTATIONS to Zimbabwe and to stop deaths of Zimbabweans at the hands of Zanu PF, killed for exercising their right to Free Speech and peaceful protests"
By Hillary Chikomba
"There is power to cause change when humanity stands undivided and speak with one voice. That's the reason why I turned up"
by Chiratidzo Mutikane