From August 2016 to July 2017 ZHRO members Rashiwe Bayisayi and John Burke set about finding a practical walking route from Brighton to London. Some 100 miles of walking later; By utilising the old railway route, now called the Downs Link, that took us all the way to Guildford. From Guildford the River routes allowed us to get to Kempton Park and latterly Hampton Court. We have now completed 5 such walks 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 [these last two during "Lockdown"!]. We are now preparing for 2022 on 13-14th August [Full Moon (again) to aid the night section] and see preparation articles due soon and our Facebook Page too
Walking for Activism: for fitness, for publicity; for a public reaction. But just to mingle in the wonderful British country-side and to enjoy the scenery
This year's "Walk for Freedom" will take place on the 13 and 14th August 2022. As usual there will be a single start time of 7:00am prompt from the entrance to Brighton Pier - But, please arrive well before this time. In addition, due to the astronomical price of fuel and food the support teams and drivers, will need some financial assistance. See box titled "Walk-Entry-Donations". Or Click Here to pay
In previous years, these costs have been donated, but in view of the level of organisation required etc we now have to ask for an entrance fee of £10. Other donations will help too. Additionally more Walk for Freedom T Shirts will be available from the middle of July at £15 each.
"Walk for Freedom" was the last five year's themes - and agin ZHRO will keep this. Having had so many freedoms denied in Zimbabwe in 2019/20/21/22, this is particularly relevant, especially with the abduction in Zimbabwe and Murder of more CCC Leaders/Children, False inprisonment on trumped up charges with senior CCC mebers in chains [Zimbabwe Updates.]
Training programme for those interested was started in April and with Leeds Branch, in particular taking it very seriously indeed - see Flickr Album
Training went ahead in 2020 and 2021 in spite of the 'pointless' and unnecessary CV19 "Lockdowns" as we were out in the open air, so the risks as such are infinitesimally small! In view of the Partygate Scandal perpetrated by Boris Johnson and others, it appears to us that no danger whatsoever ever existed - the action of those at 10 Downing Street, proves that there was zero fear of any virus, by those fraudulent hypocrites - the same people ordering the rest of us to be afraid!
These training Walks will be 10-15km each over those few months. These will increase to 30 plus km by the Last Weeks in July in preparation for the main effort starting on Saturday 13th August 2022. Many images taken on these training walks can be found on our Facebook Walk Pages CLICK HERE. Arrive on the 13th August 2022, around 5:30am in order for an ideal 6:30-7:00am start. Pictured just outside Christ's Hospital Railway Station some 40km from the starting point in Brighton in August last year.
The long slog to Guildford [railway station frontage car park meet], finally the night walk along the River Wey Navigation and, this year, into Hampton Court [Rail Station], London. This year the 13-14th August was chosen due to there being a FULL MOON [and subject to a cloudless night sky] increase visibility during the night section next to the Rivers!
For those ZHRO members in the North, we organised a circuit based from Pickering, North Yorkshire. [YO18 7AS post code for the Eastgate Car Park as the meeting point.]. It is however, a long way from ZHRO's base in Worthing [300 miles away!].
So an over-night stay in Leeds was needed, and an early start to pick up Leeds Branch members, Hillary, Sipilien and Mevis. [7:20am near Leeds Market] - then onto the A64 to York, and Pickering. The Stat-Nav had decided to 'avoid motorways' etc and so took us past Castle Howard, North Yorkshire - very impressive [see more detail via the link]. So we arrived in Pickering at 9:15am. Moses and Daisy were driving down from Newcastle to take part - but got held up in Traffic. So the 4 of us from Leeds got started at 10:00am [see the Flickr Album linked here]. We re-directed Daisy, Moses and their two children to our meeting point at Lockton, some 10 minutes north of Pickering [on the A169] and we intended to meet them there, and then all continue together.
Due to this being a "desk-designed" Walk [for Freedom], we encountered a few route issues around noon - [ending up the wrong side of the river etc] - so Myself. Mevis and Sipilien ended up climbing a particularly steep bank - sometimes on all fours! The implication was that we needed to re-route Moses, and Daisy [again] to "Kingthorpe Farm, which was closers- as a meeting point. We all met there, Including Hillary in his electric car around 1:00pm. Photos were taken - and 'Brian' the Farmer came out to see what we were all about - as we were all wearing the same "Walk for Freedom" T shirts. So we do, in fact, manage quite a few 'engagements' with the public on these Walks - so we are able to 'educate' many people about the problems in Zimbabwe, combined with the antagonistic 'stance' of the Home Office.
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.
On the very early morning of [6:30AM] 21st August 2021, ZHRO members walked for the 5th time [at 65 miles each year, means that the have walked hundreds of miles in the UK] wearing ZHRO T shirts, flying Zimbabwean flags and handing out flyers spreading the message against deportation of Zimbabweans back to Zimbabwe where they fled because of political crisis and dictatorship induced violence.
The "Walk For Freedom" [#WalkforFreedom] was aimed to conveyed a message to inspire the British public to support the cause. Photo-logs of both days on this test of endurance can be found here: Saturday 21st August 2021 and here for Sunday 22nd August 2021. Twitter links also can be found here: Twitter Post
Much more prevalent as the main reason for leaving Zimbabwe were factors that are related to abductions, torture, rape and many other human rights abuses by ZANU PF leadership that has been going on for decades. It is indeed safe for people in the UK to protest against what they feel is against Human Rights abuses compared to Zimbabwe.