Display election violence picture says Prime Minister Tsvangirai

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Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai wants to see more exhibitions showing pictures of the victims of the 2008 political violence despite police seizure of pictures at a photo fair at Gallery Delta in Harare last week.

The exhibition entitled “Reflections” was expected to run for 10 days in Harare, but had to be abandoned after Zimrights took off the 65 pictures from Gallery Delta and hid them at a secret location just before the police pounced on them on Thursday.

Tsvangirai who officially opened the exhibition on Wednesday described police attempts to stifle the display as delusional.

Tsvangirai urged more exhibitions of the same nature saying “there can be no real forgiveness without knowledge and acceptance of what transpired… there can be no real forgiveness without justice. And without forgiveness and justice there can be no healing”.

“Don’t hide your picture behind your wardrobes.

Many more exhibitions of this nature are important. I hope that various organisations will do the same. I also have many pictures and I don’t know who to give them to,” said Tsvangirai.

Zimrights director Okay Machisa who was briefly detained by police on the eve of the exhibition has since gone into hiding following threats of further arrests.

Olivia Gumbo the national programmes coordinator for Zimrights said that police from the Harare Central Police Station’s law and order section had written to the organisation advising them that they wanted to take the matter to the Censorship Board for review.

“We understand that they want to block the exhibition using the Censorship Act. We had to take off the pictures after police had visited the gallery and our offices with the intention of taking away the pictures,” said Gumbo.

She said the organisation intended to use the pictures for other activities that they had planned.
On Tuesday police seized 65 photos, saying the organisers should show proof that they got permission by all the people in the photos to exhibit them.

However, Zimrights, who filed an urgent application in court through the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights on Wednesday, won the right to go ahead with the exhibition.

“We understand that the police have appealed against the High Court ruling and they also want to get a search warrant for those pictures,” said Gumbo.