Byo rights activists defend Masarira

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PDP is calling for the release of activist, Linda Masarira from custody

HUMAN rights activists in Bulawayo have rallied behind Linda Masarira, who is currently at the centre of a storm, after she allegedly labelled people from Matabeleland regionas cowards.

BY SILAS NKALA

Masarira touched off a storm at a Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition conference in Harare last week when she reportedly said Ndebeles were cowards and cry babies, who were good at complaining, but reluctant to tackle issues head on.

Masarira, a former National Railways of Zimbabwe employee reportedly said her Bulawayo workmates, always refused to join collective job action, although they had genuine grievances against their management.

On Saturday, some Bulawayo activists leaped to her defence, saying her remarks had been misinterpreted to divert attention from burning human rights issues.

Bulawayo Youths Arise (Buya) chief executive officer, Mthokozisi Ncube said Masarira had been quoted out of context.

“This is a clear sign of someone wanting to divert us from the major issues to small issues,” he said.

This Constitution Campaign leader, Abigail Mpambi, urged human rights defenders to avoid being diverted from the struggle’s objectives.

“l am grateful our chairperson clarified the Masarira issue. We will continue to recognise Linda Masarira as a human rights defender, who, of course, might have her own shortcomings, where she can be answerable as an individual. We, as activists, are very far from prioritising fighting our fellow comrade, while a system that invested in dividing the people of Zimbabwe’s attention is taking a spectator role.”

Former Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions western region officer, Percy Mcijo, urged fellow activists to shun Zanu PF’s divisive machinations.