The life of prominent protest singer Viomak is allegedly in danger in Britain after Admore Tshuma a former Zimbabwe Government run Chronicle chief reporter warned her that he will not be intimidated by her in an email .The harassment came unexpectedly to her as she had done nothing wrong to him. The singer who is well known for producing anti Mugabe music is a known target of ZANU PF. The sister paper of the Chronicle, the Herald once described her as Satan. This recent warning has shocked the popular singer who sneaked out of Zimbabwe in 2006 fearing for her life. The protest singer-cum-activist who had to cross the Zimbabwean border illegally through Botswana is convinced that Admore Tshuma could be a ZANU PF CIO who is using the typical CIO underground tactics to get to her. Viomak also explained that someone confirmed to her that the messages written by the said reporter on his facebook wall are extremely suspicious with one message indicating that he was watching closely a situation in Britain.
The warning from the reporter came to Viomak after the reporter who is reported to have solicited for a bribe from Girl Child Network founder Betty Makoni in exchange for good publicity, harassed the singer on why she had helped Taremeredzwa Mapungwana who came to Britain through Girl Child Network Worldwide for an operation. Viomak who is closely related to the desperate girl said the harassment is uncalled for and the evidence she has gathered so far has linked the reporter to a group of ZANU PF CIOs working on facebook to target their enemies who include anti Mugabe protest singers like her. She has also been given names of the suspected ZANU PF CIOs in this group.
The reporter writes for certain online newspapers some of which have been linked to ZANUPF. Viomak has also gathered more information from reliable sources confirming that one of the news sites is manned by ZANU PF CIOs who are currently on a mission to destroy dissenting voices.
The singer who is working on her sixth protest album Happy 86th birthday President R.G Mugabe (Supreme Leader ) out in February 2010,said reliable sources told her that Britain is infested with ZANU PF CIOs many of who claimed asylum and were given refugee status whilst genuine asylum claims are thrown out.
In a bid to intimidate the singer, Viomak said the reporter boasted in an email to her quoted below.
“I hold an undergraduate and Master’s degree in Journalism from London’s City University. I worked in Zimbabwe for 9 years in a daily newspaper, I was the first journalist in 1998 to cover the story of the Gukurahundi massacres in Matebeleland. I was hounded by people who are viewed as dangerous, for example Chen Chimutengwende who accused me of writing the Gukurahundi story. I have been sued more than 5 times by people viewed as dangerous. Finally, just around the corner talk to the editor of the Sunday Times in London Mr Hellen, I have worked for the paper on a placement and broke a record of breaking a front page within a week’s placement. This is to warn you that I cannot be intimidated by people like you. I am thick-skinned.”
The thick skinned journalist’s actions which Viomak consider to be very irresponsible and unprofessional is a good example of how some Zimbabwean women are suffering under the merciless hands of some men journalists. This kind of harassment is not new to outspoken women like Viomak who some men view as too powerful and thus try by all means to silence them. So the best these men do is publish foolish stories on their news sites thinking this will take away the power from such women.
“It is sad that whilst some men are busy trying to remove Mugabe from power some cowards are busy terrorizing innocent women whilst struggling to find criminal cases against them. What a shame. Right now I know that what I am going to get after exposing this reporter is bad publicity on their website. Typical of some Zimbabwe men journalists who are using their word press news sites to terrorise outspoken women. ” she said.
The activist who is taking the reporter’s warning seriously said between 2007 and 2008 she petitioned the British Government to look into the issue of ZANUPF supporters who claimed asylum and were given refugee status whilst the cases of some genuine asylum seekers were thrown out, but the petition was not respected.
“No wonder why dangerous terrorists find a safe haven in Britain. No one seems to give an ear to the words of those at risk. If they don’t take my concerns seriously, I will take up the issue with the United Nations. We can’t have a situation where one runs away from Mugabe’s terrorists only to meet up with the terrorists again here whilst the Government gives a deaf ear.” She said.
“I will soon make a report to the police and give them names of the suspects so that their moves and agendas in Britain are closely monitored.” She said.
The harassment has not stopped. The editor of one of the suspicious news sites has since tormented another target GCN founder Betty Makoni by continuously harassing her on why Viomak helped Taremeredzwa Mapungwana even though all the information available shows that the singer is a volunteer who innocently came forward to help when GCNW put up an appeal for volunteers to help Taremeredzwa. Viomak who is also closely related to Taremeredzwa went out her way to make sure that the girl’s stay in Britain “was well catered for”.
“Right now I am also worried about Taremeredzwa and her family’s safety when they go back to Zimbabwe. Why would any normal person harass someone for helping out someone in need. All the evidence is there. All I did was help but the harassment has continued with the editor of ZimDiaspora (the paper the suspected ZANU PF CIO writes for) going to the extent of publishing my cell phone number on his website without my consent.” She said.
The alleged CIO reporter takes pride in the fact that he is a close friend of Jonathan Moyo. Jonathan Moyo, the former ZANU PF Information Minister and independent Tsholotsho North MP who was recently re-admitted into the party he once described as a “dead duck on the shelf, only breathing from evils of state security and the abuse of funds,” is well known for crafting the repressive laws that have destroyed democracy in Zimbabwe. Ironically Admore Tshuma is said to be pursuing studies in Global Poverty, Social Justice and Human Rights Law at University of Bristol.
“It is weird that someone who is studying global poverty, social justice and human rights law views Jonathan Moyo, an oppressor who crafted repressive laws such as AIPPA and initiated the closing down of the Daily news, Zimbabwe’s independent daily paper as his hero. One wonders what Admore is really studying in his social justice and human rights law classes. Someone who crafted POSA and AIPPA is only a hero to people of the same calibre. It is unfortunate that the right people who really deserve study opportunities such as his will never be granted those opportunities”. Said Viomak.
“The moment I Iearnt that he is a former Chronicle Chief reporter I immediately suspected that he could be CIO .The fact that he is a scholar at a University also made me suspect he could be a dangerous person because many of the suspects who are causing terror around the world register as students.” She said.
The freedom of expression campaigner whose stories are banned in the independent newspaper, the Zimbabwe Standard after she suspected one of its reporters of being a CIO said her suspicions are justified because Mugabe’s CIOs can be anyone. They can be the priest in your church or even the husband in your house so everyone is a suspect. ZANU PF has polarized all systems in Zimbabwe to the extent that human rights defenders and activist are always living a life of fear where ever they are.
Some of the reporters at the state run newspapers are ZANUPF CIO’s and Viomak has every reason to fear for her life. Some reporters of the Independent newspapers are also CIOs and a striking example is that of a Zimbabwe Independent reporter Augustine Mukaro , who reportedly worked as a CIO and an independent paper reporter .