Zimrights Abandons Photo Exhibition

Police had raided the exhibition on Wednesday evening, shortly after Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had officially opened the exhibition and left the venue but arrested no one after failing to locate the organisers.

Zimrights director Okay Machisa who had been arrested on Tuesday evening in connection with the staging of the exhibition was released the same day at the orders of Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai pledged to continue to protect Machisa who is believed to be now in hiding, saying he should come out and continue his work
But on Thursday the organisers, Zimrights decided to abandon the exhibition which was expected to run for 10 days. The organisation is believed to have taken off all the photos and hid them at a secret location just before the police pounced on them on Thursday.

On Tuesday police had seized 65 photos, saying the organisers should show proof that they got permission by all the people in the photos to exhibit them. They said Machisa should give the police seven days notification of holding the exhibition. 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 as scheduled on Wednesday evening. Police had returned the photos about five minutes before the event was about to kick-off.

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,” said Tsvangirai.