AN OPEN LETTER BY YALF TO PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE

Following the arrest of one of YALF National Crdinator; Linda Masarira, who was arrested and locked up in prison since July 6, 2016. Linda is said to be a WIDOWED MOTHER of 5 – with the oldest of her kids being just 13 years old. It’s being 2months plus since her arrest, and even though they thought she would be released, she has continued to rot in ail…

Recently, we heard that she was moved to the MALE Section of Chikurubi Maximum Prison – which is known for the sexual molestation of Women, rape and even SODOMY. The YALF President; Prince Ifoh has taken step to seek for her release by writing to President Mugabe.

See letter below

Dear Sir,

 

I wish to commence this letter by calling you “father” – following your principles and enormous achievements for our continent, Africa. You are like a father to me and many other African youths with a focus on pan-Africanism, and your trajectory as noted in the history of our dear continent is and will remain a source of motivation against oppression and in promoting cooperation amongst our people. Whilst growing up in Nigeria, I have always set my eyes on the targets of great African nationalists and how to preserve legacies, including yours, for our continent’s development. This positive feeling and aspiration hasn’t changed!

 

Around 1960, when you returned to your hometown from Ghana in order to show your mother your first wife, you met a drastically changed Southern Rhodesia – where thousands of black families were displaced by the new colonial government. This government had denied black majority rule and exploded the white population; and this resulted in violent protests. As one who had the interest of the average Zimbabwean family at heart, you were outraged by this denial of black rights – and in July 1960, you agreed to address the crowd at the protest march of 7000 staged at Salisbury’s Harare Town Hall. Even in the face of stiff police threats, you adamantly steeled yourself and told protestors about how Ghana had successfully achieved independence, and about how change was possible in Zimbabwe. The advantages from the story is evidential as the Lancaster House Agreement led to the creation of a fully democratic Zimbabwe. Although times have past, I am fully persuaded that you, my father, hasn’t changed at all; even in the altruism of heart.

 

I write to bring to your notice the case of Linda Masarira; perhaps you may not have known in details or been following her story. She is a young Zimbabwean who has the interest of all Zimbabwe at heart. She is committed to the prosperity of not only Zimbabwe, but Africa at large; and her numerous works for the continent under prestigious organisation speak for themselves. Linda, a widowed mother of five little children (the oldest being less than 14 year-old), was arrested and detained from the #ShutDownZim and #ThisFlag exercise – which many participants felt was geared at a Zimbabwean economic revolution. Personally, I would have love to expatiate, but time wouldn’t permit me to intently speak on the issue. However, I firmly believe that these protestors or activists would have followed a more diplomatic means – so as not to trash-talk or further soil the image of our continent.

 

Many young people participated in the campaign. But unlike others who were granted bail and subsequently released, Linda’s case has rather been worsened as she is further exposed to some inhumane conditions. Recent reports claim that Linda has been moved to the male section of Chikurubi prison – which is notorious for immoral sexual acts, molestations, the spread of HIV and even sodomy. I agree that Linda may have accorded more time to her campaigns – even the 16 day occupy Zim exercise, but this will not justify denying her bail and further exposing the widowed mother of 5, whose kids have barely managed to survive in her absence, to these terrifying conditions in the male prison. As the breadwinner in her family, her kids have barely managed to survive in her absence – and they have also missed, in a great deal, the motherly affection they enjoyed from Linda since July 6.

 

Please father, African Youth wish that you will relook into Linda’s case and make life easier for her and her kids. Unfairness has somewhat been on play in her story. Whilst she was arrested with 10 others on July 6, other accused persons are remanded out of custody and attend court hearings from the comfort of their homes and loves ones. Only Linda has been languishing in prison since her arrest on the aforementioned date; hence our decision to write to you for the sake of her kids.

 

As rightly stated in court papers, Linda is a senior member of the Young African Leaders Forum (YALF) – an organisation with the initiative to move African nations to the first world status by 2063. All her works and campaigns are undoubtedly geared towards promoting a good standard of living and reducing the costs of living for many Zimbabweans. She exudes the same spirit you had earlier exuded, which brought about a democratic Zimbabwe in the 1990s. Perhaps, what she needs at this point may be mentorship to be able to tap into your vision for a prosperous Zimbabwe, rather than these accrued sufferings.

 

Mr. President, I am convinced that you will not overlook this goodwill letter to effect the possible release of Linda. Moving her to the male section of Chikurubi prison in the first place is inhumane. She is not a criminal; at least until the court proves otherwise. Instead, she is a mother; your daughter and a sister to many other people. She is an African who has dedicated her time and life to the prosperity of the continent. It then suffices to say that as Africans we must not continue to shed more blood, cause agonies on the altar of politics. This is how we can realise the agenda 2063 vision plan and create the Africa we want.
My father, I write you as a son, and on behalf of the many African youths who are on halt to see your swift reactions. Please, help save these kids by swiftly releasing Linda Masarira and entrench your legacy in the hearts of young African people.

 

Prince Ifoh,
President, Young African Leaders Forum (YALF),
Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

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