Roy Bennett Update
Heather has seen Roy several times recently. Whatever Prison they put
he immediately becomes a problem as the prisoners treat him as a hero
help him as much as possible. The petitions are coming in and we meet
shortly to decide what to do next. Keep the pressure up - contact your
MP - even here in Zimbabwe, all politicians are suceptable to pressure
the public. Write to your local media and use the stuff we send out to
Keeping Roy in the limelight may keep him alive.
MDC may be able to retain Roy as a candidiate in Chimanimani - he would
I am sure and that would be one for the books! His team in Chimanimani
very despondent - they need money and local support, if you are up
go and see them. Try to help with the transport problems if you live in
Harare. Dave Coltart went to try and see Roy but was refused
Heather and the kids are fine - just struggling with the pressure and
Roy Bennett Update: January 9th 2005
Not content with imprisoning Roy unjustly and for a minor offence, the
Zimbabwean Government continues to persecute him even inside the walls
A new prison officer has taken up responsibility for prison security
intelliegence at the Mutoko Jail and it appears that his prime
responsibility is to make life more unpleasant for Roy.
Officer Gwanyiwa ensures that any prisoner that appears friendly with
assists him in any way is punished and victimized. The number of other
prisoners with whom Roy shares a cell has been increased over the past
with no explanation and apparently without the same process happening
the other cells.
When Roy's lawyers went to see him recently they were kept waiting for
and a half hours while Officer Gwanyiwa made frantic calls to Harare
to thwart their visit. But the lawyers perservered insisting on their
to see their client. They were eventually permitted to see Roy but
refused to move out of earshot of the conversation between Roy and his
We would like to mention how grateful we are to the legal team that
Roy and the efforts they put in on his behalf. Not only are they happy
make the four hour round trip whenever they think they will be able to
Roy, but they also risk persecution themselves for standing by him so
blatantly and determinedly. These are men and women of the highest
moral caliber and we thank them.
The food at Mutoko Prison has also deteriorated recently and the lack
daily sustenance is beginning to show on Roy and the other prisoners.
In addition to the hardships being faced by Roy, his wife, Heather, is
constantly being frustrated by the prison authorities. They refuse to
clarify or allow the visiting rights enjoyed by the other prisoners in
move that can only be described as politically motivated.
The support for Roy and his family continues to grow and they will not
their struggle until he is freed. This year we are determined to
our efforts in an attempt to see true justice delivered to Roy Bennett.
For this we need your support. Please continue to read these updates
pass on the information to your friends and colleagues. Please continue
get more petitions signed. Parliament resumes in Harare on February 8th
we will begin to collect the outstanding petitions from January 16th
If you are unable to hand them in t any of the designated collection
then please e-mail and we will get the petitions from you. We have
collected hundreds of petitions and there are many more coming in.
On a more practical note, we are looking for volunteers to assist in
the lawyers out to Mutoko. Their own vehicles are not very reliable and
like to visit at least once a week. You as a driver would not be called
more than once a month but your assistance would be invaluable. If you
help then please e-mail us with the word "driver" in the subject line
will contact you.
Thank you for your help over the past two and half months and we thank
for your support over the long months ahead.
Friends of Roy Bennet