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Maseko awarded Democracy and Governance Award as Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition launches 10 year logo
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
October 05, 2010

"Gukurahundi is a sensitive and live issue. I have given it a face and a voice . . . I am prepared to take the first bullet for it". Owen Maseko

Renowned Bulawayo based visual artist, Owen Maseko was on Thursday 30 September 2010 awarded the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Democracy and Governance Individual Award in recognition of his bravery in 'giving a face and voice to the Gukurahundi massacres' through visual arts.

Between 1982 and 1987, the Zimbabwean government unleashed the Korean trained Fifth Brigade on innocent civilians in the Matebeleland and Midlands provinces killing more than 20,000 people This period was known as the Gukurahundi ('the early rain which washes away the chaff before the spring rains'). Maseko, who expressed the harsh reality of the Gukuranhundi through artwork, was arrested on the 26th of March 2010 for holding a sol exhibition at the Bulawayo Art Gallery that authorities labeled as 'tribal art work'. The exhibition was subsequently banned. Speaking at the ceremony, Maseko said, "Gukuranhundi is a sensitive and live issue. I have given it a face and a voice . . . ..I am prepared to take the first bullet for it".

A special award was given to Chief Mutekedza of Chilomba, Chivhu district in recognition of his resilience in protecting villagers from this area from the violence that engulfed most parts of the country in the run up to the June 2008 Presidential runoff fiasco.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) was the recipient of the organizational award in recognition of its sterling work in fighting for human rights and social justice. Over the past 18 years, the organization embarked on various programs to sensitize people on issues of national importance and is currently undertaking peace building programs across the country.

Organizations which were nominated for the organizational award were also awarded with certificates in acknowledgement of their work. These organizations are the National Association for the Care of the Handicapped (NASCOH), Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ), Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA) and Youth Agenda Trust (YAT).

The awards, given annually by the Coalition, were first awarded to the Students Solidarity Trust in 2007 with Mrs. Gertrude Hambira receiving the individual award. In 2008, the organizational award went to Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) with Sydney Chisi receiving the individual award while Centre for Research and Development (CRD) was the 2009 recipient together with Zimbabwe's youngest detainee, two year old Nigel Mutemagawu.

At the same occasion, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition launched its ten year logo ahead of The Coalition's 10th anniversary in 2011. Launching the logo, The Coalition's Chairperson, Mr. Jonah Gokova said that the logo symbolizes the Coalition's 10 year journey which was largely brought about by the legitimacy and governance crisis in Zimbabwe. He further noted that through the ballot, Zimbabweans can end the crisis in the country.

Visit the Crisis in Zimbabwe fact sheet

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