The Zimbabwe Information Centre Inc (ZIC) was formed in 1999 just before the launch of the Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe, at the instigation of Mrs Sekai Holland, a ZANU leader who had played a significant role in the Australian anti-apartheid movement in the 1960s and 1970s.
ZIC drew its initial membership from Australia’s longstanding anti-apartheid movement, and the Zimbabwe diaspora in Australia.
ZIC travelled the long road with the Association of Women’s Clubs (AWC), the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), Youth movements, and MDC through the Constitutional Referendum of February 2000 - which Mugabe lost, through the destructive, chaotic land reform, near economic collapse, waves of repression, and stolen elections.
On March 11, 2007, 39 leaders of MDC, including Mrs Sekai Holland, were arrested prior to a Prayer Rally in Harare, and brutally tortured.
She sustained a broken arm, a broken leg, three fractured ribs, and over 80 lacerations to her entire body caused by whipping, beating, and being stamped on by the torturers. Sekai spent 15 weeks in hospitals in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Australia, and a further eight months in Australia, to begin to recover.
She returned to Zimbabwe to contest the national elections held on March 29, 2008, as MDC Senate candidate for Chizhanje, Harare, winning the seat. Again, MDC won the election but the military chiefs refused to allow Mugabe to concede.
The repression was terrible, but the reaction from the African Union and the international community was strong enough to force Mugabe to accept MDC into the 2009-13 Inclusive government. Senator Sekai Holland was a Special Minister of State for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration in the inclusive government. However, Mugabe and ZANU-PF returned to form with a brazen theft of the 2013 election. MDC fractured soon after.
ZIC worked constructively with the Howard, Rudd, Gillard and Abbott governments, and Australia’s Harare-based diplomats throughout these developments.
The fall of Mugabe from the Presidency of the country in November 2017, followed by the death from cancer of MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai in February 2018, marked another major turning point in the struggle for democratic governance. Mugabe died in September 2019. The ruling party ZANU-PF and the opposition were and remain in turmoil.
The seizure of the MDC leadership by Nelson Chamisa and the covert support of the Mugabe forces - known as G40 - for Chamisa’s MDC Alliance campaign in the July 2018 elections opened a period of intra-party violence tactics within and from the opposition. These violent tactics spoilt but did not really threaten the new Mnangagwa Government, which clearly won the 2018 election.
According to Sekai Holland, Pres Mnangagwa is in control, introducing policies driving the country to normality, stability, transforming Zimbabwe to his vision of a middle-income economy by 2030.
ZIC is supporting grassroots-based community organisations and networks during this 2nd Republic: Zimbabwe Peacebuilding Initiative (ZimPI), in its new Covid-compliant Formalisation Project to restore the decades-old tried and tested Women’s Clubs development format, which offers mutual support mechanisms for grassroots women at home and in the community, organised vendors, grassroots youth movements, professionals losing jobs. In 2021 ZimPI membership stands at around 2.1 million.
ZIC continues to provide updates on political, economic and social developments in Zimbabwe to its email list, which we urge you to join.
- Inform the Australian People on current developments in Zimbabwe
- Develop friendship between the peoples of Zimbabwe and Australia
- Promote organisations in Zimbabwe which advocate democracy, gender and racial equality, human rights and environmental sustainability.
from the Constitution of the Zimbabwe Information Centre Inc, adopted June 6, 1999.
President: Dr Meredith Burgmann
Vice-President: Roger Jowett
Secretary: Peter Murphy
Treasurer: Gilmour Chimbetete
Committee Members: Clare Gallagher, Jane Woods, Tom Kelly, Ken Davis, Pam Hartgerink, Graham Chuck