Police in UK reported that on Sunday, 17 April 2011 had to intervene in a case of cyber bullying and harassment of Global Girls Rights Advocate Betty Makoni and take a tough stance in issuing Vio Mak (not Real name)a Zimbabwean woman based in Birmingham who runs a Vio Mak Charity Music project not officially registered in UK with a recorded caution. Vio Mak is believed to have formed a Zimbabwe political party in UK in addition to many other activities she is said to be undertaking in the country.
In March 2011 over twenty five people are said to have complained against her cyber bullying and harassments and face book closed her previous account. She defied order from face book which bars her from using face book and opened a new account code named ,Human Rights Defender Vio Mak.
Vio Mak claims to be a Human Rights Defender have been proved false by Frontline Human Rights Defenders Network based in Ireland which has an official register of Human Rights Defenders. Most human rights defenders threatened in their home countries like Betty Makoni are officially registered with Frontline and their work on the ground is officially recognised. Vio Mak left Zimbabwe some years ago.
PC Pascal from Essex Police station issued a recorded caution over the telephone and advised Vio Mak (whose real name they now have )to stop all cyber bullying of Girls Advocate Betty Makoni and remove her name from her new face book page as well as from about nine websites they have identified as belonging to her. Police have confirmed due to hate speech, cyber bullying and harassment of many Zimbabweans, Face book closed Vio Mak`s previous account.
After the recorded caution Vio Mak went on further and intensified her hate campaign against the Global Girls Advocate, Betty Makoni whose work has been awarded globally and has helped thousands of girls in Zimbabwe and Africa and posted some defamatory statements despite Police warning her against taking the role of Charity Commission that regulates charities in UK.
`Police have given me an appointment at 4pm on Tuesday 26 April to come and give my statement and provide all what she has been posting of late especially after they cautioned her .In addition many organisations in UK have offered to help and so am very safe now. Also many friends on her face book page have taken all her postings when I was away on holiday and sent them to me. I have all documents for submission with confidence police will bring her to book as they reassured me they will act. I want this harassment to stop and that ordinary Zimbabweans like me keep their work going`, said Betty Makoni who has returned from a restful family Easter holiday.
Scores of face book friends on Vio Mak`s page have made contact with Betty Makoni to report more postings Vio Mak has recently made despite being warned and cautioned by police. Most of her friends have asked Betty Makoni to act diligently as the woman is alleged to have a dangerous syndicate on the internet that targets individual Zimbabweans. It is a new tactic to target human rights defenders from Zimbabwe whose names are prominent worldwide in a bid to confuse their supporters.
One of the postings accompanied by a news article from one of her news site (ZimOnline Press) makes false statements that Betty Makoni went to meet Robert Mugabe`s CIO who happens to run an internet radio called Zimonline Radio.
`This is not new to me that she is stalking me and my life is in danger here in UK.I have little boys in the house and I fear to let them go even in public places or outside as am not so sure how physical stalking is going on. I am so happy with police intervention this harassment which has gone out of control will stop and let the supportive environment here in UK keep my work going .When I look at people from Zimbabwe I take them to be fellow citizens and we should all find good ways to communicate with each other`, said Betty Makoni.
Betty Makoni is also a radio presenter on Zimonline Radio alongside many other presenters. Dee Jay Simba who heads the radio station gave Betty Makoni two hours every week to have a talk show called Women and Girls Empowerment whose focus is purely to help women and girls and has nothing to do with any political activity in Zimbabwe.
`I am and will remain on Zimonline Radio because the Head of the station is the first man to ask me to come on board to empower women and girls through his radio. I am doing this radio show and am in many programs initiated by men because if men come to give us spaces to empower ourselves we must embrace them and work closely with them. I have never been a politician and will never be one and so I rubbish anything that Vio Mak is posting on her news sites. I agree with police that she is a committing a crime of harassment and the day we stand on a fair court she must prove everything she has said .Every woman and man is a human being and deserves to be treated with dignity`, said Betty Makoni
Betty Makoni statement at Essex Police on 26 April 2011 will be the first step that will make police move in swiftly and charge Vio Mak with a criminal case of harassment and stalking.
This report is expected to open a flood gate of many similar harassment reports against Vio Mak. Many Zimbabweans who have been harassed and abused through defamatory articles and called all sorts of names are expected to use the same platform to sue Vio Mak and ensure they get court orders from UK courts to have her articles removed from Google and her many other websites.
Muzvare Betty Makoni Information Team- Zimbabwe UK and USA work to provide accurate news to all her supporters hourly
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