All Zimbabweans will have rejoiced that Zimbabwe is to produce its very own car and export it to the rest of Africa. The announcement in the Herald said the development was in line with the government’s ‘stance of value addition and beneficiation, which is expected to turn the country into a regional giant of exporting finished products’ (see: http://www.herald.co.zw/zim-to-manufacture-own-car-model/).
Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha, whom we picketed a few weeks ago when he tried to sell fantasyland to London investors, was proud to tell a news conference in Harare about the project after signing what he said was a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with an Italian firm with the un-Italian name El Badaoui Group.
Mr Bimha didn’t quite say that the new car would run on Chinhoyi diesel but the Techzim website immediately cast doubt on the project. ‘We think this shouldn’t be taken seriously at all. It’s the usual effort to offer some news of hope in these pretty damp times’ was its conclusion (see: http://www.techzim.co.zw/2015/11/zim-manufacture-car-model-news-must-not-taken-seriously/)
A bracing note of reality also came in an article in the American magazine ‘Foreign Affairs’, which questioned Zimbabwe’s plan to borrow money from the international financial institutions so that it can begin to pay off the interest on its debts so that it can borrow more money which it will of course not repay. Just the sort of plan that would seem to appeal to the Zanu PF mentality.
Well, Foreign Affairs is not buying it, observing: ‘Now is precisely the wrong time to embrace Mugabe and his coterie, who for 35 years have done little but devastate the country and enrich themselves.’ The magazine goes on to say ‘Significant lending before the regime has taken genuine steps toward much-needed reform would be premature and entirely counterproductive’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_analysis-imf-cash-will-entrench-grace-croc/).
As with Zimbabwe’s plan to produce its own car, the magazine will not have been taken in by the remarks of Vice President Mnangagwa at a dinner in Harare held to raise money for Zanu PF’s conference at Victoria Falls next month. According to the Herald the dinner was attended by hundreds of captains of industry and heads of parastatals paying up to $100,000 for a table.
The must have found it difficult to keep a straight face when the Vice President exhorted them: ‘we must unreservedly shun corruption’, before going on to accuse the media of a warped analysis informed by ‘a litany of denials of reality’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_zanu-pf-dinner-oversubscribed-the-herald/).
Is this the same reality shown by Mugabe in flying to Turkey to give his advice to the G20 meeting of leaders of the world’s major economies? Following the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday French President Hollande has withdrawn from the meeting so Mugabe can take his place (and probably argue the case for supporting the blood-stained Assad regime).
Distancing ourselves from Mugabe’s fantasyland, the Vigil expressed our solidarity with France by wearing mourning bands and displaying posters reading ‘Vigil mourns with France’.
· Thirty people went to Nottingham on Friday to stage another demonstration outside the clinic run by Dr Sylvester Nyatsuro and his wife Veronica who are trying to seize a farm in Zimbabwe although they have lived in the UK for more than ten years. The supporters of the Vigil and the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe sang and danced and handed out flyers to passers-by. Motorists hooted in support when they passed. Thanks to those who attended: Audry Chamangira, Muchineripi Chigwedere, Paul Chipamhadze, Chamunorwa Chisuko, Flemming Diza, Enniah Dube, Farai Sharmaine Gumbanjera, Princess Homera, Irvine Huni, Danny Kadiki, Chipo Kamhunga, Godwin Kativu, Joana Kwenda, Chido Michelle Makawa, Ishmael Makina, Cephas Maswoswa, Lazarus Matiyenga, Arthur Molife, Nobukhosi Moyo, Nicodimus Muganhu, Ian Mumford, Sally Mutseyami, Virginia Mutyambizi, Mncedisi Ndhlovu, Charles Dumisani Ndlovu, Benhilda Ngwenya, Esther Nyambi, Minienhle Sibanda, Qiniso Sibanda and Sibusisiwe Tshuma. Special thanks to Chamunorwa and Enniah for running the protest and to Cephas who bought food for the group.
· Thanks to those who arrived early to set up the Vigil: Humphrey Dube, Livert Zhuwao, Barbara Kachidza, Abigail Makope, Mncedisi Ndhlovu and Fungay Mabhunu. Thanks to Livert for looking after the front table. Thanks to the team that put up the tarpaulin and banners in the pouring rain: Humphrey, Mncedisi, Fungayi, Charles Dumisani Ndlovu and Chipo Kamhunga. Special thanks to Humphrey who went tirelessly up and down the ladder to tie everything down. We admired their ingenious engineering in taping a fold up chair and umbrella to the string holding up the tarpaulin to make sure the rain ran off. Thanks to all those who stayed to the end to help pack up: Barbara Kachidza, Charles Dumisani Ndlovu, Chipo Kamhunga, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Christopher Kamuzonde, Dennis Benton, Enniah Dube, Fungayi Mabhunu, Helen Sibanda, Humphrey Dube, Ivy Dangarembizi, Jennipher Sabe, Kidi Gotsi, Linton Magume, Lipi Mhlope, Mncedisi Ndhlovu, Moline Nyabonda, Rose Benton, Tryness Ncube, Xoliso Sithole, Yvonne Makombe and Zondiwe Gumede.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.
FOR THE RECORD: 35 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
· Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 28th November from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
· Monthly Itai Dzamara protest. Saturday 6th December from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark nine months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
· The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
· Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
· Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
· Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2014 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/642-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2014. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2014 Highlights page.
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