Outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London

Every Saturday from 14.00 - 18.00 since October 2002

Zimbabwe Vigil Mission Statement:

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, London, will take place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights by the current regime n Zimbabwe. The Vigil will continue until internationally - monitored, free and fair lections are held in Zimbabwe. 

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Embassy challenged again – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 28th March 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 30 March 2015 08:17

Feelings continue to run high among Zimbabweans in the UK over the abduction of the Occupy Africa Unity Square activist Itai Dzamara three weeks ago. For the second week in a row people in the diaspora staged a protest inside the London Embassy on Friday 27th March. The Occupy Africa Unity Square protest seems to have become the Occupy Zimbabwe Embassies protest

 

Ten people got into the Embassy and sang protest songs in the reception area, brandishing placards such as ‘Bring back Itai Dzamara’, ‘Enough is enough’ and ‘Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF government must go’.

 

Scared Embassy staff retreated and summoned the police. The demonstrators explained that they were protesting at violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. They were asked to continue their protest outside. One demonstrator observed ‘The police were very polite and some seemed to dance to the music’.

 

The demonstrators went on to the nearby South African High Commission, where they demanded that Mugabe should be replaced as chair of the AU and SADC.

 

Martin Chinyanga of ‘Diaspora feels it’, who organised the previous protest, said the demonstrators accused President Zuma of responsibility for the Zimbabwean crisis. He added that he had received messages applauding the UK Embassy invasions from Botswana, Canada, United States and South Africa, where they had staged their own sit-in at the Zimbabwe Consulate in Cape Town yesterday and were preparing to do the same at the Embassy in Pretoria on Tuesday 31st March. It seems we may be witnessing a wave of pop-in protests.

 

Friday’s London protest was organised by Christopher Maphosa of Zapu-UK, who was accompanied by his wife. Others there were Zapu’s Arthur Molife, Martin Chinyanga, and members of Zimbabwe Yes We Can and the Vigil: David Kadzutu, Mary Muteyerwa, Roda Majoni, Hilda Gwesele, Danny Kadiki and Peter Sidindi.

 

The Vigil has no illusions about the possible fate of Itai Dzamara. Human rights lawyer Jestina Mukoko was held and tortured for several weeks in 2008 while the government protested they did not know her whereabouts. Those responsible have never been charged. ‘I hope that he does not come out of a police cell the same way I did’, she commented.

 

Others abducted by state security agents were never released. Tonderai Ndira of the MDC was also abducted in 2008. His body was found a month later with multiple stab wounds, his eyes gouged out, his tongue cut off and his neck, skull, jaw and knuckles broken. Many other human rights activists have simply disappeared, perhaps into the acid baths.

 

A Vigil spokesman Fungayi Mabhunu, said the western world had been outraged by Itai Dzamara’s abduction. It showed that the Zanu PF regime whatever they said would stop at nothing to stay in power.

 

‘Zimbabwe is collapsing and Mugabe is now begging for help but the West has made it clear that Zimbabwe must observe the new constitution and respect the rule of law if relations are to be normalised’, he said.’ Only this week a top German diplomat Georg Schmidt  visiting Zimbabwe said foreign investors would look at the rule of law before deciding on investing’.

 

Fungayi added ‘As far as the Vigil is concerned we will seize every opportunity to remind the world of what happens to brave and principled people in Zimbabwe who oppose Mugabe and Zanu PF. Every Zimbabwean representative coming here must face the question: Where is Itai Dzamara?’

 

Other points

  • Everybody at the Vigil signed a letter which will be delivered to the Zimbabwe Ambassador in London in the near future: Dear Ambassador, We would like to discuss with you the abduction of the human rights activist Itai Dzamara who was seen being taken away in an unmarked car by five armed men on Monday 9th March. We fear that he is the latest victim of the Central Intelligence Organisation which has been responsible for the disappearance of thousands of opponents of the Mugabe regime. Zimbabwe Vigil fears that the unbridled criminal behaviour by the Mugabe regime is stoking a fire which could consume our people. Because the Embassy has no letterbox we will deliver this letter in person. We assure you that we come with peaceful intentions and intend at all times to obey the law which recognises our rights as Zimbabweans to approach our Embassy.

  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up another vibrant Vigil: Piyo Choga, Eunice Mucherechedzo, Nichodimus Nicholas Moyo, Danny Kadiki, Peter Chareka and Fungayi Mabhunu.

     

    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: 33 signed the register.

     

    EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Executive Meeting: Saturday 4th April 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.

  • 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 Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 4th April from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and Pizza Express. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

  • 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.

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 4th April from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • ROHR Reading Branch general meeting and outreach. Saturday 11th April. Outreach from 11 am – 2 pm followed by a meeting from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. For further enquiries contact: Eric Eluwasi- 07888310582, Nicodimus Muganhu – 07877386792 and Shylette Chipangura -0782892980.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 25th April at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.

  • 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.

 
Embassy in panic – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 21st March 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 22 March 2015 18:43

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/16861356256/sizes/m/

 

The Zimbabwean Embassy in London went into meltdown on Thursday when nine Zimbabwean expatriates charged in and demanded information about the missing human rights activist Itai Dzamara.

 

With cries of ‘We want Itai’, ‘Bring back Itai’ and ‘Zanu PF murderers’, the group demanded to see the Ambassador. Frightened staff pointed to a door but a voice from inside that room shouted ‘don’t let them in’.

 

In the meantime police – some of them armed – swarmed into the building summoned by a panic button. The protesters explained they were simply making a peaceful request for information from their Embassy because Dzamara had been seized by state agents but had not been charged with any offence within the required seven days and they had a right to ask for an explanation.

 

The police asked them to continue the protest outside and they immediately left without causing any damage or harm to anyone. The Embassy then closed for the day.

 

Those taking part in the protest were: Charles Dumisani Ndlovu and Deborah Harry who led the way into the building followed by Martin Chinyanga, Erick and Mary Eluwasi, Danny Kadiki, Arthur Molife, Thobile Gwebu and Fungayi Mabhunu. For a video of the protest see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHvbuHUZTgA.

 

The protest against the feared murder of Itai Dzamara continued at the Vigil on Saturday with posters reading ‘Where is Itai Dzamara?’ and ‘Release Itai Dzamara’. And at meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil it was agreed to send the following letter to the Ambassador.

 

Dear Ambassador

 

We would like to discuss with you the abduction of the human rights activist Itai Dzamara who was seen being taken away in an unmarked car by five armed men on Monday 9th March.

 

We fear that he is the latest victim of the Central Intelligence Organisation which has been responsible for the disappearance of thousands of opponents of the Mugabe regime.

 

Zimbabwe Vigil fears that the unbridled criminal behaviour by the Mugabe regime is stoking a fire which could consume our people.

 

Because the Embassy has no letterbox we will deliver this letter in person. We assure you that we come with peaceful intentions and intend at all times to obey the law which recognises our rights as Zimbabweans to approach our Embassy.

 

Zimbabwe Vigil

 

In our diary of 15th November 2014 we reported as follows: The last Vigil diary reported the police attack on human rights activist Itai Dzamara for protesting in Africa Unity Square in Harare. We have been inspired by his courage and his confidence of change in Zimbabwe as expressed in his facebook page of Sunday 9th November: My time in hospital has afforded me huge spaces of quietness, reflection, introspection and meditation. I am left without any doubt about three things. First, a new Zimbabwe is very possible, out of civil, peaceful and resolute means. I have seen and experienced enough during the past three weeks, to know that beyond any doubt. Secondly, l have come to understand and appreciate that, really, the majority of us, Zimbabweans, are convinced that this is not the Zimbabwe we want. Therefore, there is only one route to take – fighting for a better nation. We have to do it, if not for today or now,  certainly for our children and the future. The fight does not require bombs, knobkerries or machetes. It requires determination, peace and love. Lastly my presence in hospital bears testimony to the fact that there are elements and forces bent on resisting our struggle for a better Zimbabwe – including through murder.  But I have just completed a set of gym exercises this morning, to the shock of everyone, bearing testimony to the power and grace that is beyond human instinct or murder plots – just three days ago I was left for dead. I am left without any doubt at all that a new Zimbabwe is possible through our genuine efforts and without shedding blood or breaking bones. I am ready to continue playing my part and hereby challenge you to step up and do your duty. Through civil, peaceful and resolute means, we can make it because: We are the people! We are the numbers! Let’s go!’

 

Other points

  • One of our supporters, Epiphania Phiri, says she last phoned Itai the night before his abduction to tell him she was sending money. She carried out the transaction but the money has still not been picked up and she is trying to get a refund so she can resend it to Itai’s family. The Vigil is still collecting for him. See our campaigns page (http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/672-bring-back-itai-dzamara-fund-appeal) for how to get money to his family.

  • Also on our campaigns page is a report from journalist David Wilkins on our Mugabe birthday protest in which he interviews several of our supporters. David has won our respect for overcoming his blindness to come out by himself to follow our activities (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/671-unhappy-birthday-dear-mugabe-).  

  • Our supporter Sister Beverley Mutandiro who often leads prayers at the Vigil spoke of the many people who approached her today troubled by failed asylum applications and the difficulties of missing their children and spouses. She asked that the following bible verse be put on the diary to comfort them. Isaiah 41 v10: Do not be afraid – I am with you. I am your God, let nothing terrify you. I will make you strong and help you. I will protect you and save you.

  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Joseph Chivayo, Mavis Chisvo, Patrica Masamba, Fungisai Mupandira Paul Fusire, Brenda Chavundura, Ishmael Makina, Helen Rukambiro, Rachel Mudzimba, Fungayi Mabhunu and Tryness Ncube. Thanks also to Tryness for buying copies of a useful book on asylum and giving them away to others at the Vigil who needed them.

  • For Paul Davey’s photos of last week’s ‘I am Itai Dzamara’ protest, Check: .http://pauldaveycreative.photoshelter.com/gallery/2015-03-14-Zimbabweans-protest-in-London-against-disappearance-of-democracy-campaigner-Itai-Dzamara/G0000K7jsH4xppUQ

     

    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: 39 signed the register.

     

    EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Zimbabwe Training Day. Saturday 28th March 2015 from 11 am – 5 pm. Venue: Secular Hall, 75 Humberstone Gate, Leicester LE1 1WB.  The training is particularly for office bearers on ROHR branch committees. The training will cover: the duties and roles of office holders, asylum and immigration matters, and the history of ROHR and human rights activism. For more information, contact: Enniah Dube 07403439707, Tino Mashonganyika 07463272078, Xoliso Sithole 07455911728 and Sally Mutseyami 07448730581.

  • 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 meeting. Saturday 28th March at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 4th April from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • ROHR Executive Meeting: Saturday 4th April 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 4th April from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and Pizza Express. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

  • 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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Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights of 2010
Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights of 2009
Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights of 2008
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