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 in Zimbabwe.

The Vigil will continue until internationally - monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.

Looking for Vigil pictures? See them on Flickr Click here 

 
Vigil welcomes new path – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 12th April 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 14 April 2014 09:46

The Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF), gathering after the Vigil, offered support to people at home seeking a new political path as the situation there continues to worsen. The meeting follows recent talks in Harare that Vigil founder member Ephraim Tapa had with some leading politicians.

 

During a lively debate, it was noted that the Zimbabwe Vigil Coalition originally included the MDC but under the leadership of Morgan Tsvangirai the MDC withdrew its support because we were critical of some of its decisions. For our part, we believe that in a democracy you have an obligation to be critical when you disagree.

 

The following resolution was passed: ‘The Vigil notes with great interest the developments in MDC-T. The Vigil will work with any organisation whose aims are compatible with our mission statement to secure free and fair elections and end human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, while maintaining our own identity.’

 

A second resolution was also approved expressing concern at the growing number of Zimbabwean failed asylum seekers being sent home at a time when the Zimbabwean economy is collapsing.

 

It was decided that the next ZAF meeting on 3rd May will discuss sending a delegation to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to present a petition on the asylum issue. It would also form a steering committee to carry forward the diaspora’s engagement with the emerging new political force in Zimbabwe.

 

Our approach to this engagement would be along the lines of the resolutions passed at our Restore Zimbabwe conference in London on 24th October last year as follows: ‘The conference:

 

Rejects the 31st July elections as rigged

2.     Calls on the diaspora to unite in demanding new elections

3.     Condemns SADC for not ensuring the GPA was implemented

4.     Appeals to the AU to revisit its approach the Zimbabwe crisis

5.     Urges South Africa not to support the Mugabe regime

6.     Advises the EU to continue the targeted sanctions against Mugabe and to expand them to include judges and officials of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission who have demonstrated bias for Zanu PF

7.     Demands the Zimbabwean opposition resist Mugabe at every step

8.     Asks the UK government not to send home failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers.’

 

The British government has expressed concern at the corruption in Zimbabwe. Their comment came in a letter to the Vigil in reply to one we had written to Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to boycott the recent EU / Africa Summit in Brussels because Mugabe had been invited (for text of the letter see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/578-text-of-letter-from-fco-742014).

 

In the event neither man went to the meeting. Mugabe stayed away, saying it was because Grace was refused a visa. Mr Cameron was represented by his Foreign Secretary William Hague.

 

The letter to the Vigil from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said the UK was supporting efforts to tackle corruption in Zimbabwe through a number of initiatives run by the Department for International Development, including supporting access to independent media ‘to facilitate public demand for transparency, accountability and integrity in Zimbabwean society’. The Vigil hopes that this could include support for SW Radio Africa which has been a beacon for people in Zimbabwe deprived of objective news and which is facing funding problems.

 

The FCO letter also spoke of serious concern ‘about the significant weaknesses identified during the 2013 elections and the lack of transparency identified by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), African Union (AU), and domestic observation missions, which call into doubt the credibility of the elections’. It continued ‘We believe that significant improvements in the electoral process are required along the lines proposed by international and domestic observers, if future elections are to be both credible and transparent’.

 

The FCO letter makes clear that the situation in Zimbabwe is unacceptable yet the UK Home Office seems to be stepping up the deportation of failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers. How can there be so little communication between two government ministries? This is a point that we plan to make to the Home Office.

 

Thanks to Bridget Zhakata, Nobukhosi Moyo and Patricia Masamba who arrived early to help set up the Vigil.

 

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: 40 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

 

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Meeting – Saturday 19th April at 12 noon. The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 19th April from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 3rd May from 6.15 pm.  Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. 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.

  • ‘The Rain that Washes’ national tour: Sat 24, Sun 25 & Mon 26 May – Brighton Fringe Festival, Marlborough Theatre, 4 Princes Street, Brighton BN2 1RD. Booking details can be found at www.chickenshed.org.uk/whatsson.

  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2013 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/560-vigil-highlights-2013. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2013 Highlights page.

  • 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 the views and opinions of ROHR.

  • Facebook pages:

 
Graceless Mugabe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 5th April 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 06 April 2014 13:26

Our Mugabe mask got another outing at an EU / Africa Summit when the Vigil demonstrated in Brussels on Wednesday against the EU’s craven invitation to Mugabe to attend the meeting despite being ‘the last man standing’ on the sanctions list.

 

The mask was first ‘unmasked’ in 2007 when a large group of Vigil supporters demonstrated in Lisbon against the EU’s decision to allow Mugabe to attend the Summit there.

 

The EU must have congratulated itself when Mugabe didn’t pitch up for the Brussels meeting, complaining that the invitation did not extend to Grace. The EU rightly reckoned that Africa would ignore Mugabe’s demand to boycott the Summit because of the graceless invitation.

 

Zanu PF seems to have realised that it overplayed its hand. It knows that Zuma, in his own interests, will side with Mugabe but the rest of Africa has clearly decided that there is a limit to how far senile posturing can take us. Mugabe must change his own nappy.

 

It was left to the Vigil to represent Zimbabwe in Brussels, which must have dismayed the scores of Mugabe flunkeys on big expense allowances who normally infest his foreign trips like fleas on a goat. David Kadzutu and Peter Sidindi of our partner organisation Zimbabwe Yes We Can took turns to don the Mugabe mask and enlighten the world about Mugabe’s vision: poverty, disease and corruption. They passed around our posters reading: ‘No to vote-rigger Mugabe’, ‘EU / AU supports dictator Mugabe’, ‘EU / AU supports Zimbabwe’s illegal regime’ and ‘No to AU dictators’.

 

The ‘No to AU dictators’ poster was particularly popular with the hundreds of Mauritanian protesters we were grouped with who showed great interest in our cause. There were migrants from all over Africa demonstrating at the conference and groups were all given two-hour time slots. Judging from the leaflets we found when we arrived, our predecessors had included Rwandans protesting against their ‘dictator Paul Kagame’.

 

We were inspired by the endurance of Vigil supporter Ruwimbo Melody Tembo who left Stafford at 1.30 am to catch the coach from Birmingham at 3 am, arriving in Brussels at 5 pm and only getting back to Birmingham at 12.30 pm the next afternoon, finally getting home at 1.30 pm – 36 hours on the go for a two-hour demo!

 

We were glad that Ruwimbo and the other participants in the Brussels excursion were able to attend the Vigil today, and most of them went on to a meeting down the Strand at the India Club for our bi-monthly Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). More than 30 people attended and heard Ephraim Tapa report on a recent visit back home during which he had discussions with embassies in Harare. More importantly, he met with prominent opposition leaders who suggested co-operation with the diaspora represented by the Vigil coalition. There was a lively discussion of this at the ZAF meeting and it was agreed that we would bring the next meeting forward to next Saturday (12th April) to enable us to reach decisions on this overture.

 

 

 

 

Other points

  • Fungayi Mabhunu reported that a friend had visited police headquarters in Harare and found them looking at pictures of the Vigil including some showing a Vigil supporter wearing our Mugabe mask. This sort of information is quite useful to present to the Home Office when they ask why Zimbabwean Vigil activists cannot be sent home.

  • We were pleased to be joined by supporters we have not seen for a while: Josie Zhuga, Louisa Musaerenge and Caroline Witts on her bi-monthly trip from Exeter.

  • Thanks to Chipo Musodza and Joseph Chivayo who were there at the start of the Vigil to help set up.

  • Statistic of the week: apparently 7,700 people are employed by the Indigenisation Ministry (see: Chinamasa in wage bill Catch-22 – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_chinamasa-in-wage-bill-catch-22/). No wonder the country is bankrupt.

  • Ominous report of the week: the Israeli-ballot-rigging company Nikuv has not only moved into the King George VI army barracks in Harare but has apparently ordered 7 container loads of ballot-rigging material for the 2018 elections (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_shock-2018-vote-claims/ – Shock 2018 vote claims).

     

    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: 64 signed the register.

     

    EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 12th April from 6.15 pm. NB: this forum has been moved forward a week to continue important discussion of the 5/04/2014 ZAF. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. 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 Yes We Can Meeting – Saturday 19th April at 12 noon. The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 19th April from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • ‘The Rain that Washes’ national tour: Sat 24, Sun 25 & Mon 26 May – Brighton Fringe Festival, Marlborough Theatre, 4 Princes Street, Brighton BN2 1RD. Booking details can be found at www.chickenshed.org.uk/whatsson.

  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2013 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/560-vigil-highlights-2013. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2013 Highlights page.

  • 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 the views and opinions of ROHR.

  • Facebook pages:

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