People running away in fear: it must have seemed like old times for Zanu PF Minister Christopher Mutsvangwa. Except this time it was the former CIO agent and director of the ZBC who was doing the running when he arrived with Embassy flunkies to give a talk at the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House in London on Tuesday (16th September).
A group from the Vigil was ready for Deputy Foreign Minister Mutsvangwa with our twelve foot banner ‘No to Mugabe, No to Starvation’ and posters such as: ‘No to Mugabe Stooge Christopher Mutsvangwa’. ‘No to Stolen Elections’, ‘No to Mugabe Mafia’ and ‘Free and Fair Elections in Zimbabwe’. Another poster recorded Mugabe’s latest racist rant: ‘Kick out remaining Whites’.
The Mutsvangwa group tried to avoid us by sneaking into Chatham House through a side door. But Vigil demonstrators got there first and blocked Mutsvangwa’s entry, demanding to know what he was doing in London representing an illegal regime. By the time he got into the building he was visibly shaken.
Chatham House, influenced by a ZANU PF sympathiser on their payroll who poses as an impartial academic, takes every opportunity to invite Mugabe representatives to tell the world how wonderful he is. They might like to know a bit more about Deputy Foreign Minister Mutsvangwa. He was, for instance, not at all diplomatic when he launched a reign of terror against opposition supporters after unsuccessfully standing for Zanu PF in Norton in the 2008 elections. Several people died at the hands of mobs he personally directed. In addition to setting up torture bases, he was also accused of involvement in illegal diamond deals.
All in all, Mr Mutsvangwa is not an ideal candidate to put Chatham House straight about Zimbabwe. They might be interested to read the following:
‘Mutsvangwa is reported to have ordered the CID to arrest (Costa) Mateta and his partners. The Homicide Squad detectives are said to have taken Mateta and two others to Granville Cemetery on the outskirts of Harare, where they brutally tortured them and shot them to death’.
Gibson Nyandoro was summoned ‘to a kangaroo court chaired by Mutsvangwa... His body was discovered floating in a local dam a few days later’.
Moses Mutandwa . . . ‘was heavily assaulted with sticks under the feet and all over the body’.
Chris Kakanga . . . ‘savagely assaulted with steel bars and logs until he sustained a fractured arm and leg’.
John Kwangware ‘said his left eye is permanently damaged as they allegedly tried to remove it’.
David Mupandasekwa . ‘the mob hauled him blindfolded to a place where CIO agents heavily assaulted him and left him for dead’.
Theresa Kamasula . . . ‘Was taken into the tent and subjected to terrible assault and torture. The youths threatened to kill her if they wanted. She was told they had orders from Mutsvangwa to ‘kill’ and it was up to them either to kill or spare her life’.
Thanks to Cephas Maswoswa who led the dancing and singing with an energy fuelled by anger at the treatment meted out to ordinary Zimbabweans by a callous regime which only got into power through a massively rigged election. With him were Lipi Mhlope, Patricia Maromo, Patricia Masamba, Fungisai Mupandira, Tendai Chadehambe, Fungayi Mabhunu and Rose Benton who came to the protest at very short notice.
Thanks to Epiphania Phiri, Hilda Gwesele and Roda Majoni who came early to the Vigil today to help set up.
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: 29 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 27th September 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.
ROHR Central London Branch general meeting. Saturday 27th September from 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.
ROHR Reading Branch general meeting and outreach. Saturday 27th September from 10:30 am to 5 pm. Venue: RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. Contact: Information & Publicity Officer: 07532021348.
ROHR 2014 National Conference. Saturday 4th October from 11 am till late. Venue: Malaika House, 81 George Street, Lozells, Birmingham B19 1NS. Restoration of Human Rights International invites its members, supporters, partners and the general public to come and celebrate. Contact: Branch Chairperson – Thandiwe Gwarumba 07503 512308, Publicity Department – Tino Mashonganyika 07463 272078, Fundraising – Gladys Muduve 07956 430115, Secretary – Catherine Muchabayiwa, 07529 556254, Organizing Secretary – Jane Mary Mapfumo 07412 310429.
Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 4th October from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
Zimbabwe Vigil’s Twelfth Anniversary. Saturday 11th October.
Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 25th October at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.
‘Hope for Zimbabwe’. Tuesday 4th November from 7 – 9 pm. Venue: the Royal Geographical Society, London. Hosted by the Mike Campbell Foundation with Ben Freeth, MBE, Christina Lamb, OBE, Dame Linda Dobbs (Chair). Tickets: £15. For more information, check: http://www.mikecampbellfoundation.com/page/events-2014.
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.
Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
The Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets twice a month after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy