Bananas are plentiful in KwaZulu Natal. So apparently are doctorates, judging by the PhD awarded to General Constantine Chiwenga by the university there. He got his doctorate not for some learned thesis on how to peel a banana but for something of even greater moment: Why the world is so unkind to Zimbabwe.
The armed forces commander has taken time out from his diamond looting, vote rigging, and widespread farming and business interests, apart from his day to day military chores, to gain a Doctor of Philosophy degree in – appropriately enough – Ethics.
Presumably the learned thug would first have acquired a Bachelor’s Degree in which he would have been introduced to Plato and Aristotle, Aquinas, Pascal and Paine etc and then completed a Master’s Degree perhaps looking in depth at Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein and the logical positivists or maybe the existentialists such as Sartre and Camus. They had a lot to say about ethics. Or perhaps he preferred Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer or maybe Tolstoy and Gandhi. He must be familiar with them all to get a doctorate in Ethics (apart from a close study of Machievelli’s The Prince).
If he was, his former farm looter wife Jocelyn seems to have been unaware of it. Her main concern was the coffin he kept in their bedroom in Borrowdale stuffed with muti. The muti seems to have worked because, miraculously, the general has convinced the Banana University (patron: former Zimbabwe President Sodomite Banana?) that there has been ‘a precipitous decline of UN moral stature, particularly in the eyes of the developing world’ (see: http://www.news24.com/Africa/Zimbabwe/Zim-army-commander-gets-PhD-from-UKZN-20150510).
His thesis apparently scrutinised double standards in the UN humanitarian missions ordered by the Security Council and he says he interviewed Mugabe for his research. Who better to consult, especially since it was recently disclosed that Chiwenga is Zanu PF’s real political commissar – even though our wonderful new constitution requires our military to be politically neutral. Ethics? (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2015/03/09/chiwenga-our-commissar-zanu-pf/).
The Vigil thanks Chiwenga’s diamond firm Anjin Investments for breaking the news of Dr General’s academic triumph and is delighted to learn that ‘through your enlightened leadership the Zimbabwe defence forces have been transformed into a hub of academic excellence’. Jonathan Moyo, who apparently wrote the thesis, must be delighted at this jewel of ZimAsset.
· Talking of ZimAsset, the question of integrity was raised by Senator Carter in a recent speech, a copy of which he has kindly sent to the Vigil. We agree with his view: ‘For local businesses to flourish we need to provide equality before the law and secure property rights’. See: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/689-senator-michael-carters-speech-to-the-senate on our campaigns page for the speech.
· There has been some consternation about Afrobarometer’s survey showing support for Mugabe. It shouldn’t surprise anyone who remembers the organisation’s past surveys. We have more confidence in the opinion of Charles Mangongera, a former Chief Research Fellow at the organisation which conducted the survey. He notes these surveys are ‘a reflection of a deeply fractured society in which citizens fear authority and are manipulated by propaganda’. He adds that the founder of the organisation used to jokingly say that the surveys had a ‘margin of terror’ and not a margin of error (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_findings-influenced-by-margin-of-terror-the-zimbabwe-independent/).
· The former Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo knows all about propaganda. Now ousted from the party, he has suddenly seen the light and observes: ‘the country is currently in a state of siege’. He talks of ‘illegal bugging, torture, intimidation and abductions’. We don’t know where he has been for the last decade or so but he suddenly says: ‘the entire society is gripped with fear’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_pressure-mounts-on-mujuru-the-zimbabwe-independent/).
· Another of the walking dead, former presidential affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, speaks of ‘complete lawlessness in Zimbabwe’. Now that his own illegally gained estates are being repossessed by the people, he observes ‘there is no security of tenure. People just wake up and grab farms, which is a terrible indictment of the party’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_isolated-mugabe-deserves-our-pity-dailynews-live/). Perhaps he should take his case to the UN.
· We were sorry we couldn’t all attend the Memorial Service today of Catherine Muchabayiwa, our friend from ROHR Birmingham Branch, who died recently. We prayed for her and made a collection for her family.
· Thanks to Eunice Mucherechedzo, Paul Fusire, Patricia Chingozha and Fungayi Mabhunu for being there at the start of the Vigil to help set up. Thanks to Eunice for looking after the front table throughout 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: 27 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
· ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 23rd May from 12 noon – 2 pm. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.Contact: Chair: Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899, Secretary: Brenda Chavhundura 07428227530, Organising Secretary: Mavis Chisvo 07944612944.
· 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.
· Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 30th May from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
· Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 30th May 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 Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 6th June 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 an optician. 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.
· ROHR Reading Branch general meeting and outreach. Saturday 13th June from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: Pakistan Community Centre, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA. For further information contact: Charles D Ndlovu 07413879590, Eric Eluwasi 07888310582, Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Deborah Harry 07748723974 and Shylette Chipangura 07828929806.
· 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.
· Facebook pages:
· SW Radio Africa’s website and sound archive is being hosted on www.archive.org. Go to the site and type in swradioafrica which will link you to snapshots of their site over the years and at the top of that page a link to their website where, under podcasts, you will find the audio.