The Vigil is launching a campaign to alert British MPs and other opinion formers to the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe as the EU moves to lift the remaining targeted measures against Mugabe and his cronies.
The Vigil believes that there is overwhelming evidence that the 31st July elections were rigged and we are exploring the way forward in challenging the bogus results. We are seeking guidance for the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. Here is our letter to them:
I hope you heard about our ‘Restore Zimbabwe’ All-Stakeholders’ Diaspora Conference in London last month.
The purpose of the meeting was to agree a common platform and strategy for diaspora action on the Zimbabwe crisis following the fraudulent July elections.
Several resolutions were agreed including that we should explore the possibility of a legal challenge to the validity of the elections, especially in light of the refusal to release the voters’ roll.
We read that some people in Zimbabwe are thinking along similar lines and we will be happy to co-operate with them in any way we can. In particular, it has been suggested that we could approach the Bar Association in London for support. As you know they have taken a close interest in Zimbabwe.
We would welcome any comments and suggestions that ZLHR could make.
A number of EU leaders have made clear they are in favour of ‘normalising’ relations with Zimbabwe, the latest being the Greek Ambassador to Harare. He said Greece would seek to have the targeted sanctions lifted in 2014 when Greece has the Presidency of the EU.
The Vigil believes that, following Belgium’s successful demand to lift sanctions against the dubious Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, it will be difficult for the UK to hold the line. Even Germany, which has had ‘protected’ investments in Zimbabwe seized without compensation, seems to have allowed one of its companies to sell equipment to Mugabe’s own stolen Gushongo enterprise.
The Vigil’s intention is to stress the illegitimacy of the Mugabe regime even if the EU caves in on the targeted measures at its February meeting. After all, the restrictions may be lifted but it is still up to individual countries to decide who they allow to visit or deal with.
The Vigil expects a busy time in the coming year exposing the Zanu PF gangsters who may be emboldened by the withdrawal of the ‘illegal sanctions’ to visit the UK and we ask our friends to let us know whenever this happens so that we can give them a suitable welcome, as we did for comrades Chinamasa and Mzembi.
In the meantime here is a letter (check: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/549-proposed-letter-to-mps-etc), written with the help of Zimbabwe Yes We Can Organising Secretary David Kadzutu, for supporters to send out to their MPs. It can be adapted as necessary to suit the sender’s needs:
Proposed letter to MPs etc
Zimbabweans in the UK are grateful for the sanctuary we have been given here in these desperate days for our homeland. I am sending this letter to give you first-hand information about the situation in Zimbabwe where 89 year old Mugabe and his Zanu PF mafia are clinging to power despite wrong-headed policies that have destroyed the economy and driven millions into exile.
Our hopes of change were dashed in July when the elections were stolen with the help of the Chinese and the Israeli ballot-rigging company, Nikuv, ending the four year coalition with the Movement for Democratic Change.
Eddie Cross, one of the remaining MDC MPs, says of the new cabinet: ‘I cannot think of a single Minister (perhaps one and even he is questionable) that is not guilty of gross corruption.’ He continues: ‘The harsh reality is that no single Zanu PF leader of any stature could stand up to an audit of their assets and sources of the income that supports their lavish lifestyles. This exercise would have to be extended to senior Civil Servants and many senior Army Officers and other members of the security services. In days after they took power, I heard of new corrupt deals in key sectors by Ministers. If Zanu PF does not get on top of all of these issues they simply cannot deliver what they have promised or even need to do to survive’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/first-100-days-eddie-cross/ – The First 100 Days – Eddie Cross).
The end of the restraining MDC influence on the government and the exposure of the hollowness of Zanu PF election promises threaten to lead to a new lurch to a North Korean-type siege mentality. There are increasing acts of violence, looting and intimidation by predatory gangs in a government-sponsored climate of paranoia and hatred of the West, which provides the bulk of the aid reaching the country.
After more than a decade of ‘land reform’ Zimbabwe cannot feed itself. Half the rural population will need international food aid in the coming months. There are few jobs because industry has also collapsed. The bloated civil service, which already takes 70% of government revenue, has been promised a 100% rise to lift them above the poverty level!
We know that our country has been one of the leading economies in Africa and, if governed properly, can be so again. We want to be part of this change and look forward to going back to a free and democratic country one day.
People sending this letter may like to add the following: For an insight into the depths of corruption in the Zimbabwean mafia, we refer to the ongoing divorce case in Harare involving Mugabe’s relative Philip Chiyangwa. His estranged wife has demanded a share of his assets which are listed as follows:
1. 60 hectares of land in the Grange (Harare),
2. Stoneridge Farm measuring 586 hectares,
3. six hectares of land in Harare,
4. Lot 3 of Delnadamph Estate measuring 5 hectares,
5. Stand 65 Colne Valley Township 5 of Lot 7A measuring 7 hectares,
6. Stand 389 Derbyshire Township measuring 25 hectares,
7. A piece of land in Zvimba measuring 1 331 hectares,
8. A piece of land in Shortson Harare measuring 72 hectares,
9. Part of Sangwe Farm in Chinhoyi measuring 845 hectares,
10. 2 812 hectares of land at Olympus Farm in Chinhoyi,
11. 4 060 hectares at Old Citrus Farm in Chinhoyi,
12. 1 416 hectares at Strathcona Farm, Chinhoyi,
13. 600 hectares at North Umzari Farm,
14. Urban residential stands throughout the country,
15. A fleet of top of the range vehicles and 40 companies.
1. Chrysler Cross Fire motor vehicle valued at approximately $50,000
2. Range Rover Vogue motor vehicle valued at approximately $60,000
3. A Jeep motor vehicle valued at approximately $120,000
4. Chrysler Sebrin motor vehicle valued at approximately $60,000
5. Ford Ranger motor vehicle valued at approximately $70,000
6. Mercedes GL6 motor vehicle valued at approximately $300,000
7. A Bentley motor vehicle valued at approximately $350,000
8. A Rolls Royce Phantom motor vehicle valued at approximately $475,000
9. A fleet of Mercedes.
10. Substantial household goods and effects valued approximately $200,000
1. Lot 11 of Bluffhill, corner Northolt Drive and Lavenham Drive , East Bluffhill. A cluster of 120 units of residential stands with water supply and sewer connected and borehole drilled measuring 1, 0065 hectares and valued at $5,940 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
2. Stand 3051 of Bluffhill, corner Northolt Drive and Lavenham Drive East Bluffhill being a cluster development of 57 units with water and sewer connected and borehole drilled measuring 1, 7385 hectares valued at $10,260 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
3. Stand 3052 of Bluffhill, corner Northolt Drive and Lavenham Drive East Bluffhill being a primary school built on a stand measuring 3, 7919 hectares and valued at $6 300 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
4. Remainder of Lot 13 Bluffhill, Corner Northolt drive and Lavenham Drive East, Bluffhill being a secondary school with 23 cluster houses and 36 Duplex Flats built on a stand measuring 7, 5291 hectares and valued at $19 300 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
5. Stand 3341 Kadoma Township (stand 2620-3340 Blue Ranges) Kadoma being a residential development with 693 stands/units measuring 20,7900 hectares and valued at $1 600 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
6. Stand 1-504 Eyecourt Township of Nyarungu estate being a development with a shopping centre, hotel/motel, and industrial stands measuring 46, 1270 hectares valued at $7 320 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
7. Stand 389 of Derbyshire Township being a development with a shopping centre and industrial site measuring 7,2287 hectares valued at $1 210 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
8. Stand 19345 harare township beong a development with residential stands measuring 10, 000 hectares and valued at $5 000 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
9. Stand 913 Mandara Township being a cluster development of 26 units measuring 3, 1634 hectares valued at $7 840 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
10. Subdivision C of The Grange (stands 566-712 the Grange Township) off Beeston avenue, a development with a five star hotel, 496 cluster homestead properties and 43 low density residential stands in total measuring 307, 957 hectares and valued at $12 010 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
11. The remainder of Stoneridge a mixed use development with a shopping centre, institutions and residential developments measuring 586,7145 hectares and valued at $36 150 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
12. Subdivision A of Stoneridge an agric-residental development measuring 8, 2283 hectares and valued at $1 340 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
13. Subdivision A of Arda an agri-residental development measuring 8, 2283 hectares and valued at $820 000.00 as at 31 May 2008
14. Stand 289 Willowvale Township, an industrial stand with 14 units measuring 0.9752 hectares and valued at $200 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
15. STAND 10050 Chinhoyi Township being a hotel site measuring 1.4430 hectares and valued at $220 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
16. Lot 8 of Hunyani, a hotel site IN Chinhoyi measuring 29.9077 hectares and valued at $4 490 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
98. Stand 7538 Gweru Township in Gweru, a hotel site measuring 4.9534 hectares and valued at $920 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
17. Stand 8432 Gweru Township in Gweru, a hotel site measuring 4.5934 hectares and valued at $390 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
18. The remainder of subdivision A of stoneridge a mixed use development with a shopping centre, institutions and residential developments measuring 586,8960 hectares and valued at $63 480 000.00 AS AT 31 May 2008.
19. The remainder of Arda Farm being a mixed use development with a shopping centre, institutions and residential developments measuring 605,8092 hectares and valued at $75 730 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
20. The remainder of A of the rest being a mixed use development with a shopping centre, institutions and residential developments measuring 1456,1440 hectares and valued at $36 400 000.00 AS AT 31 May 2008.
21. Stand 625 Mandara Township being a mixed use development with a shopping centre, institutions and residential developments measuring 6,6860 hectares abd valued at $3 340 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
22. Stand 27406 Masvingo Township being a hotel on a stand measuring 1.9879 hectares and valued at $280 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
23. A mixed use development with a shopping centre, institutions and residential developments in Kasese Township of Kariba measuring 65, 5325 hectares and valued at $7 910 000.00 as at 31 May 2008.
(See: http://www.newzimbabwe.com/news-13285-Chiyangwa%E2%80%99s+wife+wants+85pc+of+wealth/news.aspx - Chiyangwa’s wife demands 85pc of wealth as marriage fails).
We are grateful to Wilbert Mukori for representing us at a conference in Holland on Friday organised by Zimbabwe Europe Network titled ‘Charting a New Future for Europe-Zimbabwe Relations’. There will be full details in next week’s diary.
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: 22 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
· ROHR Central London Branch general meeting. Saturday 7th December from 11 am – 1 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 big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
· Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 7th December from 6.15. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.
· Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 14th December from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
· Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2012 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/467-vigil-highlights-2012. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2012 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:
· Vigil: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts
· ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
· ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/pages/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights/301811392835
· Useful website: www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.