Stony road ahead – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 31st December 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 01 January 2017 16:03

As we begin a new year it is difficult to imagine that it will be a happy one in Zimbabwe. Even optimists will find it hard to see anything but a stony road ahead. 

We at the Vigil in the depths of a British winter are further chilled by the bleak analysis of Prince Mashele, executive director of the Centre for Politics and Research in South Africa (http://www.biznews.com/africa/2016/12/22/south-africa-will-finally-be-an-african-country/).

He argues that ‘Western’ values of accountability, political morality, reason and so on are not African and that it is idle to hope that Africans will have democracies of the type existing in Europe.  

He says: ‘People must not entertain the illusion that a day is coming when SA will look like the US. Our future is more on the side of Zimbabwe, where one ruler is more powerful than the rest of the population.’ He goes on: ‘How else are we to explain the thousands of people who flock to stadiums to clap hands for a president who has violated their country’s constitution? . . . In a typical African country people have no illusion about the unity of morality and governance. People know that those who have power have it for themselves and their friends and families.’

The Zimbabwean writer Pettinah Gappah, speaking about a recent visit home, told BBC listeners that, despite the hardships there, she came across many Mugabe supporters. Prince Mashele would sardonically have called them ‘true Africans’.

As we embark on 2017, we at the Vigil cling to the hope that Mashele is too pessimistic and that, having gone through so much suffering, Zimbabweans, given the chance, will find the road to freedom. Speaking at the Vigil, Ephraim Tapa said that free and fair elections were the key. Then the Vigil could shut up shop and we could all go home and rebuild our country into something that is not ‘typical’ and will surprise Mashele. After all, many in the diaspora have learnt something from living in free and democratic countries.

So this new year we wish you all well but with a heavy heart. Even if Mashele is wrong there are many stones on the road.

Other points

  • With government workers still waiting to be paid for December we are getting desperate messages from our families. One of our supporters reports that he tried to send money to his mother by ecocash but they had no cash and could not pay out. He said the family had no Christmas celebration and stayed indoors except for going to church. Dealers on the black market were taking 15% commission. At the moment the only reliable way to send money is through international money companies such as Western Union.
  • Recent efforts to disrupt the Vigil and our sister organisation, the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe, has been causing confusion. Please note that a bogus meeting purporting to launch a so-called ROHR Central London branch on 7th January is being advertised on social media. ROHR Central London branch already exists and if you are interested in joining, ask at the Vigil. For further clarification, check: http://zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/839-restoration-of-human-rights-in-zimbabwe-important-message.
  • Thanks to Vigil supporter Rumbi Sambana who brought toys and children’s books for our Vigil children. They will be available for those who want them next Saturday (7th January).
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Elizabeth Chakachaka, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Rosemary Maponga, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Patience Muyeye, Nontokozo Ncube, Rumbidzayi Sambana, Maxmus Savanhu and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Roseline, Rosemary, Cathrine Musa and Daisy Fabian for looking after the front table, to Rumbidzayi, Nontokozo and Patience for handing out flyers and selling wristbands, to Phillip, Alfredy and Maxmus for putting up the banners and tarpaulin and to Ephraim for bringing all the Vigil paraphernalia.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 21 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 7th January from 11.30 am. 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. It's next door to a newsagent and the entrance is marked by a sign at street level.  Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 7th January from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The protest is to mark twenty-two months since Itai’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 7th January from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • 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 Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2015 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/746-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2015. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
 
Expensive holiday season – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 24th December 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 25 December 2016 13:22

As Zimbabweans tighten their belts at another bleak Christmas, President Mugabe is taking a month-long rest in Singapore. He left Harare by chartered plane on 20th December accompanied by his family, aides, security people and $6 million from the Reserve Bank which will have to last them until the end of January.

The holiday may cheer up Grace Mugabe who must have been annoyed to have been ordered by the High Court to return Harare properties she seized from a Dubai diamond dealer in a dispute over a $1.3 million gem she thought was not good enough.

Zimbabweans can relax for a while because the government has closed down for seasonal celebrations and will do nothing for five weeks or so. Then it will spring into life to prepare for the President’s 93rd birthday party in February. Judging from recent presidential birthdays, this will the grandmother of all parties. But it will cost a lot so people must put money aside for their contributions when Zanu PF youth knock on the door.

Zanu PF in the UK will no doubt happily contribute if they can lay their hands on bond notes. Prominent among the delegates at the Zanu PF Conference this month was Nick Mangwana, Chair of Zanu PF UK. His speech at the Conference suggesting that the Zimbabwean diaspora need not be given the vote has angered Zimbabweans in the UK (see: https://www.zimeye.net/latest-nick-mangwanas-zanu-pf-congress-video-causes-a-furore/). He also goes on to complain that the diaspora community is the breeding ground for activism against the Zimbabwean government. Well, these traitors are now calling for the deportation of Mangwana and other Zanu PF supporters in the UK.

Other points

  • The Vigil encountered Nick Mangwana most recently when he was cheerleader for Patrick Chinamasa on his begging trip to the UK in July. He was spotted photographing Vigil protesters outside a Chinamasa meeting in London and was challenged by Vigil Co-ordinator Fungayi Mabhunu (see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157674355530204). The next day a large group of Vigil protesters held up Chinamasa’s taxi for an hour by sitting in the road and making him late for a meeting with the Foreign Office.
  • News that the new constitution, agreed in 2013 after four years of long expensive negotiations is being amended to give the President more power only confirms what we at the Vigil have long maintained: that the whole constitution-making process was a waste of time, especially since the new constitution has yet to be observed three years later.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Kevin Gondo, Isabell Gwatidzo, Etines Kapiya, Fungayi Mabhunu, Honest Madondo, Phillip Mahlahla, Allen Mandaza, Zimazile Mguni, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Xavier Murape, Cathrine Musa, Juliet Musandirire, Simbarashe Mutero, Patience Muyeye, Sharon Nziramasanga, Pretty Okechukwa, Sicelesile Phiri, Jennipher Sabe, Maxmus Savanhu and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Roseline, Cathrine and Pretty for looking after the front table, to Simbarashe for handing out flyers, and to Phillip, Alfredy, Maxmus, Kevin, Xavier and Allen for putting up the banners.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO Zimbabwean HR Charity. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 24 signed the register.

 EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Monthly Prayer Vigil. Saturday 31st December from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. Contact Beverley Mutandiro (07412053415) with names of Zimbabwean pastors and prayer groups who might want to participate.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 7th January. From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The protest is to mark twenty-two months since Itai’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 7th January from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • 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) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2015 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/746-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2015. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
 
Disgraceful Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 17th December 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 18 December 2016 14:01

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/18/zimbabwe-president-robert-mugabe-92-to-stand-in-next-election#img-1.

After his tireless work this year, travelling long distances to promote Brand Zimbabwe around the world, President Mugabe could not hide his disappointment at Zanu PF’s Conference in Masvingo.

All too little had been achieved at home while he had been away, he noted sadly. There had been too many juvenile squabbles in Zanu PF and silly protests from dissidents despite the hundreds of top of the range cars provided. And more cars were still to come.

Of course, he said, he would like to retire and milk his cows. But the sad truth was that everyone else in Zimbabwe was either deluded or naughty. ‘So we just have to soldier on to ensure continued prosperity and economic growth in line with ZimAsset.’

The alternative was too awful to imagine: neo-liberalism and its British and American apostles would pounce with their illegal regime change agenda. The result would be mass unemployment. Indeed, half of government workers would be made redundant. Farmers might even have to produce drought-resistant crops, genetically modified to exterminate indigenous people, as they had already done in the US and the UK.

Zanu PF agreed with the President and confirmed support for his sacrificial offer to stand for re-election in 2018. The party is fortunate because he will still be just under 100 when that presidential term ends so he will be able to stand again.

The Vigil wishes our families in Zimbabwe a patient Christmas. Those who are civil servants can look forward to getting their December salaries next month and join the queues at banks for bondage notes. The MDC T MP Eddie Cross says the Reserve Bank is reported to have billions of dollars of this monopoly money. The US dollar is trading at about an average premium now of 20 per cent, he says |(see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/836-thoughts-on-2016-and-a-look-at-2017).

 Other points

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO Zimbabwean HR Charity. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 47 signed the register.

 EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Leicester branch end of year general meeting. Tuesday 20th December from 1 – 4 pm. Venue: the Salvation Army, 330 Aikman Avenue, Leicester LE3 9PW. Contact: Enniah Dube 07403439707, Yvonne Makombe 07453909247 and Moline Nyabonda 07961250525.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 24th December from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Monthly Prayer Vigil. Saturday 31st December from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. Contact Beverley Mutandiro (07412053415) with names of Zimbabwean pastors and prayer groups who might want to participate.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 7th January from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The protest is to mark twenty-two months since Itai’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2015 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/746-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2015. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
 
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Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights of 2010
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