United for human rights – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 12th December 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 18 January 2016 20:18

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/23705285615/sizes/m/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/23623540131/sizes/m/

 

Zimbabweans supported our friends of the Swaziland Vigil when they presented a petition to the Prime Minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street calling for the suspension of Swaziland from the Commonwealth.

 

The petition read: ‘Exiled Swazis and supporters urge you to suspend Swaziland from the Commonwealth until there is democracy and an end to human rights abuses in Swaziland'.

 

The petition was signed by more than 10,000 people from all over the world who have passed by the Swaziland Vigil which has been held outside the Swaziland High Commission in London for the past six years.

 

The singing and drumming protestors gathered at the Zimbabwe Vigil before parading the short distance to Downing Street where they displayed the following banners: ‘No to dictatorship in Swaziland’, ‘King Mswati release political prisoners’, ‘Free Maxwell Dlamini, Dulani Bheki and Masuku’ and ‘David Ngcamphalala murderer, torturer and rapist’.

 

 The group of more than 30 also carried other posters such as ‘No to hunger and starvation in Swaziland’ and ‘Stop police killings’.

 

Our protest outside Downing Street followed hard on a demonstration by thousands of the Stop Bombing Syria campaign, protesting at the UK joining the United States, France and other countries in attacking the bases in Syria of the Islamist terrorist group the so-called Islamic State.

 

One of the ban the bombing protesters, who were rather surprised by our arrival, kindly lent us her megaphone which enabled the Swaziland Vigil to amplify its protest while five representatives took the petition into Downing Street. They were: Thandekhile Dlamini, Zanele Nsibande, Sifiso Dlamini, Nomcebo Ngwenya and Philile Dlamini.

 

On our way back to the Zimbabwe Vigil we were confronted by a procession of hundreds of charity cyclists all dressed as Father Christmas and chanting ‘What do we want? Christmas. When do we want it? Now. Ho, ho, ho.‘ We wish that Christmas could be celebrated with such light hearts in Zimbabwe and Swaziland as well.

 

Other points

·       It’s now nine months since the Zimbabwean human rights activist Itai Dzamara was abducted by intelligence agents in Harare. He hasn’t been seen since. Once again the Vigil held its monthly protest to ensure he is not forgotten.

·       ROHR in Zimbabwe held a national meeting in Harare on 5th December. In Bulawayo ROHR held a well-attended gender workshop. Mashonaland East held a successful clean up and awareness campaign on Thursday 10th December while Harare Province was in a planning meeting which is scheduled to continue on Tuesday 15th December. All provinces are organising feedback meetings with a view to agreeing their programmes. ROHR has indeed come of age.

·       Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Barbara Kachidza, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Sharon Moyo, Benjamin Chigamba, Mavis Chisvo, Esther Munyira, Isabell Gwatidzo and Euliter Mutami. Thanks to Sharon and Enniah Dube for looking after the front table.

·       At the end of the Vigil a big group went off the ROHR Central London dinner and dance fundraiser. A good time was had by all. For photos, see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/90023465@N03/albums/72157662110527765.

 

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: 42 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 26th December from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest. Saturday 9th January from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark ten months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·       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 Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.

·       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 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:

Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515

ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835

 
Goblin economics – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 5th December 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 18 January 2016 20:18

Zanu PF says it has raised well over the $3 million it wanted for its conference at Victoria Falls. Apart from $5 contributions extorted from civil servants and rather larger ones from companies, most of this money will come, in reality, from state coffers.

 

Our galaxy of parastatals – driven into bankruptcy by Zanu PF looting – paid up to $100,000 each for a boastful table at dinners in Harare and Bulawayo held to raise funds for the conference.

 

As the economist Dale Dore observes, the Zanu PF regime is fond of ‘alternative and innovative financing arrangements’. In this case it is the ‘special purpose vehicle’ created by Finance Minister Chinamasa in last month’s budget to warehouse bad debts accumulated by mismanaged state enterprises.

 

This particular ‘special purpose vehicle‘, the misleadingly-named Zimbabwe Asset Management Company (Zamco), is taking over vast parastatal debts to clean the parastatals’ balance sheets and ‘just pretend the debt simply does not exist’ (see: http://www.thezimbabwean.co/2015/12/the-secret-of-making-debts-magically-disappear/).

 

This arrangement conveniently allows parastatals to pay millions of dollars to sponsor party political Zanu PF fundraisers and all the debt will be passed on to the state (which is supposed to regard the debt as an asset!).

 

The Vigil thinks this is rather like the witchcraft apparently practised by the former Education Minister and Mashonaland East Governor Cde Aeneas Chigwedere, who is being sued by his son Magwiza for unleashing goblins to terrorise the family.

 

The Herald reports that the former minister is alleged to have gathered the whole clan at his residence, filled a dish with porridge concocted with herbs and made them drop blood from their punctured little fingers into this brew before forcing them to eat it using the bleeding finger (see: http://www.herald.co.zw/witchcraft-lawsuit-for-ex-minister/).

 

The Vigil is well aware of goblin economics. In the past few days first lady and mother of the nation  Woman’s League boss Amai Dr Goblin Mugabe accused non-governmental organisations of giving food handouts to hungry people ‘year in and year out’ (see: http://www.herald.co.zw/first-lady-slates-confusion-ngos%E2%80%A2-food-aid-yes-but-no-conditions-%E2%80%A2-drought-prone-mat-south-warned/).

 

Dr Goblin continued ‘this shows that they don’t have the people at heart. They want us to be beggars for the rest of our lives. They bring their food handouts that don’t last long and they up their game just before elections to try and convince the people to turn their backs against the Government. We don’t want their food.’

 

The Herald says Dr Goblin was addressing thousands of people at a rally in Matabeleland South at which she handed out food and hailed the ‘mega deals’ signed with China which she proudly pointed out would include funding for the construction of a bigger parliament near Harare and a new warehouse (probably to store government debt).

 

It’s goblin economics for sure.

 

Dr Goblin makes politics out of the starvation in Matabeleland.  But we at the Vigil know how desperate the situation there is. Some of us financially support a pastor working in the Bulawayo area. This is part of his latest report:  ‘I greet you all in the name of the Lord Jesus! At present everyday life is difficult in Zimbabwe, for instance the sick can't go to hospital, and when they do, there are no medicines there. Many times I have driven people 20 km out of town to a clinic where people can get their medicines free. Some of these people cannot even walk, we have to carry them on stretchers. Just yesterday I took a young man, John, to the Bulawayo hospital. He broke his leg in August and it has been replastered three times. Now they say he has to have pins but they can only do it in January. He was discharged without painkillers. Many children are no longer going to school, especially in town.  Parents cannot find the money for school fees. In the rural areas people are constantly complaining of headaches. The reason for this is that they have not eaten. The rain has not come but people are still preparing their lands in hope. Some do not have seed to plant; they have eaten it.’

 

Other points

·       On a day when we were battered by strong winds which tore our banners down, we were happy to have with us again Nyasha aged 5 and Tanatswa aged 3, children of Benjamin Chigamba and Sharon Moyo. Sharon says that when she gets ready for the Vigil the 3-year-old asks if they are going to ‘Mugabe must go’.

·       On Saturday 12th December the Zimbabwe Vigil will be supporting our friends of the Swaziland Vigil who are to present a petition to the Prime Minister’s residence calling for Swaziland to be suspended from the Commonwealth until there is democracy and an end to human rights abuses. The petition has been signed by more than 10.000 people. For details see ‘Events and Notices’.

·       Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Sharon Moyo (with Tanatswa and Nyasha), Benjamin Chigamba, Pearl Shambare, Patricia Masamba, Irvine Huni, Martin Chinyanga and Fungayi Mabhuni. Special thanks to Sharon and Patricia for looking after the front table throughout the Vigil and to Benjamin for climbing up and down the ladder to put up our banners in the fierce wind. Thanks to those who stayed to the end to help pack up: Alice Shimika, Audrey Chihoho, Barbara Kachidza, Benjamin Chigamba, Chipo Kamhunga, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Faith Bhebhe, Fungayi Mabhunu, Kidi Gotsi, Lovemore Mukeyani, Martin Chinyanga, Patricia Masamba, Philip Maponga, Roseline Mukucha, Sharon, Nyasha and Tanatswa Moyo, Taurayi Tsandukwa, Vimbai Karumbidza and Zondiwe Gumede.

 

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:

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 12th December from 11 am to 1.30 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.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest. Saturday 12th December from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark nine months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 12th December from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB followed by a petition presentation to 10 Downing Street at 3 pm. Gather at the Zimbabwe Vigil for a 2.30 move-off to Downing Street. Contacts: Thobile Gwebu 07873164482, Veli Mamba 07960622878 and Lodiwe Ndwandwe 07517274324

·       ROHR Central London branch fundraising Christmas dinner. Saturday 12th December from 7.30 pm – 3 am. Venue: Tiger Tiger, 29 Haymarket. London SW1Y 4SP. Tickets £40 per head. Dress: smart. Contact Fungayi Mabhunu 07907980889.Esther Nyambi 07446210391 and Barbara Kachidza 07498764473.

·       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 Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.

·       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 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:

Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515

ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835

 
Ugly budget – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 28th November 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 November 2015 13:35

photolink: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/23353772356/sizes/m/

 

The ugly situation in Zimbabwe was reflected in the pitiful budget of $4 billion announced by Finance Minister Chinamasa on Thursday. The budget is even smaller than last year’s. To put it in perspective, the money involved is less than half the annual turnover of the South African food retailer Shoprite . . .

 

Mr Chinamasa came up with no serious plans to address the country’s economic malaise. The Vigil thinks this is because Mugabe has no answers except to get on a plane and go to Paris for another grandstanding conference.

 

So the situation in Zimbabwe will surely get worse. When we became independent we were second only to South Africa in the region in terms of economic development. Now Zimbabwe’s budget is smaller than those of all our neighbours, including previously pitied Botswana.

 

Zambia gets five times as much foreign direct investment and Mozambique nine times as much. For its part, Botswana hardly needs any investment because it has worked out how to do it itself.

 

What makes the situation so serious for Zimbabwe is that virtually all the money the government gets goes on paying the government itself  leaving nothing for the country.  That things can be done differently is shown by Tanzania’s new president John Magufuli. His first move was to cancel independence day celebrations to spend the money on a cleanup campaign (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_pres-no-uhuru-party-lets-clean-tanzania/).

 

The Vigil is sad that Zimbabwe is not under the leadership of someone with the vision of President Magufuli whose first thought was to scythe the privileged in the interests of the people as a whole.

 

Indeed, so self-obsessed is Mugabe that he went on from his Paris shopping trip to take part in the Vigil’s Mr Ugly competition (now an international event). See: http://www.news24.com/Africa/Zimbabwe/zims-mr-ugly-must-also-be-creative-and-stylish-organiser-20151126  – Zim's Mr Ugly must also be 'creative and stylish' – organiser.

 

As expected, the event was fiercely competed by various devils but after satisfactory arrangements were put in place with the Vigil’s bankers, ROBERT MUGABE was unanimously declared the winner and awarded the Nikuv floating trophy.

 

Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Eunice Mucherechedzo, Humphrey Dube, Sharon Moyo, Jennifer Maritsa, Farai Sharmaine Gumbanjera and Fungay Mabhunu. Special thanks to Humphrey for climbing up and down the ladder to put up the banners and tarpaulin and to Eunice and Sharon for taking care of the front table. Thanks to those who stayed till the end to help pack up: Alice Shimika, Audrey Chihoho, Catherine Musa, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Eunice Mucherechedzo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Humphrey Dube, Ishmael Makina, Jennifer Maritsa, Jennipher Sabe, Kidi Gotsi, Sharon Moyo, Tawanda       Chikwanha, Veli Mamba and Zondiwe Gumede.

 

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: 21 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest. Saturday 6th December from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark nine months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·       Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 13th December 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 Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.

·       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 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:

Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515

ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835

 
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