A new onslaught – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 19th November 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 21 November 2016 23:26

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/30750699100/sizes/m/ 

The ruthless crushing of the latest anti-government demonstration in Harare, combined with news that the army is recruiting thousands more soldiers, suggest that Zanu PF’s strategy for stealing elections has not changed. 

The scenario is confirmed by the announcement that the diaspora will only be allowed to vote in 2018 if they return home to register and stay on or return again for the ballot – despite the lauded 2013 constitution giving every Zimbabwean the right to vote. 

The Zimbabwean diaspora is believed to number some 4 million – the overwhelmingly majority of voting age. The registered electorate at home is put at around 6.6 million, so the diaspora would have a decisive say. 

Rita Makarau, chair of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, said that the electoral laws had not yet been aligned with the new constitution. The Vigil thinks that this is a step that Zanu PF is never likely to take, making our wonderful constitution a hollow mockery. 

The Vigil is not surprised that six activists were shot at and beaten up ahead of Friday’s planned demonstration against the introduction of ‘bond notes’. Ishmail Kauzani, who was driving one of the two cars containing the activists when they were blocked by unmarked pick-up trucks, said he managed to escape into the night under a hail of gunfire. ‘They were firing on us when we were still driving - many, many shots. It was like a war zone, a barrage of bullets’, he said. (see: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-zimbabwe-beatings-idUSKBN13D1SM). 

Although the Vigil was not surprised by the regime’s ambush we were surprised at the lack of wider support for the demonstration given the opposition’s promises to confront Mugabe on the streets. 

We were even more surprised to see Mugabe making his way down the long red carpet in Marrakech for the UN climate change convention. Not surprised by his futile attendance at yet another back-slapping event but that he could walk unassisted (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTbmGs0Pqck). 

It seems that it’s the opposition which needs help. If it is to win in 2018 it must insist that the constitution is fully implemented well before the election or it will be just another waste of time. If there’s no level playing field the opposition this time must refuse to take part in Zanu PF’s charade.

Other points

  • Ephraim Tapa, President of ROHR and founder member of the Vigil, spoke to us of the need to confront elements trying to hijack the Vigil and ROHR for their own purposes.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Yvonne Bonde, Mercy Chapepa, Mavis Chisvo, Joseph Chivayo, Enniah Dube, Nomusa Dube, Phillip Mahlahla, Edna Mdoka, Zimazile Mguni, Gladys Muduve, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Tracy Mupeti, Cathrine Musa, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Sipho Ndlovu, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Tawanda Rusape and Maxmus Savanhu. Thanks to Cathrine, Gladys and Esther Munyira for looking after the front table, to Chipo, Enniah and Nomusa for handing out flyers and selling ‘Mugabe must go / has gone’ wristbands and to Phillip, Alfredy, Mduduzi, Maxmus, Sipho, Peter Gonera, Honest Madondo, Raymond Gundula and Joshua Kahari for putting up the banners.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photo 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: 55 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Monthly Prayer Vigil. Saturday 26th November 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. The MDC-T UK and Ireland Youth Assembly will be joining us for the last hour for a candlelit vigil in remembrance of fallen comrades, those who have suffered and continue to be persecuted under Mugabe's Zanu PF regime and the many who perished during Gukurahundi. Please bring spare glass jars for the candles. MDC-T organisers: Sharon Moyo, Youth Province Organising Secretary, 07877224113 and Simbarashe Mutero. MDC-T UK & Ireland SE District Youth Chair, 07543 611638.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 26th November from 11.30 am – 1.45 pm. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall SE1 8XX. Phone Ephraim Tapa 07940793090 or Cephas Moswaswa 07931999174 for exact location.
  • ROHR Birmingham branch meeting. Saturday 26th November from 10.30 am – 1 pm. Venue: Strathallan Hotel, 225 Hagley Road, Birmingham B16 9RJ. Contact: Chair Gladys Muduve 07956430115, Info & Publicity Tecla Bandawe 074 50507650.
  • ROHR Reading branch Christmas dinner party. Saturday 26th November from 7.30 – 11 pm. Venue: Spice Oven Buffet Restaurant, 2- 4 Church Street, Reading RG4 8AT. Admission: £20 eat all you can. Contact Charles 07964731721, Deborah 07578894896, Sihle 07985712749, Alice 07450323439.
  • 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.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 26th November from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 10th December. From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The protest is to mark twenty-one months since Itai’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • 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: 
 
Campaign against visa refusal – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 12th November 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 November 2016 17:54

The Vigil has launched a petition to the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, following the refusal of visas to Zimbabwean human rights activists invited to address audiences in London.

The petition reads: ‘Exiled Zimbabweans and supporters appeal to the UK government to allow Zimbabwean civil rights campaigners to take up invitations to visit the UK so that they can tell the world about the worsening situation in Zimbabwe. A number of prominent activists have been denied entry although members of the Mugabe regime have been given visas despite having a history of human rights abuses.’

At the same time, the Vigil is calling on supporters in the UK to write to their Member of Parliament to complain at the refusal of visas to the activists. Zimbabweans resident in the UK are allowed to vote in parliamentary elections as Commonwealth citizens, even though Zimbabwe walked out of the organization more than ten years ago. (The British government has not yet updated the relevant law to exclude Zimbabweans.)

Here is a template for a letter to MPs: 

‘Zimbabweans in the UK are puzzled and distressed that leaders of non-party Zimbabwean protest groups are being refused visas to visit the UK to speak about the struggle against Mugabe’s repressive Zanu PF regime. 

Among them is Pastor Evan Mawarire, leader of the #ThisFlag protest, now exiled in the United States, who was invited to address the All Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe as well as to speak at the Royal Institute of International Affairs. Pastor Mawarire drew international attention when he wrapped himself in the Zimbabwe flag and protested against Mugabe. 

Other campaigners denied visas include Patson Dzamara, who was also due to speak to the parliamentary group. Patson is the brother of Itai Dzamara who was abducted twenty months ago by intelligence agents for his protest in Harare’s Africa Unity Square. He has not been heard of since.

We know of others excluded including Gift Konjana, who has been detained more than thirty times and his home petrol-bombed for helping destitute farm workers. He had been invited to address a meeting at the Royal GeographicalSociety by the Mike Campbell Foundation which had already bought his air ticket.

We do not accept the stated reason that these people did not have the resources to maintain themselves in the UK when they have been invited here to speak and provided with return tickets. We note that Mugabe representatives seem to be allowed free access, including people who have been involved in killings.

The Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group Kate Hoey says the UK’s Ambassador to Harare, Catriona Laing, is also puzzled by the refusal of visas.  Ms Laing is drawing a lot of adverse criticism in Zimbabwe because of the move.

We would be grateful if you would ask the government to clarify its policy on this matter.’

The new petition augments the petition we are already running, addressed to the UN Secretary General: ‘With mounting unrest in Zimbabwe, we urge you to appoint a Special Representative to prepare the ground for a UN Transitional Authority to take over from the failed Mugabe regime. We look to the Special Representative to initiate comprehensive negotiations so that the UN Transitional Authority can assume control of Zimbabwe’s administrative structures – foreign affairs, defence, security, finance and communications – to ensure a level playing field conducive for credible national elections.’

Other points

  • Today the Vigil held another monthly demonstration to mark twenty months since the abduction of Itai Dzamara.
  • A reminder of the Vigil and ROHR protest on Friday 18th November from 12 noon – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. This protest is supporting a bond note demonstration in Zimbabwe.
  • The MDC-T UK and Ireland Youth Assembly will be joining us at our prayer Vigil on Saturday 26th November. They would like to have a candlelit vigil from 5 – 6 pm in remembrance of fallen comrades, those who have suffered and continue to be persecuted under Mugabe's Zanu PF regime and the many who perished during Gukurahundi. Please bring spare glass jars for the candles.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Elizabeth Chakachaka, Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Beverley Mutandiro, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Maxmus Savanhu, Clerence Simelane and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Beverley, Josephine and Elizabeth for looking after the front table, to Chipo Parirenyatwa and Prosper Karuru for selling ‘Mugabe must go / has gone’ wristbands and to Fungayi, Ephraim, Phillip Mahlahla, Jonathan, Alfredy Mukuvare, Maxmus, Prosper, Alphios Chirwa and Angela Tapera for putting up the banners and tarpaulin.

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: 62 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Bond note protest. Friday 18th November from 12 noon – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. This protest is supporting a bond note demonstration in Zimbabwe.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 19th November from 11 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. Phone Ephraim Tapa (07940793090) for the exact location.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 26th November from 11.30 am – 1.45 pm. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.
  • ROHR Birmingham branch meeting. Saturday 26th November 2016 from 10.30 am – 1 pm. Venue: Strathallan Hotel, 225 Hagley Road, Birmingham B16 9RJ. Contact: Chair: Gladys Muduve 07956430115, Info & Publicity: Tecla Bandawe 074 50507650.
  • 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.
  • Monthly Prayer Vigil. Saturday 26th November 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. The MDC-T UK and Ireland Youth Assembly will be joining us for the last hour for a candlelit vigil in remembrance of fallen comrades, those who have suffered and continue to be persecuted under Mugabe's Zanu PF regime and the many who perished during Gukurahundi. Please bring spare glass jars for the candles. MDC-T organisers: Sharon Moyo, Youth Province Organising Secretary, 07877224113 and Simbarashe Mutero. MDC-T UK & Ireland SE District Youth Chair, 07543 611638.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 26th November from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 10th December. From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The protest is to mark twenty-one months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • 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:
 
Belshazzar’s feast – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 5th November 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 06 November 2016 15:39

The meeting between Mugabe and Zuma in Harare on Thursday was a surreal encounter between the doomed and the damned. 

‘His Excellency President Zuma brings with him a cloud of hope and integrity’ gushed Zanu PF, adding that Zuma was walking in Mugabe’s footsteps. They ignored the dark cloud of hopelessness in South Africa over the rampant corruption which has damned his presidency. And as far as ‘integrity’ goes, the Vigil supposes that Zanu PF must have its own definition of this word. Just ask Jonathan Moyo, who didn’t even bother to go to court on Friday to answer for his defrauding of state funds – even though he had given an undertaking to be there. 

As for the doomed Mugabe, he is already booked in next month for more monkey gland injections in Singapore. In the meantime, state television was banned from showing him tottering to the lectern at the Zuma meeting. 

The Daily News quotes Zanu PF insiders as saying it could be ‘mene, mene, tekel and parsim’ time for Mugabe (the words appearing on the wall during Belshazzar’s feast). They were interpreted by the Prophet Daniel to mean ‘God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end . . .’

Angry South Africans must hope that Zanu PF is right  that Zuma really is ‘walking in Mugabe’s footsteps’ and that his banquet too is about to end.

In any event, few South Africans are likely to take up Zanu PF’s invitation to abandon their university courses to get a ‘decolonised’ education in Zimbabwe, even if they were offered a three-month doctorate such as Dr Grace’s.

Other points

  • The Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil agreed to stage a demonstration outside the Embassy from 12 noon – 2 pm on Friday 18th November in solidarity with protests against bond notes planned to take place in Zimbabwe on that day.
  • The Forum also agreed to run a petition at the Vigil from next week protesting to the British government at the refusal of visas to several prominent Zimbabwean activists who had to cancel planned visits to speak in the UK. Kate Hoey MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe, has suggested we should get supporters to write to their MPs about this matter. A template letter will be prepared.
  • It was decided that a Prayer Vigil for Zimbabwe will be held on the last Saturday of every month in support of prayer meetings in Zimbabwe. Bev Mutandiro our ‘face of prayer’, suggested that people should ask their pastors to get in touch with her (07412053415). Bev shared James 1:25 with the Vigil: ‘But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.’
  • Sally Mutseyami has spare bus tickets for those travelling in the Midlands region. Contact her on 07448730581.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Yvonne Bonde, Benjamin Chigamba, Abel Chikanya, Flemming Diza, Percy Dube, Daizy Fabian, Etines Kapiya, Jean Kawara, Fungayi Mabhunu, Honest Madondo, Emmanuel Magarira, Phillip Mahlahla, Cephas Maswoswa, Gladys Meck, Sharon Moyo, Eletha Mpofu, Eunice Mucherechedzo, Mukudzei Muku, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Edward Murota, Simbarashe Mutero, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Jennipher Sabe, Maxmus Savanhu, Douglas Tavengwa, Maureen Tavengwa and Portiah Tobaiwa. Thanks to Roseline, Sharon and Gladys for looking after the front table, to Maureen and Nancy for handing out flyers and selling ‘Mugabe must go / has gone’ wristbands and to Phillip, Alfredy, Maxmus, Honest, Douglas, Percy, Mduduzi and Benjamin 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.

FOR THE RECORD: 78 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 12th November. From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The protest is to mark twenty months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 12th November from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Bond note protest. Friday 18th November from 12 noon – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. This protest is supporting a bond note demonstration in Zimbabwe.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 19th November from 11 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. Exact location to be advised.
  • 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.
  • Monthly Prayer Vigil. Saturday 26th November outside the Zimbabwe Embassy.
  • 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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