Sleeping on the job – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 6th June 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 14 June 2015 14:57

Photolinks:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/18539872111/sizes/o/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/17915350004/sizes/o/
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/article-487526/John-Simpson-fears-bikini-clad-newsreaders.html

 

All Zimbabweans will be pleased that the veteran BBC foreign correspondent John Simpson thinks of Zimbabwe as ‘intensely beautiful, calm and welcoming’.

 

In an article in the British Daily Telegraph, Mr Simpson says he hasn’t visited Zimbabwe for 6 years because he has been banned by the Harare regime but, although its troubles aren’t over, ‘it’s going through a period of relative political stability’.

 

The Vigil thinks Mr Simpson should get out less. Instead of pontificating in the world’s hot spots and tossing off trite pieces for the travel pages he should, as Eternal Windbag of BBC Television News, do some research into what is happening in Zimbabwe before he next writes about it (see: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/travel/72787/john-simpson-banished-from-beautiful-zimbabwe.html - John Simpson: banished from beautiful Zimbabwe).

 

He could, for instance, Google Zimbabwe and would be surprised to find that Zimbabwe is anything but calm. As for ‘relative political stability’, he will see that the ruling mafia is tearing itself apart, that the unemployed urban masses are facing down the army while starvation again confronts the rural areas – now accused by Second Vice President Mphoko of betraying the revolution by not growing anything on the land seized from commercial farmers (see: http://www.cathybuckle.com/index.php?id=184 - Practiced Hawks or Silenced Prey).

 

The ‘liberator of Kabul’, BBC oracle Simpleton might even come across an article in the latest edition of the American ‘Foreign Policy’ magazine co-authored by Jeffrey Smith of the Robert F Kennedy Centre for Human Rights and Todd Moss of Global Development (Ominous warning signs resurface in Zimbabwe – http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/06/03/ominous-warning-signs-resurface-in-zimbabwe/?wp_login_redirect=0).

 

They say: ‘Over the course of the past few months, we have witnessed an ominous series of warning signs: bitter political infighting within the country’s ruling party, the worsening of already deplorable economic conditions, the abduction and disappearance of a prominent human rights activist, and a surge of inflammatory rhetoric and political violence.’

 

They continue: ‘The latest developments in Zimbabwe come at a time when the country’s economy is again collapsing and the political elite are tearing themselves apart in a battle for succession. Monitors of mass atrocity risk typically watch for ethnic exclusion, hate speech, and indicators of political and economic stress. The greatest indicator of a country’s atrocity risk is whether it has suffered from similar events in the past. All of these factors are currently, and ominously, present in Zimbabwe.’

 

So ’calm’ and ‘relative political stability’ don’t immediately spring to mind. Perhaps Mr Simpleton is asleep like President Mugabe, wandering the world like the Flying Dutchman, treated in Nigeria a few days ago as a geriatric imbecile even before demonstrating the reality of this by snoring his way through President Buhari’s inauguration (see:

http://saharareporters.com/2015/06/02/robert-mugabe-taking-his-legendary-daily-nap-during-buharis-inauguration-abuja and http://www.newzimbabwe.com/news-22882-Mugabe+humilliated+in+Nigeria/news.aspx).

 

 

 

Other points

·       A meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil agreed to write to Prime Minister David Cameron disowning Mugabe’s anti-white comments at a recent visit to the headquarters of the Southern African Development Community in Botswana. Mugabe, who is not only the SADC chair but the African Union chair as well, speaking of the latest outbreak of xenophobic violence in South Africa said Africans should direct their anger at whites rather than other blacks (see Vigil diary of 23rd May: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/691-mugabes-poison-zimbabwe-vigil-diary-23rd-may-2015). The meeting felt that Mugabe’s racist tirade did not represent the views of the Zimbabwean people and were an embarrassment to Zimbabweans forced by Mugabe’s misrule to seek the hospitality of other countries. The meeting decided to run the following petition at the Vigil: ‘Exiled Zimbabweans, supporters and friends, at the Vigil outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, record our disgust at the anti-white rants of Zimbabwe’s illegitimate President Mugabe. We wish to affirm our unwavering support of Zimbabwe’s constitutional requirement for non-racism.’ We are planning to present our letter and petition to 10 Downing Street on Saturday 27th June.

·       The Forum also resolved to hold a protest outside the Embassy on Saturday 11th July to mark 4 months since the abduction of the human rights campaigner Itai Dzamara by the Central Intelligence Organisation. The Vigil does not accept the regime’s claim that he abducted himself.

·       Thanks to Eunice Mucherechedzo, Muchineripi (Ebson) Chigwedere, Deborah Harry, Esther Nyambi, Nobukhosi Moyo, Roda Majoni, Sukoluhle Sibanda and Fungayi Mabhunu for arriving early to help set up. Thanks also to Deborah and Epiphania Phiri for selling drinks to raise funds for the Vigil and to Elton Mzezewa for his gift to the Vigil of 3 packs of printer / copier paper.

 

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: 54 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 13th June from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       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.

·       ROHR Slough Branch general meeting. Saturday 13th June from 11 am – 1 pm. Venue: Upton Lea Community Hall, Wexham Road, Slough SL2 5JW.   For further information contact Patricia Masamba (Chair) 07708116625, Fungisai Mupandira (Organising Secretary) 07758958803.

·       ROHR Southampton branch meeting. Saturday 13th June from 2 – 4 pm. Venue: Eastleigh Library, 1st Floor, Swan Centre, Eastleigh, SO50 5SF. Contact: Sally Mutseyami (Chairperson) 07448730581, Edward Mukuze (Info & Publicity Officer) 07463975108 and Michael Mpofu (Fundraising Officer) on 07704874196.

·       ROHR Southampton fundraising fashion show. Saturday 13th June from 6 – 8 pm. Venue: The Edinburgh Wollen Mill, 41 Market Street, Eastleigh SO50 5RF. Tickets £5 with automatic entry into charity raffle for ROHR Zimbabwe. Contact: Sally Mutseyami (Chairperson) 07448730581, Edward Mukuze (Info & Publicity Officer) 07463975108 and Michael Mpofu (Fundraising Officer) on 07704874196.

·       ROHR Birmingham general members’ meeting. Saturday 13th June from 1 – 4 pm. Venue: Menzies Hotel,225 Hagley Rd, Birmingham B16 9RY. For more info contact: Chairperson: Thandiwe Gwarimba 07503 512308, Vice Chair: Tino Mashonganyika 07463 272078, Organising Secretary: JaneMary Mapfumo 07412 310429.

·       ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 20th June from 12 noon – 2 pm. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL. Contact: Chair: Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899, 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.

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 20th 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.

·       Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 27th June 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 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: 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.co/pages/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights/301811392835

·       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.

 
Bullet brain – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 30th May 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 31 May 2015 16:30

Photo link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/17689592583/sizes/m/

 

After 35 years of Mugabe, Zimbabweans will not be surprised at Sepp Blatter still clinging on to office as president of FIFA. He is a soul mate of Mugabe’s in corruption and manipulation.

 

One of Mugabe’s most devoted disciples is Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Obert Mpofu. He has not had the opportunity to sell the world cup to a desert country with little history of football. But his announcement that the government is planning to bring in bullet trains shows a similar level of delusion.

 

Responding to a question in parliament about what the government was doing to resurrect the moribund railways, Mr Mpofu said that several investors were queuing up to finance the bullet trains.  Even Mr Blatter would hesitate to travel on a Zimbabwean train if he knew that, because of a communications failure, train drivers are reduced to leaving explosive charges on the tracks to alert others to a possible problem.

 

 

Bullet trains would certainly be one answer to the potholes in the roads but the Vigil doubts that Mpofu will be able to catapult Zimbabwe railways into the front rank of international transport systems. We fear his vision will end up much like Zambia’s space project a few years ago, which left the Zambianaut dangling from the branches of a tree.

 

But we see why he is attracted to bullet trains travelling at more that 300 miles per hour. He has a vast commercial empire, including not only mines but also properties in towns ranging from Harare to Bulawayo and the Victoria Falls. A bullet train would enable him to collect his rents and return to headquarters on the same day to consider further looting opportunities. And think how the country would benefit from vendors being able to go from Chitungweza to the Harare Central Business District in a matter of minutes.

 

The Vigil doubts that Mpofu’s delusional project will persuade the US and French business delegations converging on Harare to give him some money. The government would be best advised to hide him away. After all, there is a possibility that President Mugabe will be at home to receive the delegations after his trip to Nigeria – the latest of a never-ending series of foreign jaunts which have seen him clocking up this year more air miles than a Boeing pilot (http://nehandaradio.com/2015/05/10/shock-as-mugabe-blows-50-million/v – Shock as Mugabe blows $50 million).

 

Other points

·       People at the Vigil expressed their disagreement with President Mugabe’s racist comments reported in last week’s diary and it was agreed that the matter would be discussed next week at a meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum.

·       On Saturday 6th June there is to be a protest outside Yarlswood Detention Centre about the conditions there. Our supporter Tryness Ncube is speaking at the event. For more information see: http://cityofsanctuary.org/2015/05/14/call-for-city-of-sanctuary-to-join-refugee-women-outside-yarls-wood-on-saturday-6th-june/.

·       Thanks to Henrietta Mlambo who was in charge of the front table today. She was helped by Tafadzwa Mushakwe, Nobukhosi Moyo, Gladys Nyathi and Thandiwe Moyo.     

 

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: 32 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       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 Executive Meeting: Saturday 6th June at 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see above.

·       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.

·       ROHR Slough Branch general meeting. Saturday 13th June from 11 am – 1 pm. Venue: Upton Lea Community Hall, Wexham Road, Slough SL2 5JW.   For further information contact Patricia Masamba (Chair) 07708116625, Fungisai Mupandira (Organising Secretary) 07758958803.

·       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 13th June from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 27th June 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 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: 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.co/pages/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights/301811392835

·       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.

 
Mugabe’s poison – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 23rd May 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 24 May 2015 11:11

President Mugabe has called on South Africans to direct their xenophobia at whites instead of blacks. ‘I give poison not for you to swallow but to give to someone else’ he told the applauding staff at SADC Headquarters in Botswana.

 

Speaking as Chair of the African Union as well as of SADC, Mugabe said South Africa needed a second liberation which would transfer wealth to blacks marginalised because whites owned most of the land and got most of the employment opportunities. ‘People are unemployed . . . the wrath of South Africans needs to be more directed towards the whites than the blacks’, he said. ‘You can’t live in palaces while others are living in shanties’.

 

Mugabe called on Africa to stop courting the West for financial support: ‘they say here is money but you do that’, arguing that even with the end of colonialism the oppressors were back in Africa in the form of NGOs: ‘They tell us we should have good corporate governance, human rights . . . human rights? Rule of law? When they sent us to prison . . . ‘

 

The Vigil is grateful to the loyal Herald for details of Mugabe’s ravings in Botswana (see: SA needs another liberation: President –http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_sa-needs-another-liberation-president-the-herald/).

 

We know Mugabe has complained that the African Union is largely financed by the West – not to mention SADC itself. We note that Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete is beginning to get the idea, saying that Western donors are setting ‘degrading’ conditions for aid. Tanzania is one of Africa’s biggest aid recipients per head but has had some payments delayed because of concerns about corruption and poor governance.

 

‘It is unacceptable for our development partners to use their aid stick to pressure us to do certain things or else they will cut aid,’ Kikwete said in a statement issued by the presidency. ‘We will reach a point where we will say this is too degrading . . . keep your aid.’ (See: Tanzanian leader says aid conditions degrading – http://www.newzimbabwe.com/news-22678-Keep+your+aid,+Tanzania+to+tell+West/news.aspx).

 

The Vigil believes the West is beginning to see the light and we are confident they will do the decent thing and stop forcing financial help on Africa. The European Union certainly shows signs of losing patience over Mugabe’s failure to respond positively to its conciliatory approaches. The organisation’s parliament on Thursday passed a resolution strongly condemning the forced disappearance of Itai Dzamara. The resolution expressed concern at reports by human rights organisations of increasing political violence and other human rights abuses and called for concerted action by the international community (see: Human rights: Zimbabwe; Thailand; Swaziland – uantcasthttp://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20150513IPR55482/html/Human-rights-Zimbabwe-Thailand-Swaziland).

 

Other points

·       The European Parliament also passed two other resolutions about human rights, one on Thailand and the other on Swaziland, in which it called for the release of trade union and political prisoners in Swaziland.

·       Thanks to those who came early to help set up the Vigil: Patricia Masamba, Mavis Chisvo, Fungisai Mupandira, Fungayi Mabhunu, Mary Muteyerwa, Grace Rukure, Esther Nyambi, Similenkosi  Matiwaza, John Burke, Yvonne Bonde, Bridget Mupotsa, Gladys Nyathi, Brenda Chaundira, Ben Semwayo and Rashiwe Bayisayi. Thanks also to Patricia and Henrietta Mlambo who looked 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: 47 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       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 Executive Meeting: Saturday 6th June at 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see above.

·       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.

·       ROHR Slough Branch general meeting. Saturday 13th June 2015 from 11 am – 1 pm. Venue: Upton Lea Community Hall, Wexham Road, Slough SL2 5JW.   For further information contact Patricia Masamba (Chair) 07708116625, Fungisai Mupandira (Organising Secretary) 07758958803.

·       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 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: 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.co/pages/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights/301811392835

·       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.

 
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