Thumbs up to Chamisa in London – Zimbabwe Mock Election: 30th July 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 30 July 2018 21:23

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/43698156072/sizes/m/            

The Vigil held a mock ballot today outside the Zimbabwe Embassy to mirror the presidential election at home, interacting with passers-by who saw our banner ‘Free & Fair Credible Elections in Zimbabwe’.

We had four entries on our ballot form: Mnangagwa, Other, Chamisa and Khupe – mainly because the initials read MOCK but also to lampoon Zanu PF’s strategy to divide the opposition vote.

It was only to be expected that Mnangagwa and Chamisa paid us a visit. Everybody was keen to grab a mask and play a role. We were particularly grateful to poor old Mugabe who came complaining of his parsimonious pension and that the roof of his home was sagging. He was accompanied by Grace and they held up posters saying ‘Vote for Chamisa’ and ‘Down with Mnangagwa’.  

They were then seen in a tussle to wrestle the ballot box from Mnangagwa who was beating them off with his scarf.

The Vigil’s own electoral commission was led by Muzvare Betty Makoni (founder of the Girl Child Network) who with her team counted the votes. The result were as follows: Chamisa 52, Mnangagwa 4, Others 3, Dr Noah 1, Khupe 1 and spoiled papers 3. Chamisa had a landslide victory with 81% of the votes.

A special thank you to Patience Muyeye who arrived at 8 am. She was followed by other early birds: Yvonne Makombe and Rosemary Maponga, later augmented by Patricia Masamba and Esther Munyira.

For pictures check: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157698010685071.

 
Back to 2008 – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 28th July 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 July 2018 15:02

After two months of record heat in the UK, exiled Zimbabweans gathered outside Zimbabwe House in London on the final day of campaigning before Monday’s elections.

Rain at Chamisa’s last rally at Masvingo was interpreted by the MDC as a good omen. In London, after a prolonged dry spell, thunder and lightning was followed by rain during the night.

The Vigil would like to take this as a good omen too – but, despite Chamisa’s optimism, we have serious doubts he will win in the face of the practiced Zanu PF election rigging.

We are glad so many untainted election observers are on the ground. They will no doubt make it more difficult for Zanu PF to steal the elections. But the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is a branch of Zanu PF and the best the MDC can hope for is a presidential runoff. In this case, it’s back to the 2008 scenario, with the army probably intervening to keep Mnangagwa in power.

We agree with the assessment of political analyst Simukai Tinhu in his article ‘Boycott presidential poll, Chamisa!’ in the Zimbabwe Independent on Friday (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/boycott-presidential-poll-chamisa/). The Vigil expects that next year Chamisa will be repeating what he said of Mugabe as a member of the Government of National Unity back in 2012: ‘The President has provided leadership from the cockpit and we are prepared to be the passengers . . .’ (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/390-wrong-despot--zimbabwe-vigil-diary-7th-april-2012).

The Vigil will be outside the Embassy from early on polling day to hold a mock ballot to test opinion here. We confidently expect Mnangagwa to appear but warn him it’s too hot here to wear a scarf. Chamisa is also expected along with his new supporters Robert and Grace Mugabe.

Other points

  • The Vigil faced many hassles today. Some roads were closed because of ‘Ride London’ given over to cyclists. Then we found our usual patch double occupied. An ambulance was stationed where we normally put up our front table. We put up our banners and posters down one side while an Ndebele group stage a separate protest on another.
  • The Ndebeles are understandably unhappy at Mnangagwa’s disingenuous suggestion that we should forget what happened in the past and now look to the future. For them the wounds of Gukurahundi continue to fester (see: https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2018/07/27/gukurahundi-skeletons-tumble-out-of-the-closet/).
  • Trevor Grundy, a journalist who follows closely the situation in Zimbabwe wrote an article on a BBC programme covering an open forum in Harare last Sunday: http://www.politicsweb.co.za/opinion/zimbabwe-the-view-from-the-uk
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up by putting up the banners, set up the front table and looked after it throughout the Vigil and packed up at the end: Stanley Gava, Alice Majola, Esther Munyira, Bigboy Sibanda, Ephraim Tapa and Sharon Zimuto.

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: 10 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Zimbabwe Vigil’s Mock Election. Monday 30th July from early outside the Embassy.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 18th August from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. Contact: Daizy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • ROHR beach barbecue. Monday, 27th August. Venue: Frinton Beach CO13 9DN. Food and transport provided. Bring your own drinks. Tickets: £20 adults, £5 children. For more information, contact: Daizy 07708653640, Max 07397809056 and Esther 07492058107.
  • 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.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded over the past 15 years as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil for £10. All proceeds will go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum 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.
  • Facebook pages:
 
Panic in the air – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 21st July 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 22 July 2018 18:29

While the MDC announces a round-the-clock vigil for electoral reforms outside the offices of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the main concern of Zimbabweans in the UK seems to be not the looming election but their fear of being deported from Britain.

Some 70 Zimbabweans gathered at Downing Street on Wednesday to petition the Prime Minister not to send them back to Zimbabwe. This came after our Vigil last Saturday drew only a handful of people in its protest against electoral irregularities – a far cry from the 1,000+ people who joined us outside the Embassy to celebrate the ousting of Mugabe last November.

Some Zimbabweans here are paranoid about having to return to Zimbabwe, for economic reasons or fear of the unknown. We don’t expect this to change much even if Nelson Chamisa wins the election. This seems theoretically possible given the latest Afrobarometer poll but ignores the likelihood of Zanu PF cheating its way back to power.  Most people in the diaspora of course support Chamisa – but they are also financially supporting families back home and are aware of the parlous state of the economy, with the US dollar now impossible to get from banks and trading at a vast premium to the ersatz bond equivalent.

Zimbabwe may be, as President Mnangagwa proclaimed, ‘open for business’ but there is little confidence among the diaspora that this amounts to anything in terms of jobs, at least in the short term, given the endemic corruption. 

The downside of last November’s coup dawned slowly on the diaspora: now monster Mugabe has gone perhaps so has the main reason for their being given asylum. Unsubstantiated rumours now abound that the Home Office is working with the Zimbabwe Embassy to facilitate their return home. There is panic in the air.

Other points

  • The Zimbabwe Vigil will be marking Zimbabwe’s election day with a mock poll. We will be outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London from early to late on Monday 30th July. Please come and join us to cast your vote.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Brian Tawanda Chitate, Jonathan Kariwo, Marian Machekanyanga, Heather Makawa, Michelle Makoni, Patricia Masamba, Gladys Mpanda, Pearl Shambare, Bigboy Sibanda and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks also to Michelle, Pearl, Heather and Patricia for looking after the front table, to Jonathan, Ephraim, Tawanda, Heather and Marian for putting up the banners and tarpaulin and to Heather, Chido Makawa and Tawanda for handing out flyers. 

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: 14 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Zimbabwe Vigil’s Mock Election. Monday 30th July from early to late outside the Embassy.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 18th August from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, Contact: Daizy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • 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.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded over the past 15 years as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil for £10. All proceeds will go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum 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.
  • Facebook pages:
 
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