Britain engages new Zimbabwe regime – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 3rd February 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 04 February 2018 20:59

The new British Africa minister, Harriett Baldwin, will have found her visit to Zimbabwe full of the promise of change – the latest being the decision announced by Air Chief Marshal (rtd) Perence Shiri, now Agriculture Minister, to give 99 year leases to white as well as black farmers.

Ms Baldwin will no doubt have been given a beaming welcome by Lieutenant General (rtd) Sibusiso Moyo, the new Foreign Minister, before her meeting with President Mnangagwa. She will have found a totally new face to Zanu PF, apart from the participation of the military. Gone is the bombastic aggression, replaced by an apparent eagerness to mend fences. ‘Apparent’ because Mnangagwa’s recent comment that Mugabe ‘never made any mistakes’ must cause some doubt.

Comrade Mnangagwa had blindly followed his master for 40 years before the military coup and is now busy reversing all Mugabe’s policies – and yet he maintains Mugabe was always right! It doesn’t make sense.

Perhaps the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) understands it. A passer-by hurled a copy of the Party’s magazine Proletarian on the Vigil front table today. Its front page lead was ‘Tribute to Comrade Robert Mugabe’. The article started: ‘A sad end to an illustrious life in the service of the oppressed masses’ (see: http://www.cpgb-ml.org/index.php?secName=proletarian&subName=display&art=1339). The party is not to be confused with the Communist Party of Great Britain, Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), or Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) – as many factions as the MDC!

Ndebeles might be particularly interested in the article’s comment about Gukurahundi: ‘Nkomo staged a rebellion in Matabeleland, which was rightly crushed by the government. Instead of blaming Mugabe for the resultant bloodshed, as the imperialist media and politicians alike have done, the blame should be firmly placed on the shoulders of those who staged that provocation.’

Other points

  • Thanks to all those who helped out today: a special thanks to David Makuyana and Casper Nyamakura for their heroic efforts in putting up the tarpaulin at the third cold and wet Vigil in a row. They were helped by Edna Mdoka, Xoliso Sithole, Constance Mbiri, Phillip Mponga, Sharon Moyo and Benjamin Chigamba. Thanks also to Sharon, Edna, Margaret Munenge and Chido Makawa for looking after the front table, to Rosemary Maponga, Racqueline Changunda and Tawanda Chitate for handing out flyers and to Heather Makawa Chitate for taking extra photos.
  • Photos of today’s ROHR general members’ meeting can be viewed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157693033155775.

 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: 31 signed the register.

 EVENTS AND NOTICES:

 
Internal contradictions – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 27th January 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 28 January 2018 14:49

President Mnangagwa got a good hearing at the annual ‘movers and shakers’ jamboree at Davos in the Swiss Alps. People were curious to see whether he was another boring lunatic like his mentor Mugabe. They were quite reassured. 

Absent was the pseudo-Marxist ranting about colonial oppression and capitalist looting – always rather ironic given that the Great Man was adept at oppression and looting himself without any foreign assistance. (Just the help of the same type of tarted-up chancers who always appear at Davos.)

But the truth is that Mnangagwa can only be a disappointment. He promises miracles but the crucial things he can’t deliver. His problems were exposed in an interview with the BBC in Davos in which he was questioned about Gukurahundi. He made it clear that Zanu PF would not apologise or allow a real truth and reconciliation process as took place in South Africa. Of course, the circumstances there were different: the Whites in South Africa were out of power when they confessed their crimes in return for an amnesty. In Zimbabwe the perpetrators are still clinging to power and want to stay in control (see: https://www.news24.com/Africa/Zimbabwe/victims-relive-zimbabwe-massacres-that-taint-new-leader-20180126).

Zanu PF’s looting is another problem. A stream of virtue signals from Mnangagwa – top people must declare their assets etc – seem designed to reassure the until-now despised West. But he will not convince Zimbabweans that corruption has been dealt with while current cabinet members are contaminated by ill-gotten gains.

And then there is the question of Mugabe himself. Mnangagwa says he has not been given immunity from prosecution but what will he do about the flood of court cases which will engulf the Mugabe family? A private school is seeking to recover land in Borrowdale seized by Grace. According to reports Mugabe himself turned up to chase off the police  (see: https://www.news24.com/Africa/Zimbabwe/top-harare-school-in-bid-to-reclaim-prime-land-grabbed-by-grace-mugabe-20180124). Another court case against the family has been launched to recover a farm in Mazowe stolen by the Mugabes.

Is the country’s patron saint to be hounded in the courts until he dies? He is the god of Zanu PF not of Zimbabweans as a whole and, if Zimbabwe is to emerge as a new and free country, he will have to be disowned and dispatched into exile – perhaps to one of the African countries described so colourfully by President Trump.

Other points

  • We were pleased to find in our archives some photos of Roy and Heather Bennett’s visit to the Vigil on 6th August 2005. They are on our flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157691924334334.
  • It was good to have with us Jenatry Muranganwa, a stalwart from the early days of the Vigil. He enlivened the day with his energetic singing, dancing and drumming.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up and stayed till the end of the Vigil to help pack up: Eunice Mapunde, Margaret Munenge, Tsana May, Pearl Shambare and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks also to Margaret, Eunice and Tsana for looking after the front table and to Pearl, Enniah Dube, Yvonne Makombe, Margaret, Ephraim and Jennifer Senzere for putting up the banners and tarpaulin on a very wet and windy day. A special thank you to Pearl (her hands getting colder and colder) for climbing up and down our ladder to secure the tarpaulin. Thanks also to David Makuyana, Jenatry, Sipho Ndlovu and Jonathan Kariwo for helping to take down the banners and tarpaulin at the end.

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: 15 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR all members’ meeting: Saturday 3rd February from 10 am. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a ten 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. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 17th February from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. Contact: Daisy 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:
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
 
Vigil mourns Pachedu – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 20th January 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 21 January 2018 15:11

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/38902790575/sizes/m/

The Vigil was in mourning for Roy Bennett who encouraged us to mount our public protest outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London in 2002 and who remained a constant support in the many years since then.

Roy and his brave wife Heather, who died in a helicopter crash in the United States on Wednesday, were true heroes in the struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe. A farmer elected to parliament for the new MDC in 2000, he was an eloquent opponent of the Mugabe regime, partly because he was a fluent Shona speaker with devoted local support for a democratic, non-racial future.

Today we particularly remembered the time that he and Heather put on our tshirts and joined in the singing and dancing at the Vigil. In those darkest of times he said the Vigil was ‘a fire in Mugabe’s bum’. He was speaking shortly after his release from an horrendous spell in prison. But whatever happened to him he retained a deep love of Zimbabwe and faith in the future of Zimbabweans.

In recent years he had been farming in Zambia but, with the overthrow of Mugabe, we had hopes he would return to Zimbabwe and help turn around farming in the country, given President Mnangagwa’s promise of a new beginning and free, fair and credible elections.

We will all miss his advice in this time of change. Mnangagwa has rejected Mugabe’s counter-productive populist policies such as indigenization, and says he will allow Western observers for the elections. But the Vigil is not persuaded by his appeal to ‘let bygones be bygones’. If the nation is to be healed there must be a full truth and reconciliation process, however painful this may be.

Roy expressed his joy at the ousting of Mugabe in an interview with CNN (See: http://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2017/11/21/intv-amanpour-roy-bennett-zimbabwe.cnn ). He said never before had he been so proud to be a Zimbabwean. He added that Mnangagwa and Chiwenga were Mugabe’s accomplices and were hated by the people. They must apologise and introduce reforms. The genii had been let out of the bottle and never again would there be a dictatorship in Zimbabwe.

But there were few signs of repentance in a lengthy interview Mnangagwa gave this week to the London Financial Times (see: http://www.thezimbabwemail.com/opinion/transcript-financial-times-interview-mnangagwa/).

Other points

  • Three ROHR branches had meetings / outreach today: Central London, Leicester and Reading. For photos of the Central London branch meeting check: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157668701180979  and for photos of Leicester’s outreach by Enniah Dube and Yvonne Makombe check: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157664903892178.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up and stayed till the end of the Vigil to help pack up: Daizy Fabian, Isabell Gwatidzo, Jonathan Kariwo, Alice Majola, Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa Chitate, Theodora Mandishaya, Rosemary Maponga, Patricia Masamba, Margaret Munenge, Esther Munyira, Sipho Ndlovu, Morella Nhau and Maxmus Savanhu. Thanks also to Rosemary and Margaret for looking after the front table, to Jonathan, Sipho, Maxmus, Tawanda Chitate, David Makuyana and Isabell for putting up the banners and tarpaulin and to Heather for handing out flyers and taking extra photos.

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: 27 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 17th February from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. Contact: Daisy 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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