Pass the parcel – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 7th October 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 08 October 2017 17:02

Two elderly gents meet in Harare to reminisce about the good old days. It is rather sweet. They end up playing children’s party games.

President Mugabe invites Sir Nicholas Soames to sit in the chair that his father once occupied as last governor of Rhodesia. ‘No!’ came the reply. Clearly the music hasn’t stopped yet. ‘It’s now your seat’.

Mugabe obviously enjoyed the game. He’s not had much to cheer him up of late – what with the shenanigans in his family and party and the imploding economy. He wallowed in a bit of nostalgia, going on to give an enthusiastic briefing to the government-controlled press (see: http://www.chronicle.co.zw/president-says-zim-britain-ready-to-start-afresh/).

From his comments it is not clear who was more delusional – himself or the British MP and former minister who, Mugabe said, carried messages of goodwill from Prince Charles as well as former foreign secretary Lord Carrington who presided over the Lancaster House conference leading to independence.

There is a mutual readiness by Britain and Zimbabwe to open a new chapter of rapprochement, he gushed, claiming that Sir Nicholas had told him: ‘There are some good people who are still your friends in Britain’ and that Soames was part of a private initiative by friends of Zimbabwe in the British establishment to normalize relations between the two countries. 

Back in London, another MP, Kate Hoey, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe, expressed scepticism. ‘This meeting will only pander to the vanity of a wily and ruthless dictator’, she said. Soames was being gulled by the Zanu PF elite instead of meeting the brave campaigners for democracy and the people suffering from decades of brutal and kleptocratic misrule.

As far as the Vigil is concerned, the only parcel Mugabe should be allowed to pass on should contain the resignations of him and his government. 

Other points

  • Soames would be advised to read up about Zimbabwe before he makes the apparently promised return visit. He might do worse than read the Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ published to mark our fifteenth anniversary protesting for free elections in Zimbabwe which we mark next Saturday outside the Zimbabwe Embassy.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Sikhanyisiwe Kaziboni, Fungayi Mabhunu, Junior Madzimure, Phillip Mahlahla, Heather Makawa Chitate, Audrey Marere, Sharon Moyo, Getrude Mudede, Alfredy Mukuvare, Margaret Munenge, Esther Munyira, Jenny Murefu, Patience Muyeye, Shepherd Nyamandi, Aivet Phiri, Cecilliah Phiri, Maxmus Savanhu, Elizabeth Sithole, Jaqueline Thompson and Dean Zhuwau. Thanks to Eshter, Josephine and Daizy Fabian for looking after the front table, to Junior, Patience, Elizabeth, Audrey, Nancy Makurira and Faith Ndhlovu for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Phillip, Alfredy, Dean, Junior, Margaret, Sikhanyisiwe, Jacqueline, Getrude, Daizy, Maxmus, Shepherd, Jenny, Jonathan and Cecilliah  for putting up the banners. Thanks also to Daizy for donating 2 shakers to 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. 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: 56 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Leicester branch awareness campaign and general meeting. Friday 13th October 2017. Awareness campaign from 6 – 7 pm. Meet at Iceland, Narborough Road. General meeting from 6 – 8 pm: Venue: Braunstone Civic Centre, Kingsway Braunstone Town, Leicester LE3 2 PP. Contact: Enniah Dube 07403439707, Yvonne Makombe 07453909247 and Moline Nyabonda 07961250525.

  • The Zimbabwe Vigil’s 15th Anniversary. Saturday 14th October from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The Vigil started on 12th October 2002 and we are marking our 15th anniversary on the closest Saturday. Please come and join us to commemorate our long struggle. Our book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ will be on sale for £10.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 14th October from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 21st October 2017 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.
  • 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.
  •  Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2016 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/843-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2016. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2016 Highlights page.
  • 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
 
The missing Mugabes – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 30th September 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 01 October 2017 14:53

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/36721495934/sizes/o/

News that Grace Mugabe has bought a Rolls-Royce for half a million dollars illustrates the poverty of imagination in our ruling class. They seem to have no respect for Zimbabwe’s legacy. Surely, if they really cared for the country, they wouldn’t have bothered with a Ghost but would have collected the two giant Mugabe statues they ordered which are gathering dust in a North Korean warehouse.

After all, what’s another Rolls-Royce to the Mugabe family? Only a week or so ago Grace’s eldest son Russell Goreraza took delivery of two of them. But he acknowledged that there were other cars on the market and assured everyone that he had an Aston Martin on order.

So why didn’t Grace choose a car with more street credibility outside her bling world. In London, as everyone knows, it’s all Lamborghinis and Maseratis. Nobody drives a Roller any more. It’s as naff as a North Korean statue of Mugabe, let alone two of them.

But a Mugabe statue would certainly have a cachet in enlightened liberation circles. African leaders will walk round and round it in awe. Moses may have had his ten tablets but they would surely have been dwarfed by the two Mugabe statues – especially if they were mounted on top of each other in self-regarding ecstasy.

It was unfortunately not reassuring to us in the diaspora to hear that monumental Mugabe had dismissed the current fuss about the disappearance of money in Zimbabwe and the so-called shortages of fuel, food and medicines as ‘a one or two day wonder’. Perhaps it means he has no immediate plans to scoop up the remaining dollars in the market for another shopping trip abroad?

But the arrest mid-sermon of Pastor Evan Mawarire, leader of the Tajamuka movement, for criticizing the government suggests that the regime is feeling the heat. An indication of the seriousness of Zimbabwe’s economic crisis was given by Finance Minister Chinamasa at a dinner for Afreximbank which has apparently given Zimbabwe a billion dollar loan to stabilise the economy. According to the Herald, Mr Chinamasa appears to have given up on the fantasies of using the  money to pay off some of Zimbabwe’s debts in order to qualify for new loans from the World Bank. He will instead use the money for ‘productivity and economic growth initiatives’ .Such as more Rollers? (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/afreximbank-to-bailout-zim/).

With Mugabe’s friends in North Korea under increased pressure who knows when the eagerly awaited statues will get to Zimbabwe.

Other points

  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ sold well at the first Vigil since its launch. It is now available on Amazon kindle. We are also finalizing arrangements for Amazon to print copies to sell on our behalf. (https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=zimbabwe+emergency).  
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Vimbayi Chambara, Joseph Chivayo, Babula Gwatiringa, Deborah Harry, Jonathan Kariwo, Sikhanyisiwe Kaziboni, Fungayi Mabhunu, Junior Madzimure, Heather Makawa Chitate, Cephas Maswoswa, Shiella Matiza, Getrude Mudede, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Tambudzayi Nangwiya, Shepherd Nyamandi, Cecilliah Phiri, Rumbidzayi Sambana, Pearl Shambare and Michael Sirewu. Thanks to Roseline, Pearl and Rumbidzayi for looking after the front table, to Deborah, Babula and Junior for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Alfredy, Vimbayi and Jonathan  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. 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: 42 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • The Zimbabwe Vigil’s 15th Anniversary. Saturday 14th October from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The Vigil started on 12th October 2002 and we are marking our 15th anniversary on the closest Saturday. Please come and join us to commemorate our long struggle.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 14th October 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 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.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2016 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/843-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2016. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2016 Highlights page.
  • 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
 
Launch of Vigil book – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 23rd September 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 24 September 2017 19:54

A book about the Vigil, titled ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’, was launched today – appropriately on a Thames boat trip after the Vigil. We cruised past London landmarks lit up in a kaleidoscope of colour from Lambeth Palace, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye on to St Paul’s Cathedral, the Globe Theatre and the Tower of London to the skyscrapers of the new financial centre in the east of the city.

 The boat trip, accompanied by Zimbabwean food, was to raise money for the Zimbabwe Peace Actors’ Platform (ZimPAP) with which our sister organization the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe is involved. ZimPAP wants to train civilian peacekeepers to educate rural people on their constitutional rights and overcome fear and intimidation ahead of the 2018 elections.

 The 300-page illustrated book is based on the Vigil’s weekly diaries which have recorded how events affecting Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the violence, economic disintegration and political manoeuvring over over the fifteen years since the Vigil was started. The book costs £10 and is available from the Vigil. Arrangements are being made to also sell it via Amazon. All proceeds will go to finance the Vigil’s work in Zimbabwe.

 The publication of the Vigil book is timely because Zimbabwe appears to be experiencing once again the emergency of 2008, when hyper-inflation emptied the shops and Zanu PF was forced to form a government of national unity withy the MDC. The Vigil is getting reports al the time from family and friends at home about the increasingly desperate position (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/889-looming-financial-meltdown-in-zimbabwe-).

 While people face desperate privation in Zimbabwe, Grace Mugabe’s eldest son Russell Goreraza threw a champagne party in Harare to celebrate the arrival of two custom-made Rolls-Royces said to cost $5 million. He says his fleet is to be augmented soon by an Aston Martin.

 Russell obviously took the opportunity to splurge out while Grace Mugabe was away shopping in New York and President Mugabe was sleeping through Trump’s speech to the General Assembly, which he went on to condemn in his own speech when briefly awake before staggering off the podium.

 Other points

  • The electoral machinations ahead of the elections are now becoming clear to all (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/890-electoral-machinations).
  • Thanks to those who worked so hard to produce the delicious food for the boat party: Daizy Fabian, Esther Munyira, Heather Makawa Chitate, Chido Makawa and Tawanda Chitate.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up the Vigil: Purity Chatyoka, Abigail Chidavayenzi, Babula Gwatiringa, Elizabeth Hlebayi, Fungayi Mabhunu, Junior Madzimure, Phillip Mahlahla, Roseline Mukucha, Richard Munyama and Patience Muyeye. Thanks to Roseline, Patience, Elizabeth and Rumbidzayi Sambana for looking after the front table, to Abigail, Babula and Junior for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Phillip, Babula, Junior, Roseline and Newman Richard for putting up the banners. Thanks also to Beverley Mutandiro for bringing sandwiches for everyone.

 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: 34 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

 
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Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights of 2010
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