The same old story – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 23rd July 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 24 July 2022 14:50

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/52235639494/sizes/m/

 

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has criticised Zanu PF after one of the party’s supporters was caught on camera telling rural voters to claim to be illiterate so that they could be assisted  by people who would ensure they voted for the ruling party. The ZEC director of voter education Rejoice Sibanda indicated that the matter would be pursued by the Commission as it was against the code of conduct for political parties and candidates.

 

Sibanda blamed voter registration apathy on the state of the economy, saying that even civic groups faced resource challenges in mobilising people to register to vote. Over one hundred civic and faith-based organisations had been authorised to conduct voter education but less than ten were currently doing this (https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/07/zec-blames-voter-apathy-on-economy/).

 

The European Union says the Zimbabwe government’s failure to carry out electoral reforms threatens the credibility of next year’s elections. It said ‘This follows repeated promises by President Emmerson Mnangagwa that elections will be free and fair. However, the ability of voters to freely choose their leaders remains in serious doubt.’

 

It said only two of the 23 recommendations made by the EU after the 1918 elections had been implemented. The EU noted that one key recommendation coming out of recent discussions related to the importance of ZEC ‘reinforcing its communication strategy and adopting a proactive approach to information-sharing to promote trust in the process ahead.’ (See: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/lack-of-reforms-will-cost-zimbabwe-credible-2023-elections-eu/.)

 

While millions of Zimbabweans live in grinding poverty with an ever-falling average income, the government press boasts of a US$500 million investment by a Dubai company in a ‘cyber city’ project in Mount Hampden on the outskirts of Harare (see: https://www.herald.co.zw/cyber-city-putting-zim-on-4th-industrial-revolution-footing/).

 

No doubt this is a welcome development but we suspect it will offer little hope to those struggling to survive today. An article by Claire Felter in Bulawayo24 paints a bleak picture. The article notes that one-third of the population are in need of food aid according to the World Bank (see: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-opinion-sc-columnist-byo-221584.html).

 

Other points

  • The Media Alliance of Zimbabwe has accused the Chinese Embassy in Harare of bullying the media. This came after the Standard newspaper was threatened by the Embassy with ‘strong measures’ for publishing articles on violations by Chinese mining companies in Zimbabwe. The Media Alliance said this amounted to an attack on press freedom. The Chinese arrogance is no doubt rooted in knowledge of the huge debt Zimbabwe owes it for borrowing some US$13 billion for infrastructure projects. Like so many other Chinese debtors in the third world, Zimbabwe is finding it increasingly difficult to service these debts (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/zim-alliance-condemns-media-bullying-by-chinese-embassy/).
  • Our virtual Vigil activists today were Joyce Mbairatsunga, Kudzai Chikowore and Esther Munyira  who all kindly contributed to Vigil funds. See: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720300751297 for today’s photos.
  • For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Events and Notices:

  • Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe  Embassy. Saturday 6th August from 2 – 5 pm. We will continue meeting on the first and third Saturdays of every month. On other Saturdays we will continue the virtual Vigil.
  • Next ROHR Meeting. Saturday 6th August at 11 am.
  • ROHR Beach Party. Saturday 13th August at Frinton-on-Sea, Essex. Frinton’s railway station’s post code is CO13 9JT. For more information, Contact: Chido Makawa 07413024807, Enniah Dube 07367504747, Esther Munyira 07492058107 and Delice Gavazah 07752653891.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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 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. All proceeds 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.
  • 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

 
State capture – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 16th July 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 17 July 2022 11:41

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/52221990510/sizes/m/

 

With the election fast approaching, increasingly reckless statements are being bandied about, raising the political temperature to fever pitch. The latest insane comment came from  - of all people! – a bishop, or should we say a so-called bishop.

 

He is Zanu PF member Abton Mashayanyika of the Habbakuk Apostolic Faith Mission in Mberengwa in the Midlands. He went as far threatening opposition leader Nelson Chamisa and his family with death. A video taken at a rally shows him saying: ‘When we say down-down with Chamisa, we mean he should be killed. Do you all understand the meaning? Down with CCC (Citizens Coalition of Change), down with Chamisa and his
children.’

 

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the matter was being investigated at local level. Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa refused to comment. But the CCC acting spokesperson  Gift Siziba said: ‘We do not take this lightly chiefly because there have been numerous attempts on the life of president Chamisa. It is to this end that we call for our able police service to move with speed and detain Mashayanyika and charge him and his accomplices with death threats and calling for violence.’

 

Lawyer Alec Muchadehama said Mashayanyika should be charged for inciting public violence. He said the police response showed how they applied the law selectively, only targeting people who are perceived to be anti Zanu PF. Certainly the police did not hesitate to take action against CCC legislators such as Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole who have been incarcerated at Chikarubi maximum security prison since 14th June on charges of inciting violence following the murder of an opposition activist MoreBlessing Ali.

 

The Vigil has seen a message from Job Sikhala expressing their gratitude for the support fellow CCC activists have given them. ‘Please pray for us’, it says. The Vigil doubts that Bishop Mashayanyika will oblige! (See: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/my-reward-is-in-heaven-jailed-sikhala-pens-an-emotional-letter-to-zimbabweans-asks-them-to-turn-sunday-a-national-day-of-prayer/).

 

Steve Hanke, an American economics professor who has taken a close interest in Zimbabwe over the years, says: ‘Zanu PF has more in common with a criminal organisation than a political party.’ In an interview with CNBC Africa he said: ‘“You have got criminals running the country.’  Political lecturer and analyst Eldred Masunungure said Hanke’s assertion was spot on. ‘This is a party in government, deeply corrupt and has all sorts of predatory conduct, both in politics and the economic issues of the country; but it remains a political party. It’s an ugly animal, yes.’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/07/death-threat-on-chamisa/.)

 

The Zimbabwean economist Eddie Cross, a former member of the Reserve Bank Monetary Committee, has also criticised the government. In an interview with the state broadcaster he said the country’s economic problems were caused by ‘entrenched interests whose selfish actions are almost a form of state capture.’ (See: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/mnangagwa-captured-by-advisers-cross/.)

 

Despite a history of successfully rigging elections, Zanu PF still betrays anxiety as polling day approaches. The party’s youth league executive member Phenias Makombe has tried to settle nerves by assuring members that sources at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission have told him the party will win the 2023 election. Although voting is some time away, Mnangagwa is apparently mysteriously already leading with at least 3.8 million votes, while Chamisa is at a mere 20,000 (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zec-told-us-we-are-leading-in-2023-elections-says-zanu-pf-leader-claims-mnangagwa-already-has-3-8-mln-votes/).

 

Other points

 

Events and Notices:

  • Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe  Embassy. Saturday 6th August from 2 – 5 pm. We will continue meeting on the first and third Saturdays of every month. On other Saturdays we will continue the virtual Vigil.
  • Next ROHR Meeting. Saturday 6th August at 11 am.
  • ROHR Beach Party. Saturday 13th August at Frinton-on-Sea, Essex. For more information, Contact: Chido Makawa 07413024807, Enniah Dube 07367504747 and Esther Munyira 07492058107.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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 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. All proceeds 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.
  • 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

 
Goldrush – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 9th July 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 11 July 2022 07:10

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/52157392711/sizes/m/

 

As Zimbabwe’s currency crisis worsens, the Central Bank has announced it will start selling gold coins ‘as a store of value’. The coins can be bought from 25th July in local currency, US dollars and other foreign currencies at a price based on the prevailing international price of gold and the cost of production.

 

The 22-carat coin is part of measures to counteract the soaring inflation rate and the sharp deterioration of the Zimbabwe dollar, which has lost more than two-thirds of its value against the US dollar this year. The coin named Mosi-oa-tunya (smoke that thunders), a reference to the Victoria Falls, can be traded locally and internationally (see: https://www.reuters.com/business/zimbabwe-introduce-gold-coins-local-currency-tumbles-2022-07-05/).

 

The academic and former senior civil servant Ibbo Mandaza says Zimbabwe is 40 years behind some other African countries because of misrule and the loss of people with professional skills who have gone abroad. Mandaza said the country was in a serious mess and should mobilise all Zimbabweans and the diaspora as a matter of urgency. ‘It is evident that the current situation in Zimbabwe is one in which both the private and particularly the public sector are depleted of skills and therefore lacking in capacity to deliver as would be expected in any society.’

 

He added: ‘Zimbabwe cannot recover, economically and politically, without the mobilisation of its diaspora. As it is, it is the diaspora which is contributing almost US$2 billion in remittances — a massive support and safety net in a country so ravaged by poverty and unemployment. And why then deny the right to vote to citizens out there who now number an estimated four to five million?’ (See: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-221116.html.)

 

You know you’ve reached failed state status when your supermarkets are devoid of people on payday’ writes the editor of Biznews introducing Cathy Buckle’s latest letter from Zimbabwe. Cathy says that, with the right connections to government officials, however, you can become an overnight millionaire by buying US dollars at preferential rates doubling your money on the street in minutes. She said the country had rapidly gone back to the days ‘when all the basics on our tables have become luxuries’ (see: https://www.biznews.com/africa/2022/07/04/solace-zimbabwe-travails-nature).

 

Other points

  • A Zimbabwean doctor whose practice in the UK was closed after a campaign by the Vigil, is facing allegations of patient mistreatment.  Dr Sylvester Nyatsuro returned to Zimbabwe to take over a white-owned tobacco farm with the help of Grace Mugabe. He was appointed chairman of the Zimbabwe national family planning council board by the then health minister Obadiah Moyo before Moyo was sacked over Covid 19 procurement fraud. Nyatsuro has returned to the UK where a medical practitioners’ tribunal is considering allegations of patient mistreatment before he is allowed to resume practice here (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/uk-26-out-of-30-patient-mistreatment-charges-upheld-against-mugabe-farm-grab-doctor/),
  • Many Zimbabweans living in the UK take a great interest in the politics of their adopted country. Indeed we know of a number who have become municipal councillors. Following the ousting of Boris Johnson this week while he still had a mandate for two more years in office, some of the UK Zimbabweans have remarked on social media at the ability of MPs to remove the Prime Minister, pointing out how different it is in Zimbabwe.
  • Congratulations to ROHR walkers and supporters for their fundraising efforts for the 13 mile ROHR walk on 18th June. The aim is to raise funds for voter registration, mobilisation and education to ensure all eligible citizens exercise their right to vote without fear or manipulation to help ensure free, fair and credible elections in Zimbabwe. So far £1,273 has been raised with more to come. For photos of the event check: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720299887947.
  • For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Events and Notices:

  • Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe  Embassy. Saturday 16th July from 2 – 5 pm. We will continue meeting on the first and third Saturdays of every month. On other Saturdays we will continue the virtual Vigil.
  • Next ROHR Meeting. Saturday 3rd August at 11 am.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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 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. All proceeds 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.
  • 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

 
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Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights of 2010
Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights of 2009
Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights of 2008
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