Mnangagwa alienates China – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 2nd November 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 03 November 2019 16:44

As President Mnangagwa goes through his pantomime head of state role, flying off all over the place in expensively-hired planes, Zimbabwe slips into mass starvation and hopelessness impelled by incompetence and corruption.

While he plays with his scarf, the government is desperately trying to repair relations with China after officials seized US$10 million from an escrow account containing funds for the expansion of the Robert Mugabe international airport in Harare.

An escrow account is where funds are held in trust while a transaction is completed. In this case the Zimbabwean officials replaced US dollars with the rapidly depreciating local currency. 

China lost patience with their deceit and froze three infrastructure projects it is financing to the tune of US$1.3 billion. The projects are the US$1.1 billion expansion of the Hwange coal-fired power station, the US$153 million extension of the airport and the US$71 million expansion of NetOne Telecoms.

Apparently the Shanghai Construction Group is also complaining that it is unable to access hard currency for the new parliament at Mount Hampden which is being financed by a $100 million free Chinese grant. 

Zimbabwean economist John Robertson said: ‘This deception from government is very serious. We don’t deserve economic support when government acts like this.’ (See: https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2019/11/01/raiding-of-funds-erodes-confidence-in-zim-govt/.)

Despite the economic challenges facing the government it has still managed to find $5 million for allowances and accommodation for MPs at the Victoria Falls for a pre-budget seminar. They will no doubt discuss the government’s austerity measures…..

Other points

  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners on a wet day: Cynthia Chibanda. Evelyn Chigaro. Chido Makawa, Dambudzo Marimira. Esther Munyira, Hazvinei Saili, Sikhumbuzule Sibanda and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Hazvinei for looking after the front table, to Patience Chimba for handing out flyers, to Chido, Cynthia and Margaret Munenge for drumming and to Chido for photos.
  • Thanks to those who made further contributions for the gazebo: Evelyn Chigaro, Tendai Chigariro, Chido Makawa, Margaret Munenge and Sikhumbuzule Sibanda.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 18 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 9th November from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058109.
  • ROHR fundraising dinner dance. Saturday 7th December from 6 pm till late. Venue tba. ROHR is hosting a dinner dance to raise funds for a Zimbabwe peace building initiative. Tickets £25. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Hazvinei Saili 07857602830, Margaret Munenge 07384300283, Pamela Chirimuta 07762737339.
  • 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 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
 
Sanctions lunacy – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 26th October 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 October 2019 12:04

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/48964124801/sizes/m/

The anti-sanctions public holiday on Friday was a new dimension in Zimbabwean lunacy, buoyed by mistaken African solidarity. They accept Zanu PF propaganda without looking into what these sanctions are or why they were imposed.

They won’t even notice the poor attendance at the anti-sanctions rallies in Harare and Bulawayo – where the main interest of those attending was the chicken, chips and Pepsi on offer. Fortunately, the economic effect of a day off work will be minimal in a country of mass unemployment.

It is dereliction of care that SADC doesn’t pay attention to the catastrophe in Zimbabwe. Are they not troubled by this ‘invitation’ to the anti-sanctions rally sent to ‘all Heads of ministries and departments in Bulawayo’? ‘Your members of staff are invited without fail to be part of this very important march. May you kindly favour this office with a list of your members of staff for ease of accountability.’ A copy of the letter can be seen on this link: https://www.vantunews.com/news/politics-anti-sanctions-march-bulawayo-civil-servants-invited-without-fail-by-government-a-register-to-be-used-to-mark-those-present).

To the Vigil this sounds like fascist North Korea – unsurprising since the Matabeleland genocide in the 1980s was committed by the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade of Mnangagwa.

An article in Newsday by the US Ambassador Brian Nichols pulls no punches: ‘Blaming sanctions is a convenient scapegoat to distract the public from the real reasons behind Zimbabwe’s economic challenges —corruption, economic mismanagement, and failure to respect human rights and uphold the rule of law.’ See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2019/10/its-not-sanctions-its-corruption-lack-of-reforms-2/

The US followed it up with another punch, banning state security minister Owen Ncube from entering the US because of his involvement in gross violations of human rights. ‘We are deeply troubled by the Zimbabwean government's use of state-sanctioned violence against peaceful protestors, and civil society, as well as against labour leaders and members of the opposition leaders in Zimbabwe,’ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. ‘We urge the government to stop the violence, investigate and hold accountable officials responsible for human rights violations and abuses in Zimbabwe,’ he said. 

The Vigil today marked one such abuse with this letter to the Zimbabwean Embassy signed by all present: ‘Your countrymen outside the Embassy are protesting today at the brutal murder of Harare street vendor Hilton Tafadzwa Tamangani by the police. Tamangani was arrested along with ten other vendors and taken to Harare police station, where they were beaten with baton sticks. 29-year-old Tamangani, who has a seven-year-old son, was left in agony from his injuries and died without sedatives during the night. The Zimbabwe Vigil calls for an inquiry into his death and the prosecution of the offenders .Scandals like this have become all too common, with the police acting illegally, with impunity.’ Thanks to Rosemary Maponga, Mary Muteyerwa and Patience Chimba for leading on this protest and bringing  posters.

Other points

  • A Pastor in the Bulawayo area who is supported by some Vigil activists reports: ‘Wherever we go people no longer say the usual ‘How are you/I am fine.’ They go directly into talking about their problems. They say: I haven’t eaten for two days, no food at all, even today. We made a mistake by voting for the present government because we thought that by removing the late president things would get better, but they are worse. The prices have gone up so much we can’t afford to buy; the children will die.  They can’t even go to school; We can’t afford to go to hospital when we are sick because the bus fares are too high. Now our money can’t buy anything.  After all this the President doesn’t say anything, nothing encouraging, no plan. At least President Mugabe would say something. We don’t know what’s going to happen to the whole nation.  There’s hunger everywhere. If you need anything like a birth-certificate you have to pay somebody for it.  If you don’t pay you don’t get it. We are praying and praying and praying and we thank God that we are still alive. He has heard our prayers. (See: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1044-report-from-the-bulawayo-pastor-october-2019).
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners on a wet day: Cynthia Chibanda, Benjamin Chigamba, Marvellous Chinguwa, Leslie Gakanje, Delice Gavazah, Rosemary Maponga, Esther  Munyira, Mary Muteyerwa, Hazvinei Saili, Rudo Takiya, Ephraim Tapa and Kevin Wheeldon. Thanks to Rosemary and Hazvinei for looking after the front table, to Hazvinei, Marvellous and Esther for handing out flyers, to Mary and Delice for drumming, to Delice for prayer and to Hazvinei and Jonathan Kariwo for photos.
  • We’ve had many wet Vigils lately so a collection was made to buy a gazebo. Thanks to those who contributed: Happy Chazuza, Benjamin Chigamba, Patience Chimba, Marvellous Chinguwa, Rangarirai Chivariro, Delice Gavazah, Yvonne Jacobs, Philip Maponga, Rodwell Mpawose, Washington Mugari, Esther Munyira, Hazvinei Saili, Ephraim Tapa and Kevin Wheeldon.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD:  22 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 9th November from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058109.
  • ROHR fundraising dinner dance. Saturday 7th December from 6 pm till late. Venue tba. ROHR is hosting a dinner dance to raise funds for a Zimbabwe peace building initiative. Tickets £25. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Hazvinei Saili 07857602830, Margaret Munenge 07384300283, Pamela Chirimuta 07762737339.
  • 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 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:
 
All signs bad – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 19th October 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 October 2019 17:34

A number of reports this week exposed the worsening situation in Zimbabwe, facing hunger and malnutrition, continued abuse of human rights and a contracting economy.

On Wednesday Veritas, the Zimbabwe parliament watchdog, marked World Food Day by noting that, according to a report, 63% of Zimbabweans lived below the poverty datum line and 27% of children have stunted growth. The report predicted that up to 5.5 million people will be food insecure by January.

For its part, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, in its annual report this week, calls for an inclusive and comprehensive national dialogue to create a culture of respect for human rights and urges greater compliance with the constitution, genuine reform of repressive laws and the reform of the security sector as well as fair and impartial application of the law.

The need for reform was underlined by the murder this week of a Harare vendor while in police custody. 29 year-old Hilton Tafadzwa Tamangani died in agony after being savagely beaten with batons.

Meanwhile the International Monetary Fund has widened its estimated contraction of Zimbabwe’s economy this year to 7.2%, with endless price hikes pushing the economy into hyper-inflation.

Soaring prices have prompted Zimbabwe’s public sector unions to warn that people were simply unable to afford to go to work. The unions are demanding that government employees should be paid US dollar-indexed salaries. They want the lowest paid workers, who get Zim $1,023 (US$67) a month, to receive the equivalent of US $475.

The co-chair of the Apex Council, which groups 14 public sector unions, Thomas Muzondo, said ‘Here is a situation where one has no capacity to go to work. The person wants to go to work but has no capacity to go to work. It is a different scenario to a stayaway.’

Workers may not have the fares to get to work or food for breakfast but President Mnangagwa was able to hire a private jet from Dubai to pick him up from Harare and take him on a 35-minute flight to Bulawayo at US$30,000 per hour.

‘Once again we get a whole luxury aircraft hired from Dubai to fly Mr Mnangagwa from Harare to Bulawayo when doctors can’t even afford to catch a taxi to work,’ MDC treasurer David Coltart said. ‘The callousness and insensitivity of this regime to the appalling suffering of people is now simply disgusting.’

Other points

  • Next week the Vigil will stage a demonstration in protest at the murder of the Harare vendor while in police custody (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/police-brutality-victim-dies-in-custody/).
  • The streets of central London were thronging with opponents of the government decision to withdraw from the European Union. A number of people stopped by to express their support for the Vigil.
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Miriam Gasho, Jonathan Kariwo, Alice Majola, Rosemary Maponga, Patricia Masamba, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Lucia Mudzimu, Mary Muteyerwa, Hazvinei Saili, Rudo Takiya and Kevin Wheeldon. Thanks to Rosemary and Alice for looking after the front table, to Lucia, Miriam, Bianca Mpawaenda and Patience Chimba for handing out flyers, to Mary for drumming and prayer and to Patricia, Hazvinei and Jonathan for photos.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 21 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR fundraising dinner dance. Saturday 2nd November from 6 pm till late. Venue tba. ROHR is hosting a dinner dance to raise funds for a Zimbabwe peace building initiative. Tickets £25. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Hazvinei Saili 07857602830, Margaret Munenge 07384300283, Pamela Chirimuta 07762737339.
  • 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 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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