Fears of election rigging – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 4th March 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 05 March 2017 12:07

There are growing fears that Zanu PF is already busy preparing to steal next year’s elections. Suspicions have been heightened by the government’s move to seize control of the new biometric voter registration process. 

It had been agreed that the process would be handled by the United Nations Development Programme but the bankrupt Zanu PF government suddenly announced it would itself pay for it. That Zanu PF is prepared to fork out $17 million instead of accepting UN funding is taken as clear sign that it intends to nobble the whole process.

The legal adviser to the National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA) Douglas Mwonzora has expressed outrage at the move, which he said would help the government manipulate the elections.

The move comes amid complaints that traditional leaders are again being coerced to support Zanu PF and that voters are being warned that the biometric system will enable Zanu PF to see how they vote.

The Vigil has now submitted its petition to the UN calling for intervention to ensure a level playing field in the Zimbabwe elections. Here is our letter to the UN Secretary General, António Guterres:

‘We respectfully submit a petition calling on the United Nations to intervene in Zimbabwe. The petition reads: With mounting unrest in Zimbabwe, we urge you to appoint a Special Representative to prepare the ground for a UN Transitional Authority to take over from the failed Mugabe regime. We look to the Special Representative to initiate comprehensive negotiations so that the UN Transitional Authority can assume control of Zimbabwe’s administrative structures – foreign affairs, defence, security, finance and communications – to ensure a level playing field conducive for credible national elections.

‘The petition has been signed by thousands of people who have passed by the Zimbabwe Vigil which has been held outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London since 2002 in support of free and fair elections. In addition, many more have endorsed it online.

‘93 year old President Robert Mugabe insists on clinging to office until death. His wife Dr Grace Mugabe even insists that he can continue to rule from the grave.

‘Mugabe’s Zanu PF party has been in power since independence 37 years ago and has reduced Zimbabweans to poverty and starvation. Polls have been blatantly rigged and, with no electoral reforms in sight, it is certain that the 2018 elections will again be stolen by a combination of rigging, bribery, intimidation and violence.

‘In the past the bogus polls have been routinely endorsed by the Southern African Development Community and the African Union despite all the evidence of malpractice. We fear that if it happens again there will be an explosion of anger by people driven to desperation and this will have serious consequences for the region as a whole.’

Other points

  • Civil rights activist and ROHR supporter Linda Masarira was convicted by a Mbare magistrate on Friday of obstructing traffic during last year’s anti-government protests. Magistrate Stanford Mambanje said she was a notorious activist and social media agitator. She is to be sentenced on Monday. Linda described the charges as trumped up offences for which she had already been detained for 87 days with 13 days in solitary confinement in Chikurubi.
  • Vigil supporters staged a demonstration outside South Africa House on Wednesday 1st March against the renewed xenophobia in South Africa. They handed a petition to the Deputy High Commissioner Golden Neswiswi. They also went around to the Zimbabwe Embassy to hand out information there. The protesters were: Martin Chinyanga, Rose Maponga, Rumbi Sambana and Gift Moyo.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Flemming Diza, Daizy Fabian, Ruvimbo Gwenzi, Elizabeth Hlebayi, Etines Kapiya, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Alice Majola, Nancy Makurira, Benjamin Molife, Tinotenda Mrewa, Lloyd Mudzengerere, Virginia Mutyambizi, Patience Muyeye, Edward Ndlovu, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Tawanda Rusape, Rumbidzayi Sambana, Farai Tanyanyiwa and Douglas Tavengwa. Thanks to Daizy, Alice and Patience for looking after the front table, to Nancy, Rumbidzayi, Maureen Tavengwa, Newman Richard, Chipo Parirenyatwa and Simbarashe Mutero for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Tawanda, Benjamin, Mduduzi, Tinotenda, Newman, Tapera Chabata, Phillip Mahlahla and David Makuyana for putting up and taking down the banners and tarpaulin. 

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: 50 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest. Saturday 11th March from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The protest is to mark two years since Itai’s abduction by intelligence agents. Amnesty International this week gave Dzamara a lifetime achievement award.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 11th March 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.
  • ROHR Reading branch outreach and general meeting. Saturday 18th March. Community outreach from 11.30am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Broad Street, Reading. Awareness campaign on deteriorating human rights in Zimbabwe. General meeting from 2 – 5 pm: Venue: The RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. Contact: Sihle Sibanda 07985712749 (Deputy Chairperson), Shylette Chipangura 07828929806 (Deputy Secretary), 07964731721 (Organising Secretary).
  • 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.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 18th March from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) 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:
 
Grotesque birthday feast – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 25th February 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 26 February 2017 16:22

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/33114476165/sizes/m/

The Mugabe family and their cronies feasted on a 93 kg cake at a requisitioned school in Matobo where local people live in desperate poverty, their children starving, increasingly cut off from the outside world by decaying infrastructure. 

A message from a pastors’ forum in Bulawayo said they were appalled at the money being spent on Mugabe’s birthday party and listed some of the pressing needs in the area that could benefit from this money.  They quoted Proverbs: 29 v 2: ‘When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked rule, the people mourn.'

The grotesque party for Mugabe’s 93rd birthday was particularly insulting to the local people because the venue is so close to the graves of victims of Mugabe’s Gukurahundi genocide of the 1980s, orchestrated by Vice President Mnangagwa.

With us at the Vigil was Enniah Dube, Vice President of Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe, who grew up in the area. She said: ‘the idea to hold a party for Mugabe there is highly insensitive and an insult to the people of Matabeleland. It's like telling people to stop mourning their deceased and dine with the murderer. Those of us who witnessed the Gukurahundi era will never have closure until Mugabe and his cronies answer for their crimes.’

Mugabe at 93 is fast failing. But he is the only thing Zanu PF can rally around. When Grace said he could stand for re-election next year even if he is dead, people laughed. Then it dawned on everyone that the Mugabes were deadly serious. After all, whole cemeteries of skeletons over 100 years old were on the voters’ roll for the 2013 elections. They all voted for Mugabe then and will no doubt be even keener now that he himself is approaching 100. 

It wouldn’t be surprising if he was already gearing them up to go canvassing for him in the dead of night. No use locking your doors, they will simply walk through them. It is well know that Mugabe is keen on the occult. He said it was because Mai Mujuru was trying to put spells on him that he had to get rid of her.

For her part, Grace Mugabe, as befits someone with a doctorate, takes a more scientific view. She wisely warns girls that they are more likely to get pregnant than boys and cites her evidence: ‘If you look at the statistics, girls have nearly 100% chance of getting pregnant, while boys have nearly zero chances of falling pregnant. This means girls have to be extra vigilant’ (see: http://thesoutherndaily.co.za/index.php/2017/02/19/girls-have-high-chance-of-pregnancy-says-mugabe/). 

Other points

  • Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu for playing the role of Mugabe in our mask at the Vigil at which we demonstrated against Grace Mugabe’s remarks about a dead Mugabe standing at the next election and the extravagance of his birthday feast. We were sorry to hear that several ROHR members were assaulted today by police after demonstrating against Mugabe outside Parirenyatwa Hospital.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Zodwa Bhebhe, Vimbayi Chambara, Enniah Dube, Daizy Fabian, Isabell Gwatidzo, Christopher Kamuzonde, Etines Kapiya, Alice Majola, Nyarai Masvosva, Benjamin Molife, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Delline Mutendi, Sally Mutseyami, Patience Muyeye, Evy Muyezwa, Edward Ndlovu, Tsitsi Ndoro, Pretty Okechukwu, Maxmus Savanhu, Ephraim Tapa and Fadzai Tembo. Thanks to Roseline, Isabell and Pretty for looking after the front table, to Patience, Alice and Abigail Chidavayenzi for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Enniah, Maxmus, Fadzai and Alfredy for putting up the banners and tarpaulin.

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: 52 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Xenophobia Protest. Wednesday 1st March from 10 am – 2 pm. Venue: Outside the South African High Commission, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DP. Contact: Rose Maponga 07565842415, Rumbi Sambana 07455518071 and Martin Chinyanga 07766825016.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 4th March from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest. Saturday 11th March from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The protest is to mark two years since Itai’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • 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 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:
 
End Mugabe’s parties – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 18th February 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 23 February 2017 11:46

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/32951235386/sizes/m/ 

Zimbabwean exiles marked Mugabe’s 93rd birthday by launching a new petition to the Southern African Development Community appealing to them to ensure free and fair elections next year.

The petition reads: The countdown to next year’s elections in Zimbabwe has begun but no electoral reforms have been made and we fear the elections will once again be rigged. The increasingly incapacitated nonagenarian Robert Mugabe has already been nominated to stand for another five year term as Zimbabwe President while the country faces mass starvation and a collapsed economy with astronomic unemployment. We appeal to the Southern African Development Community to insist that SADC election principles are observed to ensure a level playing field for all political parties. Furthermore, we call on SADC election observers to be free from political pressure to rubberstamp a rigged poll.

The Vigil hopes that SADC will have learned from the example set by the West African Economic Community, which recently acted decisively to ensure that the will of the Gambian people was respected. We remind SADC that its election principles adopted in 2015 defines fair as 'Electoral processes that are conducted in conformity with established rules and regulations, managed by an impartial, non-partisan professional and competent Electoral Management Body (EMB); in an atmosphere characterised by respect for the rule of law; guaranteed rights of protection for citizens through the electoral law and the constitution and reasonable opportunities for voters to transmit and receive voter information; defined by equitable access to financial and material resources for all political parties and independent candidates in accordance with the national laws; and where there is no violence, intimidation or discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, religious or other considerations specified in these SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.'

Mugabe himself, in the form of Fungayi Mabhunu in our mask, was at the Vigil in his wheelchair. Wearing a superman bib, he sank a Beelzebub of birthday wine and tucked into his birthday cake while dissidents demanded he retire immediately and rest next to Rhodes in the Matopos.

Mugabe was scornful about our petition, saying he believed his disciples in SADC would support Grace’s proposal that, even if he died before the election, his name should still be on the ballot form because he was so popular that people would feel cheated if they could not re-elect him.

Other points

  • On Friday more than 40 demonstrators from the Vigil, ROHR and the MDC gathered outside the Embassy when the trial of Pastor Evan Mawarire was scheduled to start. The protest was in support of all human rights activists in Zimbabwe being harassed by the authorities in defiance of their constitutional rights. Thanks to Daizy Fabian and the ROHR central London branch for organising this.
  • At the Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil it was decided to take a stand on Grace Mugabe’s insane utterances that Zimbabweans love dictator Robert Mugabe so much that they will vote for his corpse should God decide that he should die before the 2018 elections. Members expressed revulsion and anger at the arrogance and madness as this was taken to mean Zimbabweans are only as good as dead people. Members resolved to challenge this by staging a protest on Friday 24th February from 11 am – 1 pm outside the Embassy. This was also to pinnacle ROHR’s ‘7 days of mourning’ campaign to highlight the misery, destruction, suffering and hopelessness characterising Zimbabwe today under the lavish lifestyle of Mugabe and his cronies while the people are brutally suppressed. The 7 days of mourning are the days between Mugabe’s birthday visit to the Vigil today and Mugabe’s birthday feast in Matopos on Saturday 25th February.
  • Sister Bev Mutandiro has asked us to publicise an all-night prayer vigil on Friday 24th February starting at 10 pm and ending at 5 am. The theme is Psalms 10.17: ‘O Lord, you have heard the desire of the humble and oppressed; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear to hear.’ For details see ‘Events and Notices’.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Vimbayi Chambara, Abigail Chidavayenzi, Mavis Chisvo, Vimbai Karumbidza, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Alice Majola, Nancy Makurira, Theodora Mandishaya, Rosemary Maponga, Benjamin Molife, Eunice Mucherechedzo, Roseline Mukucha, Patience Muyeye, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Sipho Ndlovu, Edward Ndlovu, Tsitsi Ndoro and Sibusiso Ngwenya. Thanks to Roseline, Patience, Vimbai K and Philip Maponga for looking after the front table, to Abigail and Nancy for handing out flyers and selling wristbands, to Phillip, Mduduzi, Sipho, Vimbai C, Benjamin and Sibusiso for putting up the banners, to Deborah Harry, Easther Munyira, Mercy Bayipayi and Cephas Maswoswa for Mugabe’s birthday cake and to Cephas for bringing Mugabe’s wheelchair.

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:

  • All-night prayer vigil. From 10 pm on Friday 24th February to 5 am on Saturday 25th February. Venue 10 Midlands Road, Luton LU2 0HR. Transport is available from Uxbridge and London. Contact Bev Mutandiro 07412053415.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 25th February from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Level 4, Blue Side, 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.

  • 'No votes for corpses’ protest. Saturday 25th February from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. This protest will also mark the end of ‘7 days of mourning’ for the failures of the Mugabe regime. The 7 days of mourning are the days between Mugabe’s birthday visit to the Vigil on the 18th February and Mugabe’s birthday feast in Matopos on Saturday 25th February. For more information check the ROHR Zimbabwe International facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/.

  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 4th March from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest. Saturday 11th March from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The protest is to mark two years since Itai’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) 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:
 
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