Wheels coming off – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 8th February 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 09 February 2020 14:10

Reports from Zimbabwe suggest that security chiefs are becoming increasingly anxious that discontent may lead to unrest. They are said to have deployed large numbers of intelligence officers in civilian clothes around the country. They are also said to fear mutiny by disgruntled soldiers (see: https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2020/02/07/panicky-army-chiefs-deploy-special-forces/).

 

While there is widespread hunger as food prices rise and the Zimbabwe dollar withers, vegetables in urban markets are rotting because people can’t afford to buy them (see: https://reliefweb.int/report/zimbabwe/vegetables-rot-food-markets-across-zimbabwe-while-half-population-faces-food).

 

Women are bearing the main share of the burden. A survey by Transparency International Zimbabwe said more than 57% of women had been forced to offer sexual favours in exchange for jobs, medical care and even seeking placements at schools for their children. The organisation said in its report: ‘sex is a currency in many corrupt deals in Zimbabwe’. (see: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/feb/08/more-than-half-of-women-in-zimbabwe-have-faced-sextortion-finds-survey).

 

Discord within the ruling party is further destabilizing the country. Three Zanu PF youth leaders have been suspended by the Politburo after calling a news conference to accuse some of Mnangagwa’s close allies of corruption. Secretary for Youth Affairs Pupurai Togarepi was stripped of his position and Youth Political Commissar Godfrey Tsenengamu and Deputy Secretary for Youth Affairs Lewis Matutu were demoted and ordered to go for ‘political orientation’ at the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology.

 

President Mnangagwa was particularly critical of Togarepi because, he said, he had appointed him to his post even though he was not qualified being 56 years old. For his part, Matutu said afterwards that he would continue fighting corruption. He declared that he would ‘rather die for something than live for nothing’ and added that 2020 would be the beginning of a decade of action by youths.

 

Tsenengamu said he would not attend the six-month course at the Ideology school. Those who had ordered it should be the ones going there. ‘I do not care what will happen next. I am part of society, live in society and know what corruption is doing to the livelihoods of ordinary people.’

 

The youth leaders accused three controversial business tycoons, Kuda Tagwirei, Billy Rautenbach (the Green Fuels boss) and Tafadzwa Musarara (Chair of the Grain Millers’ Association) of corruptly grabbing all government tenders.

 

Matutu said “Let me talk about Tagwirei. I really want to know why he is the one who supplies everything to government — fuel. If we go to Command Agriculture, it’s him at the helm. There was an attempt to investigate him, but he evaded. He has tentacles everywhere, including the money on the black market, he controls that.’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2020/02/zanu-pf-youths-finger-ed-allies/ and https://zwnews.com/unfazed-matutu-says-fight-continues-declares-decade-of-action-as-zanu-pf-implodes/).

 

Other points

  • Many starving people must be amazed by the Zanu PF-connected businessman Genius Ginimbi’s court battles as he faces a new charge of fraud in connection with importing another Bentley. He recently shared on his Instagram account a video of himself buying a 2-seater Ferrari 488 Spider for US$350,000 to join his collection of super cars at his mansion in Dombashawa which includes 2 Rolls-Royces and 3 Bentleys among many other top range cars (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2020/02/socialite-ginimbi-arrested-for-fraud/).
  • The Zimbabwe government is to waste US$4.5million on sending tame members of the government-appointed Political Actors’ Dialogue (POLAD) on foreign trips to promote government policiies, POLAD has been boycotted by MDC leader Chamisa (see: http://www.newsdzezimbabwe.co.uk/2020/02/polad-foreign-trips-to-gobble-us45m.html).
  • Zimbabweans who have complacently regarded themselves as somehow better than Malawians may have to rethink following the Malawian court ruling that their country’s election last year was rigged – a shock to the system in Zimbabwe where this would be impossible because our rigging is so superior.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up the front table and put up the banners: Daizy Fabian, Deborah Harry, Jonathan Kariwo, Netsayi Makarichi, Chido Makawa, Rosemary Maponga, Benjamin Molife, Esther Munyira, Molly Ngavaimbe, Tsitsi Nyirongo, Qiniso Sibanda, Bigboy Sibanda, Ephraim Tapa, Kevin Wheeldon and Nattalie Zvoma. Thanks to Rosemary for looking after the front table, to Chido, Benjamin, Tsitsi, Bigboy, Kevin and Nattalie for handing out flyers, to Chido for drumming, to Deborah, Chido and Jonathan for photos, to Molly for the opening prayer, to Tsitsi for donating a rattle and to Rosemary for bringing tea, coffee and cakes.
  • Thanks to those who have contributed to the ROHR’s Valentine fundraising dinner: Pamela Chirimuta, Ragarirai Chivaviro, Simbarashe Jingo, Netsayi Makarichi, Chido Makawa, Garikai Mananje, Benjamin Molife, Washington Mugari, Margaret Munenge, Molly Ngavaimbe and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks also to Happy Chazuza for his contribution to the ROHR Mtoko irrigation project
  • 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 Valentine’s fundraising dinner dance. Saturday 15th February from 6 pm till late. Venue: 38 Marcon Place, London E8 1LP. The event is in aid of women living with HIV/AIDS in rural Zimbabwe. Tickets £30. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058107, Molly Ngavaimbe 07415443973, Patricia Masamba 07708116625 and Margaret Munenge 07384300283.
  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 14th March from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058107.
  • 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.
  • World Day of Prayer for Zimbabwe. Friday 6th March. This year the focus is on Zimbabwe and the service has been prepared by Christian women in Zimbabwe. The theme is ‘Rise! Take you mat and walk’. Christians all round the world will be praying for Zimbabwe. Try to get your own church involved. For more information check: https://www.wwdp.org.uk/.
  • Living on the Edge. Tuesday 10th March from 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6 pm). Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. The event is organised by the Mike Campbell Foundation. Among the speakers are Chief Felix Ndiweni and Beatrice Mtetwa. For full details: https://media.wix.com/ugd/02876c_5b68a136280c42ebbf39f8ebbb722299.pdf.
  • 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
 
Pressure mounts for reforms – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 1st February 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 04 February 2020 16:27

The European Union says nothing is happening in Zimbabwe about reforms. EU Ambassador Timo Olkkonen insisted: ‘We want to see a faster pace in implementing reforms’. Olkkonen noted that the recommendations of the Motlanthe Commission into the post-election shootings in Harare and the recommendations by various election commissions had been ignored.

He observed that if there had been a functioning, viable agricultural sector Zimbabwe would not need outside support. ‘Likewise in the economic sector what we are seeing is a result of years and years of mismanagement and it requires a head-on tackling of issues such as corruption’.

The ambassador repeated the need for political stakeholders to come together to talk about how to go forward as a nation. But, despite the deepening economic crisis, this seems to be as far away as ever. MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has just returned from a visit to South Africa where he had talks with senior government officials and former President Mbekei.

Chamisa said he had told them that the situation in Zimbabwe was threatening to degenerate into complete chaos unless there was immediate intervention. He reported Mbeki as saying that there was a shared anxiety in the region and on the continent and that he would be coming back to Zimbabwe soon to resume the talks he’d begun there last month. 

The Zimbabwean Foreign Ministry is meanwhile briefing emissaries from the controversial Political Actors’ Dialogue (POLAD) made up of leaders of fringe opposition parties, who are being sent on visits to several countries. Chamisa has refused to take part in POLAD, claiming it is unrepresentative and a government stooge (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2020/01/eu-bemoans-slow-pace-of-reforms/).

Two influential US senators have called on their government to update sanctions against Zimbabwe. They said: ‘While the United States has been the top provider of humanitarian and development aid to meet the needs of Zimbabwe’s people, the government of Zimbabwe has implemented a misinformation campaign blaming the country’s woes on targeted sanctions . . . given the developments in Zimbabwe over the last two years, we urge you to consider enhancing the tools at your disposal, including the use of targeted sanctions, to incentivize changes in behaviour by the government of Zimbabwe.’ (See: https://iharare.com/us-calls-for-more-sanctions-on-zim/). 

Other points

  • Given the high unemployment rate, it seems odd that – as reported by the Masvingo Mirror – there is a critical shortage of maids, posing a problem for working mothers in particular. There is a similar shortage of farm labourers caused by mass emigration. Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions’ President Peter Mutasa said the local currency had lost so much value that maids found it pointless to work for RTGS $100, which is now only worth US$5. For an insight into how Zanu PF has exploited the currency crisis to enrich itself see the article by Thandekile Moyo: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-01-28-zimbabwes-economy-is-run-by-master-criminals-who-are-fleecing-the-poor/.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up the front table and put up the banners: Happy Chazuza, Jonathan Kariwo, Godfrey Katerere, Rosemary Maponga, Washington Mugari, Esther Munyira, Tapiwa Muskwe, Mary Muteyerwa, Ephraim Tapa, Kevin Wheeldon and Nattalie Zvoma. Thanks to Rosemary Maponga and Farai Mutumburi for looking after the front table, to Kevin, Nattalie, Esther and Elleriah Saili for handing out flyers, to Mary, Delice Gavazah and Ephraim for drumming and to Jonathan for photos. Thanks also to Rosemary for bringing tea, coffee and cakes.
  • 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 8th February from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058107.
  • ROHR Valentine’s fundraising dinner dance. Saturday 15th February from 6 pm till late. Venue: 38 Marcon Place, London E8 1LP. The event is in aid of women living with HIV/AIDS in rural Zimbabwe. Tickets £30. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058107, Molly Ngavaimbe 07415443973, Patricia Masamba 07708116625 and Margaret Munenge 07384300283.
  • 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:

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 17.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.

 
‘Hell on Earth’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 25th January 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 26 January 2020 16:21

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/49441030232/sizes/m/

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has called for ‘revolutionary’ action this year. He said the constitution gave the people every right to demonstrate following the stolen 2018 presidential election and the failure to hold accountable those responsible for the violent suppression of protests in Harare in January last year and the previous August.

Outlining his agenda at a meeting in Mbare, Chamisa said the crisis in Zimbabwe was man-made. ‘We are a broken and divided nation, led through fear, governed by force and ruled through violence’…. ‘People have been impoverished beyond measure; no jobs, no income, no lights, no water, no food; prices are escalating while incomes are plunging. It’s just hell on earth: a beautiful country and hitherto relatively prosperous country turned into a hellhole by a failed, rogue and corrupt politics and policies!’

Chamisa said that this year the people will speak ‘through action against the scourge and in defence of their right to their livelihoods’. He said time was running out for Zimbabwe and it was essential to create a soft landing through national dialogue. ‘We must return to legitimacy and democracy. Zimbabwe must have a political dialogue that is credible and genuine underwritten by the international community to facilitate a transitional authority that will pave the way for reforms. The National Transition Authority is the appropriate vehicle to turnaround this country.’ (See: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/agenda-2020-president-chamisas-address-to-the-nation/.)

The legitimacy of the government has also been challenged by former minister and Zanu PF strategist Jonathan Moyo. He says his recent book telling how the military rigged the 2018 election was behind the new government move to seize his farm. Moyo, who has taken refuge in South Africa, is only one of many former Zanu PF bigwigs, including Grace Mugabe, who are threatened with losing farms the government says are under-utilised or obtained corruptly. (See: https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/africa/Zimbabwe-seizes-land-from-robert-mugabe-allies/4552902-5429092-w2sokwz/index.html and https://www.herald.co.zw/land-grab-grace-chombo-face-arrest/).

While welcoming the prosecution of these predators, the Vigil applauds even more the humanitarian gesture by entrepreneur Strive Musiyiwa, a fellow exile in the UK, to pay an allowance to Zimbabwean doctors so that they can return to work. Strive’s sympathy for the suffering is in sharp contrast to the behaviour of Marry Chiwenga’s relative Genius Kadungure. Genius showed he was not so clever when a court ordered him to pay an additional US$58,000 in import duty on his new Bentley Continental GT . . .

Other points

  • At the Vigil we displayed posters marking the anniversary of last January’s vicious attacks on opposition protesters by the security forces in Harare.
  • It was wonderful to have with us two of our activists, Enniah Dube and Daizy Fabian, both cancer-free after intensive treatment. Their message to others diagnosed with cancer is to get treated as soon as possible.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up the front table and put up the banners: Enniah Dube, Daizy Fabian, Delice Gavazah, Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Godfrey Katere. Joyce Mbairatsunga, Gertrude Mudede, Washington Mugari, Margaret Munenge, Tsitsi Nyirongo and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Josephine and Delice for looking after the front table, to Kevin Wheeldon, Bigboy Sibanda and Simbarashe Jingo for handing out flyers, to Mary Muteyerwa, Godfrey, Margaret and Washington for drumming and to Jonathan and Simbarashe 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: 19 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Valentine’s fundraising dinner dance. Saturday 15th February from 6 pm till late. Venue: 38 Marcon Place, London E8 1LP. The event is in aid of women living with HIV/AIDS in rural Zimbabwe. Tickets £30. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058107, Molly Ngavaimbe 07415443973, Patricia Masamba 07708116625 and Margaret Munenge 07384300283.
  • 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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