Paranoia and self-delusion – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 21st September 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 22 September 2019 14:38

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The longer dictatorships last the more paranoid they become as they resist the pressures of reality bearing ever more heavily upon them. They eventually come to the state of self-delusion shown in an article in the government mouthpiece the Herald this week under the title ‘Uncle Sam ups black ops in Zim’.

The article basically says the US Embassy was behind the kidnapping of Dr Peter Magombeyi, the president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association, who it dismisses as ‘this boy’. It raves: ‘Big Brother has instituted a cocktail of black operations, from financing violent demonstrations, organising them, executing them through his CIA agents (not diplomats) housed at his expanded new embassy in Westgate, as well as through Trojan Horses in the form of the MDC and the motley host of civil society organisations.’ (See: https://www.herald.co.zw/uncle-sam-ups-black-ops-in-zim/).

To objective observers, Zimbabwe is in a catastrophic meltdown with inflation racing beyond 800%, massive unemployment, shortages of fuel. power, water, food, medical supplies – everything except luxuries for the elite.

To the leaders of Zanu PF, who believe they ‘own’ the country, any complaints about the situation are treasonous because the problems have been caused by ‘illegal’ sanctions (and now climate change caused by the West).

This was the argument of the Mugabe regime which proved so successful that it has been adopted wholesale by his totally unimaginative successor Mnangagwa and has indeed become the lifeblood of Zanu PF: ‘do what we have done that has worked before’.

Apart from rigged elections (taken for granted), abductions have always been a feature. Jonathan Moyo, Zanu PF insider, now in exile, says a group called Ferret made up of security agents under the control the shadowy Joint Operations Command was responsible for Magombeyi’s abduction.

 The Herald doesn’t say why the US should take such a close interest in Zimbabwe, a country of no particular importance. Could it be that it wishes to help the suffering people or stop it from collapsing into the oppressive arms of China?

Other points

  • We had a large turnout today for our protest against the abduction of Dr Magombeyi and the waste of government money on the Mugabes when the situation of people in Zimbabwe is so dire. People were particularly upset at the extravagance of a mausoleum for the monster Mugabe. We were glad to be joined by the MDC Manchester branch and by an old friend Geoff Hill the Zimbabwean journalist who has written a number of books on Zimbabwe. Special thanks to Rosemary Maponga and Heather Makawa who organised today’s protest and made placards.
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Babula Gwatiringa, Shailet Manyange, Patricia Masamba, Richard Munyama, Collen Mupazviriho, Mary Muteyerwa, Farai Mutumburi, Molly Ngavaimbe, Casper Nyamakura and Hazvinei Saili. Thanks to Hazvinei and Delice Gavazah for looking after the front table, to Babula, Bigboy Sibanda, Simbarashe Jingo and Tawanda Chitate for handing out flyers, to Mary and Hazvinei for drumming and to Casper, Hazvinei and Jonathan for photos. Thanks also to Salani Mutseyami who made a long video of the Vigil, check: https://www.facebook.com/406387486235820/posts/1146787545529140/.
  • 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: 40 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • 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
 
Sympathy for the devil – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 14th September 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 15 September 2019 17:47

The sham solidarity with Mugabe shown by African leaders at his funeral is in sharp contrast to the enlightened attitude taken by the African Union over the plight of African refugees and migrants stranded in Libya on their way to Europe.

Thousands of them have drowned in the Mediterranean over the last decade, victims of people smugglers often acting in concert with Libyan officials. Others have been tortured to extract ransoms from their families or enslaved. Still others have died as victims of the civil war, such as 50 or so migrants in a detention camp in the Libyan capital Tripoli killed in July in an airstrike – unsurprising as the detention facility was also used as a militia base.

The European Union has been sharply divided over the migrant influx, not only from sub-Saharan Africa but also the Middle East and Asia. It will be pleased with the deal with the African Union under which five hundred African migrants will be taken to a refugee camp near the Rwandan capital Kigali. They will be gradually integrated into Rwandan society with a view to taking further groups of 500 up to a maximum of 30,000. A spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees hailed the plan as ‘a lifeline’.

Rwanda sets a good example to xenophobic South Africa whose President Cyril Ramaphosa was greeted with boos at Mugabe’s funeral. The London newspaper, the Times, observed: ‘In a capital city where power is off for most of the day, clean water runs only occasionally and basic foods cost five times as much as a year ago, mourners travelled through the night for the funeral today of the man who led Zimbabwe from prosperity to starvation. On one side of Harare lackeys from African embassies squabbled over the only presidential suite in the city’s best hotel as the continent’s heads of state flew in to pay their respects to Robert Mugabe their last liberation hero. Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of South Africa, is expected to attend the funeral, along with 12 other former and current African leaders. Across the city, police prepared to close down potholed streets around the funeral venue to make way for motorcades. The chaotic arrangements, fraught with rumours of witchcraft, backhanders and threats, have become a metaphor for the former president’s ruinous and divisive era.’

The funeral was barely over before normal life resumed in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association says its acting president, Dr Peter Magombeyi, has been abducted by suspected state agents. It said Dr Magombeyi had received several anonymous warnings after doctors went on strike for improved wages and better working conditions. Who knows, perhaps the African leaders might sit up and pay attention at last?

Other points

  • At the Vigil today it was agreed to hold a demonstration at next Saturday’s Vigil (21st September) about the huge amount of money being spent on Mugabe which should be spent on the suffering people of Zimbabwe: coffin, mausoleum still to be built, convoys and celebrations of his life. Vigil activists were appalled at this profligacy when the country is suffering from a scarcity of medical supplies, electricity, fuel, water, cash and basic commodities. Food prices are going up every day because of inflation and economic mismanagement. Vigil activists decided that we will not mourn Robert Mugabe after all he has done – rigging and stealing elections, killing and abducting people and Gukurahundi that cost over 20 000 lives. Millions of people are fleeing the country. Mugabe is not more important than the suffering masses of Zimbabwe. In fact, he’s gone and good riddance! Thanks to Rosemary Maponga and Heather Makawa for organising this protest.
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Patience Chimba, Pamela Chirimuta, Tawanda Chitate, Nathan Chiyanja, Delice Gavazah, Beaulah Gore, Simbarashe Jingo, Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Heather Makawa, David Makuyana, Rosemary Maponga, Patricia Masamba, Lucia Mudzimu, Margaret Munenge, Esther Munyira, Tapiwa Muskwe, Molly Ngavaimbe, Hazvinei Saili, Rudo Takiya and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Josephine, Rosemary and Margaret for looking after the front table, to Lucia, Heather and Tawanda for handing out flyers, to Hazvinei and Tapiwa for drumming and to Hazvinei, Patricia, Jonathan and Heather 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: 25 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Vigil protest ‘Good riddance Mugabe’. Saturday 21st September from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Zimbabwe Embassy London. Contact: Rosemary Maponga 07565842415 and Heather Makawa 07716391800.
  • ROHR Reading branch outreach and general meeting. Saturday 21st September. Community outreach from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Awareness campaign on deteriorating human rights in Zimbabwe. Venue: Broad Street, Reading. General meeting from 2 – 5 pm: Venue: The RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. Contact Nicodimus 07877386792, Josephine 07455166668, Shylette 07828929806, Josh 07877246251.
  • 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
 
An evil legacy – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 7th September 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 08 September 2019 15:35

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‘The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones’, observed Shakespeare. There will not be much good found in Mugabe’s bones interred in Heroes’ Acre.

It is surely right to disregard the tyrant’s petulant objections and bury him alongside other Zanu PF leaders. Perhaps one day tourists will visit Heroes’ Acre like they do the desolate field outside Budapest where statues from the Soviet era have been dumped.

You can say of most people that they had good and bad points. Not the same with Mugabe. What was not bad was evil. 

Many people, including opposition leaders and British ambassadors, say he had charm. So did Hitler. What charm Mugabe had was of the reptilian kind – poisonous. And it was for his poisonous ruin of the state that he will be remembered.

Mugabe was hailed as a liberation hero but there are doubts that he ever spared a thought for anyone apart from his own family. Embittered by a decade of detention, he then waded through blood to capture the leadership of Zanu.

When he came to power in 1980 he was responsible for the Gukurahundi genocide of some 20,000 Ndebele, along with his successor President Mnangagwa. Together they launched rash foreign excursions to line their own pockets. He was a bad example to Africa, which still reveres him despite his legacy of starvation, corruption, hopelessness and fear.

First reaction from Harare to the news of his death was from dimwit minister Energy Mutodi who bizarrely described the death of a 95-year-old man as ‘untimely’. But Mutodi was correct in saying ‘This nation is what it is because of what he did’.

Mnangagwa has declared seven days of mourning but you can be sure that he will not be observing it himself.

Other points

  • We marked the death of Mugabe with posters reading: ‘The goblin has gone’, ‘Now for real freedom’, ‘Mnangagwa must go too’, ‘Now out with Zanu PF’ and ‘Good riddance to Mugabe’. The press interviewed many of our activists.
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Patience Chimba, Marvellous Chinguwa, Josephine Jombe, Lucia Mudzimu, Esther Munyira, Hazvinei Saili, Sikhumbuzule Sibanda and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Hazvinei, Marvellous and Josephine for looking after the front table, to Lucia, Esther, Sikhumbuzule, Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa and Bigboy Sibanda for handing out flyers, to Hazvinei and Mary Muteyerwa for drumming and to Hazvinei, Ephraim and Tryness Ncube 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: 32 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 14th September 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 Reading branch outreach and general meeting. Saturday 21st September. Community outreach from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Awareness campaign on deteriorating human rights in Zimbabwe. Venue: Broad Street, Reading. General meeting from 2 – 5 pm: Venue: The RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. Contact Nicodimus 07877386792, Josephine 07455166668, Shylette 07828929806, Josh 07877246251.
  • 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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