Mixed messages – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 11th May 2019 Print
Sunday, 12 May 2019 14:35

It is ironic that Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa happened to be in London spreading the ‘Zimbabwe open for business’ message when it was announced in Harare that draconian power cuts are being imposed. 

They are not just routine measures. An announcement by the power utility ZESA said some suburbs across the country would be cut off for at least 10 hours a day because of reduced generation at major power stations. Worse still, most of the power-shedding will be during the morning and evening peak periods of 5 am – 10 am and 5 pm – 10 pm. A spokesman said if the measures were not implemented the country could be plunged into total darkness by October.

Another irony was a notice advertising the auction of farm equipment from the troubled Mugabe farming enterprise. The equipment includes five combine harvesters, tractors and at least 30 vehicles. The Mugabe family have been facing lawsuits over unpaid debts.

No such financial difficulties for Comrade Obert Mpofu, one of the richest men in Zimbabwe, who ironically has survived the demise of the Mugabes and as Zanu PF Secretary for Administration this week had talks in Harare with British Ambassador Melanie Robinson.

‘I was able to express our support for the reforms the President has laid out on the economic and political side’, the Herald quotes her as saying (see: https://www.herald.co.zw/british-envoy-commends-zim-reforms/).

Judging from recent statements, the UK, the EU and – more importantly – the US are now singing from the same song sheet: accepting the military regime – at least until further atrocities by the security forces.

The West seems to have given up hope in Zimbabwe’s fractious political opposition and the stick of human rights with which it used to beat Mnangagwa has been replaced by a carrot – the removal of sanctions to tempt Zimbabwe out of the orbit of China, Russia etc.

Other points

  • Several members of the Mutsvangwa party, including Zanu PF bigwig husband Christopher, came past the Vigil to go into the Embassy. They declined to engage with us.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up the front table and put up the banners: Tinotenda Chihope, Pamela Chirimuta, Patrick Hale, Simbarashe Jingo, Josephine Jombe, Patricia Masamba, Esther Munyira, Farai Muroiwa, Mary Muteyerwa, Sipho Ndlovu, Sikhumbuzule Sibanda and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Josephine for looking after the front table, to Simbarashe for handing out flyers, to Mary for drumming and to Patricia, Jonathan and Sipho for photos. Thanks also to Mary, Pamela and Sikhumbuzule for contributing to a new ROHR banner.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 16 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Reading branch outreach and general meeting. Saturday 25th May. Community outreach from 11.30 am – 1.30pm. 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:  Nicodimus 07877386792, Josephine 07455166668, Shylette 07828929806, Josh 07877246251.
  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 8th June from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625.
  • ROHR fundraising dinner. Saturday 29th June from 6 pm till late. Venue: Zazas, 108 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1JE. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Fungisai Mupandira 07468504393, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Simbarashe Jingo 07787870888, Pamela Chirimuta 07762737339, Sikhumbuzule Sibanda 07912210225, and Farai Muroiwa 07365431776.
  • ROHR sponsored walk. Saturday 27th July. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013, Patricia Masamba and Farai Muroiwa 07365431776. More information as plans progress.
  • 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.
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