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‘After hope has departed . . .’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 1st August 2020 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 02 August 2020 18:36

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/50176829523/sizes/z/

 

With police and soldiers patrolling the streets and the government warning that any demonstrations would be regarded as insurrection, the protests against corruption and poverty planned for 31st July passed comparatively quietly.

 

Perhaps this says more about the situation than anything else – except for the arrest of the novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga who, along with another protester, was bundled into a police lorry for carrying anti-government placards.

 

Dangarembga said the day before that the demonstrations were necessary because of the situation the country was in: ‘Every sector is disintegrating. Health, education, the economy. I am concerned for my safety. It would be naïve not to be because we have a very repressive regime.’

 

Her latest novel ‘This Mournable Body’ has been nominated for the highly-rated Booker Prize, whose organisers said: It ‘channels the hope and potential of one young girl and a fledgling nation to lead us on a journey to where lives go after hope has departed’. (See: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-53587651?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/cdnpj5jvgzgt/booker-prize&link_location=live-reporting-story).

 

The prominent journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, who was arrested earlier, said in a letter from prison that he refused to be part of the ‘stay positive’ brigade. ‘That nonsense of being asked to stay positive when there is nothing to be positive about is what made this country the absolute Shit Hole it is today!’ he wrote.

 

‘We have no clean running water, no electric power, no jobs, no money, no political will to Reform from Emmerson Mnangagwa, no fuel, we have CORRUPTION galore, no health care, nepotism and mismanagement of State institutions continues, looting of State and national resources also continues unabated, fraud by the political elites remains standard.

 

‘I have chosen to be on the right side of history . . . to be with the people . . . when I could have been with the tormentors making millions like what the Regime Associates do daily . . . I know the price for speaking against a gangster State, but more importantly, I also know the huge price for keeping quiet.’ (See: https://zwnews.com/hopewell-chinonos-letter-from-prison-full-text/).

 

Other Points:

  • Zanu PF’s spokesman Patrick Chinamasa called the United States Ambassador a ‘thug’ and accused him of funding the opposition protests with the aim of overthrowing the government (see: https://apnews.com/adf94a220f153e1ba8b1163d20a1b5fa).
  • With medical staff on strike because of bad pay and poor working conditions, seven babies were stillborn in a single night at the main hospital in Harare. Only one of the eight mothers in the ward left with her baby alive.
  • The leading MDC MP Tendai Biti has dismissed as a fraud the government’s offer of US $3.5 billion to compensate white farmers thrown off their land. He asked where the money would come from and said it was probable the West would be asked to finance it.
  • The MDC in the UK held a well-attended protest outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London on 31st July in sympathy with the protests in Zimbabwe. Vigil activists attended. For photos check: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157715321482308.
  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the lockdown continues. We ask our activists to put on Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia and take a photo of themselves holding an appropriate poster reflecting our protest against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The photos are uploaded on our Flickr site (see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157715321715876). Our virtual Vigil activists today were Chido Makawa, Simbarashe Jingo and Cynthia Chibanda who all kindly contributed to Vigil funds.

 

Events and Notices:

  • ROHR’s Fundraising Walk for Freedom. Saturday 29th August . A 20 mile walk starting at Redbridge Station at 9 am and finishing at the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. For more information, contact: Esther Munyira 07492058107, Rangarirai Chivaviro 07378429599 and Benjamin Molife 07490909900.
  • 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

 

How can you help?

The Zimbabwe Vigil exists entirely on donations from the public and well wishers. You can help us by donating via a deposit into our account Thank you.