|Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 30th October 2010|
|Written by Administrator|
|Sunday, 31 October 2010 17:14|
The Vigil missed a trick today. With Halloween ghouls taking over the streets of London we could have put the fear of God into them with our Mugabe mask. And, come to that, we should have terrified the lady ghouls with a mask of Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono, Mugabe’s personal bonker.
Here in the UK, where clocks suddenly change, thrusting us into winter, it’s a very reflective time as we prepare for the dark nights and the cold. There was a sobering feeling at the Vigil that the UK and the West in general are allowing the situation in Zimbabwe to drift to disaster. Those of us who managed to get to the meeting at Lancaster House on Wednesday reported back and there was general puzzlement at why the Home Office is planning to resume the deportations of Zimbabweans at such a threatening time, with Zanu PF openly preparing a new wave of violence before elections which Mugabe says will be held by June next year.
It was felt that the British government was failing to appreciate the true gravity of the situation in Zimbabwe – despite evidence such as a Channel 4 television report on Friday further exposing the scandal of the Marange diamonds (see: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/unreported-world/4od). Many people who stopped by the Vigil expressed their horror at the human rights abuses shown in the film.
Vigil supporters asked why Mugabe was always being allowed by Tsvangirai to make the running – indeed, why has he been able to humiliate the MDC for two years and emerge even stronger despite losing the 2008 elections?
There was frustration that the MDC leadership had allowed itself to be taken in by the constitutional outrage programme. Vigil supporters viewed it as a waste of time and resources at the expense of real reforms necessary for free and fair elections, such as a new voters’ roll and an opening of the airwaves to independent broadcasters. We can’t understand why the West funded this predictable fiasco.
There is no time to lose. Tsvangirai says he wants observers in Zimbabwe six months before the elections so they will have to be packing their bags in the next few weeks. What is the West doing about this? Mugabe has made it clear he won’t allow any observers from countries he regards as hostile and the record of African observers is one of cover-up and lies. Again, the Vigil wants to know what the British government and the West are going to do about this.
Perhaps, as the Economist magazine suggested recently, the Mugabe mafia could be offered a suspension of targeted sanctions if they accept an international mission to deter election violence and malpractice.
The Vigil calls for real pressure on SADC to comply with the obligations it accepted by promoting the abortive Government of National Unity. We believe that the cost to the region of allowing a gangster state to fester in its midst will be heavy if Mugabe is allowed to bludgeon his way to another election victory. The Vigil wants to know what the UK plans to do to prevent this – not how soon it can get rid of Zimbabweans. And we want Mr Tsvangirai to assert himself as Prime Minister. He must go to the UN and demand observers and peackeepers and to the EU to demand they don’t recognise Mugabe’s ambassador. Tsvangirai is the elected leader of Zimbabwe and should not act like Mugabe’s houseboy.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check the link at the top of the home page of our website.
FOR THE RECORD: 139 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES: