Zanu PF goes mad – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 19th January 2019 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 27 January 2019 15:41

‘Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad’, goes the old adage. It seems to be coming true in our new ‘reformed’ Zimbabwe so warmly welcomed last year by the UK government. The UK is not smiling now as reports come in of brutal repression of widespread discontent.

The Zimbabwean security services seem to have gone mad if we can believe accounts talking of eyes being gouged out and fingers chopped off, doors being smashed in and whole families beaten, road blocks . . . (see:

And it is not only the army and police who are crazy if you read the paranoid allegations by Zanu PF that a ‘superpower’ – apparently the United States – is behind the unrest (see:

The sad truth is that there is now little interest in Zimbabwe in the outside world. After a week of dramatic developments in Zimbabwe the UK Times today devoted only one paragraph to the situation – and that was on page 46 and rather ill-informed.

The UK Foreign Office told us this week they were too busy to have a meeting with us to discuss the perilous situation. So we tried to draw attention to the crisis at a Vigil outside the Embassy today attended by about 200 Zimbabweans from all over the country. The main theme was Zimbabwe ‘open not for business but for repression’.

Despite the clampdown on communications, here are some of the reports the Vigil has received in the last couple of days. The first is from human rights campaigner Ben Freeth who attended the opening of the phony trial of Pastor Evan Mawarire (see:

Veteran observer Cathy Buckle speaks in her latest letter of life as seen from a smaller town (see:

Another report is from someone who wishes to remain anonymous. He says Zanu PF knows what it’s doing: total terror. ‘After all, you cannot be the cure when in fact you are the problem’ (see:

Other points

  • It was good to be joined by old friends now dispersed around the country: Patson Muzuwa, Dumi Tutani, Peter Tatchell and Christopher Maphosa.umi Tutani, Peter Tatchell and Christopher Maphosa.
  • Thanks to those who helped out today: Ephraim Tapa and Taiwa Muskwe for putting up the banners, Patience Muyeye (who arrived at 10 am), Josephine Jombe and Fungisai Mupandira for looking after the front table, Patience, Josephine and Rosemary Maponga for selling flags and Rosemary, Bigboy Sibanda, Blessing Goronga, Edmore Pedzisai, Deborah Harry, Bianca Mpawaenda, Chido Makawa and Tawanda Chitate for handing out flyers. Thanks to Jonathan Kariwo, Patience and Heather Makawa for extra photos.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: about 200 attended the Vigil.


  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 16th February from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. Contact: Daizy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • 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 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 over the past 15 years 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 for £10. All proceeds will 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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