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‘Command Justice’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 7th March 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 09 March 2020 14:17

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/49632396352/sizes/m/

 

The British newspaper the Times has published a report on the tawdry divorce battle between Vice President Canstantino Chiwenga and his wife Marry. Zimbabweans will be familiar with the lurid account of attempted murder, voodoo and drugs. But what rang a bell with the Vigil was Marry’s comment that she was doomed because of ‘command justice’. (See: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1065-marry-chiwenga-jilted-wife-off-zimbabwe-strongman-fears-for-her-life).

 

Zimbabwe has become a command state: ‘command agriculture’ has provided a smooth avenue for corruption, ‘command economy’ an equally convenient way of siphoning off the country’s riches to Zanu PF bigwigs.

 

It has long been clear that ‘free and fair elections’ is an aspiration rather than the rule. In many countries elections have become a charade. The fuss over the last elections in Malawi provide bracing evidence of this. Zimbabweans are used to having ‘command election results’ followed by Marry Chiwenga’s ‘command justice’ when the opposition protests.

 

President Mnangagwa is already preparing for the next elections in 2023, though he admitted to the Politburo this week that his government had failed and had no new ideas (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/mnangagwa-admits-failure-he-must-go/).

 

The schizophrenic position of the government could perhaps explain the extraordinary behaviour of a senior Zimbabwean diplomat in the United States who has been flown home after being arrested by police while running around in the middle of the night screaming and shouting (see: https://www.zimlive.com/2020/03/06/top-zimbabwe-diplomat-breaks-into-united-states-home-gets-immunity/).

 

We can only speculate that he could have been driven mad by the US Government’s decision to renew targeted sanctions imposed on some Zanu PF officials. A US statement said President Mnangagwa’s government ‘has arguably accelerated its persecution of critics and economic mismanagement in the past year, during which security forces have conducted extrajudicial killings, rapes, and alleged abductions of numerous dissidents.’ (See: https://www.zimlive.com/2020/03/04/us-extends-zimbabwe-sanctions-over-accelerated-persecution-of-critics/).

 

Other points

  • Zimbabwe is facing ‘an economic and humanitarian crisis’ says the International Monetary Fund. IMF officials recently visited Zimbabwe and complained of a lack of reforms (https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/03/zimbabwe-in-economic-and-humanitarian-crisis-as-imf-sounds-alarm.html).
  • On Friday Vigil activists attended churches on the World Day of Prayer, which this year was devoted to Zimbabwe with the service written by Zimbabwean women. We were deeply touched by the support we witnessed in the UK but sorry to hear reports that the day was less successful in Zimbabwe itself. One observer complained that the service she had attended in Bulawayo had devoted most of its time to acknowledging dignitaries rather than praying for the suffering. A contact in Bulawayo said she was distressed by the politicisation of the event and what she called the corruption of the church.
  • The Zimbabwe army commander Edzai Chimonyo says the military are soon to start monitoring social media, which he said posed a dangerous threat to national security. The move has been condemned by human rights groups (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2020/03/army-to-monitor-social-media/).
  • The Vigil today marked the 5th anniversary of the abduction by government agents of civil rights protester Itai Dzamara. He has not been seen since.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up the Vigil today: Beauty Bangura, Cynthia Chibanda, Pamela Chirimuta, Rangarirai Chivaviro, Enniah Dube, Daizy Fabian, Delice Gavazah, Jonathan Kariwo, Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa, Garikai Mananje, Jacob Mandipira, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Margaret Munenge, Esther Munyira, Mary Muteyerwa, Qiniso Sibanda, Ephraim Tapa, Kevin Wheeldon and Ntombizodwa Zololo. Thanks to Daizy, Esther and Margaret for looking after the front table, to Kevin , Rangirai and Jacob for handing out flyers, to Mary and Chido for drumming, to Jonathan and Chido for taking photos and to Rosemary Maponga for providing hot drinks. Thanks also to those who made posters for the Itai Dzamara protest: Garikai, Daizy, Washington Mugari and Tapiwa Muskwe.
  • 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: 26 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Living on the Edge. Tuesday 10th March from 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6 pm). Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. The event is organised by the Mike Campbell Foundation. Among the speakers are Chief Felix Ndiweni and Beatrice Mtetwa. For full details of the event check: https://media.wix.com/ugd/02876c_5b68a136280c42ebbf39f8ebbb722299.pdf.
  • 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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Unbelievable reality – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 29th February 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 02 March 2020 12:33

Secret money printing by the government, subsidised grocery shops set up in military barracks and a quarter of a million US dollars handed over in cash to Mnangagwa’s daughter – just some of the stories circulating in Zimbabwe.

 

Zimbabwe has long been a member of the club of failing states which, with Russia’s help, include such corrupt regimes as Iran, Syria and Venezuela. An article in the UK Times this week explained how these regimes prosper from catastrophe: how the unbelievable becomes the reality.

 

The writer, Roger Boyes, concludes that ‘enforced poverty depoliticises rather than radicalises the population’. He says: ‘Revolutions erupt because of rising but thwarted expectations. So the primary task of kleptocrats is to banish ambition. The ambitious, the able-bodied, the desperate flee the country in droves. And the leaders are OK with that, too. One day, they figure, the pressure of refugees mounting up in western countries will force the outside world to strike a deal with leaders who have demonstrated their survival skills. Allowing their states to fail gives them a perverse advantage: it makes them indispensable. As a result many people in these miserable states don’t even pretend to trust their leaders. Better muddle through with the ruler we know, is the short-term calculation, than topple him and risk the wholesale collapse of society.’ (See: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1063-why-do-some-failing-states-never-fail.)

 

A sobering assessment, which perhaps explains Russia’s renewed interest in Africa’s raw materials and profitable reasons for propping up the Zanu PF regime – with or without Mnangagwa, whose tenure in office may soon be terminated, according to the maverick former Zanu PF minister Jonathan Moyo, stirring up trouble from the safety of South Africa.

 

Moyo talks of an exit package being agreed with military chiefs under which Mnangagwa would get a settlement of US$10 million and continued benefits on leaving office, as well as ‘a modest motorcade’. In a separate tweet Moyo speaks of Mnangagwa’s daughter collecting an apparent down payment of a quarter of a million dollars from the Reserve Bank as part of a payment of $5 million (See: https://zwnews.com/mnangagwa-daughter-fraudulently-gets-us250k-from-rbz-no-receipts-for-transaction/.)

 

In Harare’s febrile culture these stories may prove to be off mark, but allegations of secret money printing by the Central Bank are anchored on a statement by the International Monetary Fund. IMF officials found that more of the dodgy Zimbabwe dollars were being printed to provide subsidies for gold producers (see: https://www.ft.com/content/4ae27da8-5967-11ea-abe5-8e03987b7b20).

 

As the cost of living soars the government have resorted to providing soldiers with subsidised basic commodities to stem unrest (see: https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/africa/Zimbabwe-military-shops/4552902-5471140-tqj028z/index.html). The police will have to be next . . . and then teachers . . . until the only ones paying the cost will be – who else but the people.

 

A welcome revelation came in the state-owned Herald newspaper that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission has identified over US$7 billion in cash and assets stashed abroad. ZACC Chairperson and former High Court judge, Loice Matanda-Moyo, said ‘Informally, we have now identified over US$7 billion worth of property and cash all over the world which were siphoned by our former leaders, current leaders, private sector and individuals. So this information we only got informally, so now we have to formalise the process so that we start the processes of repatriating the monies back home’. (See: https://www.iol.co.za/business-report/economy/zimbabwe-pursuing-billions-of-dollars-stashed-in-foreign-countries-43505463.)

 

Good luck to judge Matanda-Moyo but the Vigil bets the odds on jailing any ‘former or current leaders’ are approximately zero.

 

Other points

  • The Vigil was bewildered by how the MDC was persuaded to waste its energies during the Government of National Unity on a new constitution, which we knew would be altered later. Now Zanu PF is seeking to cancel, through amendments, key concessions made during the constitutional reform process (see: http://constitutionnet.org/news/fortifying-zimbabwes-imperial-presidency-proposed-second-amendment-constitution).
  • Thanks to the intrepid few who braved the foul weather to help set up the Vigil today: Beaulah Gore, Alice Majola, Rosemary Maponga, Philip Maponga, Tapiwa Muskwe, Ephraim Tapa and Kevin Wheeldon. Thanks to Rosemary and Alice for looking after the front table and for taking photos, to Kevin and Tapiwa for handing out flyers and to Rosemary for providing hot drinks.
  • 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: ­­­9 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 7th March from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058107, Enniah Dube 07367504747, Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
  • Itai Dzamara Remembrance Day. Saturday 7th March from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Zimbabwe Embassy, 439 Strand, London WC2R 0JR. Join us to remember Itai Dzamara’s bravery and legacy. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Daizy Fabian 07708653640, Benjamin Molife 07490919900.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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.
  • World Day of Prayer for Zimbabwe. Friday 6th March. This year the focus is on Zimbabwe and the service has been prepared by Christian women in Zimbabwe. The theme is ‘Rise! Take you mat and walk’. Christians all round the world will be praying for Zimbabwe. Try to get your own church involved. For more information check: https://www.wwdp.org.uk/.
  • Living on the Edge. Tuesday 10th March from 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6 pm). Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. The event is organised by the Mike Campbell Foundation. Among the speakers are Chief Felix Ndiweni and Beatrice Mtetwa. For full details of the event check: https://media.wix.com/ugd/02876c_5b68a136280c42ebbf39f8ebbb722299.pdf.
  • 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:
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‘Taken over by monkeys and baboons’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 22nd February 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 23 February 2020 14:03

It is not surprising that runaway former minister Saviour Kasukuwere should use Friday’s absurd Mugabe Day to attack the regime which overthrew the former president. Predictably defending Mugabe, Kasukuwere said Zimbabwe’s situation was worse under Mnangagwa who, he said, was protecting corrupt criminal cartels who were raping the nation, bleeding it of billions of dollars (see: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-179741.html),

 

Many Zimbabweans appear ambivalent about the change of regime. They include youths who are meant to be inspired by a public holiday on Mugabe’s birthday. Cathy Buckle in her latest Letter from Zimbabwe says ‘it’s hard to see what our youth have got to celebrate. Unemployment around 90%, inflation over 500%, queues for money, food and fuel and not even electricity today. Hopes of getting a job are extremely slim; manufacturing capacity predicted at 27% this year and a guarantee of tear gas, police truncheons and brutality if you dare to demonstrate.’

 

Buckle’s comment about a clampdown on dissent is confirmed by a news report of a wave of arrests of people taking part in anti-government protests against the worsening political and economic crisis (see: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-179751.html).

 

In her letter, Cathy Buckle looks at how food aid supposed to feed the hungry is being diverted to the black market by corrupt officials in Zimbabwe and sold in neighbouring countries: ‘A Parliamentary Portfolio Committee heard that abuse of the subsidised maize facility was rife. Senior executives in the government’s GMB (Grain Marketing Board) were implicated: allocating subsidised maize to millers far in excess of their capacity. The millers were in turn diverting the maize to the black market and selling it to neighbouring countries, making huge profits in the process. There were accounts of trucks from the DR Congo offloading copper in South Africa and on their return journey through Zimbabwe filling their empty trucks with our subsidised maize. The corruption extends to border officials who stamp documents with false declarations as to the source of the cargo on trucks which proceed to exit Zimbabwe loaded with our cheap maize.’

 

She goes on to note that 20 years ago this week the farm invasions began: ‘twenty years later Zimbabwe as a whole continues to pay the price of the destruction of commercial agriculture’ (see: http://cathybuckle.co.zw/looting-cheap-food-from-hungry-zimbabweans/).

 

Buckle’s comments are backed up by a coruscating news report: ‘Factories grind to a halt as Zimbabwe’s economy implodes’. The article notes: Zisco’s once-imposing steelworks are a series of derelict buildings, rusting pipes and sheets of corrugated iron. As the natural bush encroaches, the buildings are increasingly home to ever-opportunistic monkeys and baboons.’  (See:  https://finance.yahoo.com/news/factories-grind-halt-zimbabwe-economy-050000822.html),

 

Other points

  • February has been a turbulent time in the UK weatherwise with gales and endless rain causing widespread flooding. Nevertheless someone came down to join us today all the way from Scotland.
  • Thanks to those who braved the foul weather to help set up the Vigil today: Delice Gavazah, Jonathan Kariwo, Godfrey Katerere, Esther Munyira, Mary Muteyerwa, Qiniso Sibanda, Ephraim Tapa and Kevin Wheeldon. Thanks to Esther for looking after the front table, to Kevin for handing out flyers, to Mary and Delice for drumming and to Jonathan for photos. Thanks also for a further contribution to the ROHR’s Valentine fundraising dinner From Delice Gavazah.
  • 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: ­­­10 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR fundraising dinner dance. Saturday 29th February from 6 pm till late. Postponed from 15th February because of bad weather. Venue: 38 Marcon Place, London E8 1LP. The event is in aid of women living with HIV/AIDS in rural Zimbabwe. Tickets £30. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058107, Molly Ngavaimbe 07415443973, Patricia Masamba 07708116625 or Margaret Munenge 07384300283
  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 14th March from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058107.
  • 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.
  • World Day of Prayer for Zimbabwe. Friday 6th March. This year the focus is on Zimbabwe and the service has been prepared by Christian women in Zimbabwe. The theme is ‘Rise! Take you mat and walk’. Christians all round the world will be praying for Zimbabwe. Try to get your own church involved. For more information check: https://www.wwdp.org.uk/.
  • Living on the Edge. Tuesday 10th March from 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6 pm). Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. The event is organised by the Mike Campbell Foundation. Among the speakers are Chief Felix Ndiweni and Beatrice Mtetwa. For full details of the event check: https://media.wix.com/ugd/02876c_5b68a136280c42ebbf39f8ebbb722299.pdf.
  • 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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‘Reduced to slavery’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 15th February 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 16 February 2020 20:34

The Mnangagwa regime has reduced workers to slaves by paying them money that is valueless, says the President of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Peter Mutasa.

 

He said his members were facing challenges accessing healthcare, accommodation and basic services because most of these were being pegged to the US dollar while they were earning the fast-depreciating local currency. He said the ZCTU wanted the immediate introduction of the rand as official legal tender.

 

Pressure to abandon the Zimbabwe dollar is also coming from business. The President of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers, Denford Mutashu, said the appetite for the US dollar was very high because the local currency was too unstable for sustainable planning. One trader in Mbare said a bucket of maize was selling for US$3 or Zim$120.

 

MDC Vice-President Tendai Biti said the market had already re-dollarised and the government must recognize this instead of resisting the obvious. He pointed out that the government was itself charging for services in US dollars even though it is threatening to penalize businesses who do the same.

 

‘You can’t criminalise rational behaviour. Just like, right now, 90% of Zimbabweans are buying the US dollar on the streets. There is no amount of teargas, no amount of gun, there is no amount of tank that is going to stop that because a human being behaves rationally. He will protect himself,’ Biti said (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2020/02/market-rejects-zimdollar/).

 

Biti, a former finance minister, accused Mnangagwa of being ’the godfather’ of Zimbabwe’s high level of government corruption. He said Mnangagwa’s ally, business mogul Kuda Tagwirei, had ‘captured’ the finance ministry. ‘I never thought that we could get to a situation as ordinary Zimbabweans in which we could say Mugabe was actually better. But, Zimbabweans are saying so because the level of looting under Emmerson Mnangagwa is unprecedented.’ Biti said Zimbabweans must take to the streets to demonstrate peacefully against the cartels to express their anger. (See: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-178981.html).

 

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa also called for action in the fight against corruption. He said the allegations by Prosecutor--General Kumbira Hodzi that corrupt cartels controlled the justice delivery system had confirmed state capture. ‘The anti-corruption rhetoric is a mere facade designed to hoodwink Zimbabweans and the world. Over the past two years the level of corruption and state capture has escalated to obscene levels. There can not be sustainable prosperity when national wealth is in the hands of a few,’ said Chamisa (see: https://allafrica.com/stories/202002130439.html).

 

Other points

  • The Vigil is not surprised by reports that Mnangagwa is not taking calls from former South African President Mbeki who has offered to mediate in Zimbabwe. He appears to be happy with the situation in which he is in control, whatever the cost.
  • Thanks to all those who braved the foul weather to help set up the Vigil today: Patricia Masamba, Margaret Munenge, Esther Munyira, Sithokozile Sikhosana, Ephraim Tapa and Kevin Wheeldon. Thanks to Patricia and Margaret for looking after the front table, to Esther and Kevin for handing out flyers, to Sithokozile for drumming and to Patricia for photos.
  • Thanks to those who have contributed to the ROHR’s Valentine fundraising dinner: Beaulah Gore, Jane Kaphuwa, Patricia Masamba and Cephas Maswoswa. Thanks also to Patricia Masamba for her contribution to the ROHR Mtoko irrigation project.
  • 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: ­­­8 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR fundraising dinner dance. Saturday 29th February from 6 pm till late. Postponed from 15th February because of bad weather. Venue: 38 Marcon Place, London E8 1LP. The event is in aid of women living with HIV/AIDS in rural Zimbabwe. Tickets £30. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058107, Molly Ngavaimbe 07415443973, Patricia Masamba 07708116625 and Margaret Munenge 07384300283
  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 14th March from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058107.
  • 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.
  • World Day of Prayer for Zimbabwe. Friday 6th March. This year the focus is on Zimbabwe and the service has been prepared by Christian women in Zimbabwe. The theme is ‘Rise! Take you mat and walk’. Christians all round the world will be praying for Zimbabwe. Try to get your own church involved. For more information check: https://www.wwdp.org.uk/.
  • Living on the Edge. Tuesday 10th March from 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6 pm). Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. The event is organised by the Mike Campbell Foundation. Among the speakers are Chief Felix Ndiweni and Beatrice Mtetwa. For full details of the event check: https://media.wix.com/ugd/02876c_5b68a136280c42ebbf39f8ebbb722299.pdf.
  • 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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Wheels coming off – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 8th February 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 09 February 2020 14:10

Reports from Zimbabwe suggest that security chiefs are becoming increasingly anxious that discontent may lead to unrest. They are said to have deployed large numbers of intelligence officers in civilian clothes around the country. They are also said to fear mutiny by disgruntled soldiers (see: https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2020/02/07/panicky-army-chiefs-deploy-special-forces/).

 

While there is widespread hunger as food prices rise and the Zimbabwe dollar withers, vegetables in urban markets are rotting because people can’t afford to buy them (see: https://reliefweb.int/report/zimbabwe/vegetables-rot-food-markets-across-zimbabwe-while-half-population-faces-food).

 

Women are bearing the main share of the burden. A survey by Transparency International Zimbabwe said more than 57% of women had been forced to offer sexual favours in exchange for jobs, medical care and even seeking placements at schools for their children. The organisation said in its report: ‘sex is a currency in many corrupt deals in Zimbabwe’. (see: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/feb/08/more-than-half-of-women-in-zimbabwe-have-faced-sextortion-finds-survey).

 

Discord within the ruling party is further destabilizing the country. Three Zanu PF youth leaders have been suspended by the Politburo after calling a news conference to accuse some of Mnangagwa’s close allies of corruption. Secretary for Youth Affairs Pupurai Togarepi was stripped of his position and Youth Political Commissar Godfrey Tsenengamu and Deputy Secretary for Youth Affairs Lewis Matutu were demoted and ordered to go for ‘political orientation’ at the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology.

 

President Mnangagwa was particularly critical of Togarepi because, he said, he had appointed him to his post even though he was not qualified being 56 years old. For his part, Matutu said afterwards that he would continue fighting corruption. He declared that he would ‘rather die for something than live for nothing’ and added that 2020 would be the beginning of a decade of action by youths.

 

Tsenengamu said he would not attend the six-month course at the Ideology school. Those who had ordered it should be the ones going there. ‘I do not care what will happen next. I am part of society, live in society and know what corruption is doing to the livelihoods of ordinary people.’

 

The youth leaders accused three controversial business tycoons, Kuda Tagwirei, Billy Rautenbach (the Green Fuels boss) and Tafadzwa Musarara (Chair of the Grain Millers’ Association) of corruptly grabbing all government tenders.

 

Matutu said “Let me talk about Tagwirei. I really want to know why he is the one who supplies everything to government — fuel. If we go to Command Agriculture, it’s him at the helm. There was an attempt to investigate him, but he evaded. He has tentacles everywhere, including the money on the black market, he controls that.’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2020/02/zanu-pf-youths-finger-ed-allies/ and https://zwnews.com/unfazed-matutu-says-fight-continues-declares-decade-of-action-as-zanu-pf-implodes/).

 

Other points

  • Many starving people must be amazed by the Zanu PF-connected businessman Genius Ginimbi’s court battles as he faces a new charge of fraud in connection with importing another Bentley. He recently shared on his Instagram account a video of himself buying a 2-seater Ferrari 488 Spider for US$350,000 to join his collection of super cars at his mansion in Dombashawa which includes 2 Rolls-Royces and 3 Bentleys among many other top range cars (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2020/02/socialite-ginimbi-arrested-for-fraud/).
  • The Zimbabwe government is to waste US$4.5million on sending tame members of the government-appointed Political Actors’ Dialogue (POLAD) on foreign trips to promote government policiies, POLAD has been boycotted by MDC leader Chamisa (see: http://www.newsdzezimbabwe.co.uk/2020/02/polad-foreign-trips-to-gobble-us45m.html).
  • Zimbabweans who have complacently regarded themselves as somehow better than Malawians may have to rethink following the Malawian court ruling that their country’s election last year was rigged – a shock to the system in Zimbabwe where this would be impossible because our rigging is so superior.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up the front table and put up the banners: Daizy Fabian, Deborah Harry, Jonathan Kariwo, Netsayi Makarichi, Chido Makawa, Rosemary Maponga, Benjamin Molife, Esther Munyira, Molly Ngavaimbe, Tsitsi Nyirongo, Qiniso Sibanda, Bigboy Sibanda, Ephraim Tapa, Kevin Wheeldon and Nattalie Zvoma. Thanks to Rosemary for looking after the front table, to Chido, Benjamin, Tsitsi, Bigboy, Kevin and Nattalie for handing out flyers, to Chido for drumming, to Deborah, Chido and Jonathan for photos, to Molly for the opening prayer, to Tsitsi for donating a rattle and to Rosemary for bringing tea, coffee and cakes.
  • Thanks to those who have contributed to the ROHR’s Valentine fundraising dinner: Pamela Chirimuta, Ragarirai Chivaviro, Simbarashe Jingo, Netsayi Makarichi, Chido Makawa, Garikai Mananje, Benjamin Molife, Washington Mugari, Margaret Munenge, Molly Ngavaimbe and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks also to Happy Chazuza for his contribution to the ROHR Mtoko irrigation project
  • 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: ­­­18 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Valentine’s fundraising dinner dance. Saturday 15th February from 6 pm till late. Venue: 38 Marcon Place, London E8 1LP. The event is in aid of women living with HIV/AIDS in rural Zimbabwe. Tickets £30. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058107, Molly Ngavaimbe 07415443973, Patricia Masamba 07708116625 and Margaret Munenge 07384300283.
  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 14th March from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058107.
  • 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.
  • World Day of Prayer for Zimbabwe. Friday 6th March. This year the focus is on Zimbabwe and the service has been prepared by Christian women in Zimbabwe. The theme is ‘Rise! Take you mat and walk’. Christians all round the world will be praying for Zimbabwe. Try to get your own church involved. For more information check: https://www.wwdp.org.uk/.
  • Living on the Edge. Tuesday 10th March from 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6 pm). Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. The event is organised by the Mike Campbell Foundation. Among the speakers are Chief Felix Ndiweni and Beatrice Mtetwa. For full details: https://media.wix.com/ugd/02876c_5b68a136280c42ebbf39f8ebbb722299.pdf.
  • 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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