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Zimbabwe Vigil’s 7th Anniversary – 10th October 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 11 October 2009 20:03

President Mugabe and first lady ‘Shopwell’ Grace were not at all happy with their Harrods experience. Two members of the Vigil impersonating the presidential couple went to this puffed-up shop to illustrate what will happen if the targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his cronies are lifted as demanded by Zimbabwe’s neighbours.  

After learning about our proposed shopping spree, a pompous Harrods PR flunky phoned us and threatened to put Attorney-General Tomana on our case. ‘You can’t come in’, she said. ‘Can we take pictures outside?’ we asked. ‘No it’s out of the question’ Harrods replied, sensitive as always to the susceptibilities of their kleptocratic clients.  Well, despite Harrods’ hoity-toity response, Mugabe and Shopwell marched boldly into the bazaar.  Among the media to capture the moment was an AFP photographer rewarded by us with a Zim$100 trillion note.  

Nevertheless President Mugabe (Fungayi Mabhunu) and his consort (Gugu Tutani) have decided in future to take their custom next door to Harvey Nichols. 

Another of Zimbabwe’s celebrated 15-digit notes was given to Geoffrey Van Orden, Member of the European Parliament for Eastern England, who came to the Vigil to support us on our 7th anniversary together with his wife Fanny and daughters Rose and Selina.   They appeared to have a great time. 

Mr Van Orden accepted our petition to hand over to the European Union calling for punitive action against SADC because of its failure to honour its commitment to ensure that the global political agreement is implemented. The petition was handed to him by President Mugabe who arrived with Shopwell by rickshaw after their Harrods expedition. Mr Van Orden called on President Mugabe to stand aside and allow peace and prosperity in Zimbabwe through free and fair internationally-monitored elections.

To mark the Vigil’s 7th anniversary we all gathered afterwards at a local pub to watch a rough cut of a film about Zimbabwe being made by David Adelstein, which features the Vigil.  Thanks to Josephine Zhuga who brought a beautiful cake for the Vigil’s anniversary which was much enjoyed by all. 

Dumi Tutani and Luka Phiri who undertook a 55-mile sponsored walk for the Zimbabwean tumour girl, Tare, reminded us that she was operated on today in London.  Our thoughts and prayers are with her and all the other suffering Zimbabweans who can’t access this sort of treatment.  Betty Makoni, founder of Girl Child Network, who recently visited the Vigil to talk about Tare, has been nominated as one of CNN’s top ten heroes of 2009.  Please see events and notices for how you can vote for her. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/ 

FOR THE RECORD:  268 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·         ROHR Manchester general meeting. Saturday 17th October from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: The Salvation Army Citadel, 71 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M13 9UB. Substantive committee to be elected. ROHR President and ROHR UK
executive present. Contact: Fungai Chikoore 07876060929, Jeremiah Murefu 07881452495 / 07536677154, Tsitsi Jonas 07884254184, Fenny Nyatsanza 07886310005 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·         ROHR Leicester relaunch meeting. Saturday 24th October. Venue: Bishop Street Methodist Church,10 Bishop Street, Leicester LE 1 6AF. ROHR President and UK Executive present. Speakers: Rev Jill Marsh (Methodist Church), Celia Fisher (Leicester Aids Support Services). Contact: Dennis Sibanda 07901742649, Dr N Masamvi 07825525834, L Maposa 07837788807, F Mzemba 07932449899, G Mutimukulu 07508029001, N Maziso
07732545514, A Mutambira 07768610423 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070
·         ROHR West Bromwich general meeting. Saturday 31st October from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF. ROHR Executive and a well-known lawyer present. Contact Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo 07817096594 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 0793221607
·         Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park
. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays).
·         From Liberator to Dictator by Mike Auret. This is a personal account of the unravelling of Zimbabwe, written by an insider who was prepared to keep faith with Robert Mugabe until it was almost too late. Michael Auret served for many years on Zimbabwe's respected Catholic Commission of Justice and Peace, which worked tirelessly to defend human rights in that country. In this memoir, he traces his involvement in the politics of his country, from his days as an opposition MP in Ian Smith's Rhodesia
to his involvement with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and his election as MP for Harare Central in the brutal election of 2000. http://www.newafricabooks.co.za/books_detail.asp?ID=499. 
·         Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. For  information: http://www.citizensforsanctuary.org.uk/pages/Strategic.html or contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
·         Vote for Betty Makoni of Girl Child Network as one of CNN’s top ten heroes of 2009 via this link: http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cnn.heroes/ 

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 3rd October 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 04 October 2009 15:45

The Vigil is marking its seventh anniversary on Saturday 10th October by hosting President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace on a shopping expedition at Harrods. They complain that they are victims of illegal sanctions which have prevented them from spending their hard-earned millions on shopping trips to the West.  

The Southern African Development Community last month said the targeted sanctions are the cause of Zimbabwe’s ruin and demanded their removal.  The Vigil wants to meet SADC halfway and show what would happen if the sanctions are lifted.  

Two stalwarts of the Vigil, Fungayi Mabhunu and Gugu Tutani, will impersonate the presidential couple on their shopping spree.  Fungayi will once again be wearing our Mugabe mask. They will return to the Vigil with their purchases by rickshaw to be welcomed by SADC High Commissioners and Ambassadors adopting their traditional posture – on their knees in worship of Mugabe. 

The Vigil has sent this letter to SADC’s Executive Secretary, Dr Tomáz Augusto Salomão:  

The Zimbabwe Vigil is presenting the following petition to Mr Geoffrey Van Orden, Member of the European Parliament for the East of England, to pass on to the European Union. “A Petition to European Union Governments: We record our dismay at the failure of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to help the desperate people of Zimbabwe at their time of trial.  We urge the UK government and the European Union in general to suspend government to government aid to all 14 SADC countries until they abide by their joint commitment to uphold human rights in the region. We suggest that the money should instead be used to feed the starving in Zimbabwe”.   

The presentation will take place at our regular Vigil outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London on Saturday 10th October to mark the Vigil’s 7th Anniversary. We reluctantly call for action against SADC members because of their failure to meet their obligations as guarantors of the power-sharing agreement in Zimbabwe brokered by SADC a year ago. SADC was committed to reviewing the agreement after 6 months but declined to do so 8 months after the formation of the coalition government, despite an appeal by the Movement for Democratic Change to address outstanding issues which threaten the viability of the government.  

We have asked Mr Van Orden to accept the petition because of his close interest in the Zimbabwean situation. Thousands of people from all over world passing by the Vigil have signed the petition since we first presented a tranche to the European Union exactly a year ago. Since then SADC has been consistent in its refusal to help the people of Zimbabwe and the Vigil believes SADC countries must now be faced with consequences of their dereliction of duty.

SADC High Commissioners and Ambassadors in London are being invited to join us at the Vigil to witness the handover of this petition by actors impersonating “His Excellency, President, Head of State and Government, Commander-in-Chief of Defence Forces" Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace, milk producer for Nestlé’s. Mr and Mrs Mugabe will be photographed earlier in the day shopping at Harrods – the denial of this “human right” was seen as the major problem by SADC at their last meeting in Kinshasha at which they called for targeted sanctions to be removed."

We were happy to have Josephine Zhuga on the front table, which engages with people passing by and gets them to sign our petitions etc. She says an IMF official stopped on his way to catch a plane to Harare.  He said things seemed to be getting better.  Josephine told him she disagreed and mentioned the unemployment, the problems with schools and hospitals, the lack of any respect for the rule of law and the continuing human rights abuses etc.   

We at the Vigil are in close contact all the time with family and friends all over Zimbabwe and are increasingly cynical at the over-optimistic spin so many people are trying to put on the situation in Zimbabwe where any dispassionate observer would see complete deadlock in implementing the Global Political Agreement and no rule of law. 

Thanks to Chipo Chaya, Jonathan Kariwoh, Reginald Gwasira and Gladys Mapanda for working so hard  looking after the Vigil register and merchandise and manning the front table.  Also thanks to Kimpton Samkange who, after successfully going through the asylum process, is offering supporters advice on the matter. 

You can hear Fungayi Mabhunu of the Vigil Management Team in part 2 of ‘Memento’ on the BBC World Service which will be broadcast several times between Friday 9th October 00:06 GMT and Sunday 11th October 23:06 GMT (http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/documentaries/2009/10/091001_fridaydoc_memento_one.shtml) 

We learn from Betty Makoni of Girl Child Network that the Zimbabwean girl Tare has arrived in the UK and has been admitted to hospital. It seems her treatment will take longer than anticipated so donations are still very much needed: www.girchildnetworkworldwide.org   

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/ 

FOR THE RECORD:  158 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·         Zimbabwe Vigil – 7th Anniversary. Saturday 10th October. The Vigil started on 12th October 2002 and we are marking this anniversary on the nearest Saturday to that date.  There will be a social gathering after the Vigil, downstairs at the Bell and Compass, 9-11 Villiers Street, London WC2N 6NA, next to Charing Cross Station at the corner of Villiers Street and John Adam Street.
·         ROHR West Bromwich general meeting. Saturday 31st October from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF. ROHR Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo 07817096594 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 0793221607
·         Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays).
·         From Liberator to Dictator by Mike Auret. This is a personal account of the unravelling of Zimbabwe, written by an insider who was prepared to keep faith with Robert Mugabe until it was almost too late. Michael Auret served for many years on Zimbabwe's respected Catholic Commission of Justice and Peace, which worked tirelessly to defend human rights in that country. In this memoir, he traces his involvement in the politics of his country, from his days as an opposition MP in Ian Smith's Rhodesia to his involvement with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and his election as MP for Harare Central in the brutal election of 2000. http://www.newafricabooks.co.za/books_detail.asp?ID=499. 
·         Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. For more information check: http://www.citizensforsanctuary.org.uk/pages/Strategic.html or contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 26th September 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 27 September 2009 18:10

A triumphant cheer with exuberant ululating greeted two members of the Vigil management team, Dumi Tutani and Luka Phiri, when they arrived at the Vigil after completing a 55-mile sponsored walk from Brighton on the south coast. Despite their exhaustion, they immediately joined in the celebratory dancing.   

They had set off just before 5 am and covered the distance (twice the length of a marathon) in thirteen and a half hours including two short breaks.   “I really enjoyed it” said Dumi, wearing a Vigil tshirt. “People were very supportive as we passed by”. Luka, whose idea it was, could not suppress a huge grin. 

The walk was to raise funds to help a Zimbabwean girl with a severe facial tumour who is coming to the UK for urgent medical treatment. The girl, Taremeredzwa Nomatter Mapungwana, is supported by the Zimbabwean charity Girl Child Network (http://girlchildnetworkworldwide.org/). Tare is to have an operation soon at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London 

Dumi and Luka were greeted at the Vigil by Betty Makoni, founder of Girl Child Network, who was warm in her praise. “Because of your walk people here have now heard of our work”. 

Betty addressed the Vigil about her experience as an activist on women’s issues. She said she had been forced to flee Zimbabwe because of her role in helping women victims of political violence.  She said one woman she had helped had been traumatized by being raped by 18 soldiers. Another, who was pregnant when she was raped, had been so badly injured that the doctor she was taken to in Botswana had cried. A recent appeal for help had been from a woman on her deathbed as a result of injuries sustained in June last year.  She added that women that had been raped didn’t find it easy to share their stories. 

Betty said rape had been used as a weapon of war since 2002 and women and their families were still being harassed and intimidated. Husbands would be taunted by the perpetrators, who believed they could act with impunity While Betty spoke to the Vigil about the situation in Zimbabwe a different picture was being painted at a conference elsewhere in London addressed by representatives of the Zimbabwe government trying to get the diaspora to invest back home – despite the clear absence of the rule of law displayed so eloquently by Mugabe’s xenophonic ranting at the UN.  

We had a good attendance despite many Restoration of Human Rights supporters attending a ROHR fundraising party in Birmingham. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/ 

FOR THE RECORD:  170 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·         ROHR Bournemouth general meeting. Saturday 3rd October from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: East Cliff Reformed Church, Holdenhurst Road, BH8 8AW. Contact: Mike Mhene 07774521837, Abigail Nzimba 07917458873, Gift Pfupa 07909831158, Sekai Mujeyi
07765244138 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070
·         ROHR Surrey & Hants general meeting. Saturday 3rd October from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: 10 Elmdene Court, Constitution Hill, Woking, Surrey, GU22 7SA. Contact: Isacc Mudzamiri 07774044873, Thoko Hlokama 07886203113, Thandi Mabodoko 01483600201, 01483826764 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070. Feedback from the Chair's meeting held in Coventry
 
·         Zimbabwe Vigil – 7th Anniversary. Saturday 10th October at 6.30 pm.  The Vigil started on 12th October 2002 and we are marking this anniversary on the nearest Saturday to that date.  There will be a social gathering after the Vigil, downstairs at the Bell and Compass, 9-11 Villiers Street, London WC2N 6NA, next to Charing Cross Station at the corner of Villiers Street and John Adam Street
.
·         ROHR West Bromwich general meeting. Saturday 31st October from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall
Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF. ROHR Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo 07817096594 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 0793221607
·         Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park
. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays).
·         From Liberator to Dictator by Mike Auret. This is a personal account of the unravelling of Zimbabwe, written by an insider who was prepared to keep faith with Robert Mugabe until it was almost too late. Michael Auret served for many years on Zimbabwe's respected Catholic Commission of Justice and Peace, which worked tirelessly to defend human rights in that country. In this memoir, he traces his involvement in the politics of his country, from his days as an opposition MP in Ian Smith's Rhodesia
to his involvement with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and his election as MP for Harare Central in the brutal election of 2000. http://www.newafricabooks.co.za/books_detail.asp?ID=499. 
·         Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. More information: http://www.citizensforsanctuary.org.uk/pages/Strategic.html or contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 19th September 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 20 September 2009 15:40

Supporters at a warm and exuberant Vigil expressed scepticism at Morgan Tsvangirai’s announcement that he is to consult the grass roots on whether to withdraw from the Mugabe government.  

People at the Vigil were asked for their opinion by Ephraim Tapa of the Vigil management team. He is also head of Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR). Ephraim made clear his own view: “Tsvangirai didn’t consult the people when he shook hands with Mugabe.  Why now?”  

Ephraim maintained that the MDC had made a big mistake by joining Mugabe’s government. “Zanu PF were down and out at the end of 2008 but have been given recovery time by the MDC.”  He said Zanu PF was now gaining in confidence and the next election would be bloodier than ever before to make sure that Zanu PF won.   

Ephraim said that the MDC had failed to take a principled position on Zanu PF abuses such as land invasions and the seizure this week of Meikles. This showed that nothing had changed: Mugabe was still in charge and there was no rule of rule.  The country was in the hands of a mafia which had conscripted the MDC.  

Ephraim’s analysis was supported by people at the Vigil and borne out by reports we have received from our loved ones at home. For instance, family in Bulawayo quote pastors as saying people are still dying like flies. 

But, although the situation at home is closely followed by the Vigil, not all discussion is about politics.  Luka Phiri and Dumi Tutani, members of the Vigil management team, spoke about their ambitious plan to walk 55 miles next Saturday to raise funds to help a Zimbabwean girl with a severe facial tumour come to the UK for urgent medical treatment. They plan to walk from Brighton on the south coast all the way to the Vigil, leaving at 5 am 

The Zimbabwean girl, Taremeredzwa Nomatter Mapungwana, is supported by the Zimbabwean charity Girl Child Network (http://girlchildnetworkworldwide.org/) founded by Betty Makoni in 1998. There are plans for Tare to have an operation at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London and Luka and Dumi are raising money to help meet her expenses in the UK. Bank account details for donations can be found on the Girl Child Network website. 

One of the walkers, Vigil co-ordinator Dumi, celebrated his 40th birthday with us today. We bought him a cake to build up his strength for next week. We were pleased to see Adrian Smale from Salisbury. He is co-ordinating a Zimbabwean service at his church.  See ‘Events and Notices’ for more details.  We were also pleased to be joined again by Frank Johnson, an American IT specialist, who has worked in Africa and has a special interest in Zimbabwe. 

London was very crowded today and loads of passers-by stopped to watch our singing and dancing on a very hot day. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/ 

FOR THE RECORD: 172 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·        
ROHR (Anniversary) National Fundraising Party. Saturday 26th September from 12 noon to late. Venue: The Portland Pavilion, 241 Portland Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B17 8LS. Admission: £10. Contacts: V J Mujeye 07534 034 594, Abigail Nzimba 07838 073 111, Diane Mutendereki 07502 478 591. For information on directions: 0121 434 5130. ROHR is looking for male and female models with their own African clothing for a fashion show at this fundraiser.  All ages and sizes welcome. Those interested please contact: Pamela Dunduru 07553253639, Diana Mtendereki 07502478591, Pauline Makuwere 07533332306, Martha Jiya 07727016098, Abigail Nzimba 07838073111 or Paradzai Mapfumo 07915926323-07932216070. See poster on: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/3907390469/sizes/o/

·        
Zimbabwe Worship Service. Sunday 27th September from 10.30 – 12.00 followed by Zimbabwean food from 12 – 3 pm. Venue: Elim Christian Centre, Dews Road, Salisbury SP2 7SN. Zimbabwean speaker. Contact: Adrian Smale, 01722 770024, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , www.elimsalisbury.org.uk.
·         ROHR Bournemouth general meeting. Saturday 3rd October from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: East Cliff Reformed Church, Holdenhurst Road, BH8 8AW. Contact: Mike Mhene 07774521837, Abigail Nzimba 07917458873, Gift Pfupa 07909831158 or Sekai Mujeyi 07765244138 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070
·         ROHR Surrey & Hants general meeting. Saturday 3rd October from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: 10 Elmdene Court, Constitution Hill, Woking, Surrey, GU22 7SA. Contact: Isacc Mudzamiri 07774044873, Thoko Hlokama 07886203113, Thandi Mabodoko 01483600201, 01483826764 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070. Feed back from the Chair's meeting held in Coventry
 
·         Zimbabwe Vigil – 7th Anniversary. Saturday 10th October at 6.30 pm.  The Vigil started on 12th October 2002 and we are marking this anniversary on the nearest Saturday to that date.  There will be a social gathering after the Vigil, downstairs at the Bell and Compass, 9-11 Villiers Street, London WC2N 6NA, next to Charing Cross Station at the corner of Villiers Street and John Adam Street
.
·         ROHR West Bromwich general meeting. Saturday 31st October from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall
Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF. ROHR Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo 07817096594 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 0793221607
·         Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park
. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays).
·         From Liberator to Dictator by Mike Auret. This is a personal account of the unravelling of Zimbabwe, written by an insider who was prepared to keep faith with Robert Mugabe until it was almost too late. Michael Auret served for many years on Zimbabwe's respected Catholic Commission of Justice and Peace, which worked tirelessly to defend human rights in that country. In this memoir, he traces his involvement in the politics of his country, from his days as an opposition MP in Ian Smith's Rhodesia
to his involvement with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and his election as MP for Harare Central in the brutal election of 2000. http://www.newafricabooks.co.za/books_detail.asp?ID=499. 
·         Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. More information: http://www.citizensforsanctuary.org.uk/pages/Strategic.html or contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 12th September 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 13 September 2009 17:55

Africa demands western aid for Mugabe to spend at Harrods’. This is the essence of the message from the SADC summit in Kinshasa this week – and the message we will be driving home at the Zimbabwe Vigil in London. To us at the Vigil the SADC outcome came as no surprise; as readers of this diary will know we have never had any faith in this mafia.   

Today we relaunched our petition challenging SADC: ‘A Petition to European Union Governments: We record our dismay at the failure of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to help the desperate people of Zimbabwe at their time of trial.  We urge the UK government and the European Union in general to suspend government to government aid to SADC countries until they abide by their joint commitment to uphold human rights in the region. We suggest that the money should instead be used to feed the starving in Zimbabwe.’ 

This petition was initiated two years ago and a first tranche of many thousands of signatures was submitted to the EU on our 6th anniversary last year.  We suspended it when the ‘unity government’ was established to give SADC an opportunity to meet its obligations to Zimbabwe following the Global Political Agreement; a waste of time, of course.   

The Vigil plans to present the petition again with thousands more signatures to an EU representative at the Vigil on 10th October when we will be marking our 7th anniversary of campaigning outside Zimbabwe House for human rights.  

On that day we will have Mugabe and ‘first shopper’ Grace (or actors impersonating them) photographed outside Harrods and subsequently taking their newly-bought handbags and heels to the Embassy. SADC High Commissioners in London will be invited to witness the shopping expedition and kiss the shoes and stick their hands into the bags. 

On a lovely late summer day, bright and warm, the Vigil gave a thunderous answer to SADC ‘To save Zimbabwe, Mugabe must go’.  

Some other points:
1.       The Vigil’s congratulations to Governor Gono on taking occupation of his 112 room Harare mansion with its 3 helipads. Amazing what they pay civil servants in Zimbabwe
.
2.      
Our views on SADC echo those of Cathy Buckle and Tanonoka Whande (http://www1.zimbabwesituation.com/sep13_2009.html#Z14, http://www.swradioafrica.com/pages/heart100909.htm).          
3.       We were glad to see Cloudy Muhamba. He had been coming to the Vigil and suddenly disappeared. We later heard he had been imprisoned for working illegally. 
4.       The Vigil is often asked to support this or that cause. We want to state here again that our mission is to promote human rights in Zimbabwe and we cannot be deflected from this.
5.      
Following last week’s diary in which we mentioned being given a wad of Zimbabwean 100 trillion dollar notes we have had a request from The Zimbabwean newspaper to collect as many as we can for them to use for promotional purposes.  So we have stopped selling them and if anyone can give us more the Zimbabwean will use them to good effect.
6.       Thanks to Phakama Simozo and Priscilla Kwembeya who were first at the Vigil to set up. They helped throughout and were there at the end to help clear up. The Vigil is dependent on this type of support to keep going. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/ 

FOR THE RECORD:   127 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·         ROHR (Anniversary) National Fundraising Party. Saturday 26th September from 12 noon to late. Venue: The Portland Pavilion, 241 Portland Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B17 8LS. Admission: £10 (includes food). Contacts: V J Mujeye 07534 034 594, Abigail Nzimba 07838 073 111, Diane Mutendereki 07502 478 591. For information on directions: 0121 434 5130. ROHR is looking for male and female models with their own African clothing for a fashion show at this fundraiser.  All ages and sizes welcome. Those interested please contact: Pamela Dunduru 07553253639, Diana Mtendereki 07502478591, Pauline Makuwere 07533332306, Martha Jiya 07727016098, Abigail Nzimba 07838073111 or Paradzai Mapfumo
07915926323-07932216070. Event poster: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/3907390469/sizes/o/
·         Zimbabwe Worship Service. Sunday 27th September from 10.30 – 12.00 followed by Zimbabwean food from 12 – 3 pm. Venue: Elim Christian Centre, Dews Road, Salisbury SP2 7SN. Zimbabwean speaker. Contact: Adrian Smale, 01722 770024, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , www.elimsalisbury.org.uk.
·         Zimbabwe Vigil – 7th Anniversary. Saturday 10th October at 6.30 pm.  The Vigil started on 12th October 2002 and we are marking this anniversary on the nearest Saturday to that date.  There will be a social gathering after the Vigil, downstairs at the Bell and Compass, 9-11 Villiers Street, London WC2N 6NA, next to Charing Cross Station at the corner of Villiers Street and John Adam Street.
·         ROHR West Bromwich general meeting. Saturday 31st October from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall
Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF. ROHR Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo 07817096594 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 0793221607
·         Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park
. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays).
·         From Liberator to Dictator by Mike Auret. This is a personal account of the unravelling of Zimbabwe, written by an insider who was prepared to keep faith with Robert Mugabe until it was almost too late. Michael Auret served for many years on Zimbabwe's respected Catholic Commission of Justice and Peace, which worked tirelessly to defend human rights in that country. In this memoir, he traces his involvement in the politics of his country, from his days as an opposition MP in Ian Smith's Rhodesia
to his involvement with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and his election as MP for Harare Central in the brutal election of 2000. http://www.newafricabooks.co.za/books_detail.asp?ID=499. 
·         Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. Further information: http://www.citizensforsanctuary.org.uk/pages/Strategic.html or contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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