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British MP says elections rigged – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 18th August 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 19 August 2018 13:26

The British MP Kate Hoey, one of the observers at the Zimbabwe elections, says the international community should not accept the result. She said: ‘the UK government must take a lead to ensure that the Zimbabwean government is seen for what it is: a mark 2 Mugabe regime and one that deserves no support whatsoever.’

Ms Hoey’s voice carries extra weight because she is the long-time chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Committee on Zimbabwe.

She said elections in Zimbabwe since 2002 had been both violent and rigged. ‘Without doubt the election has been cleverly rigged but even worse is the fact that it is the military that is behind the regime and they are now unleashing a similar fear and terror campaign on leading opposition activists and curbing all protests by killing and arresting innocent Zimbabweans.’ (See: http://www.allnetafrica.com/2018/08/11/u-k-not -recognise-zimbabwe-election-result-kate-hoey/).

Ms Hoey’s comments will not be welcomed by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office which has been eviscerated by the Economist’s Africa editor Xan Smiley in an article in the weekly magazine the Spectator. He says Mnangagwa will almost certainly be given the benefit of the doubt by the British government (see: https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/08/britain-should-spend-more-on-diplomacy-in-africa-and-less-on-aid/).

With the constitutional court due to hear the MDC’s rigging complaint on Wednesday, the Vigil can’t be optimistic. We share the mood eloquently captured by the Zimbabwean writer, Cathy Buckle who writes: ‘It was the words of the Southern African correspondent for the Financial Times, Joseph Cotterill, who best summed up the current, tragic irony of Zimbabwe when he tweeted on 3rd August: “On Wednesday I had a soldier raise his AK at me and threaten to shoot; on Friday a riot policeman moved to shove me with his shield. …I’m sensing you’d be absolutely f****** crazy to come and invest here. It’s just a hunch.”’ (See: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/selfies-with-soldiers-no-one-shot-at-us-then/.)

Zimbabwe, desperate for foreign investment, is facing a grave solvency crisis according to Newsday. It says the government had a budget deficit last year of $2.6 billion – about 59% more than it collected in revenue (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2018/08/govt-in-deep-sovereign-crisis/).

Other points

  • The Zimbabwean human rights campaigner Ben Freeth says the key to understanding why Zanu PF keep winning elections lies in the deep fear the party inspires in the rural areas (see: http://www.politicsweb.co.za/opinion/zimbabwe-elections-why-zanupf-keeps-on-winning).
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up the table and put up the banners: Viola Chihota, Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Alice Majola, Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa, Margaret Munenge, Beverley Mutandiro, Sipho Ndlovu, Jennifer Senzere and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks also to Josephine, Alice, Margaret and Chido for looking after the front table, to Heather and Viola for handing out flyers, to Jonathan and Heather for taking pictures and Beverley, Sipho and Chido for drumming and leading the singing.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 23 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR beach barbecue. Monday, 27th August. Venue: Frinton Beach CO13 9DN. Food and transport provided. Bring your own drinks. Tickets: £20 adults, £5 children. For more information, contact: Daizy 07708653640, Max 07397809056 and Esther 07492058107.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 1st September from 11 am. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 15th September 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 http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • Mike Campbell Foundation – Zimbabwe: rising from the ruins? Tuesday 9th October from 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6 .30 pm). Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. Speakers include: Kate Hoey MP (Chair), Ben Freeth MBE, Fergal Keane OBE, Archbishop Sentamu, Chief Felix Ndiweni and Gift Konjana. To book, visit: https://event.bookitbee.com/18402/my-first-event-1347?preview=y
  • 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.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • 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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Strangled by his own scarf – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 11th August 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 12 August 2018 16:31

With the new Zanu PF regime pulling in different directions, there is a growing belief that it is the army that is now in charge in Zimbabwe – and that it is ready to pull the trigger at any provocation. 

Whatever the outcome of the MDC’s legal challenge to the microscopic lead declared for Mnangagwa in the presidential election, the army is considered unlikely to allow a handover of power.

The chair of the British all-party parliamentary committee on Zimbabwe, Kate Hoey MP, has called for the dismissal of the Vice-President, General Chiwenga. Ms Hoey, who has been observing the elections, urged the West not to soften its policy towards Zimbabwe in the light of the bloody scenes in Harare.

The Americans, for their part, have been equally outspoken, alarmed by the violence and the treatment of the MDC’s Tendai Biti, illegally bundled out of Zambia, where he had appealed for political asylum.

Is it not strange at this juncture that General Chiwenga has flown to Moscow on a ‘special mission’ to deliver a message to President Putin? What could that be – except help!

Meanwhile Mnangagwa, in an interview with the British Daily Telegraph blames it all on the NGOs and the trouble-making independent press. No doubt he is supported by his fellow travellers in the gutless Southern African Development Community where the Zanu PF virus is increasingly poisoning their own politics. 

Thanks to those who came early to help set up the table and put up the banners: Viola Chihota, Enniah Dube, Jonathan Kariwo, Marian Machekanyanga, Patricia Masamba, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Esther Munyira ,Sipho Ndlovu and EphraimTapa. Thanks also to Marian, Patricia and Enniah for looking after the front table and to Enniah, Joyce and Viola for handing out flyers.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 14 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 18th August from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. Contact: Daizy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • ROHR beach barbecue. Monday, 27th August. Venue: Frinton Beach CO13 9DN. Food and transport provided. Bring your own drinks. Tickets: £20 adults, £5 children. For more information, contact: Daizy 07708653640, Max 07397809056 and Esther 07492058107.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 1st September from 11 am. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
  • 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.
  • Mike Campbell Foundation – Zimbabwe: rising from the ruins? Tuesday 9th October from 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6 .30 pm). Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. Speakers include: Kate Hoey MP (Chair), Ben Freeth MBE, Fergal Keane OBE, Archbishop Sentamu, Chief Felix Ndiweni and Gift Konjana. To book, visit: https://event.bookitbee.com/18402/my-first-event-1347?preview=y
  • 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.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • 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
LAST_UPDATED2
 
Mnangagwa’s deadly ‘festival’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 4th August 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 05 August 2018 13:24

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/29977727858/sizes/m/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/42944072565/sizes/m/ 

Britain’s unctuous policy towards Zimbabwe has been embarrassed by tanks on the streets of Harare and civilians randomly gunned down by soldiers.

Among the dead was Sylvia Matambo Maphosa, aunt of Vigil activist Daizy Fabian, shot in the back on her way home from work. Daizy was at the Vigil today to speak to the media. She will be among Vigil representatives at a meeting at the Foreign Office on Monday at which we will express our opposition to Mnangagwa’s military regime. 

At least Daizy can speak openly in London. ZWnews.com says the family in Harare were visited by the military and told to keep quiet about it (see: https://zwnews.com/military-gags-shooting-victims-family/).

Mnangagwa described the elections as a ‘festival of unfettered freedom’ and a ‘celebration of democracy’. Some celebration . . . some democracy . . .

Apart, predictably from Zimbabwe’s compliant neighbours, most foreign observer missions, including the EU and Commonwealth, expressed reservations about the elections, which MDC President Chamisa described as a sham, although the independent Zimbabwe Election Support Network stopped short of backing this up.

But it certainly jarred to hear the US State Department blithely exhorting Zimbabweans to ‘show magnanimity in victory and graciousness in defeat’. (See: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-zimbabwe-election-usa/us-says-reviewing-results-of-zimbabwe-election-idUSKBN1KO2LO.) The Vigil had always regarded the US as one of the more scrupulous critics of the Zanu PF regime. Are they now adopting Mnangagwa’s ‘forgive and forget’ mantra?

The big question for the MDC was why it repeatedly takes part in elections it cannot win. It keeps threatening to boycott them and then, buoyed by popular support, leads its valiant supporters to yet another rigged election.

Rallies by Chamisa were packed out while Mnangagwa had to rely on the security forces to stop people leaving his. But Mnangagwa remained confident despite his lack of appeal. We know why. And so does everyone who understands how tyranny works: fixing the vote is now a well-established international practice (see our diary of 31/03/2018: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/931-snivelling-bullies-zimbabwe-vigil-diary-31st-march-2018).

How can you fight a party that has unlimited state funds, controls the state media, the electoral commission, the judiciary, the army and the police, which locks down people in the rural areas with intimidation, threats and bribes?

In last week’s diary we referred to an article by Zimbabwean political analyst Simukai Tinhu. He concluded: ‘If Chamsa takes part in the presidential election, he will have demonstrated that he has learnt nothing from his party’s previous bitter experiences.’ His article is worth another look (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/boycott-presidential-poll-chamisa/).

But Mnangagwa now faces a bigger problem: how is he to convince the world that he and not the army is in charge. The Vigil thinks that rampaging soldiers in Harare have revealed the truth. No amount of flamboyant Zimbabwean scarves will help rebrand his regime.

Other points

  • We were greeted by BBC reporters when we arrived at the Vigil. They filmed our protest against army brutality and the rigging of the elections and interviewed Daizy about the death of her aunt. Daizy can be heard on this link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bd6xzh for the next 29 days. Her interview is 17.50 minutes into the recording.
  • It was good to have Vigil founder members Bonny Adams and Dumi Tutani with us.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up by setting up the table and putting up the banners: Daizy Fabian, Julian and Jamie Fischer, Babula Gwatiringa, Jonathan Kariwo, Patricia Masamba, Cephas Maswoswa, Bianca Mpawaenda and Margaret Munenge. Thanks also to Bianca, Patricia and Margaret for looking after the front table and to Babula, Tawanda Chitate, Casper Nyamakura, Rosemary Maponga, Heather Makawa and 7-year-old Victor Munenge for handing out flyers. Thanks also to Heather for printing Vigil flyers and taking extra photos.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 49 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 18th August from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. Contact: Daizy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • ROHR beach barbecue. Monday, 27th August. Venue: Frinton Beach CO13 9DN. Food and transport provided. Bring your own drinks. Tickets: £20 adults, £5 children. For more information, contact: Daizy 07708653640, Max 07397809056 and Esther 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.
  • 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.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Facebook pages:
LAST_UPDATED2
 
Mnangagwa open for tyranny PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 03 August 2018 14:19

The Zimbabwe Vigil will be protesting against army brutality and the rigging of the elections in Zimbabwe from 2 – 5 pm on Saturday 4th August outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. We were shocked to hear from one of our key activists, Daizy Fabian, of the death of her aunt Sylvia Matambo Maphosa. She was shot dead in Harare on Wednesday. All she was doing was trying to get home. Daisy will be with us at the protest.

Sylvia Matambo Maphosa RIP – shot dead by the Zimbabwean army on Wednesday 1st August 2018

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Thumbs up to Chamisa in London – Zimbabwe Mock Election: 30th July 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 30 July 2018 21:23

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/43698156072/sizes/m/            

The Vigil held a mock ballot today outside the Zimbabwe Embassy to mirror the presidential election at home, interacting with passers-by who saw our banner ‘Free & Fair Credible Elections in Zimbabwe’.

We had four entries on our ballot form: Mnangagwa, Other, Chamisa and Khupe – mainly because the initials read MOCK but also to lampoon Zanu PF’s strategy to divide the opposition vote.

It was only to be expected that Mnangagwa and Chamisa paid us a visit. Everybody was keen to grab a mask and play a role. We were particularly grateful to poor old Mugabe who came complaining of his parsimonious pension and that the roof of his home was sagging. He was accompanied by Grace and they held up posters saying ‘Vote for Chamisa’ and ‘Down with Mnangagwa’.  

They were then seen in a tussle to wrestle the ballot box from Mnangagwa who was beating them off with his scarf.

The Vigil’s own electoral commission was led by Muzvare Betty Makoni (founder of the Girl Child Network) who with her team counted the votes. The result were as follows: Chamisa 52, Mnangagwa 4, Others 3, Dr Noah 1, Khupe 1 and spoiled papers 3. Chamisa had a landslide victory with 81% of the votes.

A special thank you to Patience Muyeye who arrived at 8 am. She was followed by other early birds: Yvonne Makombe and Rosemary Maponga, later augmented by Patricia Masamba and Esther Munyira.

For pictures check: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157698010685071.

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