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Police State – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 24th August 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 25 August 2019 10:21

Within days of President Mnangagwa lecturing the West about how ‘the rule of law is sacrosanct’ in Zimbabwe, the police in Harare arrested representatives of rural teachers for trying peacefully to present a petition to the Finance Ministry complaining about their poor pay.

Also arrested was their legal representative Doug Coltart who was thrown on the ground, kicked and handcuffed by riot police. His father David Coltart, a leading opposition figure and former cabinet minister, said ‘only police states detain and assault lawyers for representing their clients’.

President Mnangagwa’s comment – a virtuoso demonstration of hypocrisy – was part of the angry government response to Western condemnation of the suppression of opposition demonstrations over the deteriorating economic situation.

The European Union, as well as representatives from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Sweden and Romania individually, together with the United States, Canada and Australia, called on the Zimbabwean authorities to respect the constitutional right to freedom of assembly and ‘to peacefully demonstrate and petition’.

Meanwhile the popular comedian Gonyeti was abducted, beaten, stripped and made to drink sewage by masked gunmen after making a joke about police brutality.

The writer Petina Gappah has now had enough of the Mnangagwa regime and has resigned from the trade and investment role she was given when ‘the new dispensation’ was announced at the end of 2017.

Dr Gappah, who previously worked for the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, accused the Zanu PF leader’s close lieutenants of pursuing personal wealth accumulation at the expense of genuine reforms to turn around the country’s fortunes.

Other points

  • A comment article in the UK Times newspaper is headlined ‘Zimbabwe’s hope is devoured by the Crocodile’. The article by Ian Birrell puts the boot into the British Foreign Office,to asserting ‘Britain’s complicity in backing another tyrant to replace Mugabe has betrayed a suffering people’. You can read the article on our campaigns page: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1031-zimbabwes-hope-is-devoured-by-the-crocodile.
  • More congratulations to those who raised funds from their sponsors for the fundraising walk on 27 July: Abigail Chidavaenzi £240.25 (this in addition to £483 already contributed making a total of £723.25), Pamela Chirimuta £40 and Josephine Jombe £76.
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Josephine Jombe, Alice Majola, Dambudzo Marimira, Lucia Mudzimu, Hazvinei Saili and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Alice, Josephine and Chido Makawa for looking after the front table, to Hazvinei and Heather Makawa for handing out flyers, to Dambudzo for drumming and to Hazvinei and Heather for photos.
  • 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: 11 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Beach Barbecue. Sunday 25th August. Venue: Frinton-on-Sea, Essex CO13 9DN. Tickets: adults £20, Kids £10. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Heather Makawa 07716391800, Esther Munyira 07492058109 and Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
  • ROHR Reading branch outreach and general meeting. Saturday 21st September. Community outreach from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Broad Street, Reading. Awareness campaign on deteriorating human rights in Zimbabwe. General meeting from 2-5pm: Venue: The RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. Contact Nicodimus 07877386792, Josephine 07455166668, Shylette 07828929806, Josh 07877246251.
  • 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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Police State – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 24th August 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 25 August 2019 10:12
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Within days of President Mnangagwa lecturing the West about how ‘the rule of law is sacrosanct’ in Zimbabwe, the police in Harare arrested representatives of rural teachers for trying peacefully to present a petition to the Finance Ministry complaining about their poor pay.

 

Also arrested was their legal representative Doug Coltart who was thrown on the ground, kicked and handcuffed by riot police. His father David Coltart, a leading opposition figure and former cabinet minister, said ‘only police states detain and assault lawyers for representing their clients’.

 

President Mnangagwa’s comment – a virtuoso demonstration of hypocrisy – was part of the angry government response to Western condemnation of the suppression of opposition demonstrations over the deteriorating economic situation.

 

The European Union, as well as representatives from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Sweden and Romania individually, together with the United States, Canada and Australia, called on the Zimbabwean authorities to respect the constitutional right to freedom of assembly and ‘to peacefully demonstrate and petition’.

 

Meanwhile the popular comedian Gonyeti was abducted, beaten, stripped and made to drink sewage by masked gunmen after making a joke about police brutality.

 

The writer Petina Gappah has now had enough of the Mnangagwa regime and has resigned from the trade and investment role she was given when ‘the new dispensation’ was announced at the end of 2017.

 

Dr Gappah, who previously worked for the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, accused the Zanu PF leader’s close lieutenants of pursuing personal wealth accumulation at the expense of genuine reforms to turn around the country’s fortunes.

 

Other points

  • A comment article in the UK Times newspaper is headlined ‘Zimbabwe’s hope is devoured by the Crocodile’. The article by Ian Birrell puts the boot into the British Foreign Office,to asserting ‘Britain’s complicity in backing another tyrant to replace Mugabe has betrayed a suffering people’. You can read the article on our campaigns page: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1031-zimbabwes-hope-is-devoured-by-the-crocodile.
  • More congratulations to those who raised funds from their sponsors for the fundraising walk on 27 July: Abigail Chidavaenzi £240.25 (this in addition to £483 already contributed making a total of £723.25), Pamela Chirimuta £40 and Josephine Jombe £76.
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Josephine Jombe, Alice Majola, Dambudzo Marimira, Lucia Mudzimu, Hazvinei Saili and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Alice, Josephine and Chido Makawa for looking after the front table, to Hazvinei and Heather Makawa for handing out flyers, to Dambudzo for drumming and to Hazvinei and Heather for photos.
  • 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: 11 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Beach Barbecue. Sunday 25th August. Venue: Frinton-on-Sea, Essex CO13 9DN. Tickets: adults £20, Kids £10. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Heather Makawa 07716391800, Esther Munyira 07492058109 and Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
  • ROHR Reading branch outreach and general meeting. Saturday 21st September. Community outreach from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Broad Street, Reading. Awareness campaign on deteriorating human rights in Zimbabwe. General meeting from 2-5pm: Venue: The RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. Contact Nicodimus 07877386792, Josephine 07455166668, Shylette 07828929806, Josh 07877246251.
  • 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
 
Zimbabwe’s hope is devoured by the Crocodile PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 25 August 2019 09:37

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/zimbabwes-hope-is-devoured-by-the-crocodile-329b2sp7w

IAN BIRRELL 22 August 2019

Britain’s complicity in backing another tyrant to replace Mugabe has betrayed a suffering people.

A friend of mine went to the supermarket near her home in Harare at the weekend and bought six cartons of milk, a bunch of bananas and bones for her dog. Then she braced herself for the six-hour queue at the petrol pumps and went to fill up the family saloon. By the time she arrived home, this simple excursion had cost her close to the typical monthly salary of a mid-level civil servant in Zimbabwe. “And you know what,” she added. “I’m so embarrassed since I know most of the cashiers can’t afford to shop at their store.”

Once again, this beautiful but blighted nation is in crisis. One doctor told me there were no drugs in her hospital. There is no water most of the time, the electricity cuts off 18 hours a day and many families are going hungry. A western businessman, fighting to keep his company afloat when there is no power to run his plant, no fuel to transport goods and no cash to pay staff, said one in 12 of his employees had fled the country in recent weeks. “Good luck to them,” he said ruefully. “This is the worst it has been here for more than a decade.”

How quickly that burst of optimism after the overthrow of Robert Mugabe two years ago has turned to despair. When security chiefs engineered a coup, they promised things would change after 37 years of repression, rampant corruption and gross economic ineptitude that led to the second-worst hyperinflation in history. His hands may have been stained in blood as Mugabe’s former enforcer but Emmerson Mnangagwa, the new president, declared Zimbabwe was “open for business” after taking power.

Never mind his nickname, the Crocodile, nor the shooting of citizens when an election result was delayed amid claims of fraud and voter intimidation. Mnangagwa wooed gullible foreign politicians, wore the scarf in national colours adopted by pro-democracy activists, hired public relations people to polish his image and turned up at Davos to hobnob with the global elite.

“I am working toward building a new Zimbabwe: a country with a thriving and open economy, jobs for its youth, opportunities for investors, and democracy and equal rights for all,” he claimed as he pledged reform and promised freedoms. 

But while the 95-year-old Mugabe lies sick in a Singaporean hospital, darkness has again descended on the country he helped free from British colonial rule in 1980. Rival factions in the ruling Zanu (PF) party bicker like balding men over a comb, among them allies of “Gucci” Grace, the loathed former first lady once accused of trying to poison the ruthless Mnangagwa with ice cream from her stolen dairy farm. Inflation is rocketing again, estimated to be running at 500 per cent annually, while critics are charged with sedition, activists tortured and demonstrations over a deteriorating economy are met with brutal force by baton-wielding security goons.

One United Nations agency says that within months almost half the 17 million population might struggle to eat a single meal a day in a country once called Africa’s breadbasket. The government blames drought. But the big issue is, yet again, blundering by a despotic regime focused more on plundering wealth than helping its people, symbolised by its dismal efforts to shore up the crashing new Zimdollar currency with foreign currency banned two months ago. “It is not like before when there was no food in the shops,” one Harare resident said. “Now there is plenty of food but no money to buy it. It feels surreal, more uncertain than ever.”

Many Zimbabweans are dismayed by the speed of this latest decline. But despite joyful celebrations over the November 2017 coup that ousted “the old man”, there should be no surprise over the failure to deliver a better future when the same old Zanu (PF) faces are seen in charge of their country.

Britain has joined the European Union and United States in speaking out against the human rights abuses. To our shame, however, few outsiders were more complicit in cheering on the coup and promoting Mnangagwa’s cause than British officials in their desperation to regain influence.

Three years ago our diplomats backed an attempt to bail out Mugabe’s government, to the fury of Washington, with one key player confirming to me their involvement in a misguided effort to impose monetary stability. Opposition figures believe Britain went on to back Mnangagwa actively and assist his cosmetic makeover into a reformer.

After the new president’s first 150 days in office, Boris Johnson as foreign secretary praised Zimbabwe’s “impressive progress”. One local source said a British diplomat apologised this year for their supportive stance after 17 people were killed, 16 raped and 900 arrested during a crackdown on fuel price protests.

Mnangagwa, who is 76, was linked to the worst excesses of the Mugabe era, with a history of crushing dissent despite his sudden pose as a democrat. Yet once again, Britain fell for the arrogant delusion that autocrats are a safer bet than democracy in turbulent places — just as in so many other African and Middle Eastern nations, from Egypt and Saudi Arabia through to Rwanda and Uganda. Now we see the legacy of such stupidity as Zimbabwe disintegrates, its people suffer more distress and the Crocodile devours any lingering hopes of change.

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Constitution ignored – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 17th August 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 19 August 2019 06:18

The Zimbabwe government has made it clear that the much vaunted new constitution counts for nothing. The MDC fulfilled the legal requirement to inform the police before Friday’s demonstration in Harare but the government nevertheless banned it at the last minute. 

As usual, peaceful people were beaten and tear-gassed by the police for their temerity in protesting against the government. Among them were women singing protest songs. One helpless protester was repeatedly kicked. But they escaped comparatively lightly considering that half a dozen human rights activists had earlier been abducted and tortured. 

Interestingly, the government blamed the abductions on CIO agents loyal to Mugabe – just as they blamed the Harare killings by soldiers in January on people who had ‘stolen’ military uniforms.

This time the MDC was forewarned by wild police allegations that the opposition was planning violence and they finally called off the protest to save unnecessary bloodshed.

But the damage to the government’s reputation is inestimable. The UN human rights office said the government should heed the people’s legitimate grievances over the economic situation and stop cracking down on protesters.

Who is going to take seriously Zimbabwe’s ‘open for business’ message when the constitutional rights of the people are trampled underfoot like this? Even Mugabe is so disaffected that he says he doesn’t want to be buried in Heroes’ Acre, prompting Mnangagwa to immediately send a delegation to Singapore to warn Mugabe that he had no option but to accept the badge of shame. 

Heroes’ Acre badly needs Mugabe – and, for that matter, Mnangagwa and the rest of the Zanu PF leadership. As it is, hardly anyone bothered to go to the annual ceremony there on Monday.

Like Disneyland, it needs some new attractions. Fill up Heroes’ Acre as soon as possible.

Other points

  • A large group of Zimbabweans including Vigil activists joined an MDC demonstration outside the Embassy on Friday.
  • More congratulations to those who raised funds from their sponsors for the fundraising walk on 27 July: Abigail Chidavaenzi £483, Simbarashe Jingo £100, Alice Majola £10, Tatenda Mandiki £65 (in addition to £64 he has already contributed), Dambudzo Marimira £245, Patricia Masamba £110, Tarisai Matambanadzo £10, Esther Munyira £100 and Sikhumbuzule Sibanda £100. A special thank you to Esther Munyira for her hard work in collecting and accounting for all the contributions.
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Nathan Chiyanja, Beaulah Gore, Alice Majola, Netsayi Makarichi, Tatenda Mandiki, Dambudzo Marimira, Nyarai Masvosva, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Mary Muteyerwa, Farai Mutumburi, Tsitsi Nyirongo, Hazvinei Saili and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Margaret Munenge and Joice for looking after the front table, to Farai, Nyarai, Hazvinei and Netsayi for handing out flyers, to Mary for drumming and to Tatenda, Netsayi and Tapiwa Muskwe for photos.
  • 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: 20 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Beach Barbecue. Sunday 25th August. Venue: Frinton-on-Sea, Essex CO13 9DN. Tickets: adults £20, Kids £10. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Heather Makawa 07716391800, Esther Munyira 07492058109 and Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
  • 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:
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Don’t shoot on Friday – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 10th August 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 11 August 2019 15:32

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/48505766712/sizes/m/

The Vigil demonstrated on Saturday against the failure of the government to implement the recommendations of the Motlanthe Commission of Inquiry into the army’s murder of unarmed civilians during a demonstration in Harare last August.

Outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London activists carried placards reading: ‘No to shooting of unarmed civilians’, ‘No to army brutality in Zimbabwe’, ‘Jail killer troops’, ‘Compensate army victims’, ‘The people are not the enemy’, ‘The army is the enemy of the people’ and ‘Protest against Zimbabwe army violence’.

The violent suppression of the anti-government protests last August and again in January have not stopped the situation in the country continuing to deteriorate with millions facing starvation. Some of this is, of course, attributable to drought and climate change but the government must bear full responsibility for its disastrous handling of the economy, which has created a widespread feeling of hopelessness among a people driven to desperation. In one tragic case, a  woman is said to have killed her two young children and committed suicide.

Mnangagwa has refused to talk to opposition leader Nelson Chamisa who has called for a demonstration on Friday. In the unlikely event that permission for the demonstration is granted the government would be wise to keep troops in the barracks. It is the job of the police to deal with demonstrations and any over-reaction would be disastrous.

The West is fast losing patience with the Zimbabwe government although it is pouring in millions of dollars to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis. Perhaps China will also contribute something although further government to government loans from Beijing are unlikely. A Chinese bank has even put Zimbabwe on its sanctions list for non-repayment of debts (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/top-chinese-bank-places-zimbabwe-on-sanctions-list/).

How’s that for irony: ‘All-weather friend China joins in “illegal” sanctions’ causing Zimbabwe’s crisis! ‘

Other points

  • The Vigil hailed as a breath of fresh air the election on a reform agenda of Tanzanian President Magufuli in 2015 (see diary of 28/11/2015: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/738-ugly-budget--zimbabwe-vigil-diary-28th-november-2015). Coming to power he cancelled independence day celebrations and embarked on a clean-up campaign. We are sad to say we have been proved wrong. Magafuli has now turned out to be just another dictator (see: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/mood-darkens-in-tanzania-as-magufuli-silences-his-critics-l7x6vwc8l).
  • More congratulations to those who raised funds from their sponsors for the fundraising walk on 27 July: Marvellous Chinguwa £55, Shylette Chipangura £52.50, Beaulah Gore £50, Isabell Gwatidzo £20, Deborah Harry £50, Tatenda Mandiki £64, Charles Marirakwenda £20, Cephas Maswoswa £155, Joice Mbairatsunga £148, Margaret Munenge £40.20, Tapiwa Muskwe £14.40 and Sinikiwe Sigola £50.
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Marvellous Chinguwa, Isabell Gwatidzo, Deborah Harry, Charles Mararirakwenda, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Esther Munyira, Farai Mutumburi and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Marvellous and Tarisai Matambanadzo for looking after the front table, to Farai, Isabell and Nyarai Masvosva for handing out flyers and to Isabell and Deborah Harry for photos.
  • 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: 17 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Beach Barbecue. Sunday 25th August. Venue: Frinton-on-Sea, Essex CO13 9DN. Tickets: adults £20, Kids £10. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Heather Makawa 07716391800, Esther Munyira 07492058109 and Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
  • 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:
LAST_UPDATED2
 
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