Vigil Diary 12-07-2008 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 12 July 2008 20:19
A subdued star t to the Vigil while people digested the news that the Russians and Chinese had vetoed UN action on Zimbabwe . We had on display a photograph of the burned, mutilated body of MDC activist Joshua Bakacheza. It is a shocking sight but we wanted to shock. It was the photograph shown by Gordon Brown at the G8 meting in Japan to jolt world leaders into adopting new measures against Mugabe. Mr Brown hadn't reckoned on the duplicity of the Russians and the cynicism of the Chinese. Next week we will display a different picture of Mr Bakacheza – this time with the caption “The UN Security Council does not care”. Some comfort came from a Chinese passer-by who asked us what he could do to help. He stressed he was not from mainland China but from Taiwan . Perhaps we will ask him to write to the Chinese government with a message that they already hold the genocide record and perhaps they should give this particular race a miss at the Olympics this time.

Our mood was cheered by the appearance of a spry old man with a lapel badge saying “I am 90 today”. He was pulled into the Vigil and we all sang ‘Happy Birthday'. In return he gave us his recipe for a long life ‘'a packet of cigarettes a day but no alcohol!” Another visitor pulled into the eye of the dancing was the Reverend Canon Nicholas Sagovsky from Westminster Abbey. He dropped by to thank us for our contribution to Friday's Zimbabwe service at St Margaret's, Parliament Square , Westminster .

We have had a positive reaction to our latest petition “ A Petition to the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA). With the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe and the likelihood of unrest spreading to South Africa we call upon FIFA to move the 2010 World Cup from South Africa to a safer venue. By the time the World Cup takes place President Mbeki's support of the Mugabe regime will have made the whole region unsafe because millions more refugees will flee Zimbabwe prompting further xenophobic violence in neighbouring countries. FIFA must ensure that World Cup teams and their supporters are not endangered.”

We know how painful it would be for Africa to have the world cup moved but South Africa is our only hope for change and we must use every method we can to persuade them to help us.

A group in Washington DC are planning to hold a demonstration in front of the White House on 26 th July and have asked us to copy this petition to them. Others have asked us to post it up as an online petition. We are grateful for the support but our policy is to have paper petitions personally signed. We may not get millions of signatures but we have interacted with every person who has signed. Well over 100.000 people signed our failed petition to the UN. Other people are welcome to set up an online petition.

FOR THE RECORD: 135 signed the register.


•  Next Glasgow Vigil . Saturday 19 th July, 2 – 6 pm Venue: Argyle Street Precinct. For more information contact: Ancilla Chifamba , 07770 291 150, Patrick Dzimba, 07990 724 137 or Jonathan Chireka, 07504 724 471. 

•  Zimbabwe Association's Women's Weekly Drop-in Centre . Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: T he 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).


How can you help?

The Zimbabwe Vigil exists entirely on donations from the public and well wishers. You can help us by donating via a deposit into our account Thank you.