Vigil Diary 05-07-2008 PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 05 July 2008 20:25
A big crowd attended the Vigil to launch our new petition calling on FIFA to move the World Cup from South Africa in 2010. It reads: “ 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.”

People queued up to sign the petition, showing the same support as they have for our other petition, which calls for aid to SADC governments to be suspended because of their failure to hold Mugabe to account. For example we do not see why British taxpayers should give the Malawi government more than sixty million pounds a year when it supports Mugabe. We suggest that Malawi asks him for the money. We want the aid that the UK and other countries are giving to SADC to be used instead to pay for refugee camps in the countries bordering Zimbabwe so that those forced to flee the country can find food and medical attention in safety.

We were joined by the Reverend Canon Nicholas Sagovsky of Westminster Abbey who invited us to a service ‘Restore Zimbabwe' led by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, on Friday 11 th July at 12 noon at St Margaret's Church, Parliament Square , Westminster . It will be followed by a rally ‘ Free UK Zimbabweans from Limbo!' at 1.30 and a walk to the nearby Home Office (Ministry of Internal Affairs). The event is being organised by the group ‘Strangers into Citizens' who are calling on the Home Office to allow Zimbabwean asylum seekers in the UK to be able to work and have access to training ( ).

People might have the impression that the British are united in their attitude to Zimbabwe but we must draw attention to the latest edition (30 th June) of the best-selling black newspaper in the UK , ‘New Nation'. The front page lead was “Second War of Liberation. Black Brits ready to fight for Mugabe against Western Military”. Website: . The Mugabe people are out in force in the UK and their propaganda is quite effective, particularly among the Afro-Caribbean community. However we are pleased to note that a pan-African campaign has been launched calling for vigils outside Zimbabwean Embassies continent-wide next Saturday.

We welcomed the Zimbabwean actress Ulla Mahaka and her partner Mike Auret (son of Mike Auret, the former MDC MP). They live in the UK but say their votes were hijacked in the election. Ulla's uncle Gideon Mahaka was a well-known fighter in the liberation war and her father, Solomon, was an ambassador. Ulla was one of the star s of the film “Flame” about two young female liberation fighters. Many at the Vigil recognised her.

We were sorry to hear from supporter Pauline Mushangwe that her uncle has died after being severely beaten by Zanu-PF thugs in Masvingo. He had head wounds which were not treated. We were impressed that Irene Muswaka, a faithful supporter, came to the Vigil fresh from hospital after an operation yesterday.

We have been asked by another supporter to join in collective thought and prayer at 12 noon UK time on Monday 7 th July (the anniversary of the London bombings) for a minute to focus on the eradication of terror in Zimbabwe and the restoration of peace.

FOR THE RECORD: 161 signed the register.


•  ‘Restore Zimbabwe ' Service and ‘Free UK Zimbabweans from Limbo!' Rally and Walk. Friday 11 th July from 11.30 am – 2.30 pm. 12 noon : service at St Margaret's Church, Parliament Square , Westminster led by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu. 1.30 pm : rally ‘ Free UK Zimbabweans from Limbo!' at 1.30 and a walk to the Home Office. The event is being organised by the group ‘Strangers into Citizens' who are calling on the Home Office to allow Zimbabwean asylum seekers in the UK to be able to work and have access to training. .

•  Shona / Ndebele Mass in Southwark. Sunday 13 th July at 6.30 pm , Southwark Cathedral will be holding a special Eucharist for the Zimbabwean community in the Shona and Ndebele languages with a Zimbabwean choir.

•  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).


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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.