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London Protest at Zimbabwe Repression PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 19 January 2019 23:04

Zimbabwe Vigil press release – 17th January 2019

London Protest at Zimbabwe Repression

Britain has condemned the brutal repression of anti-government protesters in Zimbabwe and called for restraint by security forces.

The Minister for Africa Harriett Baldwin said the use of live ammunition was ‘deeply concerning and disproportionate’. She added that the Zimbabwean government must learn lessons from the post-election violence last year and implement the recommendations of the subsequent commission of inquiry.

Zimbabwean exiles are to demonstrate outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London on Saturday, 19th January, in protest at the violence during a three-day work stayaway following an announcement by President Mnangagwa last weekend that fuel prices were being more than doubled.

Details of the widespread violence have leaked out despite internet and social media accounts being blocked. Zimbabwe’s largest telecommunications company Econet told customers it had shut off internet access at the government’s request.

Amnesty International said eight civilians are believed to have been shot dead in clashes with the security forces and a doctors’ group said it had treated 68 people for gunshot wounds and many others for injuries from beatings.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said hundreds of people had been arrested, including Pastor Evan Mawarire, leader of the #ThisFlag movement, who was accused of inciting violence.

The MDC said Zanu PF supporters had thrown petrol bombs at its Harare headquarters. In Bulawayo the Mthwakazi Republic Party said that its secretary was in a critical condition after being shot in the head in front of his children after accusing security officials of heavy-handedness in the protests.

For his part, President Mnangagwa, who is continuing another tour overseas trying to raise money, said: ‘What we have witnessed is violence and vandalism instead of peaceful protests’.

Africa Minister Baldwin expressed her concern to the Zimbabwean Ambassador and said Britain would continue to put pressure on Zimbabwe to uphold the rule of law and human rights.

Zimbabwe Vigil activists will be outside the Embassy from 12 noon to 6 pm in solidarity with victims of violence and to draw attention to the worsening situation in Zimbabwe.

For more information: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Rose Benton 07970996003 and Patricia Masamba 07708116625.

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Mnangagwa open for tyranny PDF Print E-mail
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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
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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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Zimbabwe Vigil Media Release: 19th April 2018 PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 19 April 2018 18:33

Grotesque Charade in London 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/26676653847/sizes/m/

Zimbabwe’s military regime was embraced in the UK while back home Vice-President General Chiwenga sacked all nurses in government hospitals for demanding a living wage. See: https://zwnews.com/vp-chiwenga-pointing-at-ed-mnagagwa-independence-day/.

Vigil activists were outside the Embassy in London on Independence Day when the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister General Sibusiso Moyo was present at a reception. The Embassy called the police who were happy to let our protest continue as long as we didn’t block the Embassy doorway.

The Vigil distributed the following leaflet: 

‘Lipstick on a pig’

 Exiled Zimbabweans welcomed the ousting of Robert Mugabe in the military coup last November. But the Zimbabwe Vigil cautions against prematurely embracing the new regime represented here by Lieutenant General Moyo, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

General Moyo is fresh from what the regime’s newspaper calls ‘a charm offensive’ in New York, where he parroted President Mnangagwa’s mantra that Zimbabwe is ‘open for business’. General Moyo said that, apart from economic reforms, the regime is undertaking ‘serious agreed political reforms’.

The Vigil has seen no sign of these and suggests that you would be wise to see whether the forthcoming elections are accepted as free, fair and credible.

Here’s what the Zimbabwean academic Dr Nkululeko Sibanda, Professor of International Relations at the University of Huddersfield, has to say: ‘No country develops out of putting a begging bowl for the rest of the world to donate to. He must develop the conditions of the economy on the ground, the fundamentals of the economy. In terms of the elections, I think it’s a serious challenge and it would seem as though the government is trying to put lipstick on a pig and hoping that it will look like something beautiful to marry. It is not.

'If they are serious about free and fair elections, they must forthwith make available a voters’ roll that can be inspected by any member of the public, at any particular moment, either for a fee or no fee at all. Failure of that, the election is just going to be a joke and will only be believed by those who are desperate to believe the ED (Mnangagwa) government.’

In our 16th year of protesting outside the Embassy it was interesting to see several of our former supporters joining the queue for the Embassy reception. 

Vigil supporters were on the street again today, Thursday, to support Action for Southern Africa’s protest against oppression in Swaziland outside the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Pall Mall.

Pall Mall was alive with activity – 4 other protests were going on at the same time:  for Biafra, Barbuda and Sri Lanka as well as an LGBT group demanding that anti-LGBT laws should be abolished in the Commonwealth.

For photos of the protests, check: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157667947920628 and https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157695111977404.  

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Longer Saturday Vigil - 25/11/2017 PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 24 November 2017 14:09

The first post-Mugabe Saturday Vigil will be held tomorrow from noon until 6 pm or later.

As many as a thousand people attended last Saturday’s Vigil. Activists gathered again outside the Embassy on Tuesday when Mugabe resigned. The Vigil returned to the Embassy on Wednesday from 8 am to past 6 pm when we made it clear that our protests would continue until there is democracy in Zimbabwe. 

At his inauguration today Mnangagwa spoke of democracy but he has also made clear his overriding allegiance to Zanu PF so we remain sceptical about his intentions. He did, however, promise to hold next year’s elections as planned.

With this in mind, here is the new petition we will be running from tomorrow:

 

Petition to UK Africa Minister Rory Stewart

Zimbabwean exiles and supporters welcome your visit to Zimbabwe and believe the UK has much to contribute to the country.

The euphoria over the removal of the Mugabes has given way to realisation that nothing else has changed. The new leader Emmerson Mnangagwa spoke of democracy but also made clear his overriding allegiance to Zanu PF, which has repeatedly shown it does not believe in democracy.

We urge you to insist on free and fair elections in Zimbabwe to determine the will of the people before the UK offers support to Mnangagwa. In particular, we stress the importance of the following:

1.     New voters’ roll and an independent election commission

2.    Diaspora vote

3.     Participation of Western election observers

4.     Opposition access to state radio and television

5.     Police reform and the disbanding of the Central Intelligence Organisation

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