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Bitter fruits – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 22nd April 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 23 April 2017 20:06

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/34203611685/sizes/m/ 

‘37 years of Zimbabwe Independence’ read one poster. ’37 years of Mugabe slavery’ read another. Exiles in the UK marked Zimbabwe’s national day with a mixture of anticipation and fear – the bitter fruits of ‘liberation’.

The fear was that – despite news of reconciliation between Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube – the opposition was facing an insurmountable obstacle posed by Zanu PF’s control of the election process. ‘The 2018 election results are already declared’, said former Finance Minister Tendai Biti at a meeting in Parliament in London. He said he could not support Tsvangirai and was in favour of a transitional authority to rescue the wreckage of Zimbabwe and prepare for real elections. He insisted that Mnangagwa – the favourite of the West – could play no prominent role in Zimbabwe’s future because of his bloodstained record.

The Vigil has already petitioned the UN to prepare for this to prevent chaos when Mugabe goes. But, as we expected, the UN has not responded. It seems gangster regimes can last forever. It is clear that until international television crews show emaciated bodies lying in the streets or slaughtered opposition members, the UN is content with how the Mugabe mafia is running the country. Indeed, they are prepared to prop it up with aid.

A snapshot of the situation in Zimbabwe was messaged to the Vigil today: ‘Special Appeal Zimbabweans in the Diaspora. Just arrived back from Zim a day ago from attending a family funeral and wld like to let u know that the Cash situation home is really bad. Pliz if u can remember your families back home - it's heartbreaking. Most Banks are giving only $20 a day as and when it's available. Everyone is encouraged to swipe their cards to pay for goods or fuel but there are instances when one needs cash where cards are not acceptable.  Most people spend hours or days going back & forth to the bank and only to get nothing at the end of the day. I broke down in tears whilst doing last minute shopping in one Big Supermarket to bring back and at every corner or aisle within the shop pple were begging for money / cash to just catch a kombi to go home or to travel back to the rural areas. These were well suited working class Pple but reduced to be Beggars - No cash. I am sure every little u can send to your beloved wld help. Surprise someone and God will also surprise u with answers to your cries!! Try Western Union coz it still gives cash to its customers.’

The Vigil’s good news was the success of the Zimpap launch in Mashonaland East in which our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe took a leading role.  ROHR in the UK, which raised funds for the launch, received the following message from Zimbabwe: ‘Today ROHR Zimbabwe and Mash East province made history in Zimbabwe and Africa at large by recruiting more than 500 civilian peace keepers in Mashonaland East (Goromonzi West). The ceremony was attended by hundreds of people across the political divide, including village heads, headman, councillors, business people, CBOs, pastors and soccer players. It was a colourful event and a unique program to Zimbabwe. We are launching ZimPAP in all the 10 provinces, and we are ready to see ROHR roaring in communities. Mashonaland East and ROHR Zimbabwe Chapter will forever be thankful. Thank you, maita tatenda, siyabonga. Zvirambe zvakadaro in all provinces, Together we can. ROHR for peace justice and freedom.’ For stories about the launch, see: http://pamushana.co.zw/zimbabwe-peace-actors-platforms-launch-mash-east-rohr-zimbabwe-international/#sthash.OlmpN751.dpbs and http://www.zimmetro.com/headman-vows-to-end-political-violence/. For photos, see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157679462919964.

Other points

  • The Vigil was pleased that Tendai Biti, at the meeting in Parliament, wore the Vigil cap  which was given to him by Vigil co-ordinator Fungayi Mabhunu.
  • It was good to welcome back Netsayi Makarichi who was released from detention.
  • Particular thanks to Roseline Mukucha who, with others, stepped up, in the absence of one of the Vigil co-ordinators and to Daizy Fabian for making posters for our event to mark Zimbabwe’s 37th ‘non-independence’ day.
  •  Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Mercy Bayipayi, Zodwa Bhebhe, Abigail Chidavayenzi, Daizy Fabian, Deborah Harry, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Alice Majola, Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Margaret Munenge, Patience Muyeye, Lydia Muzvidziwa, Nontokozo Ncube, Sipho Ndlovu, Tsitsi Ndoro, Rumbidzayi Sambana, Maxmus Savanhu, Ephraim Tapa and Portiah Tobaiwa. Thanks to Roseline, Patience and Cathrine Musa for looking after the front table, to Abigal and Nontokozo for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Phillip, Alfredy, Zodwa and Maxmus for putting up the banners. Thanks also to Deborah and Mercy Bayipayi for bringing sadza to raise funds for the Zimpap Project.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 37 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

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London protest at Zanu PF misrule – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 15th April 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 16 April 2017 15:49

The Vigil is to mark the 37th anniversary of Zimbabwe’s independence by a demonstration outside the Embassy in London next Saturday in protest at Zanu PF’s misrule.

At the same time, Zanu PF in the UK has invited people to join anniversary celebrations they are holding in the small town of Aylesbury some 50 miles from London. They seem to have plenty of money as they are offering ‘free entry, free food, free parking, free entertainment’. Noticeably, they describe themselves as ‘UK based Zimbabweans’; it is only hidden away in small print that the hosts are Zanu PF UK.

Zanu PF have become increasingly emboldened in the UK by the recognition they have been given by the British government, which has allowed blood-stained Zanu PF leaders from Zimbabwe to visit Britain while turning away opposition activists. The reason it gives is that activists don’t have much money and might not return home. Zanu PF ministers, on the other hand, can travel with the resources of the state behind them.

The Vigil is hoping to be joined by South Africans in London, who last week held a big protest against President Zuma outside their Embassy, around the corner from the Vigil.

South Africans are increasingly finding themselves in the same position as Zimbabweans – victims of rapacious and corrupt political elites subverting democracy. We often get South Africans dropping by at the Vigil and look forward to working together with them to deal with our common problems.

It gives us no satisfaction to point out that the Vigil has spent years warning South Africa that if they did not help resolve the Zimbabwean crisis, the problem would increasingly affect them too. If they wish to see their future they need only look to Zimbabwe.

Other points

  • Our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) wants to make it clear that it is not involved with a UK group calling itself Zimbabwe Human Rights Organisation which has hijacked the ROHR name and says it is to demonstrate outside the Zimbabwe Embassy on 18th April. The real ROHR will be joining the Vigil on Saturday.
  • ROHR in Zimbabwe is taking a leading role in a new initiative, a ‘peace bandwagon’, to prevent violence and make space for democracy – the Zimbabwe Peace Actors’ Platform (ZimPAP). The initiative has moved on considerably since it was started in December last year. ZimPAP will be launched in Mashonaland East province on 17th April with a peace soccer tournament and registration of volunteer civilian friends for peace. Here in the UK, ROHR has been actively fundraising for ZimPAP, notably ROHR Reading and ROHR Central London branches.
  • One of the comments we received about last week’s diary was from a Muslim in Zimbabwe who shared our scepticism about plans for Muslim schools announced by Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Lazarus Dokora. The message said: ‘My friends among the small Muslim community here in Mbare must be  bemused  by Dokora's antics. The first time I joined them for the prayers at the opening of Ramadan, I arrived early and found myself in a waiting room with a few young men watching TV until they were ready for prayers. One of them worked for the Nigerian embassy and was collecting funds to help victims of Boko Haram. Another Muslim friend, untrained imam of a small community in Hurungwe / Tengwe, has been trying for years to raise funds to build a mosque. When he was invited to meet Saudi donors in Chinhoyi, he called on me as soon as he got back to say they'd offered him the money. I started congratulating him; he replied "but I refused it. I didn’t like the abusive way they spoke about other believers." Dokora's agenda is, of course, his attempt to prop up Mugabe and Mnangagwa. Fundamentalist Islam is even less hospitable to critical thinking than are the profit ministries. One of our local zany leaders claims to be the biggest local drug supplier; the more intelligent of his colleagues are developing a market for "Broncho for the spirit" which Marx called "opium of the people" and Lenin "a cheap kind of spiritual vodka".’
  • We were interested to see a story on the Zimeye website about the plight of Zimbabweans in the diaspora trying to satisfy the demands made on them by people at home. Much of the story is nonsense but we can confirm from London that many exiled Zimbabweans are feeling this pressure. It has resulted in marriage breakups and even suicides as people try to show they have ‘made it’ here and are asked to provide not only basic needs but even luxuries. The Vigil thinks that Zimbabweans are developing a culture of dependency which stops them trying to solve themselves the problems they are facing.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Abigail Chidavayenzi, Mavis Chisvo, Zondiwe Gumede, Fungayi Mabhunu, Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa, Barnie Mandimika, Nyarai Masvosva, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Margaret Munenge, Virginia Mutyambizi, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Sipho Ndlovu, Rumbidzayi Sambana and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Roseline, Mavis and Daizy Fabian for looking after the front table, to Abigail and Nyarai for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Mduduzi, Alfredy, Barnie, Heather and Chido. for putting up the banners. Thanks also to Abigail for bringing cakes and Lucia Mudzimu for bringing snacks.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 28 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 22nd April rom 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: 4th floor, Blue Side, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. Contact: Daisy 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.
  • Protest at Zanu PF misrule. Saturday 22nd April outside the Zimbabwe Embassy London from 2 - 6 pm.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 29th April from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 6th May from 11 am. Venue:  The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) 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.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2016 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/843-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2016. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2016 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
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Dokora’s Muslim syllabus – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 8th April 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 09 April 2017 00:43

The diaspora was surprised to learn from the Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Lazarus Dokora, that Islam was Zimbabwe’s biggest religion in 1980 and was the country’s ‘designated’ indigenous faith. According to Dokora, Christianity was only the fourth religion when Mugabe took over, behind not only Islam but Judaism and Hinduism as well.

One would have thought that a minister of education would know what he’s talking about. But we in the diaspora don’t remember many Muslims around when we were driven out of Zimbabwe by Zanu PF’s misgovernance. Precious few Jews either, for that matter, though there were certainly Indians. There were, of course, strong African traditional beliefs but it was Christianity that was the prevailing faith – and that was even before the spectacular rise of the Profit Ministries.

It’s the time of year when Christians start thinking of 30 pieces of silver. The Vigil suspects Lazarus Dokora wouldn’t even rise from the dead for that. But he’s getting millions for selling out the country.

The learned minister said he has managed to get a ‘loan’ of $20 million from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to build the first 17 of 2,000 Muslim schools planned for Zimbabwe. Money was being raised from other ‘international partners’ for 66 other Muslim schools, the sites for which had already been chosen (see: https://www.zimeye.net/zimbabwe-islamic-state-minister-dokora-gets-20mil-for-muslim-schools/).

OPEC’s dominant member is Saudi Arabia which from its bottomless oil wells finances Muslim schools in the West and is known for promoting Islamic fundamentalism of the type adopted by the bloody Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al Shabaab in Somalia. Is this what we need in Zimbabwe? China’s offer to build a university in Zimbabwe is problematic enough.

 According to a survey by AfrAsia Bank, Mugabe has reduced Zimbabweans from comparative prosperity seventeen years ago to being among the poorest people in Africa (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-zimbabweans-ranked-among-the-poorest/). Yet he is on course to be re-elected next July even if dead.

The people are cowed and defeated. There was only a small turnout for the rally in Harare on Wednesday of the National Electoral Reform Agenda despite promises of a big crowd (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-nera-demo-crowd-appalling/).

The opposition seems to be relying on Zanu PF internal fighting and the collapse of the economy for their road to power. But they mustn’t build their hopes on this. Zimbabwe is going cheap and there are plenty of buyers around, as Dokora has discovered.

Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Vimbayi Chambara, Isabell Gwatidzo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Margaret Munenge, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Pretty Okechukwu and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Roseline and Sandra Kudenga (who opened the Vigil with prayer) for looking after the front table, to Isaac Chawasarira for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Phillip, Mduduzi, Alfredy, Vimbayi and Fungayi for putting up the banners. Thanks also to Isabell for bringing snacks for everyone and to Heather Makawa for selling ROHR fundraising raffle tickets.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 25 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 15th April from 6.30 pm. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. We will move to the RFH at the end of the Vigil at 6 pm.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • ROHR Nottingham meeting: Saturday 15th April from 2.30 – 5 pm. Venue: Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum, The Sycamore Centre, 33a Hungerhill Road, Nottingham NG3 4NB.
  • 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.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 15th April from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 22nd April from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: 4th floor, Blue Side, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. Contact: Daisy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 6th May from 11 am. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2016 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/843-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2016. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2016 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
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Rule by Grace – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 1st April 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 02 April 2017 15:19

People who settled on Arnold farm in Mazowe back in 2000 thought they were protected by the rule of law when Grace Mugabe started sniffing around the land she coveted to expand her business empire.

When armed police arrived with officials from the Land Ministry and started demolishing their homes they took recourse to the High Court, where a judge granted an application to prevent their eviction. Vindicated, they went back to the farm with the court order – only for the police to brush it aside, saying they took their orders only from their superiors. In other words, the court order counted for nothing.

Residents were forced onto trucks and dumped some 40 kilometres away, without food or water, their crops and livestock abandoned and far from their children’s schools.

The dispossessed residents went on to appeal for intervention by the Southern African Development Community, meeting in Swaziland under the chairmanship of King Mswati, asking it to compel the Zimbabwean government to respect the rule of law.

The Vigil is sorry for these poor people. Sorry because they have been badly treated. Sorry because there is no rule of law in Zimbabwe when it comes to the interests of the elite. Sorry because Mswati is an acolyte of Mugabe. And even sorrier because SADC is an irredeemable joke. A joke at which no one laughs.

Other points

  • At the regular forum after the Vigil, supporters were reminded to be vigilant against elements seeking to undermine the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe. They try to mimic us for their own purposes and have set up various bogus websites and exploit social media pages, undermining our struggle against Mugabe. Supporters should look to our weekly diary for reliable information on meetings etc and rely only on information from people they trust. The bogus websites hijack pictures of the Vigil and if you appear in one you have a right to demand it is removed from the website. Apart from shadowy political reasons, the purpose of these groups is to exploit asylum seekers. Beware of being fleeced by them and the dodgy Zimbabwean lawyers that they recommend.
  • The Vigil notes that the British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Catriona Laing, has come under fierce criticism in the government press for questioning the handling of the biometric vote issue. It described her remarks as reckless and unsubstantiated. We believe that Ms Laing has every justification for expressing doubts on this key issue affecting the legitimacy of next year’s elections. If Mugabe doesn’t like it why doesn’t he kick her out and tell the British to take their ‘filthy’ aid with them?
  • Zimbabwe was raised in Parliament on Tuesday when MPs asked questions about whether the Zimbabwean elections could be free and fair. The first questions were put by our friend Kate Hoey, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe. We were able to provide her with evidence that rigging is already underway. To listen check: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08kzd0r/house-of-commons-live-foreign-and-commonwealth-office-questions (first six minutes).
  • ROHR Central London branch had a successful fundraising day by providing delicious sadza nemazondo and by raffling hampers of wine and soft drinks. Thanks to those who provided the food: Daizy Fabian Etines Kapiya, Cephas Maswoswa, Portiah Tobaiwa, Nyarai Masango and Lucia Mudzimu. Thanks also to Patience Muyeye for providing the raffle prizes and to Michael Sirewu, Delline Mutendi and Etines Kapiya for contributing to the cost. Tarisai Matambanadzo and Ben Semwayo were the lucky winners.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up:  Rashiwe Bayisayi, Patrick Chatukuta, Abigail Chidavayenzi, Benjamin Chigamba, Patricia Chinyoka, Deborah Harry, Jean Kawara, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Alice Majola, Theodora Mandishaya, Patricia Masamba, Cephas Maswoswa, Sharon Moyo, Rudo Moyo, Michael Moyo, Eletha Mpofu, Lloyd Mudzengerere, Roseline Mukucha, Margaret Munenge, Esther Munyira, Clemence Munyukwi, Fungisai Mupandira, Simbarashe Mutero, Sally Mutseyami, Farai Mutumburi, Patience Muyeye, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Sipho Ndlovu, Sibusiso Ngwenya, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Rumbidzayi Sambana, Maxmus Savanhu, Benjamin Semwayo, Farai Tanyanyiwa and Portiah Tobaiwa. Thanks to Roseline, Patience and Esther for looking after the front table, to Chipo, Deborah and Abigail for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Phillip, Mduduzi, Maxmus, Deborah, Abigail, Lloyd, Sipho and Theodora for putting up the banners and tarpaulin.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 55 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Fundraising Dinner. Saturday 8th April from 6 pm to midnight. Venue: Braunstone Civic Centre, Kingsway, Braunstone Town, Leicester LE3 2PP. Tickets: adults – £25, children under 12 – £5, Children 12-17 – £10. To book tickets contact: Enniah Dube 07403439707, Yvonne Makombe 07453909247 and Moline Nyabonda 07961250525.
  • ROHR Nottingham meeting: Saturday 15th April from 2.30 – 5 pm. Venue: Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum, The Sycamore Centre, 33a Hungerhill Road, Nottingham NG3 4NB.
  • 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.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 15th April from 6.30 pm. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. We will move to the RFH at the end of the Vigil at 6 pm.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 15th April from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 22nd April from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: 4th floor, Blue Side, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. Contact: Daisy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 6th May from 11 am. Venue:  The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2016 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/843-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2016. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2016 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
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Neither up nor down – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 25th March 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 26 March 2017 14:53
Photo caption: French Ambassador to Zimbabwe Richard Boidin 
 
Like the Grand Old Duke of York, Morgan Tsvangirai marched his men up to the top of the hill on Wednesday. And, as goes the English nursery rhyme, he promptly marched them down again.
 
‘Circumstances dictate the situation and today is not the day to stage street protests’, he told supporters in Harare campaigning for electoral reforms. But, the Vigil asks, if not now, when? Yes, the police had predictably placed last minute obstacles in the way of the protest. Can anyone see the day coming when they won’t?

Seen from afar, it looks like the protestors simply bottled out. But what right do those of us safely in the diaspora have to criticise activists at home? After all, according to the French Ambassador in Harare, we are just helping to spread a negative portrayal of Zimbabwe.

Ambassador Richard Boidin has been in Zimbabwe for a couple of months so he thinks he knows what’s what. He reportedly told the Herald ‘the reality of Zimbabwe is very different from what you have when you are outside’. The Ambassador was speaking after paying a courtesy call on Senate President Comrade Edna Madzongwe with members of a French parliamentary Zimbabwe friendship association.

Boidin continued: ‘For example, the two members of the association have been here since yesterday and what they have seen here they have not seen in the media outside’ (see: http://www.herald.co.zw/envoy-slams-medias-negative-portrayal-of-zim/).

Pretty smart, the French. Barely a day in Harare and the delegation has concluded that the Zimbabwean independent media and the international press are producing ‘fake news’ about the situation.

Envoys like Boidin call into question why about a dozen European Union countries have embassies in Zimbabwe and another half dozen are represented by consulates. To crown it all there is even an embassy of the European Union itself.

What can they possibly be doing, apart from enjoying the sunshine? The Vigil thinks they need to break free from the incestuous Harare diplomatic cocktail round and get out a bit more and see how Zimbabweans not belonging to the Zanu PF metropolitan elite are suffering under the repressive and corrupt Mugabe dictatorship.

It’s not the media that’s fake, Mr Boidin. It’s self-satisfied, time-serving, patronising functionaries who are ‘neither up nor down’.

Other points

  • The Vigil’s condolences were expressed for Jonathan Kariwo (ROHR Treasurer) who lost his brother this week. A collection was made for Jonathan. Thanks to Isabell Gwatidzo for collecting the money.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Zodwa Bhebhe, Vimbayi Chambara, Daizy Fabian, Isabell Gwatidzo, Elizabeth Hlebayi, Etines Kapiya, Alice Majola, Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa, Rosemary Maponga, Cephas Maswoswa, Hildah Mudzinganyama, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Margaret Munenge, Arthur Muponda, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Rumbidzayi Sambana, Benjamin Semwayo, Ephraim Tapa and Portiah Tobaiwa. Thanks to Roseline, and Alice for looking after the front table, to Rosemary and Rumbidzayi for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Alfredy, Cephas, Mduduzi, Arthur and Vimbayi for putting up the banners. Thanks also to Lucia Mudzimu who brought savoury snacks for the Vigil to share. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 38 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 1st April from 6.30 pm. Venue: 4th Floor, Green Side, The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. We will move to the RFH at the end of the Vigil at 6 pm.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 1st April from10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 1st April 2017 from 11 am. Venue: Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
    EndFragmentROHR Fundraising Dinner. Saturday 8th April from 6 pm to midnight. Venue: Braunstone Civic Centre, Kingsway, Braunstone Town, Leicester LE3 2PP. Tickets: adults – £25, children under 12 – £5, Children 12-17 – £10. To book tickets contact: Enniah Dube 07403439707, Yvonne Makombe 07453909247 and Moline Nyabonda 07961250525.
  • ROHR Nottingham meeting: Saturday 15th April from 2.30 – 5 pm. Venue: Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum, The Sycamore Centre, 33a Hungerhill Road, Nottingham NG3 4NB.
  • 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.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2016 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/843-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2016. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2016 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
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