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Kangaroo courts for a gangster regime – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 17th October 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 20 October 2020 11:41

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/50498762011/sizes/m/

 

Zanu PF has never quite got the hang of the rule of law. It believes the law is what the party says it is: after all, the party is the ruler. This is not surprising. It is a widely-held view in many countries. Certainly it’s a guiding principle of nominal communist governments, even when, like China and Russia, they emerge from the communist egg as rapacious capitalists.

 

Recent developments in Zimbabwe feed into this narrative. Take for instance Chief Justice Luke Malaba, who several months ago ordered judges to submit all written judgments to him for approval before delivery in court. The order was swiftly withdrawn after outraged criticism from the legal profession.

 

But Malaba’s determination to place Zanu PF at the centre of the judicial system has not diminished. Now he has suspended High Court Judge Erica Ndewere who had the temerity to grant bail recently to MDC Alliance Vice Chair Job Sikhala for allegedly inciting public violence. Justice Ndewere is said to have refused to accept Malaba’s order not to grant bail. She said the constitution does not allow him this authority over her work (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2020/10/get-off-my-back-judge-tells-malaba/).

 

It has been clear for some time that the courts are increasingly being politicised. Anyone charged with opposing the government is likely to be denied bail and held in jail for extended periods, with hearings repeatedly postponed.

 

The case of student leader, 22 year-old Takudzwa Ngadziore, who has been detained for the past month, has now grabbed international attention. He was arrested protesting outside a car hire company one of whose vehicles was used in the abduction and torture of another student activist Tawanda Muchehiwa.

 

Human rights lawyer David Coltart of the MDC Alliance said the incarceration of Ngadziore was illegal and vindictive. His alleged crime ‘was to protest against a crime against humanity committed by the regime’. (See: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/oct/16/pressure-grows-on-zimbabwe-to-free-detained-student-leader.)

 

President Mnangagwa has dismissed criticism of the government’s human rights record, speaking of ‘hostile propaganda by our detractors both inside and outside the country’. He said the government was tracking the daily movements of opponents and critics through their electronic gadgets. ‘We know at this minute you were at this place and who did you make a phone call to’, he said. (See: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/mnangagwa-admits-stalking-opponents-critics/.)

 

The government’s mouthpiece the Herald predictably offered strong support to the government. The paper quotes Vice-President Chiwenga as saying: ‘the opening of political space by President Mnangagwa since coming to power in 2017 has resulted in an unprecedented flourish of people’s liberties’. (See: https://www.herald.co.zw/liberties-flourish-under-president/.)

 

Other Points:

  • An organisation representing Namibian youths has petitioned the Zimbabwe Ambassador there over rights abuses. It called on the government to uphold the rule of law and respect for human rights. ‘The government of Zimbabwe must stop criminalisation of civic society work and persecution of opposition activists’, it said (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/namibian-youths-confront-zim-ambassador-over-state-rights-abuses/).
  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. We ask our activists to put on Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia and take a photo of themselves holding an appropriate poster reflecting our protest against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The photos are uploaded on our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157716509005767. Our virtual Vigil activist today was Simbarashe Jingo who kindly contributed to Vigil funds.
  • For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Notices:

  • 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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Living for the moment – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 10th October 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 11 October 2020 18:37

It’s been a problem for at least 20 years. Despite all the efforts of successive presidents, some Zimbabweans are still apparently dissatisfied. They just don’t know what’s good for them.

 

One hesitates to call them greedy but as Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube pointed out this week: how can someone given US $3.68 to feed their family for a month be poor? As he put it, the cushion extended by government to vulnerable groups had made an ‘instant impact’ and thus eliminated poverty. ‘When you are given your mealie meal you are no longer extremely poor in that moment.’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2020/10/ncube-scoffs-at-poverty-reports/.)

 

Ncube was responding to a World Bank report showing growing poverty in Zimbabwe. The UN estimates about 60% of the population will not have enough food by December. The population of Zimbabwe is about 17 million so if everyone could receive US $3.68, according to Ncube’s reckoning, the country would be released from extreme poverty ‘in that moment’. (Never mind the other moments in the month!) The bill would be some US $65 million but perhaps Mnangagwa could contribute this from his private resources acquired after 40 years of hard graft . .

 

This would show that the departing Ghanaian Ambassador, Eric Odious Anim, was not as gullible as he seemed when he declared that Zimbabwe was on the right path: ‘Zimbabwe under the leadership of President Mnangagwa is on the road to recovery. What matters is to get all the people of Zimbabwe to buy into the vision of the leadership so that you make progress.’ (See: https://www.herald.co.zw/zim-on-the-right-path-says-ghanaian-envoy/.)

 

To help people ‘buy into that vision’ Zanu PF proposes to bring in a new law called the Patriot Act under which ‘conduct such as private correspondence with foreign governments or any officer or agent thereof will be prohibited, including false statements influencing foreign governments, or any other such conduct aimed at undermining the country.’ (See: https://www.thesouthafrican.com/news/zimbabwe/new-law-zimbabwe-ban-criticism-of-government-why/.)

 

‘Patriots’ are already at risk of arrest if they criticise the government. Witness the treatment of 22-year-old Bulawayo student Tawanda Muchehiwa, kidnapped by state thugs, members of the notorious Ferrets, and tortured and sexually abused over three days on suspicion of helping organise an anti-government protest (see: https://news.sky.com/story/zimbabwe-student-thought-he-was-going-to-die-after-abduction-by-state-security-services-12099212).

 

The Patriot Act would certainly endanger Catholic Bishop Mupandasekwa of Chinhoyi who has called on people to pray to God (surely a ‘foreign government’) to soften the hearts of Zimbabwe’s leaders. He said the ‘so-called liberation party’ had brought independence but now was refusing the masses freedom. ‘Our children are not going to school, except the few lucky ones. Our sick are not being treated in our hospitals. And yet our leadership see their policies as right and good. What blindness is this?’ (See: https://zwnews.com/catholic-bishop-attacks-mnangagwas-tyrant-leadership/.)

 

Other Points:

  • Coincidentally, there has been a farm invasion in Chinhoyi. This time the dispossessed owner is ironically a Zanu PF MP. Some 150 settlers have moved onto his farm. They say they want to plant crops. Is that unpatriotic? (See: https://www.herald.co.zw/150-settlers-invade-chiyangwa-farm/.)
  • Chinese insurance firms are refusing to underwrite infrastructure projects in Zimbabwe because of the Zimbabwe government’s failure to co-operate. Apparently the construction of the US $68 million Kunsvi Dam has stalled because the government has not come up with a US $10 million commitment fee. The dam is seen as a solution to Harare’s water supply problem (see: http://www.newsdzezimbabwe.co.uk/2020/10/top-chinese-firms-dump-projects-in-zim.html).
  • On 12th October it will be 18 years since the Vigil started. Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. We ask our activists to put on Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia and take a photo of themselves holding an appropriate poster reflecting our protest against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The photos are uploaded on our Flickr site.
  • Thanks to those who raised sponsorship money for the ROHR and Vigil Fundraising Walk of 29th August: Jacob Mandipira £50, Joyce Mbairatsunga £48 and Molly Ngavaimbe £50.
  • For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Notices:

  • 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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‘You have to laugh’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 26th September 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 27 September 2020 14:09

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/50389375466/sizes/m/

 

The hypocrisy of President Ramaphosa calling at the United Nations for the removal of sanctions against Zimbabwe while himself recognising that Zimbabwe is suffering from a crisis of misgovernance is only to be expected of the chairman of the African Union.

 

Like the United Nations itself, the African Union is fatally divided between democracies and tyrannies so Ramaphosa feels he must compromise and rely on the old policy of ‘quiet diplomacy’. But in reality South Africa’s attitude has hardened. Its attitude now means: ‘Do this or you’ll get no more money or co-operation from us’.

 

How serious the situation now is in Zimbabwe is graphically described in a newsletter by the human rights campaigner Ben Freeth, who recently returned home after a visit to the UK, protracted by the lockdown over the Covid-19 pandemic. He writes: ‘In Zimbabwe it was not lockdown. It had been a time of crackdown – and curfew. I was struck by the desolate dryness as we drove through the maze of road blocks on the potholed streets. Masked army and police personnel are out in force to ensure no insurrection and to collect bribes - all in the name of Covid-19. I was struck how even they were thin. Zimbabwe is facing major hunger with estimates of two thirds of the population needing food aid by Christmas.

 

‘On the afternoon that I arrived I spoke to Martin Grobler. His farm had been invaded at lunchtime. Twenty-five policemen arrived with guns and, in direct defiance of all international law, human rights instruments and our own SADC Tribunal Judgment, evicted him. By the end of the weekend he was off. He has over 100 employees who, with their families, will add to the hunger problem this year.

 

‘On Monday I went to meet up with the brave, award-winning journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono, and show him some solidarity in the Magistrate’s Court after 45 days in the most unimaginable jail conditions. I managed to get in and find Hopewell. The magistrate was late - as usual - so we had a spare hour or two to chat. He was defiant; but he told me of the conditions he had been kept in: a cell of approximately 7 metres by 4 metres with 44 people. The usual routine of a Zimbabwe jail applied: everyone lay like sardines and when one person in the line turned, everybody had to turn together . . . In the corner is a bucket for anyone needing the toilet. There’s no privacy, no running water, no soap, no detergent, no masks and as for the social distancing required in the rest of the world there is instead desperate and unimaginable overcrowding.

 

‘Hopewell’s crime was exposing multi-million dollar corruption at the very highest level in a Covid-19 deal. I chatted to Beatrice Mtetwa too, the award-winning lawyer. She had been due to go to the UK with me in March but had had to cancel at the last minute. I reminded her of when she had got me out of the torture chambers at Harare Central years before and we laughed. You have to laugh. Beatrice has been prevented by the magistrate from representing Hopewell. The magistrate wants her struck off the legal register so that she cannot represent anyone. Human rights lawyers are persecuted in Zimbabwe. After several hours the magistrate finally arrived and remanded the case for another month - just to frustrate everyone.

 

Freeth said he had also talked to another lawyer Dave Drury who told him how two of his children had been in jail for displaying anti-corruption and anti-violence placards. His daughter was released after one night but his son Simon was held for 3 days in the same conditions as Hopewell.

 

Freeth continued: ‘Some of those in the cell had been waiting months for a trial; others years - even up to 14 years in those inhuman cells without trial or any verdict from a court. Suddenly though Simon was fished out from amongst the sea of fellow inmates. After the clanking of doors and turning of keys and other formalities he was suddenly out under the magnificent African sky. It was then that one of the most heart-rending cries I can ever remember hearing echoed right up to the stars from a little aperture in the dark, fetid and overcrowded “hole” that Simon had just left: “Simon, don’t forget us . . .’ (See: https://media.wix.com/ugd/02876c_20eb97a0877e4f4b8fc9b0d1459c3ced.pdf.)

 

Other Points:

  • Freeth also talked to the novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga who has been nominated for the prestigious Booker prize for her latest novel ‘This Mournable Body’ about life in independent Zimbabwe. She was also recently detained accused of inciting public violence for demonstrating against government corruption. She told National Public Radio: ‘having become an adult in the 1980s after independence and having experienced the whole hope of the new nation and seeing the potential, it was really heartbreaking to come to a point where I am told I am not allowed to exercise my right to demonstrate. And when I do, the weight of the state comes down on me. It was a very sad moment for me’ (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/this-mournable-body-a-novel-about-life-in-independent-zimbabwe/).
  • We are praying for six-year-old Jesse who has been diagnosed with bone cancer. He is the son of Vigil activist Isabell Gwatidzo and often came to the Vigil with her. If you wish to contribute to Jesse’s recovery check: https://gf.me/u/yzqiwz.
  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. We ask our activists to put on Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia and take a photo of themselves holding an appropriate poster reflecting our protest against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The photos are uploaded on our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157716142549321Our virtual Vigil activist today was Deborah Harry who kindly contributed to Vigil funds.
  • For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Notices:

  • 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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The dictator’s handbook – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 3rd October 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 04 October 2020 15:02

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/50416111446/sizes/m/

 

President Mnangagwa appears to have launched the final stage of his plan to eliminate the opposition. This is the obvious inference from the wild accusations made by State Security Minister Owen Ncube. He claimed that the opposition, working with Zanu PF dissidents and Western forces, was planning to import guns to destabilise the country.

 

Taking a leaf out of Trump’s twitter account, Ncube said: ‘The country’s detractors have been concocting fake news of factionalism in the ruling party Zanu PF, feeding churches with fake news of a “crisis” and also trying to close the country’s borders, something that would have them declared as traitors in some countries.

 

‘We are watching attempts to drive Zimbabwe into chaos. Some rogue elements among us are conniving with some hostile Western governments to smuggle guns and set-up so-called democratic resistance committees that are, for all intents and purposes, violent militia groups. These plans are key components of ‘Operation Lighthouse’, the brainchild of one Western power, that seeks to destroy the democratic foundations of Zimbabwe, make the country ungovernable and justify foreign intervention.’ (See: https://www.herald.co.zw/plot-against-zim-exposed/.)

 

The paranoid raving comes as the government booted another 10 MDC MPs out of parliament, claiming they were not the proper opposition. And it follows the recent publication of an article by former senior MDC official  Alex Magaisa, who is now a law lecturer in the UK.

 

In the article, Magaisa quotes Mnangagwa as saying, even before he became President, ‘We must be respected. We are the majority. We are the people. We are the government. We are the army. We are the air force. We are the police. We are everything you can think of.

 

Magaisa says: ‘the words represented Mnangagwa’s vision of his kind of state; a typically totalitarian state in which the ruling party controls virtually everything and the opposition plays a meaningless role. For Mnangagwa, the opposition is no more than a nuisance. If it is to be allowed, it is merely for purposes of appearances — a gimmick to hoodwink the rest of the world. If it cannot be obliterated, it must be controlled.

 

‘This is a state in which critique of the government is not permitted. Citizens must toe the line. It is a system where patronage dominates, ahead of merit. There is a very small caste of elites which is engaged in a process of grand accumulation of personal wealth on the back of public resources.’ (See: https://www.thestandard.co.zw/2020/09/27/how-mnangagwa-is-plotting-to-take-over-opposition-in-zim/.)

 

Dismissing Ncube’s accusations MDC Alliance spokesman Clifford Hlatyway, said: ‘MDC Alliance are archbishops of peace. ZANU PF are the archbishops of violence.’ (See: https://www.voanews.com/africa/zimbabwe-opposition-dismisses-accusations-plot-topple-mnangagwa.)

 

Other Points:

  • Foreign ambassadors in Harare have protested at the treatment of the MDC Alliance MP Joana Mamombe who has been taken to jail from hospital where she was being treated for trauma. Ms Mamombe has been ordered to undergo two weeks of ‘psychiatric tests’ in the Chikurubi maximum security prison after being accused of making up claims that she was tortured and assaulted by government agents.
  • A Zimbabwean Adam Jogee has been elected mayor of the London Borough of Haringey. (For a photograph of him in his mayoral gear check: https://www.haringey.gov.uk/local-democracy/councillors-and-mps/mayors-page.) There are two other Zimbabweans on the Borough Council, including Vigil supporter Eldridge Culverwell who is the Deputy Mayor of Haringey.
  • Thanks to those who raised sponsorship money for the ROHR and Vigil Fundraising Walk of 29th August: Cynthia Chibanda £25, Rangarirai Chivaviro £20, Simbarashe Jingo £100, Garikai Mananje £50, Patricia Masamba £105.50, Benjamin Molife £150, Margaret Munenge £40 and Ephraim Tapa £230. Other contributors will be acknowledged in future diaries once their contributions are processed.
  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. We ask our activists to put on Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia and take a photo of themselves holding an appropriate poster reflecting our protest against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The photos are uploaded on our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157716243703553.   Our virtual Vigil activist today was Rudo Takiya who kindly contributed to Vigil funds.
  • For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Notices:

  • ROHR’s Virtual Fundraising Party. Saturday 10th October from 7 – 9 pm. Great raffle prizes. RSVP: Charles Mararirakwenda 075788275745, Margaret Munenge 07379764249 and Garikai Mananje 07876586225.
  • 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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Mnangagwa on helium? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 19th September 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 20 September 2020 13:55

There is mounting hysteria in Zanu PF over South Africa’s attempt to help Zimbabwe resolve its economic and political crisis. President Mnangagwa seems more and more like a crocodile on helium – the experiment that was awarded the Ig Nobel prize this week (see: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-54197198).

 

South African’s ruling African National Congress maintains that it will soon send a delegation back to Zimbabwe to meet the opposition and civil society stakeholders in an attempt to initiate dialogue between them and Zanu PF. It said it was ‘excited’ about the position on this taken by Zanu PF’s Secretary for Administration Obert Mpofu at their recent meeting in Harare (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2020/09/we-are-coming-back-anc/).

 

On the return home of the ANC delegation there was talk that ‘Zimbabwe is burning’. Blade Dzimande, the South African higher education minister, said that denying that Zimbabwe was in a political crisis was tantamount to denying self-evident truth. But Zanu PF seems to have performed a helium somersault. President Mnangagwa has now made it clear that he doesn’t want a South African delegation to meet the opposition. And Zanu PF’s director of publicity and information, Tafadzwa Mugwadi, accused the ANC of acting in bad faith in ‘forcing’ it to meet the opposition and civil society groups

 

After a politburo meeting, Zanu PF’s acting spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa called on the ANC to ‘rein in its errant elements who are communicating unfairly on our nation’. Chinamasa said that the politburo had agreed that the opposition’s ‘happiness in creating drama and faking abductions . . . should be ignored.’ He added that Zanu PF was instead setting its sights on winning the 2023 elections (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2020/09/ed-slams-door-on-ramaphosa/).

 

What did Mnangagwa, still buoyed by his crocodile nickname from the Gukurahundi massacres, have to say on that? ‘With 2023 elections in sight and our resounding and landslide victory imminent, let us remain unwavering in our revolutionary course by consistently strengthening and increasing our party membership base’ (see: https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/africa/2020-09-16-zanu-pf-accuses-anc-envoys-of-meddling-in-zimbabwes-affairs/).

 

The Vigil can only agree that Zanu PF victory is inevitable. With the electoral commission, the judiciary, the army and the police in his pocket how could the outcome possibly be different from the rigged elections of the past two decades?

 

MDC Alliance Vice-President Tendai Biti is more positive. The Zanu PF statements are all false bravado he said. ‘They are facing a crisis of legitimacy and delivery. A solution will be found.’ But perhaps he’s on helium too . . .?

 

Other Points:

  • The Zimbabwe Working Group – comprising mainly American diplomats and academics – has welcomed South Africa’s efforts to address the Zimbabwe crisis and said the African Union should support these instead of providing a whitewash for Zanu PF. The list of signatories is short of former British ambassadors to Zimbabwe. Perhaps they were swallowed by the crocodile . . . (see: https://www.zimlive.com/2020/09/17/zimbabwe-working-group-statement-act-now-to-stop-zimbabwe-abuses/).
  • Former Botswanan President Ian Khama says there is a crisis in Zimbabwe and not just challenges. Zimbabweans had shown tremendous resilience in the face of a brutal regime (see: https://www.enca.com/news/ian-khama-zimbabwean-lives-matter).
  • President Mnangagwa has now confirmed our suspicion that the land settlement deal he announced recently is pie in the sky, In effect, the commercial farmers whose land was seized will have to pay their own compensation. Mnangagwa said no taxpayers’ funds will be used and the money would be sourced externally. ‘We have set up a committee to go Europe where they will raise the money’. No doubt they will be looking for people on helium (see:https://www.sundaymail.co.zw/president-clears-air-on-land-sa-envoys).
  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. We ask our activists to put on Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia and take a photo of themselves holding an appropriate poster reflecting our protest against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The photos are uploaded on our Flickr site.
  • For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Notices:

  • 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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