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A nauseating feast – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 28th February 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 01 March 2015 16:29

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/16681969671/sizes/n/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/16497184989/sizes/n/

 

 ‘An event of truly spectacular moral ugliness’ was how the Mayor of London Boris Johnson described Mugabe’s 91st birthday party. Johnson’s opinion counts as he has a strong following and is widely tipped to be a future Prime Minister.

 

‘While his people are starving, the ancient despot will convoke 20,000 cronies at a kind of golf club-cum-safari lodge near the Victoria Falls’ said Mr Johnson, a classics scholar. ‘In scenes reminiscent of the more disgusting and luxurious behaviour of the emperor Commodus, he will cause various exotic beasts to be slaughtered for the feast. Five impalas will be roasted, two sables, two buffaloes – and then, to the ululations of his drunken Zanu-PF supporters, there will be a series of culinary climaxes, each more revolting than the last.’

 

He continued: ‘A local farmer has procured two elephants, and after these rare and majestic creatures have been butchered for the delectation of the semi-deified Mugabe, there will be one more type of meat to come – an animal that you might think was semi-sacred, whose killing should be taboo, a creature that people would never normally dream of eating. Yes, a lion, the king of the animal kingdom, will lay down its life before the meat-maddened mob and have the honour of surrendering its mortal flesh to the palsied gullet of the man who still calls himself the “Hitler of Africa”.

 

Johnson goes on: ‘And then, at last, the cake will appear, predicted to weigh 200lb, and in the most depraved and demoralising vignette of all, this crowd of brainwashed Zimbabweans will sweetly sing Happy Birthday to the man who has impoverished their country. This birthday party is predicted to cost $1 million at a time when Zimbabweans are living on 35 cents a day. Teachers across the country have been forced to contribute $10 each to put on the show.’ (See: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/11428364/
Happy-birthday-Mr-Mugabe-with-special-love-from-Labour.html
Happy birthday, Mr Mugabe, with special love from Labour).

 

The Mayor of London doesn’t have to look far to find ‘brainwashed Zimbabweans’. The Zanu - PF UK Chairman, Nick Mangwana, told a birthday celebration in Birmingham that Mugabe was ‘a visionary who does not get old but instead gets better . . . It is the gift to see what nobody else can see’. Things like food on the table, clean tap water, electricity, jobs? (see: http://www.mafaro.co.uk/2015/02/pics-mugabes-uk-birthday-bash.html?m=1 – Mugabe's UK Birthday Bash).           

 

No doubt Mr Mangwana will nod his head in approval at the visionary advice Mugabe gave on the eve of his birthday feast. Avoiding a full tummy is the secret to long life he told Zimbabwe’s starving masses during a ZBC interview. ‘I eat well, not filling my stomach, eating foodstuffs that I believe sustain one most’ he said as he prepared to tuck into two elephants and a lion (see: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/zimbabwe/11440126/
Avoiding-a-full-tummy-is-the-secret-to-long-life-reveals-Zimbabwes-President-Robert-Mugabe.html
) - Avoiding a full tummy is the secret to long life,' reveals Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe). 

The economist Vice Musuwe sees things differently. In a letter to the diaspora he said walking the streets of Harare it is difficult not see and smell the poverty and hopelessness. Living standards have gone back 60 years and we should expect nothing new in 2015 except lies that things are getting better (see: A letter to the Diaspora – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_a-letter-to-the-diaspora/).

 

Other points

·       Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu for donning our Mugabe mask to illustrate the ‘nauseating feast; at Victoria Falls.

·       Insights into our rulers: former Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono is disputing a claim for $1.3 million for cars he bought for his various business enterprises in January 2009. He doesn’t contest the debt but argues it was an illegal transaction as it shouldn’t have been done in US dollars at the time! Just another of his dodgy deals then? (see: $1,3m debt haunts Gono – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_13m-debt-haunts-gono-the-herald/).

·       Vice President Mnangagwa says the government is ‘realigning’ the indigenisation policy to attract foreign investment. But new indigenisation minister Chris Mushohwe say he is still trying to find out what he is supposed to be doing in his job . . . (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-govt-to-revisit-indigenisation-mnangagwa-the-zimbabwe-independent/ - Govt to revisit indigenisation: Mnangagwa).

·       Nehanda Radio says the sacked Masvingo Minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti is fleeing the country after destroying the mango and orange trees on the farm he grabbed under land reform. We expect to see him in the UK shortly (see: (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-sacked-minister-destroys-farm-plans-to-leave-the-country-nehanda-radio/ - Sacked minister destroys farm, plans to leave the country)

·       For Makusha Mugabe’s article on our big protest on Saturday 21st February see: http://www.changezimbabwe.com/index.php/news-mainmenu-2/1-latest/5252-time-to-u-nite-and-send-robert-mugabe-packing.  

·       There are two further showings in London of the film ‘Democrats’: 20th March at 6.30 pm at the Barbican and 23rd March at 6.15 pm at the Ritzy, Brixton. Check: http://ff.hrw.org/film/democrats?city=4 for tickets. Both screenings are followed by discussion with filmmaker Camilla Nielsson and Dewa Mavhinga, Senior Researcher for Zimbabwe and Southern Africa, Africa Division, Human Rights Watch).

 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

FOR THE RECORD: 31 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       ROHR Executive Meeting: Saturday 7th March at 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 7th March from 6.15 pm. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and Pizza Express. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

·       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.

·       Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 7th March from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       ROHR Southampton branch meeting and outreach. Saturday 14th March 11 am – 3 pm. Venue: Eastleigh Library, 1st Floor, Swan Centre, Eastleigh SO50 5SF. Special guests Councillor Wayne Irish and NHS Practitioner Sunitha Rajeev. For further enquiries please contact: Sally Mutseyami (Chairperson) on 07448730581.

·       The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco, a play by Zimbabwean writer Andrew Whaley showing at the Gate Theatre, 11 Pembridge Road, London W11 3HQ from 26th February to 21st March. The theatre has given the Vigil flyers with a promo code for discounted tickets of £5 until 14th March. These can be picked up from the Vigil. Check: http://www.gatetheatre.co.uk/events/all-productions/the_rise_and_shine_of_comrade_fiasco for more information and to book.

·       Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 28th March at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

·       Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.

·       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 Vigil Highlights 2014 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/642-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2014. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2014 Highlights page.

·       Facebook pages:

Vigil: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts

ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515

ROHR: https://www.facebook.co/pages/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights/301811392835

·       SW Radio Africa’s website and sound archive is being hosted on www.archive.org. Go to the site and type in swradioafrica which will link you to snapshots of their site over the years and at the top of that page a link to their website where, under podcasts, you will find the audio.

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The carpet’s to blame – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 21st February 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 22 February 2015 16:29

Photolinks

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/16605582885/sizes/n/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/16418383528/sizes/n/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/16418369758/sizes/n/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/16604982922/sizes/n/

 

Zimbabweans in the UK gathered in force outside the Embassy to mark Mugabe’s 91st birthday. There was a festive atmosphere amid confidence that this would be his last birthday in office.

 

The increasingly confused tyrant was supposed to be in South Africa attending to his duties as supreme leader of SADC (and Africa in general) but seems to have caught the wrong plane and turned up outside the Embassy, where he demonstrated how Mai Mujuru hid under the carpet and almost caused him to fall. ‘This is very underfoot behaviour’ he said ‘This is why we have kicked her out’.

 

The demonstration brought together a wide range of diaspora groups united in a demand that Mugabe must go. Pride of place went to a new banner commissioned by Makusha Mugabe of MDC T which listed all the participating groups: Zimbabwe Vigil, MDC-T UK (also USA, Canada, Australia and South Africa), Zimbabwe African People’s Union UK (ZAPU-UK), Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR), Occupy Africa Unity Square (OAUS UK), Zimbabwe Yes We Can, Zimbabweans United for Democracy (ZUNDE), Zimbabwe Social Democrats and the Swaziland Vigil.

 

Among the speakers was Ephraim Tapa, President of ROHR, who said that, for the sake of Zimbabwe, it was time for the diaspora to come together and ‘sing a new song’. For his full speech see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/662-ephraim-tapas-speech-at-the-21st-february-2015-demonstration. David Mbinga of the Occupy Africa Unity Square group said ‘Today we declared total warfare against Mugabe’.

 

 

 

Other points

  • Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu who donned our Mugabe mask and demonstrated Mugabe’s fall to the assembled media. Fortunately, unlike Mugabe, he had lots of friends around to prevent him crashing to the ground. Thanks to Epiphania Phiri for putting an advertisement in her local paper (the Luton and Dunstable Herald and Post) to encourage Zimbabweans in the area to attend the protest.

  • Among the people with us today was the former Zimbabwean diplomat Clifford Mashiri who has written an open letter to the EU Head of Mission to Zimbabwe, Mr Philippe Van Damme, calling for some of the EU’s money going to Zimbabwe to be used to put in place measures to ensure free and fair elections in future. For his letter see: http://www.thezimbabwean.co/opinions/letters-to-the-editor/74897/open-letter-from-the-diaspora.html).

  • We remind supporters to write to their MP calling for a parliamentary debate on Zimbabwe. For sample letters, see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/659-letters-to-mps-re-parliamentary-debate.

  • Thanks to ROHR members: Fungisai Mupandira, Sally Mutseyami, Xoliso Sithole, Deborah Harry, Shylette Chipangura, Hilda Gwesele and Patricia Masamba for selling snacks and drinks to fundraise for the Vigil. Thanks also to Cephas Moswoswa for bringing a birthday cake.

  • Thanks also to Mavis Chisvo, helped by Eunice Mucherechedzo, for taking care of the Vigil table on a very busy day.

 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

FOR THE RECORD: 98 signed the register but there were many more at the protest.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Central London Branch meeting: Saturday 28th February at 11 am. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 28th February at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.

  • ROHR Reading Branch general meeting and outreach. Saturday 28 February from 10.30 am – 5 pm. Venue: RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. For further enquiries contact: Information and Publicity Officer: 07888310582.

  • ROHR Executive Meeting: Saturday 7th March at 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 7th March from 6.15 pm.. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and Pizza Express. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

  • 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.

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 7th March from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco, a play by Zimbabwean writer Andrew Whaley showing at the Gate Theatre, 11 Pembridge Road, London W11 3HQ from 26th February to 21st March. The theatre has given the Vigil flyers with a promo code for discounted tickets of £5 until 14th March. These can be picked up from the Vigil. Check: http://www.gatetheatre.co.uk/events/all-productions/the_rise_and_shine_of_comrade_fiasco for more information and to book.

  • 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 Vigil Highlights 2014 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/642-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2014. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2014 Highlights page.

 
Zanu PF arrogance – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 14th February 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 15 February 2015 20:52

Photolink: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/16344025540/sizes/z/

 

Anyone really hoping for a turnaround in the Zimbabwean economy will be dismayed by the comment by local government minister Ignatius Chombo. Speaking after a meeting with a 19-strong British investor delegation, he said there had been ‘some little unpleasant disagreements’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-british-investors-clash-with-chombo-over-mugabe-succession-nehanda-radio/ – Who we vote for in Zimbabwe is our business, minister tells British investors).

 

Of course, Chombo is unaccountably rich enough not to personally care a fig about foreign investment – but it is certainly not government policy to tell possible investors to go to hell. The problem is that Zanu PF just can’t do anything else; it is in the party’s DNA (Deluded National Arrogance).

 

Chombo was outraged that the naïve British investors wanted to know where Zimbabwe is going. What a stupid question. None of your business, Chombo snorted, displaying the acute business sense which has made him a multi-millionaire with  properties harvested nationwide from his local government portfolio. For details of Chombo’s wealth see, for instance: http://nehandaradio.com/2011/11/10/minister-chombo-brags-about-his-riches/.

 

It is to get rid of Chombo and his ilk that a wide range of diaspora groups are joining forces at the Vigil on Saturday 21st February to demand that the illegal regime steps down to allow a peaceful end to the economic and political crisis in Zimbabwe.

 

The occasion is Mugabe’s 91st birthday which comes at a time when his physical and mental decline has become an international joke. Everyone know that his dozing off and memory failures have allowed scheming Grace to assume an unconstitutional regency role marked by increasingly arbitrary and paranoid decisions.

 

‘Robert Mugabe’s last birthday in office’ is the theme of next week’s protest, which has been organised by Makusha Mugabe of MDC T. The gathering will be addressed by people including Wilbert Mukori of the Zimbabwe Social Democrats who says: ‘People must understand that doing nothing is no longer an option; it is doing nothing that has led the nation into this mess and doing nothing will leave only one way out – a violent revolutionary route’ (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/658-robert-mugabes-last-birthday-in-office. Also see: http://www.changezimbabwe.com/index.php/news-mainmenu-2/1-latest/5236-worldwide-mugabe-must-go-protests-on-saturday).   

 

The organisations taking part are: Zimbabwe Vigil, MDC-T UK (also USA, Canada, Australia and South Africa), Zimbabwe African People’s Union UK (ZAPU-UK), Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR), Occupy Africa Unity Square (OAUS UK), Zimbabwe Yes We Can, Zimbabweans United for Democracy (ZUNDE), Zimbabwe Social Democrats and the Swaziland Vigil.

 

While we protest outside the Embassy, Mugabe will apparently be tucking into elephant steaks at a birthday party at the Victoria Falls (see: http://www.english.rfi.fr/africa/20150213-row-over-elephant-menu-mugabe-s-91st-birthday-party – Row over elephant on menu at Mugabe’s 91st birthday party). We note that the Zanu PF caterers have ordered two elephants. At least one will be needed to satisfy Mr Chombo’s jumbo appetite alone.

 

Other points

  • We wrote last week about the campaign for a UK parliamentary debate on Zimbabwe. People in the UK who haven’t yet written to their MP about this might like to send one of the choice of letters offered on our campaigns page. Of course, you can alter them as you wish. But the matter is urgent: we want a debate and the sooner you contact your MP the better (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/659-letters-to-mps-re-parliamentary-debate).  

  • Dancers at the Vigil practiced the Mugabe fall for our tableau next week on his birthday when Mugabe himself will magically materialise (with, this time, Zimbabwean carers around to stop him falling to his knees). As they rehearsed falling the dancers sang ‘Mugabe achiti buu – kudonha’ (‘Mugabe falling like a tree’).

  • When we arrived at the Vigil we were surprised to see a gentleman having a haircut and shave in our space. He was a homeless man being taken care of by a Muslim community support group www.whoishussain.org. They were also providing food on Valentine’s Day. They were very friendly and shared their food with us.

  • Thanks to Helen Rukambiro, Rachel Mudzimba, Yvonne Shingirirayi Bonde, Eunice Mucherechedzo, Nkosana Ncube, John Burke and Fungayi Mabhunu for arriving early to help set up and to Epiphania Phiri for bringing Valentine’s Day chocolates.

     

    For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

     

    FOR THE RECORD: 19 signed the register.

     

    EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Robert Mugabe’s ‘last birthday in office’ protest. Saturday 21st February from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London WC2R 0JR. Many Zimbabwe diaspora groups are taking part. Please come and join us.

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 21st February from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and Pizza Express. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

  • 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.

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 21st February from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • ROHR Slough Branch general meeting. Saturday 21st February from 11.30 am – 2 pm. Venue: Upton Lea Community Hall, Wexham Road, Slough SL2 5JW.   For further information contact: Patricia Masamba (Chair) 07708116625, Nkosi Tshabangu (Vice-Chair) 07535942709, Fungisai Mupandira (Organising Secretary) 07758958803.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 28th February at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.

  • ROHR Reading Branch general meeting and outreach. Saturday 28 February from 10.30 am – 5 pm. Venue: RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. For further enquiries contact: Information and Publicity Officer: 07888310582.

  • The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco, a play by Zimbabwean writer Andrew Whaley showing at the Gate Theatre, 11 Pembridge Road, London W11 3HQ from 26th February to 21st March. The theatre has given the Vigil flyers with a promo code for discounted tickets of £5 until 14th March. These can be picked up from the Vigil. Check: http://www.gatetheatre.co.uk/events/all-productions/the_rise_and_shine_of_comrade_fiasco for more information and to book.

  • 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 Vigil Highlights 2014 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/642-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2014. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2014 Highlights page.

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Campaign for Parliamentary Debate – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 7th February 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 15 February 2015 14:16

Picture link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/16282015089/sizes/z/


Zimbabweans in the UK have launched a campaign to persuade MPs to ask for a parliamentary debate on the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe in the fallow period before the UK general elections on 7th May.


MPs have little parliamentary business to attend to in the next three months and the Vigil understands they are being given time off to campaign in their constituencies. We believe this is a window of opportunity to press for a parliamentary discussion of the British government’s policy on Zimbabwe. After all, even if they are not British citizens, Zimbabweans have a right to vote here.


The Zimbabwe Action Forum, meeting after the Vigil, discussed a template letter people could send to their MPs calling for a debate:


Dear MP


I am a Zimbabwean living in your constituency. I write to ask you to support a suggestion that there should be a parliamentary debate on Zimbabwe.


The idea of a debate was supported by former Africa Minister, Mark Simmonds, who kindly spoke to Zimbabweans at a recent meeting in Portcullis House (see Zimbabwe Vigil diary of 24th January 2015: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/650-progress--zimbabwe-vigil-diary-24th-january-2015). He said it had been some years since the House of Commons had last discussed Zimbabwe and it was time for another debate. He was backed in this by Alok Sharma, MP for Reading West, who had arranged the meeting at the request of Zimbabweans in his constituency. We were also happy to be addressed by Fiona Mactaggart, MP.


I am part of a network of Zimbabweans who are writing to their MPs to drum up support for the debate to be arranged.


I am sure you are aware of the dire situation in Zimbabwe, which was recently identified by the Wall Street Journal as the 4th worst economy in the world (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_zim-among-most-repressed-economies-the-zimbabwe-independent/). This partly explains our presence in your generous country.


In brief, all elections in Zimbabwe are rigged, there is no rule of law, corruption is rampant and the new constitution – largely paid for by the British taxpayer – is predictably ignored by the Mugabe Mafia. Yet Britain talks of ‘progress’ and is lifting sanctions!


We want the debate to ask questions such as:

  1. What is the British Government’s policy on Zimbabwe? (This is unclear at present. Why is the British Government being so ingratiating to the Mugabe regime when all it does is spit in their face?)

  2. Why has the UK lifted targeted sanctions against Mugabe’s cronies when the object for imposing them has not been achieved? (Mark Simmonds spoke of ‘progress’: what progress?)

  3. By resuming direct aid to the Mugabe government the EU is further propping up an illegal regime, allowing it to offload onto donors its obligations to the Zimbabwean people in education, health services etc.

  4. What is the UK’s policy on sending back Zimbabweans? (It is still unsafe for political activists; there are few jobs and widespread poverty.)

The Forum invited further input on the letter (to be sent to the Vigil Co-ordinator). In the meantime Vigil supporters can send our draft letter to their local MPs, or amend it as they please. When we get further input we will be able to write an expanded letter. But time is pressing as any new government emerging from the May elections is unlikely to have time to discuss Zimbabwe. To find your MP, click on http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/, type in your post code or constituency. This will take you to your MP and their contact details.


Other points


  • There was a lot of interest in our montage of photos entitled ‘Mugabe falls’. To people who say we shouldn’t poke fun at an old man we say a nonagenarian should not cling to office (without a Vice-President at each elbow).

  • The Vigil is happy to see that more and more Zimbabwean groups are joining in the 21st February protest outside the Embassy. The theme of the protest, organised by Makusha Mugabe of MDC T, is: ‘This must be Mugabe’s last year in office’. There will be full details in next week’s diary.

  • Our friends in the Occupy Africa Unity Square group tell us that one of its members, Jerimos Mugwenhi, has been brutally assaulted by security agents trying get information about the protest. The leader of the group Itai Dzamara, said: ‘We cannot tolerate this any longer’ (for the full email see our campaigns page: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/652-mugwenhi-of-oaus-brutally-assaulted-and-dumped). .

  • The Vigil congratulates Kate Hoey MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe, for winning the Dod's Parliamentary Award for International Campaigner of the Year. Kate, a staunch friend of the Vigil, says on her website that the situation in Zimbabwe remains grim and Mugabe’s violent misrule still holds back its enormous potential. ‘I will continue to speak out and campaign with Zimbabwe’s democratic forces to work for a better future for their people’.

  • Thanks to Mavis Chisvo, Shingiririrayi Yvonne Bonde, John Burke, Barbara Kachidza,Tanyaradzwa Dhundhu, Linda Sibanda, Fungayi Mabhunu and Veli Mamba for arriving early to help set up the Vigil and to Mavis for looking after the Vigil table throughout the afternoon.

     

    For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

     

    FOR THE RECORD: 39 signed the register.

     

    EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Nottingham Revival Meeting. Saturday 14th February from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: The Sycamore Centre 31 Hungerhill Rd, Nottingham NG3 4NB. For more information please contact: Chair – Chamunorwa Chisuko 07832927609, Vice chair – Nobuhle Mazula 07766927229, Info and Publicity – Miriam Mutanda 07876388963, Secretary – Anesu Mlauzi 07798641426, Organising Secretary – Harmony Mbele 07783061984, Fundraising – Irvine Huni 07955784981, Treasurer – Audrey Chamangira 07745823435. Directions: catch bus 45 from the city centre near Victoria Centre and get off at Hungerhill bus stop. Cross over the pedestrian crossing to Hungerhill and continue down the hill. It’s a 3 minute walk from the bus stop.

  • Mugabe birthday protest. Saturday 21st February from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London WC2R 0JR. More information to follow.

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 21st February from 6.15 pm. Venue: to be advised.

  • 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.

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 21st February from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • ROHR Slough Branch general meeting. Saturday 21st February from 11.30 am – 2 pm. Venue: Upton Lea Community Hall, Wexham Road, Slough SL2 5JW.   For further information contact: Patricia Masamba (Chair) 07708116625, Nkosi Tshabangu (Vice-Chair) 07535942709, Fungisai Mupandira (Organising Secretary) 07758958803.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 28th February at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.

  • ROHR Reading Branch general meeting and outreach. Saturday 28 February from 10.30 am – 5 pm. Venue: RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. For further enquiries contact: Information and Publicity Officer: 07888310582

  • 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 Vigil Highlights 2014 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/642-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2014. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2014 Highlights page.

  • Facebook pages:

 

 

 

 

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Written by Administrator   
Monday, 09 February 2015 21:09


Zimbabweans in the UK have launched a campaign to persuade MPs to ask for a parliamentary debate on the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe in the fallow period before the UK general elections on 7th May.

 

MPs have little parliamentary business to attend to in the next three months and the Vigil understands they are being given time off to campaign in their constituencies. We believe this is a window of opportunity to press for a parliamentary discussion of the British government’s policy on Zimbabwe. After all, even if they are not British citizens, Zimbabweans have a right to vote here.

 

The Zimbabwe Action Forum, meeting after the Vigil, discussed a template letter people could send to their MPs calling for a debate:


 
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