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Pinocchio paper – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 24th September 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 01 October 2016 08:50

Botswana’s President Ian Khama deserves the Nobel prize for doing the unthinkable: telling an African leader to step down because he has passed his sell-by date

The Herald’s reaction is that it is un-African for a fellow African president to criticise Mugabe. So it responds by calling President Khama ‘queer’. That really is ‘un-African’ . . . (see: http://www.herald.co.zw/khama-should-shut-up-on-zimbabwe/). 

The Vigil, on behalf of Zimbabweans, apologises to President Khama, who has helped to make his country an island of good governance and prosperity in an ocean of corruption and inefficiency.

President Khama will no doubt already know that Mugabe’s mouthpiece the Herald is like Pinocchio, the puppet in the children’s story whose nose grows longer every time he tells a lie. So he will not be surprised if the Herald’s nose is now so long as to stretch all the way to Botswana.

We believe the Herald would be a worthy winner of the Ig Nobel Prize awarded every year at Harvard university as an alternative to the Nobel Prize. After all,this year an award went to a team for their psychology paper ‘From Junior to Senior Pinocchio; a Cross-Sectional Life Span Investigation of Deception’. They were chosen for ‘asking a thousand liars how often they lie and for deciding whether to believe those answers’.

In fact, the Herald would qualify for two Ig Nobel awards. A second one went to Japanese researchers ‘for investigating whether things looked different when you bend over and view them between your legs’.

British Ambassador Catriona Laing might think that the Herald report on her remarks about the police’s handling of the Harare demonstrations came from between their correspondent’s legs (see: http://www.herald.co.zw/uk-backs-police-stance-on-illegal-demos/). So might the UN view the paper’s report of Mugabe’s ‘mega success’ at the recent New York meeting.

The Ig awards for the Herald would be suitable (and timely) – they carry a cash prize of a Zimbabwean ten trillion dollar note (see http://zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/821-love-rats-in-cheap-trousers-win-prize-for-weird-science).

Other points

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. For videos of Vigils and other events, check the ROHR facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos?fref=photo.

FOR THE RECORD: 42 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Birmingham branch meeting. Tuesday 27th September from 11 am – 2 pm. Venue: Strathallan Hotel, 225 Hagley Road, Birmingham B16 9RJ. Contact: Chair: Gladys Muduve 07956430115, Info & Publicity: Tecla Bandawe 074 50507650 and Organising Sec: Janemary Mapfumo 07412310429.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 1st October from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 8th October from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
  • 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 8th October 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 a shop. 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 achievetrue democracy.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 8th October. From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark nineteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil's 14th Anniversary. On Saturday 15th October we will mark the Vigil’s 14th anniversary.
  • Mike Campbell Foundation Fifth anniversary: Taking Effective Steps to Fight Dictatorship – Restoring Justice, Restoring People.  Wednesday 26th October at 6.30 pm. Venue: the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. For tickets: https://event.bookitbee.com/8186/mike-campbell-foundation-5-year-anniversary-event/.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2015 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/746-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2015. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
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Mugabe a ‘walking corpse’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 17th September 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 21 September 2016 19:59

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/11/robert-mugabe-unveils-new-statue-of-himself-as-zimbabwe-endures/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/29749575445/sizes/m/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/29457119460/sizes/m/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/29457750280/sizes/m/
 

The Zimbabwean opposition MP Eddie Cross says the international community is backing Vice-President Mnangagwa to take over from ‘walking corpse’ Mugabe in the next few months. Mr Cross was speaking at the UK Parliament on Thursday during a trip to Europe which also included talks in Germany. 

He said South Africa was backing a road map for change in Zimbabwe – a road map which had also been embraced by the US, the UK and European Union and even China. The plan envisaged the immediate retirement of Mugabe to be replaced by Mnangagwa who would be tasked with managing comprehensive reforms to ensure a level playing field allowing free and fair elections in 2018. Mr Cross said Mnangagwa had the support of the military and the principal power brokers in Zimbabwe.

He said financial support for Zimbabwe would be dependent on the reforms being implemented and the diaspora of 4.7 million being allowed to vote. All voting would be on the simple basis of an identification document. He added that he was confident MDC T would get 70% of the vote.

Ten Vigil supporters were at the meeting in a parliamentary committee room overlooking the Thames. They were pleased when Mr Cross mentioned the Vigil at the meeting, saying ‘we are really proud of you guys – how you have struggled all these years’.

Mr Cross was invited to attend the Vigil, where he was presented with a Vigil cap in appreciation of his long and courageous service to Zimbabwe. But Vigil supporters expressed their reservations about trusting Mnangagwa, who was implicated in the Gukuruhundi genocide of the 1980s. Mr Cross was told the Vigil’s view is that the United Nations should be asked to help set up a transitional authority, as outlined in our current petition: 

A petition to the UN Secretary-General: With mounting unrest in Zimbabwe, we urge you to appoint a Special Representative to prepare the ground for a UNTransitional Authority to take over from the failed Mugabe regime. We look to the Special Representative to initiate comprehensive negotiations so that the UN Transitional Authority can assume control of Zimbabwe’s administrative structures – foreign affairs, defence, security, finance and communications – to ensure a level playing field conducive for credible national elections.

The Vigil produced its own version of the  new Mugabe statue to demonstrate how the ‘walking corpse’ was still exercising his malignant influence – off on another tour leaving the country in flames after the scrapping of Chinamasa’s  latest attempt to satisfy the international financial world by reigning in government spending. 

A meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil voted overwhelmingly against Zanu-PF being given any controlling say in an interim authority. It invited the worldwide diaspora to send their ideas for the way forward to the Vigil so we could discuss them at our next forum on 1st October with a view to coming forward with a common diaspora initiative. We have already received some ideas from Australia. Chairman Ephraim Tapa said we must be guided by the Vigil slogan ‘Zimbabwe in our hands’.

Other points

  • On Friday 16th September over 40 exiled Zimbabweans gathered at the Embassy to demand ‘Mugabe must go’ in support of protests back home. Flowers were laid at the door of the Embassy for Itai Dzamara who was abducted and disappeared 18 months ago.
  • Today we demonstrated in support of the call from Zimbabweans in the USA for worldwide protest. They were targeting the United Nations in New York where Mugabe is expected to attend the UN General Assembly. Some of our messages: ‘Mugabe: Free political activists’, ‘Free Zimbabwe’, Vigil supports Zimbabwe protest’, Release Linda Masarira’, ‘Where is Itai Dzamara’ and ‘Mugabe must go’.
  • We are sorry to report that our friend Humphrey Dube, a regular supporter, is in detention. We received a call on Friday night to say he reported to the Home Office and was detained and taken immediately to the airport to be deported. The call came two hours before his flight was due to leave. A special thanks to Ephraim Tapa and Fungayi Mabhunu who worked hard to stop this deportation. At the forum after the Vigil supporters were advised to talk to Vigil and ROHR personnel about difficulties with asylum matters so attempts at hasty deportation were less likely to happen.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Muchineripi Chigwedere, Farai Chiza, Piyo Choga, Flemming Diza, Daizy Fabian, Isabell Gwatidzo, Barbara Kachidza, Etines Kapiya, Jonathan Kariwo, Prosper Karuru, Fungayi Mabhunu, Honest Madondo, Phillip Mahlahla, Marian Mangani, Rosemary Maponga, Cephas Maswoswa, Edna Mdoka, Gladys Meck, Gift Moyo. Sharon Moyo, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Garikayi Munyaradzi, Mandifusa Mushambadope, Vusumuzi Ncube, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Casper Nyamakura, Pretty Okechukwu, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Benjamin Semwayo, Michael Sirewu, Emmaculate Tshuma, Sharon Zimuto and Elector Zvorwadza. Thanks to Roseline and Sharon for looking after the front table, to Chipo P, Simbarashe and Cephas Maswoswa for selling ‘Mugabe must go / has gone’ wristbands and to Phillip, Alfredy, Piyo, Casper and Honest for putting up the high banners. Thanks also to Elector who sold green vegetables from her garden to raise funds for ROHR and to Fungayi for playing the part of Mugabe.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. For videos of Vigils and other events, check the ROHR facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos?fref=photo.

FOR THE RECORD: 65 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 1st October from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 8th October from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
  • 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 8th October 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 a shop. 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.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 8th October. From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark nineteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Mike Campbell Foundation Fifth anniversary: Taking Effective Steps to Fight Dictatorship – Restoring Justice, Restoring People.  Wednesday 26th October at 6.30 pm. Venue: the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. For tickets: https://event.bookitbee.com/8186/mike-campbell-foundation-5-year-anniversary-event/.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2015 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/746-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2015. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
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Deluded Mugabe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 10th September 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 11 September 2016 17:48

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/29556486306/sizes/m/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/29301170590/sizes/m/  

A thousand years ago the Danish ruler Cnut became King of England. He is remembered today for sitting on a throne on the seashore, surrounded by courtiers, and ordering the tide to retreat. 

King Canute, as he is better known, was not mad. He was making the point that – however powerful he was – some things were beyond him. In the words of his first biographer he was showing ‘how empty and worthless is the power of kings’. He was not deluded like Mugabe, who believes he can stop the clock and avoid change.

Some foreign diplomats and MDC politicians have reported that Mugabe can apparently be ‘charming’. You could even, after his ‘resurrection’ remark last week, say there is an embryonic sense of humour. But it is clear that he does not have an imagination.

Mugabe’s rebuke to the judiciary for allowing demonstrations against his misrule illustrated his belief that the constitution is his to interpret. He is the law. He is the state. His powers are unlimited.

The Vigil waits with interest to see how he reacts when he wakes up and hears about Chinamasa’s sacking of 25,000 state workers, cuts in pay and allowances – and even scrapping the sacred bonuses. Last year Mugabe ordered the tide to retreat – and Chinamasa duly complied and restored bonuses. This year there simply isn’t the money to do this again. 

Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu who appeared at the Vigil in Mugabe mask and judge’s wig to demonstrate with the help of a ‘button stick’ the reality of power in Zimbabwe. He was surrounded by Vigil supporters carrying posters saying: ‘Chief Injustice Mugabe’, ‘Mugabe says protest is treason’ and ‘Mugabe: I am the law’.

Other points

  • Today we marked 18 months since the human rights activist Itai Dzamara was abducted. We also called for the release of ROHR member Linda Masarira who has been incarcerated for over two months on trumped-up charges relating to protests. At the Vigil we received some disturbing news about Linda. She has been accused of fanning riots in the female section of Chikurubi prison and transferred to solitary confinement in the male section where she will be in considerable danger. Rebecca Mafikeni, another activist, who was held in these cells, fell very ill and later died. People at the Vigil were angry at this spiteful persecution.
  • On Friday 16th September there will be a ‘Mugabe must go’ demonstration outside the Embassy from 11 am – 2 pm.  This has been organised by Zimbabweans from many different groups, including the Vigil.
  • Next Saturday 17th September the Vigil will be showing solidarity with Zimbabweans in the United States who are planning a protest to coincide with Mugabe’s scheduled visit to the UN. For more information check ‘Events and Notices’.
  • The Vigil was saddened to hear of the sudden death of Alan Wilkinson. Alan helped start the Vigil and was a tireless human rights campaigner for Zimbabwe, gay rights and other causes. Fellow campaigner Peter Tatchell writes: ‘I remember Alan as a great friend and human rights colleague. We worked together, and with you and many others, for democracy in Zimbabwe – doing protests at the 14-year-long Vigil outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. Alan was also a much-valued trustee of the Peter Tatchell Human Rights Fund and the Peter Tatchell Foundation. His support for our human rights work was wonderful.’ Alan’s funeral is at 3 pm on Thursday 15th September at the Golders Green Crematorium, Hoop Lane, London NW11 7NL (nearest station: Golders Green). There will be a wake for Alan at 5.30pm at the People's Tavern, 360 Victoria Park Road E9 7BT. For information, check: https://www.facebook.com/events/1078641972213120/1079340645476586/?notif_t=like¬if_id=1473239534881291.
  • The Mike Campbell Foundation is celebrating its fifth anniversary this October in London. The event 'Taking Effective Steps to Fight Dictatorship — Restoring Justice, Restoring People' will be held at the Royal Geographical Society. Speakers will include MCF Executive Director Ben Freeth MBE, alongside Bishop Ancelimo Magaya and Gift Konjana who are flying in from Zimbabwe for the event. Ben and his father-in-law Mike Campbell rose to prominence when they successfully sued the Mugabe regime in an international court of law after they were abducted, tortured, and nearly killed in Zimbabwe over the right to their farm. For details see ‘Events and Notices’.
  • Thanks to those who came early today to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Benjamin Chigamba, Audrey Chihoho, Mavis Chisvo, Flemming Diza, Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Prosper Karuru, Jean Kawara, Nancy Makurira, Cephas Maswoswa, Gladys Meck, Sharon Moyo, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Simbarashe Mutero, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Anna Pfende, Tawanda Rusape and Emmaculate Tshuma. Thanks to Roseline and Sharon for looking after the front table, to Chipo P and Simbarashe for selling ‘Mugabe must go’ wristbands and to Isaac Chawasarira for handing out flyers. It rained all afternoon so it was good that there were many helpers to put up the tarpaulin and banners. Thanks to Alfredy, Mduduzi, Phillip Mahlahla, Benjamin, Simbarashe, Flemming and Tawanda for this.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. For videos of Vigils and other events, check the ROHR facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos?fref=photo.

FOR THE RECORD: 49 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Mugabe must go demonstration. Friday 16th September from 11 am – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The messages are: ‘No to poverty, police brutality and corruption’, ‘Free and fair elections’, ‘Where is Itai Dzamara’ and ‘Release Linda Masarira’. All Zimbabweans and supporters are welcome to attend.
  • Solidarity demonstration with protest at the UN in New York. Saturday 17th September from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. Zimbabweans in the USA (MDC-USA together with #thisflag and #tajamuka) are planning a big protest to coincide with Mugabe’s scheduled visit to the UN General Assembly.  They are lobbying the UN to ensure comprehensive electoral reforms are implemented before the 2018 elections.  
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 17th September 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 another shop. 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.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 17th September from 12 noon – 2 pm. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL. Contact: Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899, Mavis Chisvo 07944612944.
  • ROHR Reading branch general meeting, summer BBQ and foodbank donation. Saturday 17th September from 12 noon to 9 pm. Venue: Pakistani Community Hall, London Road, Reading, RG1 3PA. For further enquiries contact: Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Charles Mararirakwenda 07964731721, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Saziso Zulu 07780067899, Deborah Harrry 07578894896, Sihle Sibanda 07985712749.
  • 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 17th September from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 8th October. From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark nineteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Mike Campbell Foundation fifth anniversary: Taking Effective Steps to Fight Dictatorship – Restoring Justice, Restoring People.  Wednesday 26th October at 6.30 pm. Venue: the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. For tickets: https://event.bookitbee.com/8186/mike-campbell-foundation-5-year-anniversary-event/.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2015 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/746-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2015. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
    ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835
 
Unlamented dictator – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 3rd September 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 04 September 2016 11:27

The news leaked out quickly despite the security clampdown. It always does. After all, it was not unexpected. The old tyrant had been felled by a stroke: probably dead, but anyway finished.

It had been a long time coming. No one was sure what would happen next. Who would take over? There were several obvious candidates but which one would move first?

Fresh in the memory was the sudden death of Malawi’s President Mutharika in 2012. As the Vigil recorded at the time, his corpse was flown to South Africa, ostensibly for medical treatment but really just to buy time for his inner circle to work out what to do.

This tyrant left a difficult legacy. Long decades of brutal oppression to elevate him to the status of a near deity. There was talk of opponents being boiled. The country was ruined.

Well at last he is gone. The official announcement when it came was brief. President Karimov is dead, the only President Uzbekistan has had since independence.

The Uzbek government described him as a great statesman who had brought ‘peace, stability, prosperity and progress’. Will we soon be hearing similar nonsense about Mugabe?

Other points

  • After a week of frenzied police violence against demonstrators and passers-by in Harare, the Zimbabwe Action Forum met after the Vigil to discuss the worsening situation. Ephraim Tapa, who has just returned from a clandestine visit, spoke of the worsening corruption he found. He said he had been told that euthanasia was being practiced in hospitals on those too poor to pay for life-saving treatment.
  • The meeting explored ideas for a transitional authority to take over bankrupt Zimbabwe and prepare for free and fair elections. There was discussion about whether this body should include politicians as well as members of civil society. People were asked to come up with ideas to discuss further at another meeting on 17th September.
  • The Vigil contributed generously to a collection for Vigil Co-ordinator Rose Benton whose sister Cathy has died suddenly in Zimbabwe. Rose was visibly moved and said the money, ‘the Cathy Memorial Fund’, would go to the joint ROHR Leicester / ROHR Hwange project which is feeding and paying for school fees for children in Hwange.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Teclar Bandawe, Elizabeth Chakachaka, Rosemary Guveya, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Edna Mdoka, Eletha Mpofu, Natash Mubaiwa, Alfredy Mukuvare, Tracy Mupeti, Mandifusa Mushambadope, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Jennipher Sabe, Alice Shimika, Michael Sirewu and Nathan Tanyanyiwa. Thanks to Eletha, Mandifusa and Cathrine Musa for looking after the front table and to Phillip, Alfredy, Mduduzi and Michael for putting up the banners and the tarpaulin.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. For videos of Vigils and other events, check the ROHR facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos?fref=photo.

FOR THE RECORD: 49 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 10th September From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark eighteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • ROHR Leicester branch meeting. Saturday 10th September from 2 – 4 pm. Venue: the Salvation Army, Kildare Street, Leicester LE1 3FY. Directions: Opposite Peking Chinese Restaurant, City Centre. Contact: Enniah Dube 07403439707, Yvonne Makombe 07453909247 and Moline Nyabonda 07961250525.
  • 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 organisation 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.
  • Solidarity demonstration with protest at the UN in New York. Saturday 17th September from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. Zimbabweans in the USA (MDC-USA together with #thisflag and #tajamuka) are planning a big protest to coincide with Mugabe’s planned visit to the UN General Assembly.  They are lobbying the UN to ensure comprehensive electoral reforms are implemented before the 2018 elections.  
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 17th September 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 a shop. 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 achievetrue democracy.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 17th September from 12 noon – 2 pm. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.Contact: Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899, Mavis Chisvo 07944612944.
  • ROHR Reading branch general meeting, summer BBQ and foodbank donation. Saturday 17th September from 12 noon to 9 pm. Venue: Pakistani Community Hall, London Road, Reading, RG1 3PA. For further enquiries contact: Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Charles Mararirakwenda 07964731721, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Saziso Zulu 07780067899, Deborah Harrry 07578894896, Sihle Sibanda 07985712749.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 17th September from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2015 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/746-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2015. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
LAST_UPDATED2
 
Topsy-turvy land – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 27th August 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 28 August 2016 17:18

The Mugabe ‘official’ view of the chaos in Harare on Friday is that it was the work of paid demonstrators for the imperialist West aiming at regime change. And, as everyone has learnt from the Herald, regime change is un-African.

This is not just a Zanu-PF attitude. Zuma, mired in corruption, spouts the same mantra. In fact there are all too many African leaders who view political opposition and any threat to their position as treasonous, justifying a change in the constitution to make this impossible.

In the topsy-turvy land of Zimbabwe, it was as if the demonstrators were the ones wielding the batons, indiscriminately spraying teargas around and blasting people with water cannons or worse. One would have thought it was the police who had been ordered by the High Court to stop a peaceful demonstration instead of being specifically told ‘not to interfere’.

If nothing else, Friday’s events show graphically how law and the constitution count for nothing in Mugabeland.

In a vivid account, the opposition MP Eddie Cross describes how he was on his way to take part in the protest when he was warned that it was dangerous to go any further.

‘I proceeded to the collection point through rock strewn roads, burning tyres and saw running battles between young people and the police. I saw water cannons in action with blue dye in the water and one machine putting out a fire . . .

‘I left the area and drove to Parliament to wash my face and get the tear gas out of my eyes. Then I tried to go back but was completely blocked by cars fleeing the battles in the central business district. Subsequently the street battles raged over much of the city, business closed down and the streets deserted. The army was deployed and helicopters were put up to monitor the people.

‘Was there any need for this? Absolutely not! I had participated in four previous marches and had not felt for one instance any threat or danger. Just cheerful thousands celebrating their right to protest at the state of crisis through which we are all living. The violence was instigated by the police who were totally responsible for what followed’ (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/816-the-precipice).

Mugabe’s spokesman who goes by the pseudonym Nathaniel Manheru justifies the unprovoked police brutality in a turgid article in the Herald running to nearly 3,000 words. The Vigil advises you skip the tired rants on the CIA, Yugoslavia, Cuba, Chile, Iraq, Libya, Ghana, Syria etc and go to the end, where he notes that the demonstration took place within days of the opening of the agricultural show by the Vice President of Sierra Leone.

‘Couldn’t the demonstration have waited? Or is a right delayed already denied? How about the rights of the teeming multitudes who broke day in the hope of fun? How about Zimbabwe’s obligations to citizens of other countries (leaders at that) under international law? How about public safety, law, order, life, limb? We sacrifice all that to look good in the eyes of the West?’ 

Sounding like Hitler in the bunker, he concludes: ‘The line has been crossed. From now onwards, it shall be another country. This so ‘caring’ world can go hang. We have a country to protect. And govern. After all, we have hit the bottom. We can’t fall’ (see: http://www.herald.co.zw/zimbabwe-to-decide-is-to-govern/). 

The Vigil thinks Charamba  (Manheru’s real persona) was ill-advised to mention the agricultural show, at which the nonagenarian Mugabe nearly fell as he climbed out of his car, had to be helped to walk in slippers and then sat silent and half asleep.

Other points

  • Vigil supporters demonstrated outside the Embassy on Thursday when Lynda Masarira of our sister organisation ROHR appeared in court in Mbare on trumped-up charges in connection with political activism. Lynda has been in jail for the past two months and was again remanded in custody until Wednesday 31st August. Lynda is in poor health and has been denied bail despite having young children. Thanks to the demonstrators: Anna Mwanza, Cephas Maswoswa, Chipo Kamhunga, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Dennis Benton, Edna Mdoka, Enniah Dube, Flemming Diza, George Chinamora, Grace Logia, Honest Madondo, Mduduzi Patrick Ndlovu, Nancy Makurira, Percy Dube, Rose Benton, Roseline Mukucha, Sharon Nziramasanga, Sharon Zimuto, Simbarashe Mutero and Zondiwe Gumede. Thanks to Enniah and Roseline for handing out flyers and selling our 'Mugabe must go / has gone' wristbands.
  • The Care Quality Commission has condemned a medical centre in Nottingham which was closed in June after the Vigil staged a series of protests outside. The clinic was run by a Zimbabwean doctor Sylvester Nyatsuro and his wife Veronica, who earlier this year violently seized a farm in Zimbabwe owned by a white couple. The Commission described the clinic as chaotic and noted that there was a culture of fear with staff being reprimanded and shouted at by management. It said an unregistered health care assistant had been passed off as a doctor at the clinic and allowed to carry out examinations. Dr Nyatsuro has lost his job for which he was paid more than £100,000 a year. It is not known how much his wife earned as the practice manager. The Vigil has presented a petition to 10 Downing Street calling for Dr Nyatsuro’s British citizenship to be revoked so he can start farming  (see: http://www.nottinghampost.com/willows-medical-centre-gp-resigns-as-damning-report-released/story-29655883-detail/story.html and http://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/new_reports/AAAF5260.pdf).
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Isaac Chawasarira, Mavis Chisvo, Joseph Chivayo, Humphrey Dube, Barbara Kachidza, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Honest Madondo, Phillip Mahlahla, Marian Mangani, Tafadzwa Mpumve, Nicodimus Muganhu, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Esther Munyira, Sally Mutseyami, Anna Mwanza, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Michael Sirewu, Nathan Tanyanyiwa and Sharon Zimuto. Thanks to Roseline, Cathrine Musa and Isaac for looking after the front table, to Chipo P for selling our wristbands and to Phillip, Alfredy, Honest, Humphrey and Joseph for putting up the banners. A special thank you to Phillip for expertly mending our very tattered plastic banners.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. For videos of Vigils and other events, check the ROHR facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos?fref=photo.

FOR THE RECORD: 40 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR South Yorkshire branch meeting. Monday 29th August from 1.30 – 3.30 pm. Venue: Christ Church, Ridge Road, Armley, Leeds LS12 3LE. For more information please contact: Sipilien Birani 07783149999, Patricia Nyawo 07443897919, Rosemary Mupunga 07446380110.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 3rd September from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
  • 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 3rd September 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 a shop. 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.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 3rd September from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 10th September From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark eighteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 17th September from 12 noon – 2 pm. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.Contact: Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899, Mavis Chisvo 07944612944.
  • ROHR Reading branch general meeting, summer BBQ and foodbank donation. Saturday 17th September from 12 noon to 9 pm. Venue: Pakistani Community Hall, London Road, Reading, RG1 3PA. For further enquiries contact: Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Charles Mararirakwenda 07964731721, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Saziso Zulu 07780067899, Deborah Harrry 07578894896, Sihle Sibanda 07985712749.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2015 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/746-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2015. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
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