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Virtual reality – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 26th June 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 27 June 2021 12:58

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/51272489978/sizes/m/

 

President Mnangagwa’s wealth is estimated at US$500 million by the research company Africa Risk Consultancy (ARC). He heads its list of the wealthiest members of Zimbabwe’s ‘ruling political elite’.

 

ARC says Mnangagwa has ‘substantive stakes in at least four national banks, several gold mines and equity interests in transport and agri-business companies’. It observes that his wealth contrasts grotesquely with the annual per capita income in Zimbabwe of about US$1,400 (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/report-exposes-harares-corrupt-elites-and-south-african-connections/).

 

The World Bank estimated this week that almost half of Zimbabweans are living in extreme poverty. It says good harvests offer some hope, with the biggest maize crop in almost four decades (see: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/jun/21/half-of-zimbabweans-fell-into-extreme-poverty-during-covid).

 

However agricultural experts say the actual yield in Zimbabwe will be ‘dismal’, with 1.4 tonnes per hectare compared with the 5.9 tonnes achieved in South Africa (see: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-06-21-zimbabwe-forecast-to-reap-biggest-maize-crop-in-almost-four-decades-but-yields-remain-dismal/).

 

The ARC report lists Vice President Chiwenga second on its list of the rich political elite. So it was interesting to hear him calling for a corruption-free Africa, saying that the cancerous scourge was depleting resources meant to benefit the public.

 

General Chiwenga was delivering a ‘virtual’ address to delegates at Victoria Falls marking Continental Africa Public Service Day. He said: ‘Corruption has become endemic in our culture and needs to be weeded out in our public systems. Zimbabwe has adopted a zero tolerance to corruption approach and has instituted arrests of perpetrators, some of whom have already been convicted and are currently serving their sentences.’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/06/corruption-is-endemic-in-africa-chiwenga/.)

 

The Vigil would point out to the wealthy general/politician Chiwenga the sad case of Stanley Kazhanje, former chair of the Zimbabwe Power Company, sentenced to imprisonment for corruption but refused admission to jail – no doubt because they are cluttered up with opposition people.

 

Short of breaking into jail, Mr Kazhanje has done all that he possibly can to be admitted – but to no avail. The police are simply not interested. At one stage a High Court judge ordered that he should surrender himself to the Registrar of the High Court, which he did. But the Registrar refused to accept him, saying he had no warrant for his committal. He was referred to the police officers at the court, who didn’t know what to do without a warranted committal (see: https://www.herald.co.zw/ex-zpc-boss-fails-to-find-way-to-jail/).

 

The Vigil asks how come, when opposition activists are bundled into jail, there is not the same problem? Perhaps Vice President wealthy General Chiwenga could make a ‘virtual’ jail for the convicted elite? About a third of Zimbabwe’s annual gold production was lost to smuggling last year according to Fidelity Printing and Refiners, an arm of the central bank. It amounts to about US$1.5 billion. The head of Zimbabwe’s miners’ federation Henrietta Rushwaya, who is close to the President, was arrested last October on her way to Dubai with six kilograms of gold. Unfortunately, because of the backlog, she is yet to face justice (see: https://www.barrons.com/news/zimbabwe-says-lost-third-of-gold-output-to-smugglers-01624385108?tesla=y).

 

Other Points:

  • A ‘Celebration of Life’ ceremony was held yesterday for seven-year-old Jesse who sadly passed away last month. His mother, Isabell Gwatidzo, asked us to pass on her gratitude to all those who contributed to the costs and to those who, despite Covid restrictions, attended the event. They were: Alice Majola, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Daizy Fabian, David Mukaro, Dumi,Tutani, Ephraim Tapa, Etines Kapiya, Grace Munyanyi, Jonathan Kariwo, Lucia Mudzimu, Patricia Masamba, Peter Sidindi, Sharon Moyo and Tarisai Murwira. For photos, check:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157719463396201
  • 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/72157719514123740. Our virtual Vigil activists today were Grace Munyanyi, Jane Kaphuwa, Garikai Mananje and Margaret Munenge who all 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 organisation 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.
  • 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

 
Zanu PF gearing up for violence – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 19th June 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 20 June 2021 13:38

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/51257683283/sizes/m/

 

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition has accused President Mnangagwa of planning a clampdown on the opposition MDC Alliance ahead of the elections due in two years’ time.

 

Crisis Coalition said this was shown by Mnangagwa’s recent description of MDC A as ‘a terrorist organisation’ and the government’s revival of the controversial National Youth Training Service programme – known as the Green Bombers – who unleashed violence against opposition supporters in previous elections.

 

It noted that the president last month also urged war veterans to again campaign for Zanu PF ahead of the elections. War veterans were also notorious for their violence. Crisis Coalition noted: ‘It is unfortunate that the ruling party has gone a gear up to threaten more violence, and this time, it is President Mnangagwa himself inciting Zanu PF supporters against the opposition’.

 

Mnangagwa’s attack on MDC A came in remarks at a meeting with war veterans in Harare, at which he described the opposition party as ‘pro violence’ and ‘anti people’. MDC A deputy spokesperson Clifford Hlatywayo says that, on the contrary, it was Mnangagwa who was responsible for untold suffering and terror. ‘He is preaching hatred to cover for his terror acts. What kind of leader does that?’ (See: https://www.thestandard.co.zw/2021/06/13/mdc-alliance-are-terrorists-ed/.)

 

The breakaway MDC T faction led by Douglas Mwonzora has been shaken by his unannounced meeting with Mnangagwa and Deputy President General Chiwenga at State House. Mwonzora did not take any party leaders with him and said the meeting was ‘merely setting the tone for dialogue’ ahead of the elections.

 

MDC T’s Vice President Thokozani Khupe apparently didn’t know about the meeting and the party’s national chairperson Morgen Komichi appeared unsure of what the meeting was about (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/06/ed-mwonzora-secret-meeting-divides-mdc-t/).

 

A ‘disgruntled MDC T insider’ is quoted in the Zimbabwean as suggesting that Mwonzora, having failed to get grass roots support across the country, was looking to Mnangagwa to include him in a ‘unity government’ (see: https://www.thezimbabwean.co/2021/06/zanu-pf-lacoste-zanu-pf-mwonzora-to-form-unity-government/).

 

It all looks like the scenario outlined by former Zanu PF minister Jonathan Moyo in his book Excelgate, which explained in detail how Zanu PF has honed election rigging machinery as part of what commentator Jethro William Mpofu described as ‘an evil and murderous, corrupt system’ (see: https://www.zimlive.com/2021/05/27/excelgate-the-anatomy-of-electoral-fraud-and-force-in-zimbabwe/).

 

Other Points:

  • A survey by the research group Afro Barometer says two-thirds of Zimbabweans believe the country is going in the wrong direction. The survey says that if presidential elections were held at the moment 33% of respondents would vote for Zanu PF and 26% for MDC A. The others would not say who they would vote for (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/06/zim-going-in-wrong-direction/).
  • The Independent says President Nyusi of Mozambique visited Zimbabwe earlier this month for talks with Mnangagwa on military assistance against the Islamist insurgency in its northern Cabo Delgado province. The insurgency is threatening a US$20 billion French investment in a liquified national gas project there and the Independent says Nyusi was asked by the French government to seek Mnangagwa’s help. Apparently France is offering technical and financial support. The Independent says France also suggested it would lobby for the removal of EU sanctions against Zimbabwe (see: https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2021/06/18/macron-seeks-zims-intervention-in-moz/).

·         A reminder of the opportunity to remember 7-year-old Jesse Tafara Gwatidzo, who passed away last month. See: https://jessegwatidzo.muchloved.com/ and Notices below.

  • 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/72157719429002663. Our virtual Vigil activists today were Grace Munyanyi  and Jane Kaphuwa who both 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:

·         Jesse’s ‘Celebration of Life’ Ceremony. Friday 25th June at Beckenham Cemetery, Elmers End Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 4TD. Funeral at 1.15 pm and Burial at 2 pm. For more details: https://jessegwatidzo.muchloved.com/. All are welcome.

  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation 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.
  • 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

 
Crisis, what crisis? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 12th June 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 13 June 2021 13:38

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/51243664770/sizes/m/

 

In Zimbabwe beggars apparently can be choosers. While people all over the world clamour for vaccines against the Covid 19 pandemic, Zimbabwe has turned down a donation of 3 million doses.

 

The vaccines were to have been delivered by the African Export-Import Bank which, under a deal with the African Union, will pay for 220 million doses. Zimbabwe’s rejection of its allocation is not a problem for the African Union, which can simply reallocate the vaccines to other countries. But it certainly is a problem for the people of Zimbabwe.

 

As leaders of the world’s major democratic countries met in the UK it was estimated that less than 1% of vaccinations have been in Africa. The ‘Group of Seven’ democratic powers agreed to donate hundreds of millions more vaccines, but it is doubtful whether Zimbabwe can pick and choose.

 

It has been suggested that the reason Zimbabwe turned down the donation was because the vaccine offered was made by Johnson & Johnson in the UK, which is one of the world’s leaders in vaccinations. In a letter to the African Export-Import Bank, the Zimbabwe government said it was analysing possible side effects of the vaccine.

 

Finance Ministry secretary George Guvamatanga also said the country does not have facilities to store the vaccine at 2 – 8 degrees Celsius. But Dr Norman Matara, of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights, said the Johnson & Johnson vaccines were stored at the same temperature as China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines, which Zimbabwe has been using since February.

 

Dr Matara said that, in addition, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only required one dose while the Chinese vaccines needed two.’ So, we do not get it why they would reject those vaccines.’ He could have added that the Chinese vaccines have proved less efficacious than Western alternatives.

 

Political commentator Rejoice Ngwenya said poor relations between Zimbabwe and the UK was the main reason the donation was rejected, he said it was tragic when citizens were under threat. ‘I really think that the ZANU-PF government should desist from politicizing these issues and get out of its arrogance to ensure the safety and security of citizens of Zimbabwe is safeguarded.’

 

The government says it still has vaccines it has obtained from China, Russia and India but many places have run out of vaccines and there was a protest last week at the country’s main vaccination centre in Harare (see: https://www.voanews.com/covid-19-pandemic/zimbabwe-rejects-donation-covid-19-vaccine-amid-shortages).

 

Other Points:

  • The European Union says it cannot fully engage with the Zimbabwean government unless it implements far-reaching political and economic reforms. After a meeting in Harare with the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Frederick Shava, the EU said it had expressed concern over curtailed democratic space in Zimbabwe over the last year and reports of continued violations of human rights such as enforced disappearances and lengthy unjustified detentions, the arrests of journalists and other limitations to freedom of expression and the media (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/06/no-reforms-no-ties-renewal-eu-tells-ed/).
  • One the two MDC Alliance activists freed from prison after ten years for a crime they did not commit, Tungamirai Madzokere has told Newsday about the harrowing treatment they underwent. His sleeping space was so small he could not turn over. Many people died because of the poor diet and harsh conditions and others went insane (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/06/mdc-jailbirds-recount-tale-of-horror/).
  • Many Vigil activists will welcome the opportunity to remember 7-year-old Jesse Tafara Gwatidzo (who passed away last month. Jesse’s ‘Celebration of Life’ ceremony will be held on Friday 25 June at Beckenham Cemetery. Funeral at 1.15 pm and Burial at 2 pm. For more details: https://jessegwatidzo.muchloved.com/. All are welcome.
  • 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/72157719401084339/with/51243664770/. Our virtual Vigil activist today was Grace Munyanyi  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:

  • Jesse’s ‘Celebration of Life’ Ceremony. Friday 25th June at Beckenham Cemetery, Elmers End Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 4TD. Funeral at 1.15 pm and Burial at 2 pm. For more details: https://jessegwatidzo.muchloved.com/. All are welcome.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation 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.
  • 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
 
Zimbabwe a global museum – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 5th June 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 06 June 2021 11:44

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/51227316883/sizes/m/

 

President Mnangagwa has described Zimbabwe as the ‘museum capital of the world’. Speaking at the opening of the Bulawayo Arts Festival, he called on local authorities to rename buildings and streets after the country’s heroes.

 

Mnangagwa visited monuments and museums including the Natural History Museum, which he said ‘has the biggest collection of both animal and human relics on this earth and I am told that some of the most rare artifacts in the world are found here’. (See: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zim-is-a-global-museum-mnangagwa/.)

 

He also went to the Hanging Tree where people were hanged in an Ndebele uprising against white settlers in 1896. Recently he unveiled a statue in Harare of Mbuya Nehanda, a 19th century spirit medium who has become a liberation heroine. Mnangagwa described the erection of the statue as a victory against colonialism.

 

According to the Herald the statue cost $56 million. The expenditure has been widely criticised at a time when the health system is under great strain because of the Covid 19 pandemic.

 

The writer Cathy Buckle, in her latest ‘letter from Zimbabwe’, says that some 500 kilometres away in Chimanimani victims of Cyclone Idai two years ago feel abandoned. One survivor is quoted as saying ‘Most people are still living in tents. Imagine staying in a tent every day for the past two years. We are really getting worried that this will be our life forever. What we thought would have happened and the promises we had been given, have not been fulfilled and we have lost hope.’ (See: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/river-of-many-hippos-and-the-bronze-statue/.)

 

The leader of MDC Alliance, Nelson Chamisa, says the situation in most urban centres is dire. Speaking during a tour of Harare’s residential areas, he said he was shocked by the poverty levels and the amount of uncollected garbage, which he blamed on government interference in local authorities.

 

His party is launching a national clean-up campaign. Chamisa said: ‘We can do a lot to take care of our environment. We have a failed leadership in this country, but as we wait to resolve and fix the fundamental broad question on failed leadership, we can do something at a community level, at a local level. It’s about residents doing something to fix our own problems. I have just walked around, it is so embarrassing.’ (See: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/were-doomed-chamisa/.)

 

Less serious but also embarrassing is the secret suffering of men beaten up by their wives. Kenyan men have appealed for help in this new men’s liberation struggle (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1145-tell-our-wives-were-in-charge-men-in-kenya-plead).

 

The  crisis extends to Zimbabwe where one poor man has had the tables turned and instead of continuing happily to beat up his wife she has taken lessons in martial arts and is now beating him up. He has appealed for donations to take self-defence classes (see: https://www.facebook.com/TheCitizenZim/posts/man-flees-home-after-wife-bashes-himappeals-for-donations-to-take-up-self-defenc/537591097687228/).

 

Other Points:

  • Despite Mnangagwa’s appeal to respect the country’s history, his government has launched a nationwide campaign to replace the famous blair toilets which were invented at Zimbabwe’s Blair Research Institute in the 1970s to improve rural sanitation. National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Daniel Garwe said new flushable toilets were going to replace them. Hopefully some of the historic blair toilets will be preserved – perhaps at parliament (see: https://www.herald.co.zw/govt-bans-blair-toilets/).
  • 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/72157719352991284. Our virtual Vigil activists today were Esther Munyira and Grace Munyanyi  who both 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 organisation 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.
  • 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

 
Government’s magical fix for economy – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 29th May 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 29 May 2021 20:46

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/51212253780/sizes/m/

 

Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the new National Development Strategy is ‘the magic wand to steer the economy on a growth trajectory and stabilise the exchange rate’.

 

At a post-cabinet briefing Mutsvangwa acknowledged that the last plan launched by the Mnangagwa government, the Transitional Stabilisation Programme, had failed but said the new one would ensure achievement of a prosperous upper-middle-income society by 2030.

 

It envisaged growth averaging 5% a year, with a sustainable fiscal deficit of 1.2% of GDP, exchange rate stability and single digit inflation based on doing away with ‘unmitigated and unbudgeted subsidies’. (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/05/govt-admits-policy-failures/.)

 

Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti will not be convinced by the wave of a magic wand. Taking part in an online review of a report on private and state cartels in the region, he said ‘Zimbabwe faces the biggest existential crisis as a country because we are now run by bandits and thugs’.

 

He said reports of corruption in Zimbabwe only ‘scratched the surface’. It had become worse since the military coup in 2017. ‘For all intents and purposes we have become a fully-fledged kleptocratic state’.

 

Biti estimated that 82 cents from every dollar collected as tax in Zimbabwe goes on corruption. ‘Corruption is a cancer. It is the major cause of Zimbabwe’s fragility and instability’.

 

He continued: ‘the impact of corruption is more than the pauperisation of Zimbabwe. It is more than the under-development of Zimbabwe, it is also the de-democratisation of Zimbabwe.’

 

Mark Heywood, editor of Maverick Citizen, said: ‘The personal wealth of President Emmerson Mnangagwa is estimated at $500 million, yet the per capita income of a Zimbabwean is in the region of $900. Zimbabwe is a country rich in resources, but it is poor in terms of what it has been subjected to in terms of very sophisticated and sustained corruption’.

 

Maverick Citizen recently published a report on cartels contributed to by Zimbabwean academics and published in South Africa anonymously as they feared reprisals by the Zimbabwean government. The online review was hosted by the Mail and Guardian (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimbabwe-faces-an-existential-crisis-like-never-before-says-former-finance-minister-tendai-biti/).

 

Last word goes to Zimbabwean social justice activist Farai Maguwu: ‘the greatest challenge of this generation is to fight corruption and everybody has a role to play, especially the media, as research such as the cartel report is required to fight corruption. It is time for ethical leadership to emerge.’ (See: https://mg.co.za/special-reports/2021-05-27-exploring-the-role-of-illicit-financial-flows-in-zimbabwes-political-economy/.)

 

Other Points:

  • With widespread poverty in Zimbabwe, there has been criticism of the government for spending money on a ten-foot statue of Nehanda Charwe Nyakasikana, a nineteenth century spirit medium and anti-colonial figurehead. Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono said it was a disgrace to squander money on the Harare statue when hospitals were in an state of collapse. ‘Doctors and nurses at Mpilo hospital in Bulawayo are having to carry sick patients or the dead using staircases, because elevators are not working! This is why we are saying building multimillion dollar statues when hospitals are not working is illogical!’ (See: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/may/26/anger-in-zimbabwe-at-nehanda-statue-amid-collapsing-economy?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other).
  • 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/72157719295156338. Our virtual Vigil activists today were Margaret Munenge, Grace Munyanyi and Dudzai Mukondorongwe who all 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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The Zimbabwe Vigil exists entirely on donations from the public and well wishers. You can help us by donating via a deposit into our account Thank you.

Polls

Do you think Mugabe will still be in power in a year?