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Food for Embassy – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 20th December 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 21 December 2014 14:31

Picture link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/15446482833/sizes/m/

 

After learning that Zimbabwean diplomats were going without pay because of lack of funds at the Foreign Ministry the Vigil arranged an emergency Christmas food drop for Zimbabwe House in London. We left a pile of food and other supplies in the Embassy’s doorway with the notice:

Christmas Appeal:

  • Zimbabwean diplomats starving,

  • Leave food for them here,

  • (Sorry – no GM foods)

     

    We also pushed under the door the following letter:

     

    Dear brothers and sisters in the Zimbabwe Embassy

     

    We Zimbabwean exiles in the UK who have gathered outside the Embassy every Saturday since 2002 are worried at hearing that Zimbabwean diplomats have apparently not been paid for the past 20 months (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_zim-diplomats-abroad-yet-to-receive-salaries/‘Zim diplomats abroad yet to receive salaries’).

     

    It pains us to think of you going hungry at Christmas so we have brought some food and left it in your doorway as you have not answered your bell to us for twelve years. We trust that John the caretaker will give it to the Ambassador so that he can divide it fairly among you.

     

    We know it is not much but you will understand that many of us struggle financially as we are called on to send money home to our starving families from the little we earn as, in your words, ‘bottom wipers’ in the UK.

     

    We are comforted, however, that you at least have the Embassy to sleep in and do not have to make do with cardboard boxes to keep out the cold, which is the lot of some Zimbabweans here.

     

    Be assured that when Zimbabwe has received the $50 billion or so it has claimed for damages caused by illegal sanctions, the government of his Senile Excellency will once again be able to pay your salaries.

     

    Until then, we fear, there is scant hope so we suggest you apply for assistance from your nearest benefits office which we trust will smile at your request.

     

    The Vigil urges you not to pursue the way of the Gambian High Commission which has been turned into a tax-free tobacconist and has seen four of its diplomats jailed here (see: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2868771/Gambian-diplomats-jailed-running-tax-free-tobacconist-Kensington-embassy-cheated-British-taxpayers-5million.html).

     

    Best wishes for Christmas and may 2015 bring the 2.2 million jobs promised for last year.

     

    We had thought of the food drop as primarily a symbolic gesture to show up the failures of the Mugabe regime, with people supplying unwanted food from their own resources. But one supporter went to the supermarket to buy food specially and another brought sanitary towels and condoms. In addition, two passers-by went and bought extra food.

     

    This is our 13th Christmas in the cold outside the Embassy and, despite the Herald proclaiming ‘there is hope the country will soon claim its rightful position as an economic giant in the region’, all we see is massive delusion (see: Economists hail Congresshttp://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-economists-hail-congress-the-herald/).

     

    Amid the charade of the Chinamasa budget and the Zanu PF Congress, we hear of hunger reaching further even in the towns (see: Starvation strikes Zim’s urban dwellers – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-starvation-strikes-zims-urban-dwellers/). ‘“The current inability of the economy to address people’s basic needs is leading to hunger in most urban households, with almost none of urban residents affording three meals a day nowadays,” said Philip Bohwasi, chairperson of the Council of Social Workers.

     

    The recent budget devoted more than 80% of government revenue to Civil Service pay but every ministry, except that maintaining the President, complained they were not getting nearly enough money.  The Mugabes however, gobble up money. We learn that the amount spent on them so far this year is 75 times more that the capital spending on every school in Zimbabwe (http://www.theafricareport.com/Southern-Africa/zimbabwes-president-mugabes-holiday-spending-under-the-spotlight.htmlZimbabwe's president Mugabe's holiday spending under the spotlight).

     

    Other points

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 27th December from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • Demonstration in support of Africa Unity Square protester Itai Dzamara. Saturday 17th January. Further details: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/636-occupy-unity-square-protest-zimbabwe-embassy-london-saturday-17th-january-2015-from-2-5-pm)

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 17th January 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.

  • Zimbabwe meeting in Parliament. Monday 19th January from 3.30 – 6 pm. Venue: House of Commons. For information contact: Nicodimus Muganhu – 07877386792, Erick Eluwasi – 07532021348, Charles Ndlovu – 07413879590, Sally Mutseyami – 07448730581, Thandiwe Gwarumba - 07503512308

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 31st January 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 2013 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/560-vigil-highlights-2013. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2013 Highlights page.

 
Senile Mugabe not voice of Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 13th December 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 13 December 2014 23:15

The Vigil has delivered a letter to the Ghanaian High Commission in London apologising for the insulting remarks about Ghana made by Mugabe at the Zanu PF Congress. We are particularly concerned because senile Mugabe is the President-elect of the African Union and is bringing the whole of Africa not just Zimbabwe into world ridicule. The letter reads:

 

Dear High Commissioner

 

Zimbabweans exiled in the United Kingdom apologise to the people of Ghana for the ill-informed and gratuitously insulting comments about their country made by our illegitimate President Robert Mugabe.

 

Speaking at the ruling Zanu-PF’s recent Congress, Mugabe said: ‘I have been to Ghana, 1958 – 1960, and when you look at them now and compare their present situation to that which existed in the 1960s, no change. There might be more people yes. There may be one road from the airport that has been well done. That’s about all. No change.’

 

What makes these ignorant remarks so offensive to us as well is because of the high regard in Zimbabwe for Mugabe’s Ghanaian-born first wife Sally, who was betrayed by Mugabe on her deathbed in favour of his current wife Grace.

 

We commend former Ghanaian President John Kufuor for his restrained response to Mugabe’s senile drivelling. Mr Kafuor said Mugabe’s comments were his own ‘opinion’ but noted ‘Ghana has made some fantastic improvements since the 1960s’ (see:  http://www.newzimbabwe.com/news-19324-Ghana+ex-president+dismisses+Mugabe/news.aspx).

 

Mr Kafuor also pointed out that Ghana is a democracy which allows people to express themselves freely. We at the Zimbabwe Vigil represent some of the millions of people who have fled Zimbabwe where Mugabe has rigged successive elections to stay in power.

 

We would point out that Ghana is not the only country to have been insulted by Mugabe. Nigeria has also been traduced while Jamaicans – who used to be firm Mugabe followers – have been dismissed as ignorant drug addicts.

 

Yours sincerely, Zimbabwe Vigil

 

We in the UK look around in the streets of London, Luton, Leicester etc and find fellow Zimbabweans but a distinct absence of Ghanaians driven into exile by oppression and poverty. Perhaps, as Mugabe says, it’s the absence of roads in Ghana . . .

 

Speaking of Zimbabweans in the UK, the Vigil is alarmed that so many of them are Zanu PF supporters. Evidence of this came in recent photos in the Zimbabwean media here of a Zanu PF meeting in the UK which showed enthusiastic support for Mugabe. A Vigil supporter said that this was because they were promised farms or other favours if they returned to Zimbabwe. Confirmation of Zanu PF’s popularity in the UK came in a report in The Herald about corruption in the selling of Zanu PF membership cards. Zanu PF says about $400,000 can’t be accounted for and cites, as an example, that South Africa received 3,000 cards but 2,881 of them had yet to be accounted for. In contrast, ‘the United Kingdom received an equal number but sold all the 3,000 cards’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-400k-membership-cards-missing-the-herald/ - $400k membership cards missing).

 

Since Zimbabweans in the UK are, because of Britain’s legislative backlog, entitled to vote in next May’s knife-edge general election, even if they are not UK citizens, Zanu PF supporters here could consider forming a lobby group promoting Mugabe’s values. Given the anxiety about the number of immigrants coming to this country, the British might be attracted by the call for indigenisation! They should call on the veteran Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, who is on record for her praise of Mugabe’s inspirational policies.

 

 

Other points

  • The Vigil has been pressing the Home Office for a meeting to discuss Zanu PF activity in the UK and other questions of concern to Zimbabwean exiles here. To reinforce our request we plan to hold a demonstration outside the Home Office in the new year. Details are to be finalised at a meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum on 17th January.

  • January promises to be a busy time for the Vigil. We have been approached by a supporter of the brave Occupy Africa Unity Square activist Itai Dzamara to hold a protest in his support on 17th January. And on 19th January there will be a meeting to discuss Zimbabwe in a Parliamentary committee room arranged by Alok Sharma MP at the request of ROHR Reading Branch. We will give more details as plans develop.

  • We were interested in an article in the Financial Gazette raising questions about the visit to Zimbabwe by a British business delegation. The paper said that British companies operating in Zimbabwe had downplayed the effect of corruption in the face of ‘growing public concern that the scourge had become endemic in the country’. It noted that Zimbabwe was ranked 156 out of 175 countries on the corruption scale (see: Zimbabwe: British Firms Underplay Zim Corruption – http://allafrica.com/stories/201412120219.html). As the British press would put it: ‘All rather smelly’.

  • We hope the British Embassy in Harare, all too keen to cosy up to Zanu PF, has read the article in the British Daily Mail alleging that British businessman Nicholas van Hoogstraten is bankrolling Dr Grace in her power quest. It says, quoting leaked CIO documents: ‘Grace has spent £2m on shopping this year, including 62 pairs of Ferragamo shoes and 33 of Gucci, 12 diamond rings, a $115,000 Rolex and – most astonishingly – a $300,000 diamond-encrusted headboard. The papers also show she has spent £30,000 on lingerie . . .’ (see: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2870376/Nicholas-van-Hoogstraten-bankrolls-Grace-Mugabe-s-bid-power-Zimbabwe.html). Or the British Embassy could look at the revelations of Zanu PF corruption now disclosed by the sacked former Deputy Minister of Information Bright Matonga (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-matonga-exposes-corrupt-bigwigs/ – Matonga exposes corrupt bigwigs). And as far as the rule of law is concerned we hope the Embassy will alert prospective British investors to the ongoing saga of the illegal land seizure by Dr. Ray Ndhlukula, Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/634-attempted-takeover-of-boxwell-and-banovellum-farms-).

  • We draw your attention to a BBC programme on Zimbabwe’s economy broadcast on 9th December (see: Zimbabwe's Economy, More or Less – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02d20kx).

  • Grateful thanks to Epiphania Phiri for her continuing fundraising efforts. She deposited £46 into our bank account this week. This is a great help as we are entirely self-funding. Thanks also to Mary Muteyerwa, David Kadzutu, Eunice Mucherechedzo, Peter Sidindi, Nkosikana Tshabangu, Paul Fusire and Fungayi Mabhunu for coming early to help set up.

     

    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: 34 signed the register.

     

    EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 27th December from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • Demonstration in support of Africa Unity Square Protester Itai Dzamara. Saturday 17th January. Further details later.

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 17th January 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.

  • Zimbabwe meeting in Parliament. Monday 19th January. Details to follow.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 31st January 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 2013 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/560-vigil-highlights-2013. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2013 Highlights page.

 
Who cares about food? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 6th December 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 06 December 2014 21:58

Picture link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/15774707260/sizes/m/

 

We are told that providing bread and circuses was the way Roman emperors kept the people satisfied. The Vigil thinks that Emperor Mugabe, despite his sweaty Oscar-worthy performance at the party congress, has fallen short in the bread department. Circus-wise he’s done well.

 

Expelled former Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo – free now to express his real opinion – described the ‘non-elective’ congress as a circus (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_zanu-pf-has-now-become-childs-play-gumbo-dailynews-live/ – Zanu PF has now become child’s play — Gumbo). It certainly had all the attributes: clowns, acrobats and bear baiting. Zanu PF, Gumbo added, had been hijacked by ‘vultures’.

 

Although the Vigil always rejoices in the repentance of a sinner, we believe the vultures have been there from the beginning. But we can celebrate the sudden enlightenment of Zanu PF’s thieves and gullible idiots who find themselves now hounded by drunken youths high on M’gabebanje.

 

The brainwashed masses – having driven down Dr Grace Mugabe Way to Robert Mugabe Square – were ecstatic at the Mugabe ‘praise and worship show’, revelling in the familiar anti-Western rhetoric and the lunatic fantasies of the senile tyrant: ‘I have been to Ghana, 1958 – 1960, and when you look at them now and compare their present situation to that which existed in the 1960s, no change. There might be more people yes. There may be one road from the airport that has been well done. That’s about all. No change.’ He added that most French colonies had remained dependent on their former coloniser (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-president-on-assassination%e2%80%a2-mujuru-engaged-mdc-t-nangas-%e2%80%a2-vp-misses-third-straight-indaba-the-herald/ – President on assassination).

.

The people of Ghana, a former British not French colony, would no doubt be interested to see how they are described by the Zimbabwe liberation icon as Ghana is generally regarded as one of Africa’s success stories. (Even if Mugabe detects a shortage of roads . . .)  

 

Mugabe’s detachment from reality was endorsed by the gushing praise from other liberation movements, such as the December 12 Movement from the United States represented by Comrade Coltrane Chimurenga who said members of his organisation considered themselves to be Zimbabweans because of their admiration for President Mugabe, whose star had risen across the world: ‘He always says the truth. We say no to factionalism. We say no to people who say the West is best: they are Judases’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-liberation-movements-express-solidarity-with-zanu-pf-the-herald/ – Liberation movements express solidarity with Zanu-PF).

.

Well, now the congress is over, Emperor Mugabe can take his usual well-deserved holiday until his birthday celebrations in February while the purged leadership gets on with the goal of the congress: ‘Accelerated implementation of Zim-Asset’. But since this programme is completely vacuous, all it requires is a letter to Father Christmas. As for bread for the people, the Zanu PF leadership can enjoy their month-long festive break without troubling themselves about this. After all, surely this is a job for the despised West?

 

Other points

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 13th December from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 17th January 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.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 31st January 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 2013 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/560-vigil-highlights-2013. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2013 Highlights page.

 
Six impossible things before breakfast – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 29th November 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 29 November 2014 21:37

As Chinamasa delivered his fantasy budget, the Vigil turned to Alice in Wonderland for an insight in what is going on in Zimbabwe. After all, like Alice in the book, we are in a world where we are required to believe six impossible things before breakfast. In our case:

  1. ‘We are not a basket case’ (Chinamasa tells a Johannesburg business breakfast).

  2. ‘Zimbabwe’s economic prospects are weighed down by sanctions’ (Chinamasa’s budget speech).

  3. ‘Corruption has been caused by sanctions’ (Chinamasa tells Danish delegation).

  4. ‘The exposure of corruption in the media is the work of subversive elements trying to destroy the government from within’ (Vice President Mujuru).

  5. ‘Zim-Asset is the answer to our problems’ (Zanu-PF mantra).

  6. ‘The Khampepe Report (on the 2002 elections) is a mere private opinion’ (official Zanu-PF view).

     

    As Zanu PF leaders run around in a circle like Alice in Wonderland’s crazy Caucus-race, allegiances fade away like the Cheshire Cat, leaving only a grin floating in mid-air.

     

    In this topsy-turvy world it seems that Joyce Mujuru is cast as Alice eating cake until she grows too big and Queen of Hearts Grace orders: ‘Off with her head and the heads of all her supporters’.

     

    Mugabe himself is obviously the book’s Dormouse, forever falling asleep at the Mad Hatter’s eternal tea party as they try to stuff him into the teapot.

     

    Will they all wake up before it’s too late?

     

    As Alice says, the Crocodile awaits:

    ‘How cheerfully he seems to grin,

    And neatly spreads his claws,

    And welcomes little fishes in,

    With gently smiling jaws!’

     

    (For those who need reminding of the Alice story, see: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/alice/summary.html.)

     

    For an analysis of the fantasy budget, see this article by the Zimbabwean economist Tony Hawkins writing for the UK Financial Times (http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2014/11/28/zimbabwe-ducks-wage-bill-pledge-in-new-budget/).

     

    Other points

  • A Zimbabwean woman who dropped by the Vigil said she used to work for Air Zimbabwe and recalled that 15 years ago she witnessed a full plane preparing for take-off being unloaded so that Dr Grace could be flown on a shopping trip to Paris. They even reconfigured the passenger seats to put in a bed for her. We expect that when she is President she will need the whole fleet for her shopping expeditions.

  • We have received the following message: On behalf of all the Trustees of the Mike Campbell Foundation, I would like to thank all the Vigil who came to the Royal Geographical Society on November 4th for their wonderful singing.  What a joy it was for everyone arriving to hear . . . Please can you thank them all for coming and giving a message of Hope.  It is hard to keep the Hope when such terrible things are going on . . . Many thanks to you all. God bless you, with love Claire (Freeth). For those who missed our report on the occasion see Vigil Diary of 8th November: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/628-eu-betrays-zimbabwe-zimbabwe-vigil-diary-8th-november-2014.

  • Thanks to David Kadzutu, Mary Muteyerwa, Iline Manhunzi, Peter Sidindi, Linton Magume, Mavis Chisvo, Rosemary Maponga, Nkosikona Tshabangu, Eric Eluwasi and Fungayi Mabhuni who were there at the start of the Vigil to help set up.

     

    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: 26 signed the register.

     

    EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Executive Committee meeting. Saturday 6th December from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: RISC 35-39 London St, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 4PS.

  • 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) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy. 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 Vigil Highlights 2013 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/560-vigil-highlights-2013. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2013 Highlights page.

 
Lies and hypocrisy – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 22nd November 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 22 November 2014 23:41

Photolink: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/15667072948/sizes/m/

 

Vigil founder member Ephraim Tapa, speaking outside the South African High Commission in London, appealed to South Africa to reverse its policy and stand with the people of Zimbabwe and support our demand for democracy and human rights.

 

He was speaking as Vigil supporters delivered a letter to the High Commission about the findings of the South African Judicial Observer Mission sent to report on the 2002 Zimbabwe elections. This report has now been released on the instructions of the South African Constitutional Court after having being suppressed by the Pretoria government. As long suspected, the report concludes that the election could not be considered free and fair.

 

Ephraim Tapa said he had personal experience of the abuses during the 2002 elections. At the time of the vote he was being held in a Zanu PF torture base before he managed to escape from Zimbabwe.

 

‘If the report had been published at the time perhaps the international community would have insisted on a new election under international supervision’, he said. ‘The farm evictions, Murambatsvina, the 2008 meltdown would not have happened. We would have got rid of Mugabe a long time ago.

 

‘South Africa was part author of the Zimbabwe crisis’, he added. ‘They must now acknowledge that there is a crisis in Zimbabwe and treat refugees better.’

 

The demonstrators pushed the Vigil’s letter under the iron gates of the High Commission, as it does not open on a Saturday. The letter read:

 

Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

c/o South African High Commission

 

Dear Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

 

Zimbabwean exiles in the UK wish to express our pain at reading the findings of the South African Judicial Observer Mission about the 2002 elections in Zimbabwe.

 

The final paragraph of the report could not be clearer: 99. However, having regard to all the circumstances, and in particular the cumulative substantial departures from international standards of free and fair elections found in Zimbabwe during the pre-election period, these elections, in our view, cannot be considered free and fair.

 

Given that the South African Presidency has consistently proclaimed the opposite, we can understand its persistent attempts to suppress the report. Zimbabweans owe a debt of gratitude to the Mail and Guardian for its brave campaign to expose the truth and to the Constitutional Court for upholding it.

 

We draw your attention to the following observation by Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC(T): Zimbabwe’s problems could have been solved in 2002 if this damning report had not been swept under the carpet (see: http://nehandaradio.com/2014/11/19/full-text-tsvangirai-statement-2002-presidential-election-report-sa-judges/).

 

As our country spirals down to the abyss, we appeal to the South African government to end its support for the Mugabe regime.

 

The letter was covered with signatures of those present. Among the posters displayed were: ‘South Africa betrays Zimbabweans’, ‘South African hypocrisy’ and ‘South African lies exposed’. The demonstrators included Dr Clifford Mashiri, a former Zimbabwean diplomat, who brought his own double-sided poster: ‘Mbeki, Motlanthe and Zuma apologise. Mugabe stole 2002 elections / President Zuma apologise for misleading the world re 2002 report’.

 

Returning to the Vigil outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, Dr Mashiri said: ‘The South African government has been living a lie. Since 2002 they have argued the Zimbabwean elections were free and fair while they knew all along that MDC supporters were being murdered. The international community was putting pressure on Mugabe but Mbeki said “Leave it to my quiet diplomacy”, hiding the truth. Asked about the Zimbabwe crisis, Mbeki said: “Crisis, what crisis?” The ANC was simply paying back support they had been given during their liberation struggle’.

 

In a comment on the enthralling Zanu PF cat fight, Ephraim Tapa said: ‘We have secret information that Dr Grace once wore a short skirt!’ His remark follows the sensational allegation by First Doctor Grace that she had evidence that sell-out Vice-President Mujuru had shown her thighs. ‘I trapped Mujuru and I now have recording of her in a mini-skirt, speaking ill of me and the President’ (see: http://www.zimeye.com/i-trapped-mujuru-grace-mugabe-admits/I Filmed Mujuru Having Sex, Grace Mugabe Admits).

 

Other points

  • Thanks to those who were there at the beginning to help set up: Patricia Masamba, Grace Munyanyi, Mary Muteyerwa, Tendai Chadehumbe, Fungisai Mupandira, Lucia Mudzimu, Clifford Mashiri, Mlini Dhledhlu and Tafadzwa Chigwende. Thanks also to Epiphania Phiri for once again bringing tea and cakes for cold Vigil supporters.

  • Vigil supporter Joseph Chivayo reports that the Sanctuary Summit in Birmingham last Saturday 15th November was a success (see: http://sanctuarysummit2014.wordpress.com/201-2/).

    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: 29 signed the register.

     

    EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 29th November at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • ROHR Southampton general meeting. Saturday 29th November from 1.30 – 5 pm. Venue: Age Concern Building, 20 Romsey Road, Eastleigh S050 9AL.  Speakers include Ephraim Tapa, ROHR Founder and President, and Tony Noyce, Mayor of Eastleigh. Contact: Sally Mutseyami (Chair) 07448730581, Wellington Mukucha (Vice-Chair), 07450264733, Sekayi Mwenye (Secretary) 07428570134, Chipo Mtetwa (Organising Secretary) 07403341214.

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 29th November from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • ROHR Executive Committee meeting. Saturday 6th December from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: RISC 35-39 London St, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 4PS.

  • 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. 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 Vigil Highlights 2013 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/560-vigil-highlights-2013. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2013 Highlights page.

  • 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.

 
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