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A ZimAsset – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 16th May 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 17 May 2015 13:00

Bananas are plentiful in KwaZulu Natal. So apparently are doctorates, judging by the PhD awarded to General Constantine Chiwenga by the university there.  He got his doctorate not for some learned thesis on how to peel a banana but for something of even greater moment: Why the world is so unkind to Zimbabwe.

 

The armed forces commander has taken time out from his diamond looting, vote rigging, and widespread farming and business interests, apart from his day to day military chores, to gain a Doctor of Philosophy degree in – appropriately enough – Ethics. 

 

Presumably the learned thug would first have acquired a Bachelor’s Degree in which he would have been introduced to Plato and Aristotle, Aquinas, Pascal and Paine etc and then completed a Master’s Degree perhaps looking in depth at Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein and the logical positivists or maybe the existentialists such as Sartre and Camus. They had a lot to say about ethics. Or perhaps he preferred Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer or maybe Tolstoy and Gandhi. He must be familiar with them all to get a doctorate in Ethics (apart from a close study of Machievelli’s The Prince).

 

If he was, his former farm looter wife Jocelyn seems to have been unaware of it. Her main concern was the coffin he kept in their bedroom in Borrowdale stuffed with muti. The muti seems to have worked because, miraculously, the general has convinced the Banana University (patron: former Zimbabwe President Sodomite Banana?) that there has been ‘a precipitous decline of UN moral stature, particularly in the eyes of the developing world’ (see: http://www.news24.com/Africa/Zimbabwe/Zim-army-commander-gets-PhD-from-UKZN-20150510).

 

His thesis apparently scrutinised double standards in the UN humanitarian missions ordered by the Security Council and he says he interviewed Mugabe for his research.  Who better to consult, especially since it was recently disclosed that Chiwenga is Zanu PF’s real political commissar – even though our wonderful new constitution requires our military to be politically neutral. Ethics? (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2015/03/09/chiwenga-our-commissar-zanu-pf/).

 

The Vigil thanks Chiwenga’s diamond firm Anjin Investments for breaking the news of Dr General’s academic triumph and is delighted to learn that ‘through your enlightened leadership the Zimbabwe defence forces have been transformed into a hub of academic excellence’. Jonathan Moyo, who apparently wrote the thesis, must be delighted at this jewel of ZimAsset.

 

Other points

·       Talking of ZimAsset, the question of integrity was raised by Senator Carter in a recent speech, a copy of which he has kindly sent to the Vigil. We agree with his view: ‘For local businesses to flourish we need to provide equality before the law and secure property rights’. See: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/689-senator-michael-carters-speech-to-the-senate on our campaigns page for the speech.

·       There has been some consternation about Afrobarometer’s survey showing support for Mugabe. It shouldn’t surprise anyone who remembers the organisation’s past surveys. We have more confidence in the opinion of Charles Mangongera, a former Chief Research Fellow at the organisation which conducted the survey. He notes these surveys are ‘a reflection of a deeply fractured society in which citizens fear authority and are manipulated by propaganda’. He adds that the founder of the organisation used to jokingly say that the surveys had a ‘margin of terror’ and not a margin of error (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_findings-influenced-by-margin-of-terror-the-zimbabwe-independent/).

·       The former Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo knows all about propaganda. Now ousted from the party, he has suddenly seen the light and observes: ‘the country is currently in a state of siege’. He talks of ‘illegal bugging, torture, intimidation and abductions’. We don’t know where he has been for the last decade or so but he suddenly says: ‘the entire society is gripped with fear’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_pressure-mounts-on-mujuru-the-zimbabwe-independent/).

·       Another of the walking dead, former presidential affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, speaks of ‘complete lawlessness in Zimbabwe’. Now that his own illegally gained estates are being repossessed by the people, he observes ‘there is no security of tenure. People just wake up and grab farms, which is a terrible indictment of the party’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_isolated-mugabe-deserves-our-pity-dailynews-live/). Perhaps he should take his case to the UN.

·       We were sorry we couldn’t all attend the Memorial Service today of Catherine Muchabayiwa, our friend from ROHR Birmingham Branch, who died recently. We prayed for her and made a collection for her family.

·       Thanks to Eunice Mucherechedzo, Paul Fusire, Patricia Chingozha and Fungayi Mabhunu for being there at the start of the Vigil to help set up. Thanks to Eunice for looking after the front table throughout the Vigil.

 

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: 27 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 23rd May from 12 noon – 2 pm. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.Contact: Chair: Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899, Secretary: Brenda Chavhundura 07428227530, Organising Secretary: Mavis Chisvo 07944612944.

·       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.

·       Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 30th May from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 30th May 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.

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 6th June 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 an optician. 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 Reading Branch general meeting and outreach. Saturday 13th June from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: Pakistan Community Centre, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA.  For further information contact: Charles D Ndlovu 07413879590, Eric Eluwasi 07888310582, Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Deborah Harry 07748723974 and Shylette Chipangura 07828929806.

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

·       Facebook pages:

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

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

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

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

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Challenge Mugabe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 9th May 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 14 May 2015 05:03

With senior US officials due to visit Zimbabwe for talks in the coming week, the Vigil calls on them to remain focused on human rights issues, in particular the abduction of Itai Dzamara by CIO agents in Harare exactly two months ago today.

 

Despite a court order to investigate his disappearance, the police appear to have done nothing to look for him and it is feared that he has met the fate of so many awkward opponents of the regime: tortured and killed.

 

Bankrupt Zanu PF is desperate for money. Mugabe has taken to the streets of Moscow, begging bowl in hand, selling copies of his Big Issue: Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation. He is unlikely to sell many Zimassets.

 

Before considering giving yet more money to Mugabe, the American officials, Shannon Smith and Steven Feldstein, should enquire about the welfare of Richard and Molleen Dennis who have just been chased out of their home on Caledonia farm in the peri-urban area around Harare on the Arcturus road. 

 

The Vigil is informed by the Mike Campbell Foundation that: ‘On Tuesday afternoon a large group of people arrived in expensive cars.  Many of them were drunk or high on drugs.  Approximately 30 of them forced their way into the Dennis’s home and began manhandling and assaulting them. Richard was attacked with a golf club and his daughter was hit in the face but fortunately they did not need to be hospitalised.  However, they were forced to leave their house with only the clothes they were wearing. They were not even allowed to take their phones, passports, spare clothes or their much-loved dogs, about whom they are extremely concerned.  Their daughter is due to be married shortly and her wedding dress is also still in the house. Personnel from the Mabvuku Police Station refused to assist or even take a report.  This modus operandi is typical of wealthy ZANU PF ministers and party elite who wish to take over valuable peri-urban land and divide it into plots for resale’.

 

Of course, millions of Zimbabweans are suffering – not only the high profile victims but also the poor and vulnerable in Harare’s high density Mbare area. MDC T legislator Eddie Cross exposes in an article today the scams used by the Mugabe mafia to exploit the poor and at the same time to undermine the rule of law and democracy itself. You can read his article here: http://nehandaradio.com/2015/05/09/exploiting-poverty-and-desperation/.

 

The Vigil hopes that Ms Smith and Mr Feldstein read this  article before their meeting with Vice President Crocodile on Tuesday. The Vigil is not convinced that the way forward is to prop up Mugabe’s regime. We are also unhappy at pressure by donor countries for democratic forces in Zimbabwe to find common cause with expelled Zanu PF elements now suddenly bleating about human rights.

 

Other points

·       We were saddened to hear of the sudden death by heart attack of Catherine Muchabayiwa our  friend from ROHR Birmingham Branch who died earlier this week. Thanks to Danny Kadiki for his heartfelt prayer for Catherine. There will be a memorial service for her at 1 pm on Saturday 16th May. We are postponing the Zimbabwe Action Forum scheduled for that day until 23rd May to allow people to attend. For details of the service and ZAF see Events and Notices.

·       The Zimbabwe Association’s exhibition in London shows fascinating glimpses of the Vigil’s 13-year history. The exhibition continues until 15th May at Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, London E2 6HG and then tours round the country. For opening times check: http://zimbabweassociation.org.uk/2015/04/27/12-years-exhibition/.

·       Thanks to Henrietta Mlambo, Esther Nyambi. Edward Mukuze, Fungayi Mabhunu and Mavis Chisvo for being at the start of the Vigil to help set up. Thanks to Mavis, Esther and Henrietta for looking after the front table.

 

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: 38 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       Memorial for Catherine Muchabayiwa. Saturday 16th May at 1 pm. Venue: St Andrews Church, Oxhill Road, Handsworth, Birmingham B21 9RE. ‘Come and let’s celebrate a life that gave so much to others’.

·      Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 16th May from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·    ROHR Reading Branch Outreach. Saturday 16th May from 12 noon – 4 pm. Venue: Morrisons Reading, off Rose Kiln Lane and Basingstoke Road, Reading RG2 0HB. Come and support ROHR Reading Branch in our effort to fundraise for our local community. All funds and food collected will be donated to local foodbanks in Reading. For further details please contact: Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Mary Eluwasi 07888310582, Deborah Harry 07748723974 and Shylette Chipangura 07828929806.

  ·       ROHR Southampton branch meeting. Saturday 16th May from 1 – 3.45 pm. Venue: Eastleigh Library, 1st Floor, Swan Centre, Eastleigh, SO50 5SF. Contact: Sally Mutseyami (Chairperson) 07448730581, Faith Shimongola (Vice Chairperson) 07500960117, Chipo Mtetwa (Organising Secretary) 07403341214.

·       ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 23rd May from 12 noon – 2 pm. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.Contact: Chair: Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899, Secretary: Brenda Chavhundura 07428227530, Organising Secretary: Mavis Chisvo 07944612944.

·       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 23rd May 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 an optician. 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 30th May 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.

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

·       Facebook pages:

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

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

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

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

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A feast of hypocrisy – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 2nd May 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 03 May 2015 10:24

A massive power blackout ushered in SADC’s summit in Harare at which fireworks over xenophobic attacks in South Africa burst the organisation’s usual backslapping bubble of hypocrisy.

 

Reports say President Khama left early to fly home to Botswana after joining President Zuma in asking the pointed question: ‘Why are people fleeing their own countries?’ lifting the lid on the forbidden topics of misgovernance and oppression.

 

A defensive Zuma had earlier noted that he had been told by an immigrant: ‘If you raise your voice (in my country) you disappear’. Was he perhaps referring to Itai Dzamara abducted by the CIO in Harare on 9th March and ‘disappeared’ without trace?

 

In his opening speech, a floundering Mugabe said neighbouring countries should do more to prevent their people going to South Africa and urged migrants to return home…. hardly an attractive prospect for Zimbabweans.

 

The majority of Zimbabwean migrants, he claimed, go to work on farms – leaving unanswered the question of why they weren’t working on farms in Zimbabwe. After all we are told there is yet another food shortage.

 

The summit was called to discuss regional industrialization strategy. Who better to pontificate on this than Mugabe given his extensive experience of destroying industry, which fell last year to 36.3% average capacity utilization. It hasn’t got any better since then.

 

But it was not just Mugabe’s blithe hypocrisy that was on parade. The South African government is itself a champion in this field. Despite its promotion of ‘ubuntu’ it has consistently put the interests of brother presidents above the welfare of their people.

 

The Vigil wrote to President Zuma when the latest outbreak of xenophobia broke out a few weeks ago warning that his support of Mugabe would inevitably mean that even more Zimbabwean refugees would flee to South Africa. We said: ‘We hold South Africa responsible for the desperate situation in our country caused by your unwavering support for the oppressive Mugabe regime, publicly displayed only recently during Mugabe’s visit to South Africa. We warn you that until you change sides and support instead the democratic aspirations of our oppressed people you will never see an end to the tide of refugees fleeing Zimbabwe.’ (See: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/press-releases/682-vigil-protests-17th-april-2015).

 

Even Mugabe has acknowledged the truth of this, observing that many Zimbabweans were saying they would go back to South Africa despite the attacks.

 

Other points

·       The hypocrisy of Mugabe and SADC is matched by the weasel words of the International Monetary Fund, which claims to have detected ‘meaningful progress’ in Zimbabwe (see: Zimbabwe: First Review Under the Staff-Monitor Program-Staff Report; and Press Release – http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.aspx?sk=42869.0). Desperate Zimbabweans fleeing the country will not be persuaded that there is likely to be any progress under Mugabe despite the IMF’s diplomatic fudging.

·       A meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil discussed a proposed diaspora charter. People were asked to think of themes for this for our next meeting which will discuss activism. 

·       The Vigil was interested to see that an idea we discussed at our last Zimbabwe Action Forum was echoed in last week’s UK Sunday Times which reported: ‘Britain has taken the lead a in a push to set up ‘processing camps’ in north Africa and the Middle East to stem the tide of boat people . . . people rescued from the sea would be sent to the camps, which would also serve as first stops for those seeking asylum. They would be managed by international organisations and funded by EU states’ (see our diary of 18th April: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/683-let-them-drown-zimbabwe-vigil-diary-18th-april-2015).

·       On Thursday 30th April a group of Vigil supporters sang and danced at a fundraising event organized by the charity the Ruth Hayman Trust held at Morley College in central London. The charity provides educational grants to immigrants. The performers from the Vigil were: Cephas Maswoswa, Fungayi Mabhunu, Fungisai Mupandira, Ishmael Makina, Mary Muteyerwa, Mavis Chisvo and Patricia Masamba.

·       ‘Failure by the government to deliver basic services is the powder keg that will trigger an uprising in Zimbabwe’, says Tendai Kwari of the UK branch of Itai Dzamara’s Occupy Africa Unity Square movement. For his full article see our campaign page: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/686-failure-by-the-government-to-deliver-basic-services-is-the-powder-keg-that-will-trigger-an-uprising-in-zimbabwe

·       A Vigil supporter reports that he received the following text message from home on Workers’ Day, May 1: ‘Here we are celebrating Vendors’ Day a brainchild of ZimAsset’.

·       Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Eunice Mucherechedzo, Pearl Shambare, Joseph Chivayo and Fungayi Mabhunu and to Eunice for looking after the front table. Thanks to Epiphania Phiri and Deborah Harry for fundraising for the Vigil.

 

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: 46 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       12 Years: Zimbabwe Association Exhibition Launch. Tuesday 5th May from 6 – 8 pm. Venue: Oxford House in Bethnal Green, Derbyshire Street, London E2 6HG. The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery and shares the oral histories of Zimbabwean asylum seekers' experiences in the UK from 2001 to the present. This exhibition contains material from the Zimbabwe Association archive, an extensive collection of records of individual cases, legal documents, press cuttings, reports, correspondence, and TV and radio recordings. To book: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/12-years-zimbabwe-association-exhibition-launch-tickets-16235246058?ref=enivtefor001&invite=NzczMTg2NS9jby1vcmRpbmF0b3JAemltdmlna
WwuY28udWsvMA%3D%3D&utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=
inviteformalv2&ref=enivtefor001&utm_term=attend

·       ROHR Slough Branch general meeting. Saturday 9th May from 11 am – 1 pm. Venue: Upton Lea Community Hall, Wexham Road, Slough SL2 5JW.  Contact Patricia Masamba (Chair) 07708116625, Nkosikona Tshabangu (Vice-Chair) 07926977646, Fungisai Mupandira (Organising Secretary) 07758958803.

·       ROHR Leicester branch meeting. Saturday 9th May from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Methodist Church 10a Bishop Street, Town Hall Square, Leicester LE1 6AF. Time: 2pm – 5pm. For more information please contact Mr Linton Magume 07577555683, Mrs Enniah Dube 07403439707 and Miss Hilda Gwesele 07939126819.

·       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 16th May 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 an optician. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.

·       Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 16th May from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 30th May 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.

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

·       Facebook pages:

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

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

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

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

 
Mugabe’s illegal sanctions – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 25th April 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 26 April 2015 15:04

The ignominious failure of the Mugabe regime’s court challenge to the sanctions imposed by the European Union has escaped much attention. That the challenge was a ludicrous waste of public money was obvious to the Vigil from the start – thrown into comic relief anyway by the gradual removal of the targeted measures.

 

The court’s slap in the face for Mugabe should resound throughout Africa, which has been told by Zanu PF that the sanctions cost Zimbabwe fifty billion dollars. Zimbabwe must now foot the bill for this legal circus – and the bill will be sizeable given that it has been ordered to pay all the legal costs of the European Union, as well as its own expenses. Judging by the per diem allowances awarded to Zanu PF flunkies on their non-stop journeys abroad with Mugabe, this will be enough to put the final nail into the Zimbabwean economy! Except that, of course, Zimbabwe will not pay.

 

Even now, the Vigil doubts that the Zanu PF propaganda machine oiled by Jonathan Moyo will give up the tired mantra of ‘illegal sanctions’. It has been a reliable prop for so many years that the party faithful recite it automatically as a reassuring slogan when discomforted by reality.

 

And what else can Zanu PF use as a fig leaf for their gross incompetence and nepotism. Official statistics put Zimbabwe’s imports for the first quarter of this year at $1.6 billion against exports of only $716.6 million. That’s less than half. The trade deficit in March alone was reported as $340.2 million. In that month exports to our great Chinese partner amounted to the grand sum of $47,000. A least that’s what the official figures say.

 

Nevertheless it is becoming clearer by the day that reality is biting home as a disintegrating Zanu PF fails to put in place a strategy to save the economy sinking like a stone. Any initiative by Finance Minister Chinamasa or anyone else for that matter is immediately stymied by Mugabe. The real sanctions against the Zimbabwe economy are shown to be his short-term expediency with the sole objective of preserving himself.

 

He certainly does not seem to be interested in saving anyone else, notably the thousands of Africans drowning in the Mediterranean in a desperate attempt to escape violence, oppression, misgovernance and poverty – things he provides in abundance. While European governments met urgently to discuss the plight of migrants, the normally voluble AU Chair Mugabe was silent on the matter. But he knows why people are fleeing. And it’s not because of ‘illegal sanctions’.

 

The well-attended Vigil was exhorted by ROHR President Ephraim Tapa: ‘we must not allow the world to forget Itai Dzamara’.

 

Other points

·       Before the Vigil there was another demonstration outside the nearby South African High Commission against the xenophobic violence. Among those there were South Africans who proclaimed ‘not in my name’. During the week Vigil supporters also took part in another xenophobia protest outside the High Commission organized by the human rights activist Peter Tatchell.

·       The Vigil welcomes the independence day message by opposition parties which said:  ‘Zimbabweans must be ready to fight Mugabe as they did the Rhodesians. Just as we fought a brutal protracted struggle against white minority repression, so too must we be ready to redeem ourselves from the current penury, poverty and deprivation inflicted upon us by our own kith and kin. Independence is not enough without freedoms and prosperity and we must be ready to pay the ultimate price once again to save ourselves’ (see: Prep for new freedom fight, opposition – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_prep-for-new-freedom-fight-opposition/).

·       Thanks to Esther Nyambi, Fungayi Mabhunu and Ephraim Tapa who were there at the start to help set up and to Enniah Dube and Patricia Masamba who looked after the Vigil table.

 

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: 58 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       ROHR Executive Meeting: Saturday 2nd May at 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 2nd May 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 an optician. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.

·       Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 2nd May from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       12 Years: Zimbabwe Association Exhibition Launch. Tuesday 5th May from 6 – 8 pm. Venue: Oxford House in Bethnal Green, Derbyshire Street, London E2 6HG. The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery and shares the oral histories of Zimbabwean asylum seekers' experiences in the UK from 2001 to the present. This exhibition contains material from the Zimbabwe Association archive, an extensive collection of records of individual cases, legal documents, press cuttings, reports, correspondence, and TV and radio recordings. To book: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/12-years-zimbabwe-association-exhibition-launch-tickets-16235246058?ref=enivtefor001&invite=NzczMTg2NS9jby1vcmRpbmF0b3JAemltdmlna
WwuY28udWsvMA%3D%3D&utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=
inviteformalv2&ref=enivtefor001&utm_term=attend

·       Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 30th May 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.

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

·       Facebook pages:

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

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

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

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

 
Let them drown? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 18th April 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 19 April 2015 18:33

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/16984880597/sizes/m/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/17190620462/sizes/m/

 

News that some 700 migrants from Africa drowned when their rickety boat capsized in the Mediterranean off Libya came within hours of a meeting at which the Zimbabwe Action Forum discussed the failure of the European Union and the African Union to deal with the growing crisis posed by the headlong flight from Africa and the Middle East.

 

Our day was spent outside the Zimbabwe Embassy protesting at Mugabe’s regime on the 35th anniversary of independence. But discussion at the Forum after the Vigil turned to wider issues of bad governance, prompted by our contempt of the African Union for electing genocidal Mugabe as their chairman.

 

Anger was only marginally less against the European Union for its pusillanimous refusal to save our children from the people traffickers. An inspiration for these hypocritical EU cowards is the British government which argues ‘don’t fish them out of the water – it will just encourage more to come’. All this as an African woman drowned after jumping into the waves in a desperate attempt to save her child washed overboard.  And when Muslim fanatics hurled Christian refugees out of their boat because they would not stop praying to God for salvation.

 

The forum discussed the following ideas:

1.     European countries will not agree to open their borders to all comers.

2.     The lamentable state of African governments led by icons such as Mugabe will continue to drive a flood of refugees to Europe.

3.     International aid to Africa is largely misspent.

4.     Some of these billions of dollars could be directed at creating a UN protection zone, perhaps in north Africa, where rescued migrants could receive food and medical attention, and indeed schooling, while their asylum claims for Europe could be processed.

 

The Forum is to continue its discussion at its next meeting in two weeks’ time but in the meantime the Vigil would welcome any feedback on these exploratory ideas.

 

As if to show how out of touch with reality the Mugabe regime is, the Herald would have us believe that, after 35 years of independence, Zimbabwe is poised to become a land of milk and honey – or in the paper’s topsy-turvy world honey and milk.

 

It says: ‘the Government, even in the face of harsh economic sanctions that have cost the country over $40 billion, has made significant and notable progress . . . Indeed through the leadership of President Mugabe, honey and milk will flow in all the corners of the country. ZIM-ASSET is one policy which if embraced by all Zimbabweans will take this country to another level and position this country as one of the most performing economies in the world.’ (See: http://allafrica.com/stories/201504180024.html The Herald – Zimbabwe: Independence Supplement – Zim @35 - Yes, So Far So Good).

 

For his part, Welshman Ncube says ‘every true patriot must be hanging his or her head in collective shame at how we got ourselves to be the perfect caricature of a failed African state with its peoples beaten, defeated, and in grinding poverty, stoked daily by the spectre of hunger and in some cases starvation while scavenging for survival, pretty much like our ancestors would do before the dawn of organized state entities. As if the collect shame of all genuine patriots was not enough punishment what is shocking to the marrow is to witness the colloquialism that President Robert Mugabe’s ruling party or, should I say, his overzealous cronies in charge of their communication, choose to trivialize what is meant to be a period of objective self-reflection given that Zimbabwe is on an accelerated trajectory of self destruction. The so-called #1980sofarsogood ‘celebratory’ payoff line is a conundrum – a reckless bravado to deliberately mask the desperate reality of the poverty that’s due to the desperation afflicting millions of Zimbabweans. (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-ncube-treachery-of-1980-so-far-so-good/ – Ncube: Treachery of ‘1980 So Far So Good’).

 

Like Professor Ncube, the Vigil does not share the Herald writer’s sunny optimism. To us ZimAsset has from the beginning been pie in the sky. Even if it wasn’t, Zanu PF would have eaten the pie anyway. President of Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe Ephraim Tapa told the Vigil: ‘On today’s 35th anniversary of independence we salute those who sacrificed for our freedom. What we did not know was that the struggle was to be privatised. With this came the privatisation of Zimbabwe to the exclusion of all others. This explains why 3 million people have been driven into exile, the masses reduced to poverty and the health and education systems destroyed while Mugabe and his cronies continue to grow richer. It explains why (human rights activist) Itai Dzamara has disappeared. But we have reason for hope when we reflect on the enduring ideals of the liberation struggle: equality, justice and freedom.’ 

 

The Vigil was joined outside the Zimbabwe Embassy by Mugabe himself (in the form of Fungayi Mabhunu in our Mugabe mask).  He was surrounded by devils (Danny Kadiki, Deborah Harry and Admire Mhindurwa) bearing the gifts he has given the Zimbabwean people in his long reign: unemployment, starvation and terror.

 

It was our second day in a row outside the Embassy. On Friday we protested against the abduction last month of  Itai Dzamara and also visited South Africa House to deliver a letter demanding action over the xenophobic violence (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/press-releases/682-vigil-protests-17th-april-2015).  Activists from our sister organisation the Swaziland Vigil spent today with us and together we went again to the South African High Commission, where Zimbabwe Vigil supporter Esther Nyambi read a poem she has written: ‘South Africa stop xenophobia’. It begins ‘ South Africans let us remind you during apartheid all your neighbouring countries welcomed you with open arms’. The full poem can be seen on our campaigns page. A word of thanks to those who delivered the Zimbabwe Vigil letter to the South African High Commission on Friday: Patricia Masamba, Piyo Chigo, Mary Muteryerwa, Mary Eluwasi and Mary Ndoro.

 

Thanks also to those who sold sadza and stew to raise more than £40 to help the Vigil: Hilda Gwesele, Deborah Harry, Epiphania Phiri and Shylette Chipangura. Epiphania has also raised money for the Vigil by making and selling greetings cards. Finally thanks to Enniah Dube who came both days and ably looked after the front table.

 

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: 55 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 25th April at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

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

·       ROHR Birmingham general members’ meeting. Saturday 25th April  from 1 – 4 pm. Venue: Malaika House, 81 George Street, Lozells B19 1NS. For more info contact: Chairperson: Thandiwe Gwarimba 07503 512308, Vice Chair: Tino Mashonganyika 07463 272078, Organising Secretary: JaneMary Mapfumo 07412 10429.

·       ROHR Middlesbrough General Meeting. Saturday 25th April from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Teesside University, Student Centre, Clarendon Building. TS1 3BA. For more information please contact Angeline Huni (Chairperson) on 07871367239 Helen Sibanda (Organising Secretary) on 07799574994. Everson T.Moyo (Information and Publicity) on 07479060769.

·       ROHR Executive Meeting: Saturday 2nd May at 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 2nd May from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and Pizza Express. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.

·       Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 2nd May from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       12 Years: Zimbabwe Association Exhibition Launch. Tuesday 5th May from 6 – 8 pm. Venue: Oxford House in Bethnal Green, Derbyshire Street, London E2 6HG. The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery and shares the oral histories of Zimbabwean asylum seekers' experiences in the UK from 2001 to the present. This exhibition contains material from the Zimbabwe Association archive, an extensive collection of records of individual cases, legal documents, press cuttings, reports, correspondence, and TV and radio recordings. To book: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/12-years-zimbabwe-association-exhibition-launch-tickets-16235246058?ref=enivtefor001&invite=NzczMTg2NS9jby1vcmRpbmF0b3JAemltdmlna
WwuY28udWsvMA%3D%3D&utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=
inviteformalv2&ref=enivtefor001&utm_term=attend

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

·       Facebook pages:

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

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

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

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

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