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Jobs for the NGOs – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 26th October 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 27 October 2013 16:21

A warning against allowing international NGOs to dictate the agenda for Zimbabwe came from Muzvare Betty Makoni, award-winning gender activist. Betty was speaking at the ‘Restore Zimbabwe’ All-Stakeholders’ Conference of the .Zimbabwe diaspora held in London on 24th October at the initiative of the Vigil. The Conference was attended by about 70 people and messages of support came from the US, South Africa, Australia and Zimbabwe. Among them were:

·         Yours is a valiant effort to keep the struggle alive. We take comfort from Churchill’s adage: “When you’re going through hell . . . keep going!”  Well done for taking the initiative and holding this Conference – Dale Dore, Zimbabwean economist.

·         All the best. Please give me feedback – Vince Musewe, Zimbabwean economist.

·         This is a really important initiative of yours – Ben Freeth, Mike Campbell Foundation. What you are doing is so important and we would like to support you – Claire Freeth, Mike Campbell Foundation.

·         I would love to attend and I wish this meeting the very best of success – Christopher Maphosa, Chair of ZAPU Europe Province. His life story inspired the play ‘The rain that washes’.

·         Good Governance Africa (Joburg) is planning a conference on Zimbabwe: Where to from here? for early next year, to be held in Johannesburg and attended essentially by Zimbabwe civil society activists. We would be grateful to hear a report on your meeting  – R W Johnson, journalist.

 

The meeting was addressed by Kate Hoey MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe, who deplored international acceptance of the outcome of the sham elections. She said it was up to the diaspora to create a powerful voice to make the UK government listen – particularly about sanctions when they come up for debate in the EU in February. She said the diaspora had a responsibility to let the world know what was happening in Zimbabwe and went on to describe the Vigil as ‘a shining light these long years’ and added ‘you have been right when politicians have been wrong’.

 

Betty Makoni – a long-time friend of the Vigil – said Zimbabwe would never be free until women were treated equally. ‘Men have not ruled the world, they have ruined the world’. To restore Zimbabwe it was necessary to restore women.  She said we needed to be aware that the NGO community were mainly concerned with protecting their own jobs. Those who were advocating re-engagement with the Zanu PF government had only recently said the elections were not free and fair and were starting from a premise of dishonesty and compromise. The NGOs were changing the goalposts to suit their own selfish ends. She went on to criticize churches in Zimbabwe for endorsing the patriarchal society.

 

Eye witness accounts of election rigging were given by Bie Tapa of the Vigil, recently returned from six months in Zimbabwe, and Jaison Matewu, unsuccessful candidate for MDC-T in Buhera West. Political analyst Wilbert Mukori said a recent scene in the Zimbabwean Parliament when Zanu PF blocked a debate on the elections showed that they knew the elections had been rigged.

 

Chair of the meeting was Ephraim Tapa, a founder member of the Vigil and President of Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe. He said there was overwhelming evidence that the elections had been a sham. The opposition had been let down by compromised leadership and the diaspora must unite and agree on a common strategy to restore Zimbabwe.

 

The conference nominated an interim Restore Zimbabwe Task Force to carry forward ideas proposed by five thematic committees that looked at the way forward. For a fuller report, please check: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/537-restore-zimbabwe-conference-london--thursday-24th-october-2013

 

Other points

·         A big thank you to Christopher Kamuzonde of CK2 Catering Limited (07449 150 041) who cooked all night and served a delicious meal of Zimbabwean food at the Conference. Christopher’s services were provided free. Thanks to the catering team: Grace Nyaumwe, Thandiwe Gwarumba, Shylette Chipangura, Mary Muteyerwa, Cephas Moswoswa and Patricia Masamba, who worked hard serving the food and cleaning up the kitchen after we had eaten. Thanks also to Michelle Dube and Rose Maponga who missed a lot of the proceedings because they were looking after the registration table.

·         On a Saturday  when people were pulled away by Tsvangirai’s meeting for MDC UK structures, the Vigil was grateful to those who turned up early today to set up: Fungayi Mabhunu, Helen Rukambiro and Lydia Ncube.

·         Betty Makoni’s criticism of churches in Zimbabwe was reinforced by reports of ‘Mugabe worship’ by London-based Bishop Climate Irungu, ‘founder of World Conquerors Christian Centre’, who said ‘the people of Zimbabwe rejoiced in their current leadership’. The Vigil is sending a note to the Home Office asking whether they rejoice in his presence in the UK. After all we have a bad enough climate as it is (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_religious-tourism-hailed/Religious tourism hailed). We advise the Home Office to also look into Spirit Embassy founder Prophet Angel who says he’s worth more than $60 million and has interests in the United Kingdom. “Many people think that the church looks after me, but the truth of the matter is that the church cannot afford my lifestyle. I have very expensive tastes and that is why I am in business and make so much money. Money makes me happy and I have lots of it. I have never been broke all my life” added the prophet to thunderous applause   (see: The state of religion in Zimbabwe: Prophet Angel worth US$60m – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_the-state-of-religion-in-zimbabwe-prophet-angel-worth-us60m/).

·         The Vigil is not surprised that Zimbabwe is to mark ‘World Toilet Day’ on 19th November (see: Zim to mark World Toilet Day – http://www.herald.co.zw/zim-to-mark-world-toilet-day/). Unfortunately it falls on a Tuesday not a Saturday or we could have all demonstrated suitably outside the Embassy in solidarity.

·         It was good to be visited by Clifford Mashiri, political analyst and former diplomat. We had invited him to speak at our Conference – he was unable to come but submitted some useful ideas. He is planning to attend our next Zimbabwe Action Forum on Saturday 2nd November.

 

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: 20 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

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

·         Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 2nd November from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. 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 big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

·         ACTSA annual conference ‘Southern Africa: Human Rights and Democracy’. Saturday, 9th November from 2 – 4.30 pm. Venue: The Human Rights Action Centre, Amnesty International UK, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA.  Participants are leading human rights campaigners from Zimbabwe and Swaziland: McDonald Lewanika: Director, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Wandile Dludu: Coordinator, Swaziland Democracy Campaign and Swaziland United Democratic Front (tbc), Siphiwe Hlophe: Director, Swaziland for Positive Living (video message). Hear from civil society leaders about the prospects for the future in Swaziland and Zimbabwe. What are the needs, priorities and what can we do to support those struggling to uphold human rights, democracy and eradicate poverty. For further information and to register contact ACTSA: Tel: 020 71860750, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , website: www.actsa.org. See the flyer or go to http://bit.ly/1i1CZCY for more information. The conference follows ACTSA’s AGM from 11 am – 1.30pm: http://www.actsa.org/page-1421-Annual_General_Meeting.html.

·         Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 16th November from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.

·         Zimbabwe Association AGM. Saturday 16th November. Guest speaker McDonald Lewanika of Crisis in Zimbabwe. Venue: Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, London E2 6HG. Nearest station: Bethnal Green (Central line).

·         ROHR Reading Branch meeting. Saturday 30th November from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: the Pakistan Community Centre, Park Hall, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA. Contact: Charles D.Ndlovu 07413879590, Eric Eluwasi 07531853066, Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792.

·         Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2012 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/467-vigil-highlights-2012. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2012 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 the views and opinions of ROHR.

·         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.com/pages/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights/301811392835

·         Useful website: www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.

 
Downward Spiral – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 19th October 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 20 October 2013 13:53

The Vigil’s initiative in arranging a diaspora conference in London on 24th October to discuss the future of Zimbabwe has met with predictable abuse by Zanu PF trolls prowling the internet. We think every CIO agent – when they are not out beating people up – spends his office hours in cyber disinformation in the relentless war against truth.

 

The chair of the conference, Ephraim Tapa, a founder member of the Vigil, came under particular fire after our last diary ‘Disunited Nations’ was published in the Zimbabwean. Online comments described him as a ‘chancer’, ‘crook’, ‘corrupt’ and ‘selfish’ in a clearly orchestrated attack. They must see him as a threat. (See: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/disunited-nations-zimbabwe-vigil-diary-12th-october-2013/ and http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_betrayed-diaspora-must-act-now/.)

 

The comments included the usual tirade against the diaspora for ‘spreading a negative image’ of Zimbabwe, accusing us  of ‘cowardice’ for fleeing the country and assuring us that Zimbabwe is overcoming the problems caused by ‘illegal sanctions’.

 

The diaspora’s picture of life in Zimbabwe is more in line with the latest annual survey by the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, which puts Zimbabwe as 47th out of 52 African countries, in the company of countries such as Somalia and Zanu PF benefactor Equatorial Guinea . . . (The countries are ranked according to how they performed under 4 categories: safety and rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity and human development).

 

Zanu PF’s latest flatulent blueprint:  Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset) is no asset as far as we can see. It says: ‘Government would among other things undertake a national blitz to rehabilitate water supplies, sewerage systems, roads, health facilities and schools in all urban centres, institute measures to improve processes at the Registrar General’s Office by December 2013 . . .’ Fat chance! (See: Economic blueprint unveiled –http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_economic-blueprint-unveiled-the-herald/.)

 

A friend of the Vigil, a well-known person, returned this month to Zimbabwe after an absence of 14 years. During his visit he spent time in Mutare, Headlands, Mbare and Chitungwiza. He sent us the following email: ‘Kuti zvifaye . . . so so, I  don't understand how these guys are running this country. Their politics is more than war, they are out of touch with reality and the 21st century. Hustling yacho is on different level altogether, eish, maone. It's the same money circulating around the country so the notes are so dirty. You can't even put that US$ in your wallet. Manotes acho ari so thick netvsina, omg. People are suffering guys, you see that as you go kumalocation. People are not killing or eating each other, just thinking about bread and butter issues so the level of hustling is serious. Someone said to me that things are a bit worse since re-election yamudhara. But I guess many do not worry about politics or how the country is being run, they think about food, chikoro, accommodation etc. Not to mention police corruption, eish...policemen/women are some of the richest people in Zim today. They take bribe big time. A traffic policeman can make up to US $150 in a single day. Their salaries are nowhere near what they get as bribes.’ 

 

Just back from Harare, our friend came to the Vigil and told us more of his experiences. He said Zimbabwe felt like a totally different country. He was surprised to see big diesel generators outside the shops in Harare’s central business district and there were vendors everywhere – even in the leafy suburbs. Many kombis had windows which had been smashed by the police. The city was dirty and people were scared to talk. It was dangerous to take a photograph. Our friend concluded: ‘the situation is desperate. Soon it will be hopeless.’


As Zimbabwe spirals downwards the challenge facing the diaspora will be the focus of our ‘Restore Zimbabwe’ conference. 

 

Other points

·         A meeting of the team (Grace Nyaume, Patricia Masamba, Mary Muteyerwa and Shylette Chipangura) that will cater for the ‘Restore Zimbabwe’ conference was held. A very special thank you to Christopher Kamuzonde who has a catering business and is providing all the equipment free and cooking the hot food for around 100 guests.

·         It was good to see Joseph Chivayo (along with three newcomers from Leeds) waiting at the start of the Vigil to help set up. Once again he had caught the coach in Derby before 4 am.

 

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: 42 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·          ‘Restore Zimbabwe’: Zimbabwe Diaspora All-Stakeholders’ Conference. Thursday 24th October from 9 am – 4.30 pm. Venue: the Theatre, Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, London E2 6HG. Nearest station: Bethnal Green (Central line).

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

·         Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 2nd November from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. 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 big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

·         Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 16th November from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.

·         Zimbabwe Association AGM. Saturday 16th November. Guest speaker McDonald Lewanika of Crisis in Zimbabwe. Venue: Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, London E2 6HG. Nearest station: Bethnal Green (Central line).

·         Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2012 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/467-vigil-highlights-2012. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2012 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 the views and opinions of ROHR.

·         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.com/pages/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights/301811392835

·         Useful website: www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.

 
Disunited Nations – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 12th October 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 13 October 2013 16:33

With the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s congratulations on his election ‘victory’ ringing in his ears, NoPresident Mugabe ventured to join us at the Vigil as we marked our 11th anniversary. Played by Vigil stalwart Fungayi Mabhunu, wearing our Mugabe mask, he carried a poster reading ‘Thanks UN’.

 

Ki-moon’s congratulations may just be a diplomatic courtesy but former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan twisted the dagger further in an interview with the British Guardian newspaper, saying that Mugabe probably could have won the elections even without rigging. The Ghanaian, notorious for sleeping on the job during the Rwandan genocide, said the world must work with Mugabe. ‘Holding on to the past and who was right and who was wrong and all this doesn’t help’ he said. Annan would have made more sense if he’d argued for UN  assistance to solve the ‘technical’ problem claimed to be responsible for the failure to publish the voters’ roll even a month and a half after the elections (see: Mugabe won with or without games: Annan – https://www.newsday.co.zw/2013/10/11/mugabe-won-without-games-annan/).  

 

Betrayed by SADC, the AU, the EU and now the UN, Zimbabweans have been abandoned to our fate. How the diaspora can help the people at home was discussed at a meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil. The forum was addressed by Ephraim Tapa, Vigil founder member, who is to chair the ‘Restore Zimbabwe’ All-Stakeholders’ Conference which is to be held in London on Thursday 24th October. The purpose of the meeting is to agree a common platform and strategy for diaspora action on the Zimbabwe crisis.

 

Ephraim spoke of the Vigil’s long struggle and promised it would continue until there were free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. He said that during his covert visit home before the elections he had been assured by the MDC that there was no possibility of rigging and asked what his plans were for returning home. All was going well he was told: there was a new constitution, a new Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, observers were in place. Celebrations were underway; why was he spoiling the party?

 

Ephraim said that the focus of the conference would not be on the past but on ‘what now?’ He said the Mugabe regime was scared of the diaspora which must now come up with a concrete strategy to bring freedom to Zimbabwe.

 

Other points

·         In the light of Ephraim’s remarks we were interested to see an admission by the MDC T Policy Advisor Eddie Cross that his party had let down the people and ignored warning signs (see: What the MDC got wrong –  http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71639?oid=418830&sn=Detail&pid=71639). The warning signs were clear enough. The week before the elections the Vigil confidently predicted the outcome (see: http://zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/515-credible-elections-zimbabwe-vigil-diary-27th-july-2013).

·         As 2. 2 million Zimbabweans (according to the UN) face starvation, the Vigil is glad to see a well-argued rebuttal by Zimbabwean economist Dale Dore of the controversial commentaries on land reform by various dodgy UK academics (see: Remaking History: Citizenship, Power and the recasting of heroes and villains – http://www.sokwanele.com/remaking-history-citizenship-power-and-recasting-heroes-and-villains/02102013).

·         The Vigil lends its heartfelt support to Desmond Tutu’s petition calling on African leaders not to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, which adjudicates crimes against humanity. He said ‘leaders of Sudan and Kenya, who have inflicted terror and fear across their countries, are trying to drag Africa out of the ICC, allowing them the freedom to kill, rape, and inspire hatred without consequences’ (to sign the petition visit: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/justice_for_africa_icc/?bMopBfb&v=30046). 

·         Thanks to Fannuel Wallah who left Stoke at 4 am to attend a ROHR meeting and to help set up the Vigil. Thanks also to Tecla Bandawe for providing cakes for the Vigil’s anniversary.

 

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: 54 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·         Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 19th October from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·         ‘Restore Zimbabwe’: Zimbabwe Diaspora All-Stakeholders’ Conference. Thursday 24th October from 9 am – 4.30 pm. Venue: the Theatre, Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, London E2 6HG. Nearest station: Bethnal Green (Central line).

·         Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 2nd November from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. 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 big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

·         Zimbabwe We Can Meeting. Saturday 16th November from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.

·         Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2012 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/467-vigil-highlights-2012. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2012 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 the views and opinions of ROHR.

·         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.com/pages/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights/301811392835

·         Useful website: www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.

 
Zimbabwe’s ‘quaternary’ stage? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 5th October 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 06 October 2013 14:49

At the Vigil we said a prayer for all those fleeing Africa. Our thoughts were of the hundreds of hopeful migrants who drowned when their vessel sank off the Italian island of Lampedusa, ending their dream of a better life in Europe.

 

Italy declared a day of national mourning and there were widespread cries that ‘something must be done’ to end the carnage in the Mediterranean caused by people-smugglers cramming desperate migrants into unseaworthy boats.

 

Short of Europe throwing open its borders (unlikely to say the least) the unpalatable truth is that sadly nothing will stop this trade until there is good governance in Africa, an end to institutional corruption there and an improvement in conditions for ordinary people. There is little prospect of this, despite economic growth in some African countries.

 

These are the reasons why up to a quarter of Zimbabwe’s people have fled the country – among them the best educated. Reading the Herald one can see the disastrous result of this exodus. ‘Elementary studies of economics inform us that production occurs in three levels which are primary, secondary and tertiary and of the late, the fourth level which is quaternary’, goes one article (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_zim-needs-a-paradigm-shift-the-herald/ - Zim needs a paradigm shift). The writer says a ‘paradigm shift’ in Zimbabwe is ‘the panacea that will lift our nation from the doldrums of quagmire that the economic forces of this age have relegated us to’.

 

The Vigil thinks that if the writer meant Zanu-PF instead of ‘economic forces’ his ravings might make a glimmer of sense. But it’s clear he doesn’t. The reality is that the flight from Zimbabwe looks, if anything, like increasing as NoPresident Mugabe reneges on his election promises of pay rises, investment in industry etc and the economy moves from primary to secondary and tertiary then ‘quaternary’.

 

The Vigil was told by a Zimbabwean who teaches at a London college that he was shocked on a recent visit home to rural Matabeleland to see how thin, gaunt and small people are. Their physical condition was in sharp contrast to that of people just across the border in South Africa. (Another thing he remarked on was that although they were cowed by Zimbabwe police they felt free to let off steam with the South African police. ‘What’s the matter with these people?’ one policeman asked him.)

 

Other points

·         Saturday 12th October marks the 11th anniversary of our Vigil. We are marking the occasion at a meeting after the Vigil of the Zimbabwe Action Forum. We will also discuss  our forthcoming all-stakeholders’ conference ‘Restore Zimbabwe’ to which we have been sending out the following invitation: ‘The Zimbabwe Vigil has been contacted by a number of groups and individuals about the need for the Zimbabwean diaspora to meet together to discuss how we can help resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe. To this end we are holding a one day all-stakeholders’ conference in London for the Zimbabwean diaspora on Thursday 24th October. The purpose of the meeting is to agree a common platform and strategy for diaspora action on the Zimbabwe crisis following the fraudulent July elections. To book a place: Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with your ideas about what should be discussed.

Date:                Thursday, 24th October 2013

Starts:              9 am registration for 10 am start. Ends 4.30 pm

Venue:             Theatre, Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, London E2 6HG        

Nearest Station: Bethnal Green (Central line)’

·         Thanks to Tendai Chadehumbe, Deborah Harry, Cathrine Muchabayiwa and Munyaradzo Katsonga who came early to help set up.

·         We are glad to report that the Vigil outside the Swaziland High Commission in London which we helped to start is attracting more and more supporters, some from far afield. It is drawing lots of attention with its vibrant singing and dancing.

 

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: 42 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·         Vigil Anniversary Social / Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 12th October from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.

·         ROHR Central London Branch Meeting. Saturday 12th October from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.

·         Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 19th October from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·         ‘Restore Zimbabwe’: Zimbabwe Diaspora All-Stakeholders’ Conference. Thursday 24th October from 9 am – 4.30 pm. Venue: the Theatre, Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, London E2 6HG.

·         Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2012 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/467-vigil-highlights-2012. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2012 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 the views and opinions of ROHR.

·         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.com/pages/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights/301811392835

·         Useful website: www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.

 
Restore Zimbabwe Conference – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 28th September 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 29 September 2013 17:23

The Vigil was glad to hear from Kate Hoey MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe, that she is planning to attend our all-stakeholders’ conference on the future of Zimbabwe. Kate welcomed this initiative, agreeing there was general despair at the situation following the stolen elections. She said nothing seems to be happening.

 

Well, something is happening. We have been sending out invitations to people and groups who we think might be interested in sharing their views on how Zimbabweans can work through this despair to a better future. Here are our plans for the Restore Zimbabwe Conference:

 

1.     It will take place from 9 am to 4.30 pm on Thursday 24th October at the Theatre, Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, London E2 6HG.

2.     The conference is being hosted by the Vigil and its sister organisations Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) and the Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement with the support of the Zimbabwe Association.

3.     The purpose of the meeting is to agree a common platform and strategy for diaspora action on the Zimbabwe crisis following the fraudulent July elections.

4.     How will the conference be managed? The programme is still under discussion but the favoured timetable is as follows:

-         9 – 10 am: registration of participants.

-         10 – 11 am: introductions by the Chair and brief addresses by invited speakers such as Kate Hoey.

-         11 am – 12.30 pm: discussion to identify key themes. It would be helpful if people submit ideas to us beforehand. 

-         12.30 – 1.30 pm: Lunch – Zimbabwean food will be available.

-         1.30 – 2.30 pm: participants will divide into groups to develop key themes identified.

-         2.30 – 3.30 pm: the leader of each group will present their group’s findings to the conference.

-         3.30 – 4.30 pm: sum up and adoption of resolutions.

 

At a meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum on Saturday 21st September the following ideas were put forward for discussion:

·         Scrapping indigenisation and encouraging foreign direct investment.

·         Giving bankable title to farmers to enable them to finance their operations (economists say this would at a stroke stimulate agriculture).

·         Nationalising the diamond mines.

·         Privatising the parastatals.

·         Stem corruption and require senior elected and non-elected leaders to disclose their assets.

·         Replacing the judiciary and reforming the police and armed forces.

 

Other points

·         Last week we reported that Zanu-PF in the UK was claiming that the British Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds was now allowing the party to operate in the UK. We asked the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for clarification and this is their reply: ‘I can reassure you that the response from Mr Simmonds’ office to the representatives of Zanu-PF was not a change in policy. As you set out, there was never a ban on them operating in the UK, and any organisation that operates within the law can do so – which the response was clear on. Mr Simmonds’ offered up an official level meeting with the party, which is consistent with what we do/have done with other groups, as you know. Officials in Harare also meet with members of Zanu-PF as part of their work.  I hope that provides the clarity you were looking for.’

·          Please sign the Zimbabwean’s petition: ‘All Zimbabwe Election 2013 records must be unsealed and seen – NOW.’ https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/All_the_records_
about_the_Zimbabwe_2013_election_must_be_unsealed_and_seen_NOW/?copy
.

·          Some of our supporters through their church helped the Zimbabwe Victims’ Support Fund raise money for a Matabeleland pastor who runs a programme to feed the destitute in the Bulawayo area. Just how crucial a difference this makes was dramatically illustrated recently when a banking problem delayed funds for the purchase of maize meal. The charity reports: ‘In Mazwi, near Bulawayo, nearly half the community who rely on that small monthly provision of maize meal resorted to scavenging for food on the municipal rubbish dump, which is a major health hazard.  A 34-year-old father of three suffered severe food poisoning and our volunteer partner, Pastor Albert, rushed him to hospital.  However he later died because his body, so weakened by malnutrition, was not able to resist the infection.  Such is the thin line that separates so many from starvation.’

·         Thanks to Eunice Mhlanga and Helen Rukambiro for arriving early to help set up 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: 29 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·         ROHR Executive Meeting: Saturday 5th October from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. 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 the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge and Somerset House. The entrance is marked by a big sign above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

·         Zimbabwe Vigil’s 11th Anniversary. Saturday 12th October.

·         ROHR Central London Branch Meeting. Saturday 12th October from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.

·         Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) / Vigil Anniversary Social. Saturday 12th October from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.

·         ‘Restore Zimbabwe’: Zimbabwe Diaspora All-Stakeholders’ Conference. Thursday 24th October from 9 am – 4.30 pm. Venue: the Theatre, Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, London E2 6HG.

·         Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2012 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/467-vigil-highlights-2012. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2012 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 the views and opinions of ROHR.

·         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.com/pages/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights/301811392835

·         Useful website: www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.

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