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Produce all skulls – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 15th August 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 16 August 2015 10:57

Photolink: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/20593480542/sizes/m/

 

Sacked information minister Jonathan Moyo simply can’t get out of propaganda mode. From his lowly perch as just one of the education ministers, Moyo is reduced to tweeting that the Zanu PF government can’t concentrate on turning around the economy before the repatriation of the remains of First Chimurenga heroes from foreign museums (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-nehandas-skull-first-before-economy-newsday-zimbabwe/).

 

The British government last year invited Zimbabwe to send experts for discussions in London on the return of any Zimbabwean human remains held in British museums. But historians say it is highly unlikely these include the skulls of any 19th century Zimbabwean freedom fighters (see UK Times story on our campaigns page: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/710-mugabe-demands-return-of-freedom-fighters-skulls).

 

So it could be a long search – which means, according to Moyo, farewell to any hopes of the economy receiving any attention for some time, though he did promise that when the government does finally get around to the matter the economy would bounce back ‘big time on the back of the irreversible indigenisation and empowerment bedrock’. The Vigil can’t wait. We would love to bounce back home.

 

Moyo’s egregious remarks followed Mugabe’s usual crazy bluster at Zanu PF’s Heroes’ Day rally in Harare at which he accused Britain of displaying the beheaded skulls in a ‘history museum’.

 

Mugabe went on to extol the achievements of ZimAsset, which he maintained was ‘certainly yielding fruits’. He didn’t mention the 2.2 million jobs he is producing since the last elections, but said the government was delivering 313,368 urban housing units and serviced stands by December 2018 . . . (see: http://www.newsdzezimbabwe.co.uk/2015/08/as-foreign-investment-dries-up-mugabe.html).

 

The Vigil advises prospective foreign investors to examine closely what they are dealing with. They might note the outcome of the long negotiations with the Indian conglomerate Essar to revive Zisco Steel. A month ago industry minister Mike Bimha insisted that the troubled $750 million deal was going ahead. Now he has admitted it is dead (see: http://www.thezimbabwean.co/2015/08/bimha-makes-u-turn-on-zisco/). Perhaps the government could ask Essar to build 313,368 urban housing units instead.

 

The Vigil managed to capture pictures of Mugabe visiting the British Museum in search of skulls. He was accompanied by his pet lion Rhodes perching on his shoulder. The museum said it didn’t have the skulls he was looking for but it would no doubt welcome his own as soon as possible for display in the dinosaur room. For our part, we urge Zanu PF to expand its search for skulls to include the 20,000 victims of Gukurahundi still haunting us today. And by the way where is Itai Dzamara?

 

Other points

·       Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu for playing the role of Mugabe in our mask and to Tendai Chadehumbe for accompanying him to the British Museum during the Vigil. Thanks to Patricial Masamba for looking after the Vigil in the absence of Mugabe and for being on the front table throughout the Vigil together with Sukoluhle Sibanda and Ivy Dangerembizi. Thanks also to those who arrived early to help set up: Mary Muteyerwa, Thulani and Percy Chagwiza, Sukoluhle, Ivy and Fungayi.

·       Another weekday protest about Itai Dzamara’s abduction by the CIO five months ago is taking place on Tuesday 18th August. Meet at 10.30 am at McDonalds, Charing Cross for the protest outside the Embassy at 11 am.

·       It is with some relief we greet the end of Mugabe’s time as SADC Chair. For a look at where he has taken the bankrupt organisation, see, for instance: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_sadc-tenure-exposes-mugabes-fading-legacy-the-zimbabwe-independent/.

 

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: 36 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       Itai Dzamara Protest, Tuesday 18th August. Meet at 10.30 am at McDonalds, Charing Cross for the protest outside the Embassy at 11 am. For more information, contact: Lazarus Matiyenga 07793939444, Danny Kadiki 07718056631.

·       ROHR Birmingham summer barbecue fundraiser. Saturday 22nd August from 2 – 9 pm. Venue: Malaika House, 81 George Street, Lozells, Birmingham B19 1NS. Contact Tino 07463202078, Thandie 07503512308, Chamu 07832927609.              

·       Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 22nd August from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 29thAugust July 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 5th September from 6.15 pm. 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.

·       Vigil’s Monthly Itai Dzamara Protest. Saturday 12th September from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark 6 months since Dzamara’s abduction by the CIO.

·       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 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 and Co – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 8th August 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 09 August 2015 14:56

Picture links:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/20401743212/sizes/m/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/20223978889/sizes/m/

 

One of the leaders of the Gamatox faction has complained that Zanu PF has been turned into Mugabe’s private property and says the party is inflicting ‘untold misery’ on Zimbabweans. Former Masvingo Minister of State Kudakwashe Bhasikiti was speaking in an interview with the Daily News.

 

Bhasikiti says he was one of three people who could speak officially for the proposed People First party expected to be launched next month. The others are the former Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo, ousted Zanu PF spokesman. Bhasikiti asserted that People First would be led by Joice Mujuru who he insisted would never rejoin Zanu PF. ‘Gamatox will never be Zanu PF again. The post-congress Zanu PF translated itself into a private company which is now owned and privatised by a single family. We cannot be part of someone’s company’, he declared (see:  Mujuru turns down Mugabe, Zanu PF – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_mujuru-turns-down-mugabe-zanu-pf-dailynews-live/).

 

Bhasikiti is the latest expelled Zanu PF bigwig to spill the beans about the party’s corruption, violence and vote rigging. Last week Mutasa said in an interview with the Daily News that People First must apologise not only to the people they had misruled but also to the entire world.

 

The Vigil thinks this will be a good start but doubts that their deathbed repentance will convince the 50 or so opposition parties. ‘As a matter of principle we are not going to join hands with the likes of Joice Mujuru and Didymus Mutasa because their hands are dripping with blood’, said Elton Mangoma of the latest MDC partyette, the Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_mangoma-blames-govt-for-dzamara-abduction-the-zimbabwean/ - Mangoma blames govt for Dzamara abduction).

 

As Mugabe’s bankrupt private company, facing liquidation, veers crazily between plans to tax vendors or drive them out of business, retain ghost workers and sack real ones, invite foreign investors and rob them blind, details have emerged of how Zanu PF has looted the National Security Authority, which is responsible for paying pensions. A revealing article in the South African Mail and Guardian describes how it has been used by Mugabe and Co as a cash cow (http://mg.co.za/article/2015-08-06-greed-corruption-lead-to-povertyamong-zims-pensioners - Greed, corruption 'fuel poverty among Zim's pensioners').

 

Other points

·       The Vigil welcomed unexpected visitors from Zimbabwe: Douglas Mwonzora, Secretary-General of MDC-T, and Theresa Makone, the party’s Treasurer. They were accompanied by officers of the MDC’s UK province: Owen Muganda, Secretary, and Sibongile Sihwa, Vice Chair. Ms Sihwa warned us against CIO infiltration and said it was paying big money to undermine opposition groups. The Vigil is all too well aware of the CIO’s tactics. Mwonzora addressed the Vigil and spoke of reforms wanted by MDC-T, including the diaspora vote. This drew cheers from Vigil supporters.

·       The Vigil marked 5 months since the activist Itai Dzamara was abducted by the CIO. Despite international protests, all we get from Mugabe and Co is deathly silence.  Martin Chinyanga led a Vigil group in a demonstration outside the Embassy on Friday about the abduction. He found that the Embassy had summoned the police and said it showed how closely they read the Vigil diary which had trailed the protest. Martin also said a lady had been refused help by the Embassy with her passport on the grounds that she had attended the Vigil. Those who took part in the demonstration were: Hilda Gwesele, Roda Majoni, Nobukhosi Moyo Lazarus Matiyenga, Paul Chipamhadze, Crispen Ndlovu, Peter Sidindi, Martin Chinyanga and Danny Kadiki.

·       Thanks to Humphrey Dube, Eunice Mucherechedzo, Helen Rukambiro, Prue Glanfield, Paul Fusire and Fungayi Mabhunu who arrived early to help set up. Thanks also to Eunice, Helen and Rose Maponga for taking care of the front table and to Paul for bringing delicious cupcakes.

·       We were interested to see that police boss Augustine Chihuri is the latest shareholder of the Mugabe firm to acquire a doctorate, joining Deputy Chairman Grace and army chief Constantine Chiwenga.  Dr Chihuri obtained his doctorate from Harare’s ‘Mount Carmel Institute of Business Intelligence’. Rector Mufaro Gunduza says his research was ‘beautiful’ (see: http://ewn.co.za/2015/08/04/Zimbabwes-police-chief-awarded-a-doctorate – Zim’s Police Chief Receives Doctorate). The Vigil is informed that his handwriting was also pretty good, with all the letters properly joined together between the lines.

·       Some of us at the Vigil support a pastor in the Bulawayo area. He reports: On 5 August 2015 around 2 pm, without warning, the Zimbabwe Republic Police in the company of the Deputy Sheriff arrived at the headman’s house on Willsgrove Farm with an eviction order and commanded the headman to move away and said that they were destroying the buildings.  This farm is the property of a brick manufacturing company. As the senior police officer was talking to the old man the rest of his team rushed into the house and started throwing out the belongings. No sooner had they started than a bulldozer arrived and started to demolish the buildings. They did not only demolish the homestead but also three chicken houses that the headman had, containing about 2000 birds. The remaining live chickens were stuffed into sacks. The turkeys’ legs were tied and they were also shoved into sacks. Most of them suffocated. In addition puppies were also put into sacks and suffocated. They also towed the headman’s car away. It was found with no bonnet and a smashed windscreen. The headman had been living on the property for 27 years.  After this they moved to another brick under iron homestead which they destroyed and took property such as fridges which were taken to an unknown destination. They targeted the four leaders of the community first. After that they started on the other homesteads. There was a lot of crying among the people: women and men and children.’ For the full report see our campaigns page: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/708-pastors-eviction-report

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: 35 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 22nd August from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 29thAugust July 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 5th September from 6.15 pm. 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.

·       Vigil’s Itai Dzamara Protest. Saturday 12th September from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark 6 months since Dzamara’s abduction by the CIO.

·       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 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.

 
Where’s the Pie? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 1st August 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 02 August 2015 10:50

The second anniversary of the last stolen elections passed with little remark – though Zanu PF acknowledged for the first time the hollowness of its ZimAsset election manifesto.

 

At the time it was unveiled the Vigil described the five-year economic programme as ‘Pie in the Sky’. Now it’s clear there is indeed no pie in prospect and Zanu PF doesn’t even know the recipe to bake one.

 

Economic planning minister and Zanu PF spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo admitted ZimAsset had missed its targets. The growth rate was supposed to increase from 3.4% a year in 2013 to 9.9% a year in 2018, an average annual growth of 7.3%. Instead last year it remained at 3.4%, about half the forecast rate for the year. This year will be even more dismal, with finance minister Chinamasa saying he expected growth to be only 1.5%. Others put it even lower (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_moyo-admits-zimasset-failure-newsday-zimbabwe/).

 

As for ZimAsset’s promise of 2.2 million new jobs, the reality is that people are being sacked at an increasing rate as the economy continues its death spiral.

 

Chinamasa – in his mid-term review – lamented that agricultural performance was below expectations. So much for the promise to regain our ‘bread-basket’ status. He also mentioned the failure to attract foreign direct investment, noting ‘failure to speak with one voice over critical policies’ and ‘failure to honour obligations’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_economy-expected-to-grow-15pc-the-herald/).

 

This reflected the chilling message for Zanu PF from China, which bluntly told Vice President Mnangagwa it was not going to bail out the bankrupt party. In fact, it said it wanted to see arrangements in place to repay the billion dollars or so it has already advanced to Zimbabwe (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_repay-us15bn-china-tells-zim-the-zimbabwe-independent/).

 

As far as the Vigil can see, Zimbabweans - apart from Dr Grace – have little to celebrate from the rigging of the elections two years ago. The embittered people expelled from Zanu PF’s inner circle certainly feel so as their farms and businesses come under threat. They are eager to spill the beans about vote rigging, violence and corruption. Mugabe, of course, ‘knew nothing about it’.

 

We take a different view. But Mugabe and his mafia must be relieved that international attention is diverted from what the Chinese rightly identified as Zimbabwean corruption by the sad case of Cecil the lion. His death has prompted outrage around the world. The Vigil thinks it is a pity that the same interest has not been shown in the plight of the people suffering from Mugabe’s misrule. Someone who passed by the Vigil today asked us whether we were a protest about what had happened to Cecil.

 

In a recent article the Japanese scholar Ken Yamamoto said only Zimbabwean children now under the age of 10 could have any expectation of a better life (see: http://www.newzimbabwe.com/news-23813-Yamamoto+Six+areas+of+misplaced+hope+in+Zim/news.aspx). The Vigil believes the prospects are indeed grim. We understand the British government expects the regime to last for another decade.

 

As the MDC-T again flipflops and decides after all to contest elections, the Vigil begs them to insist this time that foolproof reforms are in place before 2018. No repeat of 2013.

 

Other points

·         Vigil supporters were happy to hear that President Obama’s comments at the AU condemning African dictators were punctuated with applause. Nevertheless, we cannot forgive the organisation for electing Mugabe as AU chairman and know that he is still greeted as a hero in South Africa and elsewhere

·         ROHR members organised a protest at the Vigil today in support of workers back home and the many job losses resulting from recent legislation on the termination of contracts.

 

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: more than 50 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·         Exiled Writers Ink – ‘Sounds of Africa’. Monday 3rd August at 7.30 pm. Venue: Poetry Place, 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX.  Featuring Zimbabwean writers Bart Wolffe and Blessing Mamvura and will be hosted by HandsenChikowore. Tickets £5 or £3 for asylum seekers.

·         Itai Dzamara and Second Murambatsvina Protest. Friday 7th August at 10.30 am outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London.

·         Vigil’s Itai Dzamara Protest. Saturday 8th August from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark 5 months since Dzamara’s abduction by the CIO.

·         ROHR Reading branch hosts the Afro Cultural Fundraiser Southern Region. Saturday 8th August from 1 – 11 pm. Venue: Pakistan Community Centre, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA.  Theme: Afro cultural event interacting with other people from all corners of the world. We will be donating food purchased through our fundraising to local foodbanks. The Mayor of Reading will attend as well as other local leaders, performing groups from different parts of Africa and a well-known DJ. Prizes: tablet, digital camera, gift vouchers and many more. African food. For further information contact: Charles D Ndlovu 07413879590, Eric Eluwasi 07888310582, Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Deborah Harry 07748723974 and Shylette Chipangura 07828929806.

·         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 8th August from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·         Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 29thAugust July 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). Date of next meeting to be advised. ZAF meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.

·         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.

 
Divine Grace – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 25th July 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 26 July 2015 10:09

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/19816436830/sizes/o/

 

With her magical spiritual powers (full marks to Zimbabwe’s top university for spotting this so quickly) Amai Grace Mugabe PhD miraculously manifested herself at the Vigil in London to mark her 50th birthday.

 

Asked how she had transported herself here while simultaneously gracing a glittering dinner / dance at her Borrowdale Brook mansion, the First Lady simply pointed to the full-colour advertisement sponsored by Air Zimbabwe in a 14-page birthday supplement in the Herald. We understood immediately what she meant as we all know that the bankrupt airline is capable of miracles or it would have stopped flapping its wings a long time ago.

 

State-owned organisations and government ministries paid megabucks to advertise their praise of the philanthropy of the ‘mother of the nation’. They included Hwange Colliery, which has not paid its workers’ salaries  for years, the Premier Service Medical Aid Society, which can’t pay providers. And the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, which declared Amai to be ‘Our Saving Grace’. Its advertisement said ‘Like water on parched ground, you give life to everything you touch’ – something it has signally failed to do itself.

 

But the tribute that mattered most was from the University of Zimbabwe which last year awarded her a doctorate after a few weeks’ study. The University said: ‘Your Excellency, the university admires your tremendous skills of intellectual intelligence, spiritual intelligence and emotional intelligency, including empathy, compassion, love and grace.’

 

The Vigil apologised to Dr Grace for our failure to match the lavish hospitality of the Borrowdale Brook shindig where guests stumped up $2,000 each to enjoy unlimited food and drink on the house ‘including expensive whiskeys and wines’. 

 

Dr Amai Grace Mugabe PhD graciously accepted our apologies, saying she understood the straitened circumstances of the exploited Zimbabwean bottom wipers in the UK. And with a typically generous gift of a 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollars, she ascended majestically into the sky to be teleported by Air Zimbabwe back to the more comfortable environment of Borrowdale Brook.

 

Other points

·       Thanks to Deborah Harry for donning our Mugabe mask to play Amai Grace (or am I not) in her impressive academic gown.

·       Lazarus Matiyenga caused much amusement with his declamation: ‘Ndinotenda mese mawungana, kubva kucentral committee, maprovince, women’s league vakuru vedu kusanganisa maservice chiefs edu nemi imi veyouth league. Tatenda zvikuru nekuwungana kwamaita mukupembera zuva guru ranhasi raamai, kusvitsa makore makumi mashanu. Tino daira mwari vanoramba vachiti chengeta tigokwanisa kucherechedza zvakare, this 25th movement mugore rinowuya neachatevera zvekare ndatenda.’

·       The Vigil is sorry to hear from our friends in Itai Dzamara’s Occupy Africa Unity Square movement that – instead of investigating his abduction – the authorities are arresting their members.

·       Our supporter Martin Chinyanga is calling for a protest for Dzamara and against the second Murambatsvina outside the Embassy at 10,30 on Friday 7th August. Please join him if you can. The Vigil will be observing 5 months since Itai Dzamara was abducted on Saturday 8th August.

·       Thanks to those who came early to help: Patricia Masamba, Henrietta Mlambo, Pearl Shambare, Netsayi Elizabeth, Madzadzavara and Charity Jere. Thanks to Patricia, Henrietta and Esther Nyambi for looking after the front table. Thanks also to Nqobizitha Moyo for his gift of useful stationery 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: 51 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       Exiled Writers Ink – ‘Sounds of Africa’. Monday 3rd August at 7.30 pm. Venue: Poetry Place, 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX.  Featuring Zimbabwean writers Bart Wolffe and Blessing Mamvura and will be hosted by Handsen Chikowore. Tickets £5 or £3 for asylum seekers.

·       Itai Dzamara and Second Murambatsvina Protest. Friday 7th August at 10.30 am outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London.

·       Vigil’s Itai Dzamara Protest. Saturday 8th August from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark 5 months since Dzamara’s abduction by the CIO.

·       ROHR Reading branch hosts the Afro Cultural Fundraiser Southern Region. Saturday 8th August from 1 – 11 pm. Venue: Pakistan Community Centre, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA.  Theme: Afro cultural event interacting with other people from all corners of the world. We will be donating food purchased through our fundraising to local foodbanks. The Mayor of Reading will attend as well as other local leaders, performing groups from different parts of Africa and a well-known DJ. Prizes: tablet, digital camera, gift vouchers and many more. African food. For further information contact: Charles D Ndlovu 07413879590, Eric Eluwasi 07888310582, Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Deborah Harry 07748723974 and Shylette Chipangura 07828929806.

·       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 8th August from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 29th August July 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). Date of next meeting to be advised. ZAF meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.

·       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.

 
Countdown to jubilation – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 18th July 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 19 July 2015 14:09

Suddenly Zimbabwe is back in the news. Having spent the last thirteen years trying vainly to persuade the world to pay attention to the unfolding agony of Zimbabwe, the Vigil is naturally pleased at the attention Zimbabwe is now attracting – though, frankly, we are at a loss to explain it.

 

We thought the big news of the week was the remarkable volte-face by Vice-President Mnangagwa who, on a visit to China, admitted that Zanu PF had completely screwed up and would have to rethink everything. Zimbabwe, he told Chinese television, would have to ‘bite the bullet’ and reform, admitting that the country was nearly two decades behind other countries in most respects.

 

Mnangagwa said Zanu PF realised it had to create an attractive investment environment and this was only part of a ‘massive reform process’. He said: You cannot say there are areas of our economy which we are happy with: infrastructure we are behind by 15-16 years, agricultural development the same, manufacturing, in fact capacity utilisation in some areas of our industry it is down to 20%, so again we have to retool by acquiring new technology and machinery so that we are competitive.’ (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2015/07/15/zim-has-lost-20-yrs-mnangagwa/).

 

Whether Mnangagwa will be able to see through a reform agenda is doubtful. Opposition MDC MP Eddie Cross cites the ‘link between politics and business’ that he says is holding back the Zimbabwean economy: ‘The Chief Executive of an organisation made an appointment to see the Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa this week. He was told to come to the office at 08.30hrs and was there on time. When he got into the office the person through whom he had made the appointment asked him if he had brought “the envelope”. The CEO said no and that he was not going to pay to see the Vice President. He waited two hours and a Secretary told him to go downstairs and see someone who would get him into the VP – he walked down and when he got there he decided that enough is enough and he just kept going.’ (see: http://www.politicsweb.co.za/news-and-analysis/zimbabwe-at-the-heart-of-the-rot).

 

But what has propelled Zimbabwe up the news agenda is not the nitty-gritty of Zimbabwean politics but the human drama: who is going to take over from Mugabe. The question is discussed in an article in the UK Times today by the Zimbabwean journalist Jan Raath, who believes Mnangagwa will take over but adds ‘The whole laboriously constructed succession scheme, however, could be blown away in hours. The day Mugabe dies, the entire nation may well be enveloped in an explosion of jubilation.’ (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/columnists/article4501358.ece).

 

For its part, the UK Guardian devotes a lot of space to the political prospects of renowned scholar Dr Grace (see: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/15/dont-mess-with-grace-mugabe-she-could-be-next-president-zimbabwe).

 

In a comprehensive article in Newsweek, the American international news magazine, the Zimbabwean journalist Graham Boynton says ‘I have just spent a month travelling around Zimbabwe and, from the wilderness areas, through the rural communities, and in the major cities, the phrase that prefaces almost every conversation is "When the Old Man goes..." It will be a defining moment for the new Zimbabwe. But right now the Old Zimbabwe is clinging on by its fingertips. It is a situation that alarms David Coltart, a former Cabinet minister in the now defunct Government of National Unity (GNU). He says that since independence from white minority rule in 1980 "we have never had a situation where you've got weapons under the control of so many different entities – ZANU is fragmented, the army is fragmented, the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) is fragmented, the police are fragmented – and there is a leadership vacuum. As a country, as a people, we are at our lowest ebb.’            (See: http://europe.newsweek.com/inside-mugabes-zimbabwe-tyrant-totters-towards-decrepitude-his-country-slides-into-famine-3302120).

 

Against the backdrop of the power struggle in Zanu PF comes news that Zimbabwe is the second poorest country in the world, cheated of last place by the equally well-endowed Democratic Republic of Congo (see: http://www.newzimbabwe.com/news-23697-Zim+now+poorest+country+in+the+world/news.aspx). Meanwhile, at the Vigil talk was about the vendors at home and the explosive situation that we do not think that even the new ‘reformed’ Mnangagwa realises he faces. The message we get from our relatives and friends is that if people lose their livelihoods they have nothing else to lose.  

 

Other points

·       Exiled Writers’ Ink is holding an event entitled ‘Sounds of Africa’ on Monday 3rd August at 7.30 pm. This will feature Zimbabwean writers Bart Wolffe and Blessing Mamvura and will be hosted by Handsen Chikowore who came to the Vigil to tell us about the event. For details see ‘Events and Notices’.

·       Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Humphrey Dube, Fungisai Mupandira, Helen Rukambiro, Fungayi Mabhunu, Mavis Mutanga, Morella Gertrude Nhau, John Burke, Esther Nyambi, Ben Semwayo, Bridget Mupotsa, Euliter Mutami, Sally Mutseyami and Nobukhosi Moyo. Thanks also to Esther and Helen 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: 50 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       ROHR Southampton branch participates in community event. Saturday 25th July from 12 noon – 6 pm. Venue: Pavilion on the Park, 1 Kingfisher Road, Eastleigh SO50 9LH. ROHR Southampton invites supporters to join them as branch members participate in a community event to encourage participation in grass roots sports and arts. For further enquiries contact: Sally Mutseyami (Chairperson) on 07448730581, Grace Rukure (Secretary) on 07462103397 and Edward Mukuze (Info & Publicity Officer) on 07463975108.

·       ROHR Birmingham branch general members meeting. Saturday 25th July from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: 111-119 Bishop Street, Digbeth, Birmingham B5 6JL. For more info contact Chairperson: Thandiwe Gwarimba 07503 512308, Vice Chair: Tino Mashonganyika 07463 272078, Organising Secretary: JaneMary Mapfumo 07412 310429.

·       ROHR Reading branch hosts the Afro Cultural Fundraiser Southern Region. Saturday 8th August from 1 – 11 pm. Venue: Pakistan Community Centre, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA.  Theme: Afro cultural event interacting with other people from all corners of the world. We will be donating food purchased through our fundraising to local foodbanks. The Mayor of Reading will attend as well as other local leaders, performing groups from different parts of Africa and a well-known DJ. Prizes: tablet, digital camera, gift vouchers and many more. African food. For further information contact: Charles D Ndlovu 07413879590, Eric Eluwasi 07888310582, Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Deborah Harry 07748723974 and Shylette Chipangura 07828929806.

·       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 Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 25th July 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.

·       Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 25th July from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       Exiled Writers Ink – ‘Sounds of Africa’. Monday 3rd August at 7.30 pm. Venue: Poetry Place, 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX.  Featuring Zimbabwean writers Bart Wolffe and Blessing Mamvura and will be hosted by Handsen Chikowore. Tickets £5 or £3 for asylum seekers.

·       Vigil’s Itai Dzamara Protest. Saturday 8th August from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark 5 months since Dzamara’s abduction by the CIO.

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

·       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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