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Grovel East Chinamasa – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 16th November 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 17 November 2013 15:23

Finance Minister Chinamasa graciously offered to forgive the West when he briefed diplomats in Harare about Zanu-PF’s latest Zim Asset-stripping programme.

 

‘We stand ready to allow our economy to talk to yours’, he gushed, quite forgetting that the Zimbabwean economy spoke a totally different language.

 

‘We need to be clear about indigenisation’, he added. ‘People are put off even by the name indigenisation (though) it’s there in other countries, but called localisation or other terms’. Perhaps Chinamamsa had in mind ‘theft’ or ‘lunacy’ (see: Chinamasa pleads with diplomats to bury the hatchethttp://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_chinamasa-pleads-with-diplomats-to-bury-the-hatchet/).

 

What is clear is that only a few months after the rigged elections, Zanu-PF has been exposed as having no clothes (apart perhaps from a dunce’s hat). It’s now reduced to begging from the very countries which it continues to vilify despite the aid they have poured into Zimbabwe.

 

The Vigil suggests that Chinamasa looks East and grovels to China for a handout. After all, the Chinese economic powerhouse has munificently given £1 million to help the neighbouring Philippines devastated by a massive typhoon. By contrast, the miserly UK government gave only £50 million and the UK public donated another £30 million in three days to help suffering people on the other side of the world (who had never even been oppressed by British colonialism!),

 

As Chinamasa no doubt thought: what a pity illegal sanctions stop us having typhoons in Zimbabwe.

 

The problem for Chinamasa is that Asian investors have imposed their own economic sanctions on Zimbabwe. Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha complained that – although the government was not ‘sitting on its laurels’ – countries in the East were withholding their money because Zimbabwe was seen as a risky destination. This must surely be discriminatory! (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_look-east-policy-hits-brick-wall/Look East policy hits brick wall).

 

We were pleased to be joined at the Vigil by Wilbert Mukori, who came down all the way from Manchester. After taking his turn on the drums, Wilbert went on with us to the bi-monthly Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) where we discussed progress in implementing the resolutions passed after last month’s ‘Restore Zimbabwe’ Conference. (See last two diaries.)

 

ZAF approved the draft letter about the Israeli ballot-rigging company Nikuv published in last week’s diary with the addition of a warning to Israel that Zanu-PF would be quite happy to sell uranium to its enemy Iran. The letter is being sent to the Israeli government and media.

 

It was agreed to approach Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights for advice on legal options open to us to challenge the rigged elections and take Mugabe to the International Criminal Court in the Hague. The ZAF meeting was told of progress in collecting evidence of the election rigging. Comprehensive dossiers will be submitted to South Africa, SADC, the AU and the UN – all of whom have accepted the stolen elections. Wilbert said the validity of the elections must be challenged or people, seeing how the results were rigged, would not even bother to vote next time.

 

Also discussed were calls by some MDC leaders for the lifting of the targeted measures against Mugabe cronies on the grounds that these sanctions provided a fig-leaf for Mugabe’s mis-governance. The Vigil’s view is that sanctions should be continued and indeed extended to include those who rigged the last elections. We don’t think for a moment that African leaders are not able to see what is going on in Zimbabwe. Any concessions such as dropping the targeted measures would serve to legitimize the fraudulent elections and the illegal Zanu-PF regime.

 

Other points

·         Following our ‘Restore Zimbabwe’ All-Stakeholders’ Conference we were pleased to be contacted by Moses Chamboko, a Zimbabwean living in Australia. He and other like-minded Zimbabweans in the diaspora have formed ‘Zimbabweans United for Democracy’ (www.zunde.org). We look forward to working with this group to develop an effective pro-democracy movement.

·         Thanks to Nicodimus Muganhu and Shylette Chipangura of ROHR Reading Branch for bringing delicious Zimbabwean food. Thanks also to Nicodimus who, along with Kelvin Kamupira, Francesca Toft and Fungayi Mabhunu, arrived early to set up the Vigil. Thanks to Helen Rukambiro 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: 43 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

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

·         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 Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 7th December 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 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.

 
Poisonous Mzembi – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 9th November 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 10 November 2013 21:31

Police were called to Chatham House in London when a group of Vigil supporters staged a demonstration on Friday protesting at the recognition given to Mugabe’s visiting Tourism Minister (and farm looter) Walter Mzembi.

 

The Royal Institute of International Affairs, otherwise known as Chatham House, had invited Mzembi to speak during his visit to London for an international tourism conference. African diplomats in dapper black suits and shiny black shoes glared poison at the demonstrators as they went into the venue.

 

Soon afterwards a police van arrived and a policeman went into Chatham House. He quickly re-emerged and gave us a friendly wave before driving off. (We had arranged police permission for the protest.) 1 – 0 to the Vigil.

 

At no stage did we impede passage into the building. After all there were only eight of us (Bridget Zhakata, Cephas Maswoswa, Dennis Benton, Gift  Mushariwa, Grace Rukure, Ishmael Makina, Penelope Murewa and Rosemary Maponga) displaying posters such as: ‘Mugabe stooge: Mzembi’, ’Zim diaspora rejects the stolen elections’, ‘Who poisoned the elephants?’, ‘Who is destroying the forests?’, ‘Who is stealing the diamonds?’ and ‘Say No to Zanu PF Mafia’.

 

Or perhaps they didn’t like our twelve-foot-long Vigil banner draped over their railings: ‘No to Mugabe, No to Starvation’. Or maybe it was the leaflet we handed out: Zimbabwe’s Cyanide Tourism: Walter Mzembi presents himself as the reasonable face of Mugabe’s Zanu-PF mafia. But he cannot distance himself from the ruination that Mugabe has brought upon Zimbabwe . . . the poverty, starvation, despair, the enslavement of the people to Chinese colonisers.. Ask Mzembi ‘Where is the diamond money going?’, ‘Why do the forests have no trees?’ It’s not ‘illegal’ sanctions that have poisoned hundreds of elephants.

 

Why should the Vigil worry about this inflated Zanu PF thief? The answer is that as far as the Vigil knows he is the first of Mugabe’s illegitimate ministers to surface in the UK since the stolen elections. His message at the tourism conference was: Zanu PF wants to re-engage with the UK (in other words wants money) but you must learn your place. There must be no more master / servant relationship – we are equals (never mind that we have made ourselves  one of the poorest countries in the world and you are one of the richest . . .) We pay tribute to Penelope Murewa for coming to the demonstration despite feeling very shaky after medical treatment.

 

In line with the resolutions passed at the Zimbabwe Action Forum’s meeting last week, we are compiling a dossier of evidence of the rigging of the 31st July elections. We already have the evidence that Sokwanele and the Solidarity Peace Trust have collected. We are pleased that Nehanda Radio is now publishing the comprehensive evidence collected by MDC T.

 

It is already clear that manipulation by the mercenary Israeli company Nikuv was a decisive factor in Mugabe’s ‘victory’. The Vigil is sending the following open letter to the Israeli Prime Minister and the people of Israel:

 

‘Leaders like Robert Mugabe have a fundamental weakness that can be traced back to the days of the slave trade; they will happily sell their own kith and kin into slavery for a piece of calico cloth and a handful of beads! The slave trade was abolished over a century ago, thank God. Yet millions in Africa continue to suffer and die in dumb anguish, denied their basic rights and human dignity by their fellow blacks just as happened during the dark days of slavery.

 

For the last 33 years Zimbabweans have been fighting to end the Mugabe dictatorship so they too can enjoy the fruits of democracy and good governance. It is wholly unacceptable that their hopes for a better future were once again ruthlessly dashed because Mugabe had help from an Israeli company Nikuv.

 

Nikuv corrupted the voters roll so that nearly one million voters were denied the right to vote on election-day. It is no exaggeration to say it was Nikuv which delivered election victory to Mugabe considering the tyrant's winning margin was one million.

 

What chance does the impoverished ordinary Zimbabwean voter have against a tyrant like Mugabe with all the looted national wealth at his disposal and all the State institutions to back him. The David vs Goliath contest becomes an impossible one when companies like Nikuv throw their technical clout behind the tyrant.      

 

This is not the first time an Israeli company has been involved in Zimbabwe's politics on the side of Mugabe. This is simply intolerable and it must stop!

 

The Israeli government and people are always talking of Israel as an island of democracy in the middle of a troubled region. They are always condemning others for autocratic rule and the threat they pose to Israel. Why is it then that Israel has no qualms when it comes to sponsoring the same autocracy in countries such as Zimbabwe?

 

It is inconceivable that the Israeli government and people are not aware of how Israeli companies like Nikuv have sold our national hopes for a democratic government for thirty pieces of silver. And yet both the Israeli government and people have said nothing. They would be up in arms if any other nation was involved in such criminal activities affecting them.

 

What Nikuv, the Israeli government and people must realise is that the people of Zimbabwe know they have tyrants selling the nation’s hopes and dreams for a piece of calico cloth. They also know that there are unscrupulous companies and nations propping up these tyrants. The people are poor, powerless but they are not stupid!’

 

Wilbert Mukori on behalf of the ‘Restore Zimbabwe’ Task Force. 

 

Other points

·         An overcast threatening sky greeted the Lord Mayor’s annual parade but we were thrilled to see mounted troops cantering down the Strand with a gun carriage.

·         Revelation of the week: Finance Minister Chinamasa’s disclosure that the Treasury received no diamond revenue in the nine months to September this year…..

·         Thanks to Tendai Chadehumbe and Rose Maponga for arriving early to help set up the Vigil. Thanks also to Nicodemus Maganhu who worked hard putting up the tarpaulin.

 

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: 32 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

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

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

·         Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 16th 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.

·         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.

 
Diaspora rejects rigged elections – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 2nd November 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 03 November 2013 16:46

The Zimbabwean diaspora speaking from London has rejected the 31st July elections as rigged and has demanded new elections under international supervision after promised reforms have been made. It wants the opposition in Zimbabwe to resist Mugabe at every step and challenge him on issues such as the diaspora vote, dual nationality and the position of so-called aliens.

 

These decisions were made at a meeting of the bi-monthly Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil. In attendance were members of a task force nominated at the ‘Restore Zimbabwe’ Conference held in London on 24th October. The Conference had been presented with the following resolutions: The Conference

1.     Rejects the 31st July elections as rigged

2.     Calls on the diaspora to unite in demanding new elections

3.     Condemns SADC for not ensuring the GPA was implemented

4.     Appeals to the AU to revisit its approach to the Zimbabwe crisis

5.     Urges South Africa not to support the Mugabe regime

6.     Advises the EU to continue the targeted sanctions against Mugabe and to expand them to include judges and officials of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission who have demonstrated bias for Zanu PF

7.     Demands the Zimbabwean opposition resist Mugabe at every step

8.     Asks the UK government not to send home failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers

 

Lack of time prevented them from being adopted at the Conference and so they were carried forward at the Zimbabwe Action Forum. All the resolutions were adopted with the addition of a resolution demanding that those in a position of authority should be held to account for their actions.

 

The meeting said options should be explored to challenge the validity of the elections and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should be taken to court if it does not release the voters’ roll.

 

It urged the MDC-T to publish its dossier on the election rigging and, in line with suggestions from thematic groups set up at the Conference, it was agreed that the task force would collate evidence of election abuses and submit this evidence to the African Union. The AU has now published its report on the elections (see: AU final report on Zim poll reflects ‘solidarity of the African elite – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_au-final-report-on-zim-poll-reflects-solidarity-of-the-african-elite/). The Vigil thinks the AU report is disingenuous and the task force will appeal to the AU to look at all the evidence and not give up on the Zimbabwe crisis.

 

The protest to the AU will be followed by action on the other resolutions. This will include letters to SADC protesting at its failure to ensure that the GPA was implemented, to South Africa urging it not to support the Zimbabwe regime, to the EU calling for the targeted sanctions against Mugabe to be continued and expanded to include judges and officials of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. An appeal would be made to the UK government not to send home failed asylum seekers. For a full report of the ‘Restore Zimbabwe’ Conference (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/537-restore-zimbabwe-conference-london--thursday-24th-october-2013).

 

Other points

·         Thanks to Wilbert Mukori, a member of the ‘Restore Zimbabwe’ task force, who made the long journey from Manchester to be with us at the Forum. He says that to say the AU’s report on the elections is a great disappointment is an understatement. Read his comments on our campaigns page: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/540-wilbert-mukoris-comments-on-the-au-report-on-the-zimbabwe-elections.

·         The Vigil was plunged suddenly into winter darkness with the end of British Summer Time. Clocks were moved one hour backwards last week to allow people to get to work and school when it’s lighter.

·         We were happy to be joined by supporters of the Swazi Vigil which is going from strength to strength.

·         Thanks to Fannuel Wallah who put up our tarpaulin in the rain assisted by Gladys Mapanda.

 

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: 31 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·         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.

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

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

·         Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 16th 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 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.

 
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.

 
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