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Mugabe’s happy Christmas – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 26th December 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 01 January 2016 19:27

As we spent another Christmas in exile we were surprised to hear from the United Nations that ‘Zimbabwe had done tremendously well’ on the human rights front. We would never have known this if the Herald had not carried an article by the UN’s acting resident co-ordinator Dr David Okello.

 

The Herald quoted him as saying: ‘Zimbabwe has made tremendous strides in living the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ (see: http://www.herald.co.zw/human-rights-zim-has-done-extremely-well/).

 

Dr Okello, who is the World Health Organisation’s representative in Zimbabwe, went on: ‘The right to health care, food and nutrition, education, water and sanitation, social security, to political participation and the fair administration of justice are all fulfilled for all members of society.’

 

We at the Vigil are a bit mystified by the article because, as far as we can make out, the exact opposite is the case in Zimbabwe. But then we recalled that last January the UN put Zimbabwean unemployment at 5.42% - surprising not only for its precision but also for its complete lunacy (see Vigil diary of 31st January 2015).

 

The latest UN ravings must have cheered Mugabe as he set off for his annual holiday in the Far East after a celebratory banquet at State House for Zanu PF bigwigs. Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko gushed: ‘Sir, you have directed the party par excellence, you have directed the Government par excellence, you have directed Sadc par excellence and you are directing the African Union par excellence!’ (See: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-bob-in-xmas-party-while-many-starve/).

 

Other points

·       On our last Vigil of the year a few brave souls managed to get to the Embassy despite the diminished transport on Boxing Day. They were heartened by a regular benefactor who once again gave a generous donation

·       Below you can find the first of three summaries of the 2015 Vigil diaries. It covers highlights from the first four months of the year. We will print the rest over the next two weeks.

 

Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights: January – April 2015

Dead hand at the tiller – Saturday 3rd January: On a cold and wet day we staged a little tableau inspired by pictures of Mugabe’s holiday feast in Singapore, with Fungayi Mabhunu donning our Mugabe mask and tucking in to deep-fried Mujuru. 

Rudderless regime – Saturday 10th January: It is becoming clear that there is no one in charge in Zimbabwe. No sooner does one minister make a policy statement than another contradicts it. After Finance Minister Chinamasa gave assurances that the indigenisation policy would be clarified to encourage foreign investment, the new Indigenisation Minister Christopher Mushowe said foreign investors would be lucky to get a 49% share in their business. It could be as little as 1%.

Being counted – Saturday 17th January: Zimbabweans came out in the cold in London in support of Itai Dzamara who has been campaigning in Africa Unity Square since last October demanding that Mugabe step down. We were joined outside the Embassy by UK members of his Occupy Africa Unity Square movement. In a message to the gathering, Itai Dzamara said that a new Zimbabwe was within reach and our protest would not be in vain.

Call for UK parliamentary debate on Zimbabwe – Tuesday 19th January: The possibility of a parliamentary debate on Zimbabwe emerged at a meeting in a parliamentary committee room organised by the MP for Reading West, Alok Sharma, who was approached by Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) Reading branch. The idea was supported by former Africa Minister Mark Simmonds who also attended the meeting. He spoke of ‘small steps of progress’ in Zimbabwe.

Progress? – Saturday 24th January: Ephraim Tapa, President of ROHR, disagreed with Mr Simmonds that there had been progress in Zimbabwe but welcomed the idea of a parliamentary debate. He told the Vigil: ‘It is necessary to interrogate the British government’s policy as it is not at all clear what it hopes to achieve’.

Forward to the Stone Age – Saturday 31st January: Mugabe is an appropriate choice as chairman of the African Union (AU). The South African head of the AU Commission set out the aims of the meeting at which Mugabe was chosen: ‘Democracy, good governance and human rights’. Well they have found the man for the task. Prepare for a new African Renaissance: this one rebranded as the Stone Age. The AU is not the only useless international organisation. You could add the EU with its re-engagement with Mugabe policy. But first prize must go the United Nations. It says unemployment in Zimbabwe is 5.42%.

Campaign for parliamentary debate – Saturday 7th February: The Zimbabwe Action Forum, meeting after the Vigil, discussed a template letter people could send to their MPs calling for a debate on Zimbabwe. Part of the letter said: In brief, all elections in Zimbabwe are rigged, there is no rule of law, corruption is rampant and the new constitution – largely paid for by the British taxpayer – is predictably ignored by the Mugabe Mafia. Yet Britain talks of ‘progress’ and is lifting sanctions! We want the debate to ask questions such as: What is the British Government’s policy on Zimbabwe?

Zanu PF arrogance – Saturday 14th February: Anyone really hoping for a turnaround in the Zimbabwean economy will be dismayed by the comment by Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo. Speaking after a meeting with a 19-strong British investor delegation, he said there had been ‘some little unpleasant disagreements’. Chombo was apparently outraged that the naïve investors wanted to know where Zimbabwe is going.

The carpet’s to blame – Saturday 21st February: Zimbabweans in the UK gathered in force outside the Embassy to mark Mugabe’s 91st birthday. The increasingly confused tyrant was supposed to be in South Africa attending to his duties as supreme leader of SADC (and Africa in general) but seems to have caught the wrong plane and turned up outside the Embassy, where he demonstrated how Mai Mujuru hid under the carpet and almost caused him to fall. Thanks to Fungayi who donned our Mugabe mask and demonstrated Mugabe’s fall to the assembled media. The demonstration brought together a wide range of diaspora groups. Apart from our sister organisations, they included MDC-T, ZAPU, Occupy Africa Unity Square, Zimbabweans United for Democracy, Zimbabwe Social Democrats and the Swaziland Vigil.

A nauseating feast – Saturday 28th February: ‘An event of truly spectacular moral ugliness’ was how the Mayor of London Boris Johnson described Mugabe’s 91st birthday party. Fungayi wore our Mugabe mask as we restaged thec  Victoria Falls feast.

No appeasement – Saturday 7th March: Strong support for the Vigil’s criticism of the European Union’s new policy of ‘re-engaging’ with the Mugabe regime has come from American former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Todd Moss. With President Obama renewing American sanctions for another year, Mr Moss says that it is perplexing that Europe is now choosing to break ranks and resuming aid, signalling a shift in approach from sticks to carrots.  Europe, he says, is wilfully blind to what is happening and who is responsible for the worsening conditions in Zimbabwe. ‘Any new support for the current government will likely only further entrench the current coterie around Mugabe.’ On a lovely sunny day we marked International Women’s Day in support of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) who were beaten by police during a Valentine’s Day protest in Bulawayo.

We are Itai Dzamara – Saturday 14th March: Exiled Zimbabweans demonstrated outside the Embassy about the abduction of the human rights activist Itai Dzamara whose brave Harare protest ‘Occupy Africa Unity Square’ (OAUS) has made him a beacon of freedom. Among those at the Vigil was Tendai Kwari, leader of OAUS-UK, who said he feared for Itai’s life.  Not troubled by Itai’s fate, Mugabe set off with about 100 hangers-on for an obscure UN conference in Japan on ‘Disaster Risk Reduction’, riding roughshod over objections from the Japanese Embassy in Harare at his bloated delegation.

Embassy demonstration – Thursday 19th March: The Embassy went into meltdown when nine Zimbabwean expatriates charged in and demanded information about Itai Dzamara.  With cries of ‘We want Itai’, ‘Bring back Itai’ and ‘Zanu PF murderers’, the group demanded to see the Ambassador. Frightened staff pointed to a door but a voice from inside that room shouted ‘don’t let them in’. In the meantime police – some of them armed – swarmed into the building summoned by a panic button. The protesters explained they were simply making a peaceful request for information from their Embassy. The police asked them to continue the protest outside. The Embassy then closed for the day.

Embassy in panic – Saturday 21st March: The protest against the feared murder of Dzamara continued at the Vigil with posters reading ‘Where is Itai Dzamara?’ and ‘Release Itai Dzamara’. At meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil it was agreed to send a letter to the Ambassador asking for a meeting to discuss the abduction and warned ‘The Zimbabwe Vigil fears that the unbridled criminal behaviour by the Mugabe regime is stoking a fire which could consume our people. Because the Embassy has no letterbox we will deliver this letter in person.’

Another Embassy Protest – Friday 27th March: Ten people got into the Embassy and sang protest songs in the reception area, brandishing placards such as ‘Bring back Itai Dzamara’, ‘Enough is enough’ and ‘Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF government must go’.  Scared Embassy staff retreated and summoned the police who asked them to continue their protest outside. The demonstrators went on to the nearby South African High Commission, where they demanded that Mugabe should be replaced as chair of the AU and SADC.

Embassy challenged again – Saturday 28th March: Everybody at the Vigil signed a letter to the Zimbabwe Embassy about Dzamara to be delivered by hand. Vigil spokesman Fungayi Mabhunu said ‘As far as the Vigil is concerned we will seize every opportunity to remind the world of what happens to brave and principled people in Zimbabwe who oppose Mugabe and Zanu PF. Every Zimbabwean representative coming here must face the question: Where is Itai Dzamara?’

Diaspora No to Mugabe – Saturday 4th April: If further evidence was needed that Mugabe is crazy it came with his appeal to the diaspora to give him more money – presumably for his non-stop travels in search of eternal life. Whatever Zanu PF in the UK says, no sane Zimbabwean here would dream of putting their money anywhere within Zanu PF’s grasp. Although the party’s UK spokesman happily proclaims that ‘the economic renaissance (is) already in motion’.

Deadly silence – Saturday 11th April: While Mugabe continues to flaunt himself abroad, there has been a deafening silence from the Zanu PF regime about the abduction of Dzamara despite a court order to search for him. Even ousted Vice-President Mujuru claimed to be outraged by Zanu PF’s indifference to Dzamara’s fate. Amnesty International says no credible investigation seems to be taking place. 

Vigil Protests – Friday 17th April:

Exiled Zimbabweans demonstrated outside the Embassy and the South African High Commission in London in protest at the abduction in Harare of Dzamara and at the new upsurge of xenophobic violence in South Africa. The protests came as ambassadors of SADC countries were holding a meeting at Zimbabwe House. Barriers were placed outside the Embassy and police kept guard after several incidents in which demonstrators entered the building in attempts to deliver a letter. Once again the Embassy refused to accept the Vigil’s letter asking to discuss the abduction of Dzamara and the demonstrators were told they could not even push it under the closed front door. So we posted it at the local post office. Activists took time out from the demonstration to gather outside the nearby South African High Commission and presented a letter for President Zuma protesting at the upsurge of xenophobic violence in South Africa.

Let them drown? – Saturday 18th April: News that some 700 migrants from Africa drowned when their boat capsized off Libya came within hours of a meeting at which the Zimbabwe Action Forum discussed the failure of the European Union and the African Union to deal with the growing crisis posed by the headlong flight from Africa and the Middle East. Among the ideas the forum discussed was the need for a UN protection zone outside the EU where migrants could receive food and medical attention, and indeed schooling, while their asylum claims for Europe could be processed. On the 35th anniversary of independence, the Vigil was joined outside by Mugabe himself (Fungayi in our Mugabe mask).  He was surrounded by devils bearing the gifts he has given the Zimbabwean people in his long reign: unemployment, starvation and terror.

Mugabe’s illegal sanctions – Saturday 25th April: The ignominious failure of the Mugabe regime’s court challenge to the sanctions imposed by the European Union has escaped much attention. That the challenge was a ludicrous waste of public money was obvious to the Vigil from the start – thrown into comic relief anyway by the gradual removal of the targeted measures. Zimbabwe must now foot the entire bill for this legal circus. Before the Vigil there was another demonstration outside the South African High Commission against the latest xenophobic violence.

 

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: 7 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 9th January from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·     ROHR Executive Meeting: Saturday 9th January at 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.

·      The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest. Saturday 9th January from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark ten months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·     Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 9th January from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a ten minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and an optician. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn

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

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

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

·        Facebook pages:

Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

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

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

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Quoting Bible a crime – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 19th December 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 18 January 2016 20:19

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/23226311944/sizes/m/

The hypocrisy of the Zanu PF regime and the complicity of the outside world have been exposed by the solitary pilgrimage of Pastor Patrick Mugadza who took the road to Calvary from Kariba to protest against Mugabe at the Victoria Falls conference.

 

Despite our lauded and expensive yet-to-be-implemented 2013 constitution which enshrined human rights, Pastor Patrick was thrown into prison for displaying a poster reminding people of a Biblical prophecy. The poster simply read ‘Mr President, the people are suffering. Proverbs 21, 13’. The text he referred to was obviously taken as a seditious attack on Mugabe: ‘Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard’.

 

His lawyer protested unavailingly ‘Everyone has the right to demonstrate . . . He was merely holding a placard with no violence and didn’t even try to force members of the public to join him’. Pastor Patrick could not raise the $500 bail as he had spent all his money getting to the Falls. Since a recent survey shows that per capita income in rural areas is apparently down to less than 50 cents a day, this lack of resources is not surprising. He was, in effect, asked to put up three years’ income in bail.

 

The Vigil is particularly disappointed at the failure of the UK and the West to promote the new constitution for which they provided so much money in a time-consuming process which succeeded only in distracting attention from Zanu PF’s successful machinations to steal the last elections. In our view this money was totally wasted.

 

The pusillanimity of the ‘enlightened’ West has been starkly displayed in the craven failure of Oxford University to stand up to bigoted students demanding the removal of memorials to Cecil John Rhodes at Oriel College where he was a student.

 

We can all agree Rhodes was guilty of many things. He was an imperialist. He was white. He was a man. He was probably gay. But one of his sins was to endow Commonwealth scholarships to Oxford  which continue to this day. The University should now repent of receiving this tainted benefaction and give all the money to Mugabe and Zuma. They’ll know what to do with it.

 

We await the day when Oxford admits that the University has over the centuries been funded by tyrants and corrupt clergy and hand the whole place over to Isis Demolitions and Bros. As the Oxford poet John Betjeman might have said:

Come Isis bombs and land on Oriel

That’ll end their Rhodes Memorial.

 

(Ironically, Betjeman was published in the Oxford University magazine Isis.)

 

Vigil demonstrators displayed the following posters: ‘Oxford University: Return Rhodes’s blood money’, ’Pastor arrested for quoting Bible’, ‘Mugabe: free Pastor Patrick’, ‘Quoting Bible outlawed in Zimbabwe’ and ‘Banned: Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard’.

 

Other points

·       At the suggestion of Danny Kadiki people brought festive food  to mark the last Vigil before Christmas. A tribute to Fungayi Mabhunu who cooked sadza, cowsfeet and beans which were very popular. Sally Mutseyami brought a magnificent cake to celebrate her son Kyle’s second birthday. Food left over was donated to the homeless. The Vigil will convene again on Boxing Day (26th December) as normal.

·       Two Zimbabwean students, Brian Marijena and Tennyson Gonorishe from the University of Wales in Swansea joined us today. They were filming a documentary to show the struggles of asylum seekers in the UK. They are following a young single mother (Sally Mutseyami) as she tells her story and her activism with ROHR Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Vigil.

·       Thanks to those who were there at the start to help set up: Barbara Kachidza, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Jenniffer Maritsa, Esther Munyira, Catherine Musa, Elector Zvorwadza, Danny Kadiki, Innocent Maya, Rashiwe Bayisayi and Humphrey Dube. Thanks to Barbara and Esther for looking after the front table and to Humphrey, Danny and Innocent for putting up the banners. 

 

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: 40 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 26th December from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       ROHR Executive Meeting: Saturday 9th January at 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.

·       The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest. Saturday 9th January from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark ten months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 9th January from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a ten minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and an optician. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

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

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

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

·       Facebook pages:

Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

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

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

LAST_UPDATED2
 
United for human rights – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 12th December 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 18 January 2016 20:18

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/23705285615/sizes/m/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/23623540131/sizes/m/

 

Zimbabweans supported our friends of the Swaziland Vigil when they presented a petition to the Prime Minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street calling for the suspension of Swaziland from the Commonwealth.

 

The petition read: ‘Exiled Swazis and supporters urge you to suspend Swaziland from the Commonwealth until there is democracy and an end to human rights abuses in Swaziland'.

 

The petition was signed by more than 10,000 people from all over the world who have passed by the Swaziland Vigil which has been held outside the Swaziland High Commission in London for the past six years.

 

The singing and drumming protestors gathered at the Zimbabwe Vigil before parading the short distance to Downing Street where they displayed the following banners: ‘No to dictatorship in Swaziland’, ‘King Mswati release political prisoners’, ‘Free Maxwell Dlamini, Dulani Bheki and Masuku’ and ‘David Ngcamphalala murderer, torturer and rapist’.

 

 The group of more than 30 also carried other posters such as ‘No to hunger and starvation in Swaziland’ and ‘Stop police killings’.

 

Our protest outside Downing Street followed hard on a demonstration by thousands of the Stop Bombing Syria campaign, protesting at the UK joining the United States, France and other countries in attacking the bases in Syria of the Islamist terrorist group the so-called Islamic State.

 

One of the ban the bombing protesters, who were rather surprised by our arrival, kindly lent us her megaphone which enabled the Swaziland Vigil to amplify its protest while five representatives took the petition into Downing Street. They were: Thandekhile Dlamini, Zanele Nsibande, Sifiso Dlamini, Nomcebo Ngwenya and Philile Dlamini.

 

On our way back to the Zimbabwe Vigil we were confronted by a procession of hundreds of charity cyclists all dressed as Father Christmas and chanting ‘What do we want? Christmas. When do we want it? Now. Ho, ho, ho.‘ We wish that Christmas could be celebrated with such light hearts in Zimbabwe and Swaziland as well.

 

Other points

·       It’s now nine months since the Zimbabwean human rights activist Itai Dzamara was abducted by intelligence agents in Harare. He hasn’t been seen since. Once again the Vigil held its monthly protest to ensure he is not forgotten.

·       ROHR in Zimbabwe held a national meeting in Harare on 5th December. In Bulawayo ROHR held a well-attended gender workshop. Mashonaland East held a successful clean up and awareness campaign on Thursday 10th December while Harare Province was in a planning meeting which is scheduled to continue on Tuesday 15th December. All provinces are organising feedback meetings with a view to agreeing their programmes. ROHR has indeed come of age.

·       Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Barbara Kachidza, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Sharon Moyo, Benjamin Chigamba, Mavis Chisvo, Esther Munyira, Isabell Gwatidzo and Euliter Mutami. Thanks to Sharon and Enniah Dube for looking after the front table.

·       At the end of the Vigil a big group went off the ROHR Central London dinner and dance fundraiser. A good time was had by all. For photos, see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/90023465@N03/albums/72157662110527765.

 

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:

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 26th December from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest. Saturday 9th January from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark ten months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

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

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

·       Zimbabwe 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: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

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

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

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Goblin economics – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 5th December 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 18 January 2016 20:18

Zanu PF says it has raised well over the $3 million it wanted for its conference at Victoria Falls. Apart from $5 contributions extorted from civil servants and rather larger ones from companies, most of this money will come, in reality, from state coffers.

 

Our galaxy of parastatals – driven into bankruptcy by Zanu PF looting – paid up to $100,000 each for a boastful table at dinners in Harare and Bulawayo held to raise funds for the conference.

 

As the economist Dale Dore observes, the Zanu PF regime is fond of ‘alternative and innovative financing arrangements’. In this case it is the ‘special purpose vehicle’ created by Finance Minister Chinamasa in last month’s budget to warehouse bad debts accumulated by mismanaged state enterprises.

 

This particular ‘special purpose vehicle‘, the misleadingly-named Zimbabwe Asset Management Company (Zamco), is taking over vast parastatal debts to clean the parastatals’ balance sheets and ‘just pretend the debt simply does not exist’ (see: http://www.thezimbabwean.co/2015/12/the-secret-of-making-debts-magically-disappear/).

 

This arrangement conveniently allows parastatals to pay millions of dollars to sponsor party political Zanu PF fundraisers and all the debt will be passed on to the state (which is supposed to regard the debt as an asset!).

 

The Vigil thinks this is rather like the witchcraft apparently practised by the former Education Minister and Mashonaland East Governor Cde Aeneas Chigwedere, who is being sued by his son Magwiza for unleashing goblins to terrorise the family.

 

The Herald reports that the former minister is alleged to have gathered the whole clan at his residence, filled a dish with porridge concocted with herbs and made them drop blood from their punctured little fingers into this brew before forcing them to eat it using the bleeding finger (see: http://www.herald.co.zw/witchcraft-lawsuit-for-ex-minister/).

 

The Vigil is well aware of goblin economics. In the past few days first lady and mother of the nation  Woman’s League boss Amai Dr Goblin Mugabe accused non-governmental organisations of giving food handouts to hungry people ‘year in and year out’ (see: http://www.herald.co.zw/first-lady-slates-confusion-ngos%E2%80%A2-food-aid-yes-but-no-conditions-%E2%80%A2-drought-prone-mat-south-warned/).

 

Dr Goblin continued ‘this shows that they don’t have the people at heart. They want us to be beggars for the rest of our lives. They bring their food handouts that don’t last long and they up their game just before elections to try and convince the people to turn their backs against the Government. We don’t want their food.’

 

The Herald says Dr Goblin was addressing thousands of people at a rally in Matabeleland South at which she handed out food and hailed the ‘mega deals’ signed with China which she proudly pointed out would include funding for the construction of a bigger parliament near Harare and a new warehouse (probably to store government debt).

 

It’s goblin economics for sure.

 

Dr Goblin makes politics out of the starvation in Matabeleland.  But we at the Vigil know how desperate the situation there is. Some of us financially support a pastor working in the Bulawayo area. This is part of his latest report:  ‘I greet you all in the name of the Lord Jesus! At present everyday life is difficult in Zimbabwe, for instance the sick can't go to hospital, and when they do, there are no medicines there. Many times I have driven people 20 km out of town to a clinic where people can get their medicines free. Some of these people cannot even walk, we have to carry them on stretchers. Just yesterday I took a young man, John, to the Bulawayo hospital. He broke his leg in August and it has been replastered three times. Now they say he has to have pins but they can only do it in January. He was discharged without painkillers. Many children are no longer going to school, especially in town.  Parents cannot find the money for school fees. In the rural areas people are constantly complaining of headaches. The reason for this is that they have not eaten. The rain has not come but people are still preparing their lands in hope. Some do not have seed to plant; they have eaten it.’

 

Other points

·       On a day when we were battered by strong winds which tore our banners down, we were happy to have with us again Nyasha aged 5 and Tanatswa aged 3, children of Benjamin Chigamba and Sharon Moyo. Sharon says that when she gets ready for the Vigil the 3-year-old asks if they are going to ‘Mugabe must go’.

·       On Saturday 12th December the Zimbabwe Vigil will be supporting our friends of the Swaziland Vigil who are to present a petition to the Prime Minister’s residence calling for Swaziland to be suspended from the Commonwealth until there is democracy and an end to human rights abuses. The petition has been signed by more than 10.000 people. For details see ‘Events and Notices’.

·       Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Sharon Moyo (with Tanatswa and Nyasha), Benjamin Chigamba, Pearl Shambare, Patricia Masamba, Irvine Huni, Martin Chinyanga and Fungayi Mabhuni. Special thanks to Sharon and Patricia for looking after the front table throughout the Vigil and to Benjamin for climbing up and down the ladder to put up our banners in the fierce wind. Thanks to those who stayed to the end to help pack up: Alice Shimika, Audrey Chihoho, Barbara Kachidza, Benjamin Chigamba, Chipo Kamhunga, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Faith Bhebhe, Fungayi Mabhunu, Kidi Gotsi, Lovemore Mukeyani, Martin Chinyanga, Patricia Masamba, Philip Maponga, Roseline Mukucha, Sharon, Nyasha and Tanatswa Moyo, Taurayi Tsandukwa, Vimbai Karumbidza and Zondiwe Gumede.

 

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 National Executive meeting. Saturday 12th December from 11 am to 1.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and an optician. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest. Saturday 12th December from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark nine months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 12th December from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB followed by a petition presentation to 10 Downing Street at 3 pm. Gather at the Zimbabwe Vigil for a 2.30 move-off to Downing Street. Contacts: Thobile Gwebu 07873164482, Veli Mamba 07960622878 and Lodiwe Ndwandwe 07517274324

·       ROHR Central London branch fundraising Christmas dinner. Saturday 12th December from 7.30 pm – 3 am. Venue: Tiger Tiger, 29 Haymarket. London SW1Y 4SP. Tickets £40 per head. Dress: smart. Contact Fungayi Mabhunu 07907980889.Esther Nyambi 07446210391 and Barbara Kachidza 07498764473.

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

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

·       Zimbabwe 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: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

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

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

LAST_UPDATED2
 
Ugly budget – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 28th November 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 29 November 2015 13:35

photolink: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/23353772356/sizes/m/

 

The ugly situation in Zimbabwe was reflected in the pitiful budget of $4 billion announced by Finance Minister Chinamasa on Thursday. The budget is even smaller than last year’s. To put it in perspective, the money involved is less than half the annual turnover of the South African food retailer Shoprite . . .

 

Mr Chinamasa came up with no serious plans to address the country’s economic malaise. The Vigil thinks this is because Mugabe has no answers except to get on a plane and go to Paris for another grandstanding conference.

 

So the situation in Zimbabwe will surely get worse. When we became independent we were second only to South Africa in the region in terms of economic development. Now Zimbabwe’s budget is smaller than those of all our neighbours, including previously pitied Botswana.

 

Zambia gets five times as much foreign direct investment and Mozambique nine times as much. For its part, Botswana hardly needs any investment because it has worked out how to do it itself.

 

What makes the situation so serious for Zimbabwe is that virtually all the money the government gets goes on paying the government itself  leaving nothing for the country.  That things can be done differently is shown by Tanzania’s new president John Magufuli. His first move was to cancel independence day celebrations to spend the money on a cleanup campaign (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_pres-no-uhuru-party-lets-clean-tanzania/).

 

The Vigil is sad that Zimbabwe is not under the leadership of someone with the vision of President Magufuli whose first thought was to scythe the privileged in the interests of the people as a whole.

 

Indeed, so self-obsessed is Mugabe that he went on from his Paris shopping trip to take part in the Vigil’s Mr Ugly competition (now an international event). See: http://www.news24.com/Africa/Zimbabwe/zims-mr-ugly-must-also-be-creative-and-stylish-organiser-20151126  – Zim's Mr Ugly must also be 'creative and stylish' – organiser.

 

As expected, the event was fiercely competed by various devils but after satisfactory arrangements were put in place with the Vigil’s bankers, ROBERT MUGABE was unanimously declared the winner and awarded the Nikuv floating trophy.

 

Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Eunice Mucherechedzo, Humphrey Dube, Sharon Moyo, Jennifer Maritsa, Farai Sharmaine Gumbanjera and Fungay Mabhunu. Special thanks to Humphrey for climbing up and down the ladder to put up the banners and tarpaulin and to Eunice and Sharon for taking care of the front table. Thanks to those who stayed till the end to help pack up: Alice Shimika, Audrey Chihoho, Catherine Musa, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Eunice Mucherechedzo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Humphrey Dube, Ishmael Makina, Jennifer Maritsa, Jennipher Sabe, Kidi Gotsi, Sharon Moyo, Tawanda       Chikwanha, Veli Mamba and Zondiwe Gumede.

 

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: 21 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest. Saturday 6th December from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark nine months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

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

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

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

·       Zimbabwe 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: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

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

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

 
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