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End of road for Mugabe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 13th August 2016 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 14 August 2016 17:37

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President Mugabe was symbolically put on trial at the Zimbabwe Vigil in London and ordered to leave office for crimes against the people and economy of Zimbabwe. He had earlier been arrested by human rights activist Peter Tatchell, who had unsuccessfully tried to make a citizen’s arrest of Mugabe in London in 1999 and Brussels in 2001.

Mugabe was brought to the Vigil along with first lady Grace and the governor of the Reserve Bank John Mangudya from the south coast resort of Brighton, where the three had gone incognito to get treatment under the National Health Service and apply for state benefits. 

A valiant group of Vigil / ROHR supporters and other exiled Zimbabweans left Brighton for London with the prisoners on Friday and walked 30 miles before camping overnight on a farm in Edenbridge. Grace was struggling in her Jimmy Choo shoes, Mangudya was trying to count each step while Mugabe had fallen six times, claiming he was pushed. On Saturday they continued for a further ten miles, singing Zimbabwean songs as they passed the Houses of Parliament and 10 Downing Street before joining the Vigil, where Mugabe was handed over to a judge outside the Zimbabwe Embassy.

He was found guilty of treason and offered a pistol so he could make an honourable exit. But, cunning as always, he collapsed against the Embassy door to claim diplomatic immunity. The Vigil has alerted the British authorities to examine all Zimbabwean diplomatic baggage very carefully, looking particularly for a 92 year old with corns and blisters from a long walk. Thanks to Alfredy Mukuvare and Fungayi Mabhunu who acted as Mugabe and to Phillip Mahlahla who played the judge. 

The judge released Grace and Mangudya to the local social services. It is understood that both have applied for asylum on the grounds of diminished responsibility caused by stupidity. Latest word is that Grace has asked the UK immigration authorities for training as a typist and Mangudya has asked for a UK government loan to study arithmetic and economics at O level.

Congratulations to the walkers: Rashiwe Bayisayi (route planner and originator of the idea), John Burke (route planner and navigator), Arthur Molife (the oldest walker at 70 years), Muchineripi (Ebson) Chigwedere, Arnold Dube, Mary Pollizzi and her niece Teresa Esterhuizen (who flew over from Ireland for the walk, Teresa bringing a golf club as a walking aid), Isabell Gwatidzo, Etines Kapiya, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla (who helped the stragglers), Rosemary Maponga, Bianca Mpawaenda (who despite falling and injuring herself continued walking), Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Chipo Parirenyatwa and Alice Shimika. 

Snapshots

  • The walkers started at Brighton Pier and trekked over the scenic South Downs via paths to avoid detection by Zanu PF agents. Anna Pfende dashed all the way from Northampton to Brighton to make sure Mugabe was under arrest and then returned home happy.
  • The walkers arrived at the campsite at 10.30 pm struggling to find their way in near darkness in the woodlands. They found the camp had been set up and food prepared. Thanks to Sarah Bayisayi who had picked up the food by car and had taken Chipo, Rosemary and Etines to Chipo’s home near the route to cook. Thanks to Rose and Etines who set up camp and Fungayi who made the beds. Thanks to John Burke for organising the campsite. Mugabe and co were locked in the toilet block to keep them secure – and also because of their complaints about poor facilities, claiming ‘we don't get this sort of treatment in Singapore’.
  • Saturday morning breakfast was at Deep Blue fish and chips in Oxted which opened early to feed the walkers. The Reverend Wendy Harvey of St Mary’s Church, Oxted, chanced upon the walkers having their breakfast and stopped with them to bless their food and pray for them.
  •  A large contingent joined the walkers outside East Croydon rail station.
  • They arrived at the Vigil to a heroes’ welcome. People were in tears.

Other points

  • About 20 people gathered singing and drumming outside the Embassy on Thursday 11th August to demonstrate in support of ROHR member Lynda Masarira, who is facing trumped up charges in Harare. During the demonstration the protesters were angered to hear that Lynda had been further remanded in custody until 25th August, unable to get home to her children. It is reported that ‘Lynda looked visibly sick when she appeared in court today because she is allegedly being denied access tomedication and it was evident with swollen hands’ (see: http://nehandaradio.com/2016/08/11/lynda-masarira-remanded-update-pictures-video/. For pictures see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157669256855493. Thanks to those who attended the demonstration: Alfredy Mukuvare, Anna Pfende, Barbara Kachidza, Bianca Mpawaenda, Cephas Maswoswa, Chipo Kamhunga, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Dennis Benton, Hellena Gusinyu, John Burke, Leigh Banks, Martin Chinyanga, Mary Ndoro, Mavis Chisvo, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Muchineripi Chigwedere, Phillip Mahlahla, Rose Benton, Rosemary Maponga, Sally Mutseyami, Tafadzwa Gwarinda and Wilma Gwarinda.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up the Vigil today: Mercy Bayipayi, Elizabeth Chakachaka, Isaac Chawasarira, Enniah Dube, Rosemary Guveya, Deborah Harry, Chipo Kamhunga, Jonathan Kariwo, Honest Madondo, Marian Mangani, Patricia Masamba, Cephas Maswoswa, Zimazile Mguni, Bianca Mpawaenda, Esther Munyira, Sally Mutseyami, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Eva Sanyahokwe, Michael Sirewu, Zenzo Siziba and Sharon Zimuto. Thanks to Patricia, Sally, Enniah and Bianca for looking after the front table and handing out flyers to the public and to Mduduzi, Cephas and Michael for putting up the banners. Thanks to Deborah and Mercy for selling sadza and mazonda to raise funds for the Vigil. Sadza was also brought by Beverley Mutandiro who said prayers for the Vigil and the walkers. Water was provided by ROHR and other drinks by Zenzo who also brought tasty small cakes.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. For videos of Vigils and other events, check the ROHR facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos?fref=photo. For a video of today’s Vigil check https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzWCaihy624 and for Sally Mutseyami’s interview with Premier Christian Radio, check: http://www.premierchristianradio.com/News/World/Prayer-vigil-to-be-held-outside-Zimbabwe-embassy. 

FOR THE RECORD: 62 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • MDC Protest: Friday 19th August at 11 am outside the Zimbabwe Embassy followed by petition presentation to 10 Downing Street requesting removal of Saviour Kasukuwere’s student son from the UK.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 20th August from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 20th August 2016 from 12 noon – 2 pm. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL. Contact: Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899, Mavis Chisvo 07944612944.
  • Protest to support Lynda Masarira: Thursday 25th August from 12 noon – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. 
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 3rd September from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 3rd September from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and a shop. 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.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 10th September From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark eighteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2015 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/746-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2015. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
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Demonstration in support of ROHR member Lynda Masarira facing trumped up charges in Harare – Thursday 11th August. PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 12 August 2016 10:10

About 20 people gathered outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London from 11 am – 2 pm singing and drumming. During the demonstration the protesters were angered to hear that Lynda had been further remanded in custody until 25th August, unable to get home to her children. For pictures and videos see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157669256855493 and
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10154368346587836&id=301811392835.

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Demonstration in support of ROHR member Linda Masarire facing trumped up charges in Harare – Thursday 11th August PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 11 August 2016 20:46
About 20 people gathered outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London from 11 am – 2 pm singing and drumming. During the demonstration the protesters were angered to hear that Linda had been further remanded in custody until 25th August, unable to get home to her children. For pictures see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157669256855493.
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Vigil petitions UN for transitional authority – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 6th August 2016 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 07 August 2016 15:12

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/28525004020/sizes/m/

Exiled Zimbabweans are to appeal to the United Nations to prepare to intervene in Zimbabwe as the bankrupt regime teeters on the verge of violent unrest.

The Vigil today launched the following petition to the UN Secretary-General: With mounting unrest in Zimbabwe, we urge you to appoint a Special Representative to prepare the ground for a UN Transitional Authority to take over from the failed Mugabe regime. We look to the Special Representative to initiate comprehensive negotiations so that the UN Transitional Authority can assume control of Zimbabwe’s administrative structures – foreign affairs, defence, security, finance and communications – to ensure a level playing field conducive for credible national elections.

The petition is the fruit of the late Vigil supporter Clifford Mashiri, an academic and former diplomat whose funeral took place in London on Tuesday.

Clifford said ‘Arguably, governance would change in Zimbabwe by virtue of a UN Security Council resolution giving mandate to the UN Transitional Authority in Zimbabwe (UNTAZ) which will only withdraw after free and fair elections have been conducted.’

Clifford said the proposed Transitional Authority would be similar to that created in Cambodia. Acknowledging the wide range of political opinions in Zimbabwe, Clifford argued that, in order to wiggle out of the current economic crisis, Zimbabwe must eat humble pie.

In recent months there have been proposals from various quarters in Zimbabwe for some kind of transitional authority and – in the absence of any initiative by the Southern African Development Community – the Vigil believes Clifford’s ideas offer a way forward (see: http://nehandaradio.com/2016/07/30/former-diplomat-mugabe-critic-clifford-mashiri-dies/).

Other points

  • The Vigil marked seventeen months since the abduction of human rights activist Itai Dzamara by government agents in Harare. It also expressed support for Linda Masarire of our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe, who has been behind bars for the past month awaiting trial on trumped up charges. We received the following message today: ‘I went to visit Linda at Chikurubi prison. She said to me that she wants to go home to her children and that she especially misses the youngest of them who is only two years old. She smiled and chatted away happily despite it all. But still I was so heartbroken.’
  • Linda’s next court hearing is on Thursday when we will hold a special Vigil outside the Embassy from 11 am – 2 pm. There will be surprise visitors to wish good luck to ROHR and Vigil walkers who are to set off from Brighton on Friday on a fundraising walk to end at the Vigil on Saturday. Thanks to John Burke and Rashiwe Bayisayi who have walked 100 miles to plan the best routes for the walkers.
  • Supporters might have seen an article on the dodgy Zimeye website in which the Vigil was criticised for not allowing Stendrick Zvorwadza to address us last week (see: http://www.zimeye.net/zvorwadza-flies-to-uk-blocked-by-rose-benton/). Our refusal to give a hearing to this charlatan was because he still pretends to be the leader of ROHR and has yet to account for £2,000 we entrusted to him in 2008 to hand over to an orphanage we were supporting in Zimbabwe, as well as computers, phones and cameras for the ROHR office in Harare.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Isabell Gwatidzo, Etines Kapiya, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Nancy Makurira, Marian Mangani, Rosemary Maponga, Bianca Mpawaenda, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Esther Munyira, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Salom Nkiwane, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Eva Sanyahokwe and Sihle Sibanda. Thanks to Roseline, Esther and Etines for looking after the front table and to Phillip, Alfredy, Mduduzi and Cephas for putting up the banners. Chipo P was once again very effective in getting donations for ROHR Leicester’s joint project with ROHR in Hangwe to provide food and school fees for the children there.
  • Martin Chinyanga made a video at the Vigil last week, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK7AnHxh-q8.
  • For video and photos of the protest in Harare on Wednesday, see http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/08/zimbabwe-police-violently-break-anti-mugabe-protests-160803135758077.html and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-36968995.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. For videos of Vigils and other events, check the ROHR facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos?fref=photo.

FOR THE RECORD: 54 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

 
‘Charming’ psychopath – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 30th July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 31 July 2016 15:46

The ‘charming’ side of Mugabe was not in evidence when he addressed a splinter group of ‘war veterans’, padded out with bussed-in youths, at a hurriedly-arranged rally to denounce war veteran leaders who last week issued a statement condemning his regime. 

‘Charming’ was the word used by a former British ambassador, Deborah Bronnert, some years back, after presenting her credentials to Mugabe see: (http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/346-eu-undermines-hope-of-democratic-change-zimbabwe-vigil-diary-5th-november-2011). She is not alone in being taken in by the psychopathic megalomaniac. The Vigil tired of hearing MDC ministers in the bogus coalition spouting the same deluded line. 

‘Charming’ Mugabe certainly was not when he outlined the punishment he had in mind for the ‘treasonous’ war veteran leaders being rounded up by security agents. 

‘We will punish them in a very big way’, he said, going on to recall how holes had been dug for enemies during the liberation struggle. ‘We kept them underground like rats . . . it is the same thing we are going to do here in Independent Zimbabwe’.

Mugabe added that the police belonged to Zanu PF and would be used to crush any protests by his enemies,especially church leaders dabbling in politics. ‘The police are ours and they shall see to it that these small party protesters are thrown in jail so they can taste the food there . . .’ (See: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-mugabe-in-brutal-crackdown-threat/.)

It appears that many police share this view. A contingent of police recruits said Mugabe was ‘the real angel Gabriel sent by God to deliver Zimbabwe and Africa’. They pledged their support for Mugabe at a passing out parade after a year of indoctrination at Morris Depot in Harare. ‘Like Jesus Christ, who was crucified by a people whom He saved, you have innocently grappled with all forms of persecution’, they declared. ‘Because of you, Zimbabwe is a land of peace and tranquillity, equity, equality, freedom, fairness, honesty and the dignity of hard work. You have been attacked for championing the cause of the people, justice and equality, for denouncing racial segregation, immorality, corruption, human rights abuse and violence’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-mugabe-is-like-jesus-police/).

As war veteran leaders joined protesters in jail and ThisFlag pastor Evan Mawarire fled into exile, the Vigil believes Mugabe now has little chance of securing British support in his desperate attempt to persuade the International Monetary Fund to bail out his regime.

The British Ambassador Catriona Laing says the Zimbabwean authorities must honour their undertakings to uphold the rule of law and human rights. ‘In recent weeks we have seen the emergence of concerning videos of police brutality, and attacks by the government on apparently peaceful social media based movements. Whencombined with the ongoing failure of the police to enforce court orders around illegal land invasions, this paints a worrying picture’ (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/world-location-news/a-statement-on-united-kingdoms-support-to-the-people-of-zimbabwe).

The Vigil believes the ‘charm’ of the psychopathic megalomaniac has now faded like the allure of his idols Kim Jong-Il, Chairman Mao, Stalin and Hitler.

Other points

  • ROHR and Vigil protesters demonstrated outside the London Embassy on Tuesday in support of the ROHR activist Lynda Masarire who was appearing in court in Mbare on trumped up charges. She was further remanded in custody until 11th August. The demonstrators rang the bell and slipped in posters to the surprised doorman. The Ambassador’s car ZIM 1 was parked outside with a window slightly open. The protesters pushed the remaining posters into the car before they left. Thanks to those who responded to the last minute call to protest: Rose Maponga, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Rashiwe Bayisayi and John Burke. We will be holding another protest outside the Embassy on 11th August in support of Lynda. For photos of the London protest, see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157671529481966.
  • The Vigil was saddened to hear of the death two weeks ago of our dear friend Clifford Mashiri. A self-effacing. modest man, he was an academic and former diplomat and frequently attended the Vigil and our forums. He was doing a doctorate on activism in the UK diaspora and interviewed several of us for his thesis. He is to be buried on Tuesday 2nd August. The Vigil started a collection for his family which will be continued next week. More information can be found here: http://nehandaradio.com/2016/07/30/former-diplomat-mugabe-critic-clifford-mashiri-dies/.
  • It was good to have with us founder Vigil member Bernita Siyadanga (formerly Magaya). Her 12-year-old daughter Tinotenda Muzuwa was with her. She was our first Vigil baby.
  • London was flooded with cyclists today for the RideLondon 2016 event. Part of the route was along the Strand so the Vigil had a grandstand view of the races.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Maud Bvumbe, Benjamin Chigamba, Martin Chinyanga, Peter Gonera, Rosemary Guveya, Barbara Kachidza, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Sharon Moyo, Bianca Mpawaenda, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Mduduzi Ndlovu and Salom Nkiwane. Thanks to Roseline, Sharon and Rosemary for looking after the front table and to Gift Moyo for handing out ROHR leaflets. Thanks also to Phillip, Alfredy, Mduduzi and Benjamin for putting up  and taking down 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 videos of Vigils and other events, check the ROHR facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos?fref=photo.

FOR THE RECORD: 38 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

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