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NoPresident Mugabe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 14th September 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 15 September 2013 14:42

A pom pom from the Vigil for NoViolet Bulawayo who has been chosen as one of the finalists for the prestigious Man Booker prize for best novel of the year written by someone from the Commonwealth (still including the Irish Republic and Zimbabwe!)

 

NoViolet, whose book is titled ‘We Need New Names’, says her own name means ‘with Violet’ in memory of her mother who died when she was eighteen months old. The Vigil hopes she wins the prize but to have progressed from the long to the short list is a great honour anyway. The winner will be announced on 15th October. The publishers Chatto and Windus gave us some copies of the book and we have been passing them around so everyone can read it. ‘Harrowing but compelling’ was how our first review went (see: http://zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/503-no-good-gnus--zimbabwe-vigil-diary-6th-july-2013).

 

NoViolet, now 31, gave an interview to the UK’s Guardian newspaper earlier this month about a visit home in April – the first time she had been back for thirteen years. It is clear that she shares our fears as we face the consequences of another stolen election. ‘It was a strange country,’ Bulawayo told the Guardian. ‘I went there in search of the Zimbabwe I knew and it was a shock: power cuts, water cuts, just driving down the streets the potholes were amazing, and 80% of the population not working. Just seeing the desperation, wherever you went, people were struggling. That was a picture of the country that I never knew.’

 

She expressed dismay that Mugabe was hailed by some abroad as one of Africa’s leading statesmen and went on ‘My  generation is known as the born free generation: we really don't buy this stance against the West because we are aware of our problems, and our problems are really specifically home grown. I feel like it's a distraction, it's time people faced up to who and what is our problem. The election wasn't stolen by the West, the violence of 2008 wasn't carried out by the West. It's time to deal with facts as they affect us.’

 

NoViolet continued: ‘For me, life outside the homeland is a story of perpetual mourning for what is gone’ (see: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/04/noviolet-bulawayo-homecoming-mugabe-zimbabweNoViolet Bulawayo tells of heartbreak of homecoming in Mugabe's Zimbabwe).  The Vigil expects that this mourning is likely to continue for the foreseeable future judging by the cabinet announced by NoPresident Mugabe. For all their big talk, a bleak picture is painted in the latest economic report on Zimbabwe by the World Bank (see: World Bank paints a gloomy outlook for Zim – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_world-bank-paints-a-gloomy-outlook-for-zim/).

 

Although salaries already take 70% of government revenue, new public service minister Goche says a priority is to raise civil service pay . . . but even if all government revenue is devoted to the payroll there will still not be enough money to lift civil servants above the poverty datum line!

 

Other points

·         Another report for our occasional SADC Watch. ANC’s ‘turd’ force: An article by the leader of the South African opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, Helen Zille, exposes the hollowness of President Zuma’s democratic pretensions. Ms Zille is the Premier of the Western Cape, the only South African province not ruled by the ANC. She speaks of ANC activists inciting a violent rebellion against the provincial authorities with the connivance of national leaders (see: http://www.da.org.za/newsroom.htm?action=view-news-item&id=12818SA Today: A Thin and Broken Blue Line).

·         Although we were few in numbers we were visited by some starry fashion models taking part in London’s Fashion Week. They posed with us wearing clothes by the Russian designer Annoush on their way to a catwalk show down the road at Somerset House.

 

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: 19 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·         Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 21st September from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between 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 Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 21st September from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.

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

·         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

·         Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.

·         Useful websites: www.zanupfcrime.com which reports on Zanu PF abuses and www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe

 
SADC can feed Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 7th September 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 08 September 2013 14:54

It’s not surprising that Belgium should be leading the call to lift sanctions on the Zimbabwe mafia. A country whose best-known modern artwork is Marcel Duchamp’s pisspot could hardly be expected to have much to say about freedom, justice and democracy. Certainly, the Belgians didn’t pay much attention to these values when they urinated over the ‘Belgian’ Congo setting a standard of rapacious cruelty unmatched by any other European colonizer.

 

The Vigil expects Belgium’s diamond thirst to prevail and that the EU will lift the remaining targeted sanctions. After being told that – despite being the major donors to Zimbabwe – they would not be allowed to observe the elections they blithely said the EU would be guided by SADC as to their credibility. Well, SADC leaders ignored their own election guidelines and closed their eyes to all the evidence, hailing the blatantly-rigged elections as a triumph for Mugabe and going on to choose him to chair the organisation next year.

 

Even President Zuma’s advisor Lindiwe Zulu has seen the glittering light reflected by the diamonds and is now calling on the West to be nice to Mugabe and, furthermore, close down ‘pirate’ radio stations. Perhaps Mugabe was more justified than we thought in calling her ‘an idiotic street woman’. Idiotic, certainly, otherwise she would know that the West cannot close down radio stations operating perfectly legally or they would have to close down the BBC World Service. Street woman? – well, Zulu has now jumped into the same bed as Mugabe . . .

 

So what difference will it make if the sanctions are dropped? Well, it will legitimize Zimbabwe’s stolen elections. But Africa and much of the world have shown that they are quite happy with stolen elections – or Assad’s use of banned chemical weapons, for that matter.

 

The Vigil thinks that one positive outcome of the end of sanctions could be that Mugabe would have to find another excuse for the cataclysmic failure of his governance of Zimbabwe. When he came to power Zimbabwe was the second biggest economy in SADC. Now it is one of the poorest. Previously despised Zambia now has a GDP three times as big.

 

What worries us most in the diaspora is that the UN says it will have to feed a quarter of the rural population in the coming months. This is at a time when the UN says it is running out of money to feed desperate Syrian refugees.

 

The Vigil has an idea for the British government. Why not feed the starving people in Zimbabwe with money from the $1 billion or so it donates to SADC countries every year? These countries have shown they want to help Mugabe. This would allow the UN to devote its scarce resources to the urgent needs of the suffering people of Syria.

 

After the Vigil many supporters went on to our bi-monthly Zimbabwe Action Forum at which we discussed plans for an all-stakeholders’ meeting of the diaspora to be held in London. It was agreed the initiative would be called ‘restore Zimbabwe’ and it was proposed that the diaspora should be invited to coalesce around ideas such as:

·         Scrapping indigenisation and encouraging foreign direct investment.

·         Giving freehold title to farmers to enable them to get bank loans or sell their properties (economists say this would at a stroke stimulate agriculture).

·         Nationalising the diamond mines.

·         Privatising the parastatals.

·         Requiring senior elected and non-elected leaders to disclose their assets.

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

It was agreed that the conference should be an all-day event on a weekday in the last part of October. The date would be set depending on availability of key speakers.

 

Thanks to Joseph Chivayo, Helen Rukambiro, Deborah Harry and Fungayi Mabhunu for their help in setting up the Vigil Thanks also to Helen for looking after the register and merchandise throughout the Vigil.

 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

FOR THE RECORD: 47 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·         Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 21st September from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between 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 Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 21st September from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.

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

·         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

·         Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.

·         Useful websites: www.zanupfcrime.com which reports on Zanu PF abuses and www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe

 
SADC can feed Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 7th September 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 08 September 2013 14:50

It’s not surprising that Belgium should be leading the call to lift sanctions on the Zimbabwe mafia. A country whose best-known modern artwork is Marcel Duchamp’s pisspot could hardly be expected to have much to say about freedom, justice and democracy. Certainly, the Belgians didn’t pay much attention to these values when they urinated over the ‘Belgian’ Congo setting a standard of rapacious cruelty unmatched by any other European colonizer.

 

The Vigil expects Belgium’s diamond thirst to prevail and that the EU will lift the remaining targeted sanctions. After being told that – despite being the major donors to Zimbabwe – they would not be allowed to observe the elections they blithely said the EU would be guided by SADC as to their credibility. Well, SADC leaders ignored their own election guidelines and closed their eyes to all the evidence, hailing the blatantly-rigged elections as a triumph for Mugabe and going on to choose him to chair the organisation next year.

 

Even President Zuma’s advisor Lindiwe Zulu has seen the glittering light reflected by the diamonds and is now calling on the West to be nice to Mugabe and, furthermore, close down ‘pirate’ radio stations. Perhaps Mugabe was more justified than we thought in calling her ‘an idiotic street woman’. Idiotic, certainly, otherwise she would know that the West cannot close down radio stations operating perfectly legally or they would have to close down the BBC World Service. Street woman? – well, Zulu has now jumped into the same bed as Mugabe . . .

 

So what difference will it make if the sanctions are dropped? Well, it will legitimize Zimbabwe’s stolen elections. But Africa and much of the world have shown that they are quite happy with stolen elections – or Assad’s use of banned chemical weapons, for that matter.

 

The Vigil thinks that one positive outcome of the end of sanctions could be that Mugabe would have to find another excuse for the cataclysmic failure of his governance of Zimbabwe. When he came to power Zimbabwe was the second biggest economy in SADC. Now it is one of the poorest. Previously despised Zambia now has a GDP three times as big.

 

What worries us most in the diaspora is that the UN says it will have to feed a quarter of the rural population in the coming months. This is at a time when the UN says it is running out of money to feed desperate Syrian refugees.

 

The Vigil has an idea for the British government. Why not feed the starving people in Zimbabwe with money from the $1 billion or so it donates to SADC countries every year? These countries have shown they want to help Mugabe. This would allow the UN to devote its scarce resources to the urgent needs of the suffering people of Syria.

 

After the Vigil many supporters went on to our bi-monthly Zimbabwe Action Forum at which we discussed plans for an all-stakeholders’ meeting of the diaspora to be held in London. It was agreed the initiative would be called ‘restore Zimbabwe’ and it was proposed that the diaspora should be invited to coalesce around ideas such as:

·         Scrapping indigenisation and encouraging foreign direct investment.

·         Giving freehold title to farmers to enable them to get bank loans or sell their properties (economists say this would at a stroke stimulate agriculture).

·         Nationalising the diamond mines.

·         Privatising the parastatals.

·         Requiring senior elected and non-elected leaders to disclose their assets.

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

It was agreed that the conference should be an all-day event on a weekday in the last part of October. The date would be set depending on availability of key speakers.

 

Thanks to Joseph Chivayo, Helen Rukambiro, Deborah Harry and Fungayi Mabhunu for their help in setting up the Vigil Thanks also to Helen for looking after the register and merchandise throughout the Vigil.

 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

FOR THE RECORD: 47 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·         Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 21st September from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between 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 Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 21st September from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.

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

·         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

·         Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.

·         Useful websites: www.zanupfcrime.com which reports on Zanu PF abuses and www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe

 
Challenge Mugabe to deliver – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 31st August 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 01 September 2013 15:31

The Zimbabwean diaspora is puzzled that a month has passed since the stolen elections and a seemingly punch-drunk opposition has given no sign of a strategy to confront Mugabe, let alone stage demonstrations against Zanu PF’s blatant chicanery.

 

We at the Vigil are sorry that the MDC did not decide to boycott parliament to make a powerful statement to the world about the election rigging – especially necessary since the puzzling withdrawal of the MDC’s legal challenge against the outcome. We don’t think their presence can serve any useful purpose but we had no real hope that the honourable members would pass up the perks – even though it just lends legitimacy to Mugabe.

 

Well, here’s another suggestion for the MDC and one which we hope they will look at more favourably. Our suggestion is that the party returns to its roots: trade unionism and human rights. The new constitution the MDC has laboured so long over and welcomed so joyously must give room for this activism. The Labour Court President Custom Kachambwa thinks so. He says the constitution guarantees civil servants the right to strike (Zim Labour Expert Urges Workers to Exploit New Governance Charter – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/jb_zim-labour-expert-urges-workers-to-exploit-new-governance-charter/).

 

Mugabe promised that civil servants and others would be given pay rises. We urge the MDC to support the legitimate demands of workers for this promise to be honoured. The MDC must also surely support Mugabe’s call for adequate inputs and finance for farmers, for the reinvigoration of industry, for the overhaul of water and electricity provision, for improved roads and transport….

 

No money to pay for this? The workers know that there is money from diamonds that Mugabe has at his disposal. By promising pay rises and other help, Mugabe has just invited them to apply for it. So we call on the MDC to get out there and get the civil servants, farmers, soldiers and business people to demand their rights.

 

The Vigil is inspired by the wise counsel of Papa Jukwa – father of Baba. He says Zanu PF’s decision to cancel municipal bills will be followed by the long-heralded revival of the Zimbabwean dollar. The Zanu PF insider says the currency will be backed by damages from the West awarded by Zimbabwe’s learned judges in compensation for the illegal sanctions which have cost Zimbabwe $42 billion or more. As a down payment, all properties of these vile countries will be seized without compensation. Our problems will be over at last.

 

Other points

·         Following SADC’s rubber-stamping of Zimbabwe’s crooked elections we are introducing a new feature: SADC Watch. Here is a start. The son of Zambia’s President Sata is said to be one of the people behind the supply of closed circuit television equipment to the Zambian government at an inflated amount of $210 million instead of $13 million (see: http://www.zambianwatchdog.com/mulenga-sata-and-chinese-crooks-that-conned-govt-on-blocking-watchdog-now-to-supply-cctv/Mulenga Sata and Chinese crooks that conned govt on blocking Watchdog now to supply CCTV). Malawi’s President Banda is reported to have followed Mugabe’s lead and employed the shadowy Israeli company Nikuv to help steal the elections planned for next year (see: http://www.theindependent.co.zw/2013/08/30/banda-ropes-zim-nikuv/ – Banda ropes in Zim, Nikuv).

·         Thanks to Joseph Chivayo who caught the 3.50 am coach from Derby to be with us before the start of the Vigil to help set up. Others who came early were Michelle Dube who took care of the register and merchandise sales and Rose Maponga who took up her usual post at 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: 35 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·         ROHR Executive meeting. Saturday 7th September at 11 am. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.

·         Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 7th September 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 21st September from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.

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

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

·         Facebook pages:

-         Vigil: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts

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

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

·         Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.

·         Useful websites: www.zanupfcrime.com which reports on Zanu PF abuses and www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe

 
‘I have a nightmare’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 24th August 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 25 August 2013 15:41

It was ironic that Mugabe’s inaugural speech came as Americans were preparing to mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ address delivered at the memorial to President Lincoln who freed the slaves.

 

Mugabe’s meanness of spirit and poverty of imagination, his hypocrisy and deceit, contrasted sharply with Dr King’s vision and generosity, faith and courage.

 

‘With the elections now behind us, we can focus on rebuilding our nation which has been ravaged by illegal sanctions’, Mugabe said. ‘If yesterday the pretext for imposing these sanctions was to do with the deficit of democracy here, today we ask these culprit nations what their excuse is now?’

 

Well Mr Mugabe the answer still is . . . ‘a deficit of democracy’. But it seems that democracy according to SADC is rather different to the unimaginative version in the West, which tends not to applaud let alone reward election thieves . . .  the departing SADC Executive Secretary Dr Tomaz Salamao is reported to have described the elections as a model that should be followed by other African countries! (see: http://www.herald.co.zw/salamao-commends-zimbabwe-polls/Salamao commends Zimbabwe polls).

 

People at the inauguration were no doubt were thrilled to hear that – now free of the ‘internal contradictions’ imposed by the GNU partners – Mugabe would deliver ‘the economic miracle which must now happen’ (see: Transcript – Mugabe’s inauguration speech 22 August 2013 - http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/transcript-mugabes-inauguration-speech-22-august-2013/).

 

The people, he said, had voted for ‘our hallowed policy of indigenization and economic empowerment’ and the future was bright. Agriculture would be supported, manufacturing revived, electricity stabilized, taps would run again, hospitals would be re-equipped and roads rehabilitated. Indeed a miracle – as no other explanation was provided as to how all this would be achieved.

 

Mugabe concluded his speech with a tribute to President Zuma and former President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa. ‘I am sure today is a happy day for both men. They can walk tall in full knowledge that they have signed off a rare but glorious chapter on African solutions to African problems!’

 

Sheltering under our tarpaulin against a deluge, our thoughts were with our family and friends facing renewed slavery under Mugabe’s nightmare ‘solutions’. The horrific economic consequences are spelt out in an article by the MDC policy adviser Eddie Cross (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/523-welcome-to-the-real-world).

 

Other points

·         At our rain-drenched Vigil, as we struggled to keep the tarpaulin from collapsing under the torrent, we launched our new petition calling on the UK and the European Union to follow the lead of the United States and continue sanctions. The petition, addressed to European Union governments, reads:Following the rigged elections in Zimbabwe, we urge the European Union to re-impose the targeted sanctions on Mugabe and his cronies. We further call on the EU to suspend government aid to all Southern African Development Community countries until they abide by their commitment to uphold human rights in Zimbabwe.’ Vigil founder member Ephraim Tapa said: ‘SADC has swallowed Mugabe’s propaganda that Zimbabwe’s economic woes are caused by sanctions and has demanded that they be lifted. We question why they are siding with Mugabe against the suffering people of Zimbabwe and the sanctions he has imposed on them: poverty, disease and violence. Why should the tax payers of Europe pay for these Mugabe puppets in SADC? The UK gives Zimbabwe alone about $100 million a year in government aid despite constant insults from Mugabe, as well as giving hundreds of millions more to the other members of SADC. Altogether the EU gives billions of dollars each year to pay for the misgovernment and corruption of Southern Africa. Why? Let them look East for aid.’

·         The Vigil is sorry to see that Botswana has toned down its criticism of the elections after bullying by other SADC members at the recent meeting in Malawi. We urge President Khama to continue his support of oppressed Zimbabweans.

·         A South Korean film crew came and interviewed several of us about the situation in Zimbabwe. We doubt our comments assisted Mugabe’s Look East policy.

·         Thanks to Patricia Masamba, Harmony Mbele, Rose Maponga and Ishmael Makin who arrived early to help set up. Thanks also to Daniel Nyoni who took down the rain-drenched tarpaulin at the end.

 

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: 27 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·         ROHR Executive meeting. Saturday 7th September at 11 am. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.

·         Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 7th September 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 21st September from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.

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

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

·         Facebook pages:

-         Vigil: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts

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

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

·         Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.

·         Useful websites: www.zanupfcrime.com which reports on Zanu PF abuses and www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe

 
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