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‘No reforms, no elections’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 22nd June 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 23 June 2013 17:49

After a brief ray of hope from the SADC Summit in Maputo, the week since then has seen prospects of free and fair elections again dimming as Zanu PF refuses to implement agreed reforms.

 

The Vigil would have hoped that Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube, left kicking their heels at State House for three hours on Friday, would have at least ‘chatted the way forward’ (a useful neologism introduced some time back in a Zimbabwean newspaper). But it would appear that their mutual antipathy is greater even than their desire to get rid of Mugabe and we doubt that they had much to say to each other while waiting vainly for Mugabe to pitch up for a crucial meeting.

 

What the Vigil would have liked to see from Tsvangirai and Ncube is a decision to present an ultimatum to Zanu PF and SADC: no reforms, no elections. This was the theme of the latest round of monthly diaspora protests at which the Vigil was joined outside the Embassy by MDC members, as well as ROHR and Zimbabwe We Can supporters. Their signatures quickly filled pages of our newly-launched petition: ‘Zimbabweans in the diaspora and supporters call on political parties at home not to take part in the forthcoming elections unless Zanu PF implements the reforms demanded by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) at its summit in Maputo on 15th June 2013. We believe that, unless these reforms are made, the results of the elections will not be credible’.

 

Job Sikhala, leader of MDC-99, has already announced his party will boycott the elections, which he described as ‘a charade’. Indeed, all signs are that there will be no reforms to level the playing field. Justice Minister Chinamasa said ‘as Zanu PF we are contesting the idea that there is any need for reforms’. He insisted he would only implement what the parties had agreed on, adding ‘if we do not agree then there nothing to implement; until we agree on a particular reform then there is nothing to reform’ (see: http://allafrica.com/stories/201306190274.html – Zimbabwe: Why the Opposition Shouldn't be Distracted by the Election Date).

 

Given this logic, the Vigil believes that, unless SADC puts some muscle behind its Maputo recommendations, the MDC should not lend the elections any credibility by taking part.

 

Other points

·         After the Vigil about 40 supporters went on to a meeting of the bi-monthly Zimbabwe Action Forum. Ephraim Tapa head of ROHR and Zimbabwe We Can said free and fair elections were very unlikely because of intimidation and vote rigging. He said the results would be cooked but at the finishing line a Zanu PF government would be recognised. The meeting was addressed by Marga Knorr of a new charity Beyond Violence, which is planning a campaign ‘aiming to reduce the number of people participating in and standing by political violence in the run-up to and during the elections in Zimbabwe’. It was agreed that we would help publicise their work and they could video Vigil people about the situation in Zimbabwe (see events and notices for more details of the organisation). Another guest at the meeting was a solicitor George Tizirai-Chapwanya of GTC Legal Consultancy Services, who kindly came down from Birmingham to give us an update on asylum and immigration issues. His talk was much appreciated.

·         During the week about 20 Vigil supporters attended a meeting in London at which a new film was shown ‘Beatrice Mtetwa and the rule of law’. We were happy to be introduced to Beatrice, who said the new constitution would not of itself restore the rule of law. This would require full commitment by all parties. At present the voters’ roll was in a shambles and perpetrators of political violence were still at large. Even if changes were made now there was not enough time left to affect people on the ground. Our supporters ended the evening singing and dancing in the foyer.

·         The Vigil is to take part in a demonstration outside the Zimbabwe Embassy on Thursday, the fifth anniversary of the infamous presidential run-off by means of which Mugabe smuggled himself back into State House. Joining us under the banner of ‘Never Again’ are Action for Southern Africa (formerly the Anti-Apartheid Movement) and the Trades Union Congress (see Events and Notices for full details).

·         The publishers Chatto & Windus have kindly given the Vigil several copies of a new book by NoViolet Bulawayo, titled ‘We Need New Names’. It has been highly praised and we are lending the books out to supporters so everyone can read it and we will let the publishers know what supporters think of it.

 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.

 

FOR THE RECORD: 71 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

         Culture without Borders. Tuesday 25th June onwards. For more information contact Wiz Bishop at the Zimbabwe Association 020 7739 8226, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , www.zimbabweassociation.org.uk:

-         Storytelling with Chenjerai Hove. Tuesday 25th June from 11 am – 2 pm. Venue: Spitalfields City Farm Yurt,  Buxton St, London E1 5AR

-         Solidarity with Zimbabwean victims of torture. Wednesday 26th June from 11.30 am – 2.30 pm. Venue: Oxford House Theatre, Derbyshire St, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG.

-          Chenjerai Hove in Birmingham. Thursday 27th June from 6 – 9.30 pm. Hosted by the ZA regional Drop-in Centre at Carrs Lane Church, Birmingham B4 7SX.

-         Arts and Culture Consultation with the Zimbabwean diaspora. Friday 28th June from 10.30 am – 5 pm. Venue: Oxford House Theatre, Derbyshire St, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG. ZA is collaborating with the Culture Cluster of the Commonwealth Organisations Committee on Zimbabwe (COCZ) on this event.

-         The Britain Zimbabwe Society Research Day on Culture without Borders. Saturday 29 June from 9 am – 5.15 pm. Venue: St Anthony’s College, 62 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6JF. It is followed by a BZS party with Linos Magaya and Zimbaremabwe. Venue: The Buttery, St Anthony’s College. £10 entrance on the door, cash bar, free nibbles. Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , http://britainzimbabwesociety.wordpress.com/.

·         ‘Zimbabwe: Never Again’ protest. Thursday 27th June from 1 – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. It is a joint protest with ACTSA (Action for Southern Africa) the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement, and the TUC. This protest marks the fifth anniversary of the presidential run-off in 2008 marred by a brutal campaign of violence, including murder, disappearances and mass rape. Zimbabwe will hold elections again very soon. Join us to say never again to a repeat of the terrible violence of 2008 and support the call for free and fair elections that comply with the Southern African Development Community standards for democratic elections. Contact ACTSA on: 02032632001, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it www.actsa.org

·         ROHR Slough branch meeting. Saturday 13th July from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: Upton Lea Community Hall, Wexham Road SL1 5JW. Contact: Grace Nyaumwe 07850 284 506, Patricia Masamba 07708 116 625.

·         Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 20th July from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

·         ROHR North East Region Zimbabwe Day Fundraising Event. Saturday 27th July from 1 – 8 pm. Venue: Benton Community Centre, 17 Edenbridge Crescent, Benton, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne NE12 8EP. Food, drink & entertainment. Contact Givemore Chitengu 07912747744, Kennedy Makonese 07979914429, Tapiwa Semwayo 07412236229, Collet Dube 07951516566. 

         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

         Contact details for Beyond Violence. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beyondviolenceorg, Website: www.beyondviolence.org, Twitter: https://twitter.com/Beyond_Violence.

 
The clouds part – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 15th June 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 21 June 2013 20:05

As we gathered outside the Zimbabwe Embassy for yet another wet Vigil the skies suddenly cleared and warm sunshine broke through. We arrived generally pessimistic about the SADC summit in Maputo but before the day was out our lives faced transformation.

 

‘Good people, good, good people, it has been an incredible and unbelievable day’ Tendai Biti said on his Facebook page. ‘SADC rose to the occasion and scuttled the evil and Machiavellian machinations of the chaos faction of Zanu PF.’

 

First reports say that Mugabe arrived at the meeting with the biggest entourage of any leader which tried to bully the summit organisers, saying they wanted a very short meeting. But President Zuma was ready for them and they were soon put in their place. ‘A successful meeting’ he later told SABC.

 

Mr Biti said all President Zuma’s recommendations were adopted, including a demand that the Constitutional Court be requested to postpone elections for 14 days to enable reforms to be made. The security forces would be required to publicly affirm their commitment to the rule of law, SADC observers were to be deployed immediately and SADC representatives were to sit in JOMIC and not merely to receive reports as demanded by Zanu PF.  

 

Commenting on the development, MDC Education Minister David Coltart tweeted: ‘There are three reasons why SADC resolution is critically important; Firstly, it is a victory for the respect for the rule of law and the new Constitution; secondly, it means that voter registration and roll inspection can be completed before nomination day and, thirdly, it constitutes a major political faux pas by Zanu PF hardliners and will be damaging and embarrassing.’


The Vigil is grateful to President Zuma for standing up to Zanu PF, although they will still do everything they can to prevent free and fair elections. But now we know we are not alone.

 

Next Saturday the Vigil will be participating with the MDC in the 18th round of the monthly 21st Movement Free Zimbabwe Global Protest. This month the theme is ‘No reforms, no elections’.

 

Other points

·         There is to be a demonstration under the banner ‘Zimbabwe: Never Again’ outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London on Thursday 27th June to mark the fifth anniversary of the presidential run-off in 2008. We will be joined by members of ACTSA (Action for Southern Africa) the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement. See ‘Events and Notices’ for full details.

·         Demand for tickets to the screening of ‘Beatrice Mtetwa and the rule of law’ on Tuesday 18th June has been so great that it has been moved to a larger hall. See ‘Events and Notices’ for address of the new venue.

·         We were happy to be joined by old friends Josie Zhuga and Batson Chapata who have been prevented from coming lately because of health problems.

·         Thanks to Rose Maponga, Charles Dumisani Ndlovu, Tendai Chadehumbe, Kelvin Kamupira, Francesca Toft (in a back brace after a car accident), Mollie Mujati, Georginah Makaza and Peter Sidindi who came early in the pouring rain to set up.

 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.

 

FOR THE RECORD: 37 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

         Screening of ‘Beatrice Mtetwa and the rule of law’. Tuesday 18th June at 7.45 pm. NB Change of Venue: London School of Economics, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, 54 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ. It is hoped there will be a question and answer session with Beatrice. The event is free. For the film trailer, check: http://vimeo.com/58496261. For more information, check: http://www.ibanet.org/mtetwafilm.aspx and to register for tickets email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . There is another screening of the film on Wednesday 19th June at 8.30 pm at the Lexi Cinema, 194b Chamberlayne Road, London NW10 3JU. Discounted £5 tickets (quote discount code: Zimbabwe) can be purchased at the box office 08717 042 069 or by visiting: http://bit.ly/15CCCLd.

         Round 18 of the Free Zimbabwe Global Campaign (FZGC). Saturday 22nd June outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The theme is ‘No reforms, no elections’. The ROHR Reading Branch is taking an active role in this protest and is asking people to join them at the Embassy at 1 pm. Contact Tawanda Dzimba 07880 524 278, Nicodemus Muganhu 07877 386 792, Erick Eluwasi 07531 853 966.

         Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 22nd June from 6.30 – 9.30 pm – PLEASE NOTE: change of date for this forum. 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.

         Culture without Borders. Tuesday 25th June onwards. For more information contact Wiz Bishop at the Zimbabwe Association 020 7739 8226, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , www.zimbabweassociation.org.uk:

-         Storytelling with Chenjerai Hove. Tuesday 25th June from 11 am – 2 pm. Venue: Spitalfields City Farm Yurt,  Buxton St, London E1 5AR

-         Solidarity with Zimbabwean victims of torture. Wednesday 26th June from 11.30 am – 2.30 pm. Venue: Oxford House Theatre Oxford House, Derbyshire St, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG.

-          Chenjerai Hove in Birmingham. Thursday 27th June from 6 – 9.30 pm. Hosted by the ZA regional Drop-in Centre at Carrs Lane Church, Birmingham B4 7SX.

-         Arts and Culture Consultation with the Zimbabwean diaspora. Friday 28th June from 10.30 am – 5 pm. Venue: Oxford House Theatre, Oxford House, Derbyshire St, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG. ZA is collaborating with the Culture Cluster of the Commonwealth Organisations Committee on Zimbabwe (COCZ) on this event.

-         The Britain Zimbabwe Society Research Day on Culture without borders. Saturday 29 June from 9 am – 5.15 pm. Venue: St Anthony’s College, 62 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6JF. It is followed by a BZS party with Linos Magaya and Zimbaremabwe. Venue: The Buttery, St Anthony’s College, 62 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6JF. £10 entrance on the door, cash bar, free nibbles. Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , http://britainzimbabwesociety.wordpress.com/.

·         ‘Zimbabwe: Never Again’ protest. Thursday 27th June from 1 – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. It is a joint protest with ACTSA (Action for Southern Africa) the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement. This protest marks the fifth anniversary of the presidential run-off in 2008 marred by a brutal campaign of violence, including murder, disappearances and mass rape. Zimbabwe will hold elections again very soon. Join us to say never again to a repeat of the terrible violence of 2008 and support the call for free and fair elections that comply with the Southern African Development Community standards for democratic elections. Contact ACTSA on: 02032632001, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it www.actsa.org

·         ROHR Slough branch meeting. Saturday 13th July from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: Upton Lea Community Hall, Wexham Road SL1 5JW. Contact: Grace Nyaumwe 07850 284 506 Patricia Masamba 07708 116 625

·         ROHR North East Region Zimbabwe Day Fundraising Event. Saturday 27th July from 1 – 8 pm. Venue: Benton Community Centre, 17 Edenbridge Crescent, Benton, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne NE12 8EP. Food, drink & entertainment. Contact Givemore Chitengu 07912747744, Kennedy Makonese 07979914429, Tapiwa Semwayo 07412236229, Collet Dube 07951516566. 

         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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Time to be serious – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 8th June 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 09 June 2013 18:36

The Zimbabwean diaspora in the UK looks forward to the upcoming contest. We won’t be able to avoid the massive media coverage. After all, the Wimbledon tennis championships attract world-wide interest.  We will no doubt hear former champion John McEnroe, now a television tennis commentator. His famous complaint to the umpire ‘you can’t be serious’ makes us think of the ruling by the constitutional court.

 

We disenfranchised Zimbabweans think that Zanu PF spokesman Gumbo can’t be serious in describing President Zuma’s advisor Lindiwe Zulu as ‘a mad woman’ for insisting on the promised reforms before elections. ‘She doesn’t know what she is doing’, says Dumbo (see: Sadc wasting time: Zanu PF – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/jun8_2013.html#Z5).

 

Gumboat diplomacy is unlikely to endear Zanu PF to Zuma and the Vigil hopes that the South African President will dismiss the decision of the aptly-named ‘con’court to order elections by the end of next month. No doubt the ‘mad woman’ will have informed him of the opinion of Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba that the ruling ‘defied logic’. The Mail and Guardian quoted her as saying that her boss and SADC leaders want free and fair elections in Zimbabwe ‘with or without the court ruling’ (see: Zimbabwe puts SADC to the test – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/jun8_2013.html#Z4).

 

A SADC ambassador based in Harare is quoted in the same article as saying that the postponed summit will be the most important since the GPA was signed in 2008. The ambassador said the court’s judgment ‘will be followed to the extent that it is feasible to do so and this means that people have got to be rational and flexible in dealing with these issues’.

 

The Vigil found these comments reassuring in the light of the sombre observation by Human Rights Watch that ‘as things stand, the chances of having free, fair and credible elections are slim, particularly given the stalled security sector reforms and reforms in other sectors’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/jun8a_2013.html#Z5Security reforms: Elephant in the room).

 

Zimbabweans in the UK, reduced to watching the tennis, will be asking SADC the question ‘Are you serious?’

 

 Other points

·         One of the reasons given by Mugabe for asking for the postponement of the SADC meeting was his trip to Japan along with 50+ flunkeys. The Japanese surprised everyone with big financial and aid plans for Africa but, despite Mugabe’s enormous retinue, Zimbabwe was represented by only one person at the trade fair there (see: Zimbabwe exhibits at Ticad – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/jun8a_2013.html#Z17).

·         During the day we saw cyclists in all guises. Some 50 or so naked cyclists passed through the area in a summer demonstration but we had a better view of several clothed cyclists on penny-farthings and unicycles.

·         Thanks to Wendy Ziyambi, Rose Maponga and Peter Sidindi who arrived early to help set up. Thanks also to Tino Mashonganyika and Michael Sirewu for their help putting up the high banners.

·         The Zimbabwe Association (ZA) has asked us to publicise their ‘Culture without Borders’ project. Vigil people are invited to attend the events. For further details see our ‘Events and Notices’ Section.

 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.

 

FOR THE RECORD: 31 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

         ROHR Midlands Region Fundraising. Saturday 15th June from 2 pm – 2 am. Venue: Malaika House, 81 George Street, Lozells, Birmingham B19 1NS. Food (BBQ) and Drinks, Music and Dance, Raffle etc. Contact: Zenzile Chabuka 07951418577, JaneMary Mapfumo 07412310429, Tafadzwa Mushakwe 07551873256, Enniah Dube  07403439707, Elector Zvorwadza 07905831330, Tecla Bandawe 07450507650, Pedzisai James 07428180518, Petronella Mapara 07903644612 and Anne Chikumba 07857528546.

         Screening of ‘Beatrice Mtetwa and the rule of law’. Tuesday 18th June at 7.45 pm. Venue: London School of Economics, New Theatre, East Building, Houghton Street WC2A 2AE. There will be a question and answer session with Beatrice and the event is free. For the film trailer, check: http://vimeo.com/58496261, For more information, check: http://www.ibanet.org/mtetwafilm.aspx and to register for tickets email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . There is another screening of the film on Wednesday 19th June at 8.30 pm. at the Lexi Cinema, 194b Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise, London NW10 3JU. Discounted £5 tickets (quote discount code: Zimbabwe) can be purchased at the box office 0871 7042069 or by visiting: http://bit.ly/15CCCLd.

         Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 22nd June from 6.30 – 9.30 pm – PLEASE NOTE: change of date for this forum. 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.

         Culture without Borders. Tuesday 25th June onwards. For more information contact Wiz Bishop at the Zimbabwe Association 020 7739 8226, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , www.zimbabweassociation.org.uk:

-         Storytelling with Chenjerai Hove. Tuesday 25th June from 11 am – 2 pm. Venue: Spitalfields City Farm Yurt,  Buxton St, London E1 5AR

-         Solidarity with Zimbabwean victims of torture. Wednesday 26th June from 11.30 am – 2.30 pm. Venue: Oxford House Theatre Oxford House, Derbyshire St, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG.

-          Chenjerai Hove in Birmingham. Thursday 27th June from 6 – 9.30 pm. Hosted by the ZA regional Drop-in Centre at Carrs Lane Church, Birmingham B4 7SX.

-         Arts and Culture Consultation with the Zimbabwean diaspora. Friday 28th June from 10.30 am – 5 pm. Venue: Oxford House Theatre, Oxford House, Derbyshire St, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG. ZA is collaborating with the Culture Cluster of the Commonwealth Organisations Committee on Zimbabwe (COCZ) on this event.

         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.

 
Size 46B for Biti – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 1st June 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 02 June 2013 15:10

The Vigil applauds Tendai Biti’s promise that an MDC government will firmly support action on corruption. All public officials will be required to declare their assets every year. ‘Guys I have four underwear,’ he told SW Radio Africa. ‘Guys I’ve got four vests. Guys I’ve got four bras – size 46B.’ (see: HOT SEAT: (Part 2) Tendai Biti says MDC government will target multiple farmers – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/may30_2013.html#Z21).

 

We would like to check next year if Mr Biti is still size 46B but, sadly, the Vigil doesn’t think it’s likely that the MDC will form the next government, having allowed themselves to be out-manoeuvred by Zanu PF for four years to the extent that there is no time left to ensure a level playing field for the elections that Zanu PF’s tame judges say must be held by the end of next month.

 

The Zimbabwe Action Forum, at our fortnightly meeting after the Vigil, was pessimistic about next Sunday’s SADC summit in Maputo. Speakers did not think the summit would force Mugabe to make real reforms to the security sector, the media and the electoral process.

 

We were joined by Andy Moyse of the Zimbabwe Media Monitoring Project, who took a similar view. ‘Zanu PF will control the elections as they have always done’, he said. ‘As for security reforms, they can’t be done in 30 or 60 days. Any reforms will be purely cosmetic’.

 

Andy went on to say ‘Some people think there will be another GNU but I’m not sure. I don’t think Zanu PF will tolerate another GNU. I think there will be a 51.5% victory for Mugabe. The military can’t consider an MDC victory.’

 

The meeting was chaired by Ephraim Tapa, leader of ROHR and Zimbabwe Yes We Can. He said the MDC leadership seemed to have lost its appetite for change. Years had gone by and Tomana and Gono were still in office, there were no MDC governors or permanent secretaries – all once non-negotiable MDC demands. Ephraim said the West appeared to be preparing for a Zanu PF government, perhaps with some MDC people for PR purposes. The Vigil doubts that Mr 46B will be among those clasped to the bosom of Zanu PF as they will be anxious to restore the good old Zimbabwe dollar to ‘boost the economy’.

 

Other points

·         Vigil management team member Fungayi Mabhunu, a tireless supporter of the Swaziland Vigil, was invited to speak on a discussion programme: ‘Swaziland 2013 elections: A shameless sham democracy’ on the TV station Africa Today. To see a video of the programme, go to: http://youtu.be/qieEj8s3sM8.

·         Vigil supporter Kudaushe Matimba (formerly of the Bhundu Boys) has asked us to advise people of a concert by Mokoomba, a Zimbabwean band. They are performing from 7.40 on Wednesday 5th June at the Jazz Café, Parkway NW1 7PG. For more information, check:  https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/365115573603897/?fref=ts.

·         The International Bar Association are presenting a film: ‘Beatrice Mtetwa and the rule of law’ at 7.45 pm on Tuesday 18th June at the London School of Economics in Houghton Street WC2A 2AE. There will be a question and answer session with Beatrice and admission is free. For more information, check ‘Events and Notices’.

 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.

 

FOR THE RECORD: 52 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·         ROHR Executive meeting and Cambridge branch meeting. Saturday 8th June from 11 am – 5 pm. Venue: St Andrews Hall, St Andrews Road, Chesterton, Cambridge CB4 1DH. For more details contact Deon 07786674066, Mubaiwa 07846170094 and Robart 07902790313.

         ROHR Midlands Region Fundraising. Saturday 15th June from 2 pm – 2 am. Venue: Malaika House, 81 George Street, Lozells, B19 1NS, Birmingham. Food (BBQ) and Drinks, Music and Dance, Raffle etc. Contact: Zenzile Chabuka 07951418577, JaneMary Mapfumo 07412310429, Tafadzwa Mushakwe 07551873256, Enniah Dube  07403439707, Elector Zvorwadza 07905831330, Tecla Bandawe 07450507650, Pedzisai James 07428180518, Petronella Mapara 07903644612 and Anne Chikumba 07857528546.

         Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 15th June 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.

         Screening of ‘Beatrice Mtetwa and the rule of law’. Tuesday 18th June at 7.45 pm. Venue: London School of Economics, New Theatre, East Building, Houghton Street WC2A 2AE. There will be a question and answer session with Beatrice and the event is free. For the film trailer, check: http://vimeo.com/58496261, For more information, check: http://www.ibanet.org/mtetwafilm.aspx and to register for tickets, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

         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.

 
Sanitising Zanu PF – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 25th May 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 26 May 2013 19:55

‘We are sorry and we pass our condolences to his family’ said MDC T MP for Mazowe Central Shepherd Mushonga. Who was the noble soul he was lamenting? None other than Elias Kanengoni, the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Organisation who died unexpectedly at his farm in Concession.

 

The late lamented was sentenced to seven years in prison for the shooting and maiming of former Gweru mayor Patrick Kombayi in the run-up to the 1990 elections. But he was pardoned by Mugabe. The late lamented was also named by the MDC T as one of the people responsible for the deaths of 14 party activists at Chaona village in Chiweshe on a night in May 2008. Speaking to SW Radio Africa last year Mr Mushonga said: ‘The awful thing about this massacre is that people were executed in cold blood and in public view by perpetrators well known in the district and province’ (see: One of Mugabe’s top spies dies – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/may25_2013.html#Z3).

 

The Vigil is sorry that Mr Mushonga is saddened by the death of this weekend farmer who, although a public servant, was a member of the Zanu PF central committee. Why are we going on about this hypocrisy? Well, the Vigil thinks that the demand for justice is not going to go away however hard the MDC tries to reassure Zanu PF.  There is simply no way that Zanu PF can escape being called to account – if only by a South African-style truth and reconciliation process.

 

The Vigil’s reflections on this were prompted by a sycophantic fawning television documentary on the Mugabe family made for the SABC by Dali Tambo, son of South African liberation hero Oliver Tambo. ‘Flowers, silver cutlery and a box of tissues adorn the spotless white tablecloth’ reports the British Guardian newspaper, which was given a preview of the programme. ‘Mum chortles’ as the first family tucks in . . . ‘You're very loving, you're kind, you're generous’, she gushes to the President.

 

Tambo, says the Guardian, makes no apology for humanising a man he believes has long been demonised. Describing Mugabe as ‘warm, charismatic and very humorous’, he said: ‘I feel, honestly, a pride in that man and I think that he has been misunderstood and ill-judged by a lot of the press.’  (Mugabes under the spotlight – Zimbabwe's first family filmed at home – http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/24/zimbabwe-tv-lunch-with-mugabes). 

 

The sanitising of Mugabe drew some critical comments from the readership of the article. Here is one we found particularly illuminating: My father managed a 5 star hotel in central London in the late 80's. Mugabe used to stay at the hotel. When his motorcade would leave for Heathrow, it included a dozen trucks from the likes of Harrods, and after check out, a handler from the High Commission would come to the hotel with a suitcase of cash and pay for anything missing from the inventory of the rooms they used in exchange for not pressing charges of theft or going to the press. Everything from TVs to cutlery to chairs would be missing and loaded on to their trucks.

 

Other points

·         The Vigil salutes Comrade Mugabe as he leads a delegation of 50 to yet another conference – this time to the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (held in Yokohama!) The jaunt will be paid for by increasing pension contributions (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/may25a_2013.html#Z9Mugabe trip gobbles millions).

·         The Vigil eagerly awaits Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube’s promised mid-year launch of the ‘Leather Sector Strategy’. Glad to see there are still some animals around (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/may25a_2013.html#Z15Trade deficit to widen to US$3 billion).

·         After months of dreary weather we were grateful for warmth and sunshine today. London was awash with German football fans for the Champions League final between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. Some joined in our dancing and we told them we were sure the Germans would win!

·         The Vigil was charmed by Josephine Mudzingwa Siziba, the ‘Queen of North Shields’ whose positive attitude to life in the UK is so encouraging to people forced into exile by Mr Tembo’s idol (see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01xt726The Queen of North Shields). Watch it quickly because it will drop off BBC iplayer in a few days.

·         We ask your prayers for Vigil management team member Josephine Zhuga whose grandchild was stillborn. On the same day her other son was involved in a head-on collision on his way to pick up Josephine to put her on the train to South Yorkshire to visit the family who had lost the baby. We are relieved to say that her son was not seriously injured and has been discharged from hospital and her daughter-in-law is out of intensive care.

 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.

 

FOR THE RECORD: 34 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

         Zimbabwe Yes We Can open meeting.  Saturday 1st June at 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see Zimbabwe Action Forum entry below. Anyone who is interested in finding out about Zimbabwe Yes We can is welcome at this meeting.

         Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 1st June from 6.30 – 9.30 pm.  Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

         ROHR Coventry Branch meeting. Saturday 1st June from 1.30 – 4 pm. Venue: Hillfields Evangelical Baptist Church, Waterloo Street, Coventry CV1 5JS. For more information contact Hilda Gwesele 07939127819,Tafadzwa Mushakwe 07551873256, Esinati Mbuluku, Tendai Vheremu and Sarah Bwetu.

         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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