Banner
‘Charming’ psychopath – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 30th July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
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:

LAST_UPDATED2
 
Veneer peels – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 23rd July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 26 July 2016 13:56

As the Zanu PF regime crumbles its veneer of constitutionalism is rapidly peeling off. Any opposition to Mugabe is now seen as treason.

Even the regime’s storm troops – the war veterans – have now been accused of being traitors for questioning Mugabe. The accusation came from the top civil servant in the veterans’ ministry, retired Brigadier-General Asher Tapfunaneyi. 

He was responding to a statement by the War Veterans’ Association after a 7-hour leadership meeting. The statement accused Mugabe of entrenching dictatorial tendencies, egocentrism and misrule and said it would not support his re-election campaign (see: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-zimbabwe-protests-idUSKCN1030GVZimbabwe threatens "traitorous" war veterans after Mugabe attack and http://www.voazimbabwe.com/a/war-veterans-dump-mugabe-back-zimbabwe-protesters/3429995.html\). 

The war veterans criticised the oppressive attitude shown towards peaceful protesters. This highhanded unconstitutional behaviour is shown by its treatment of Linda Masarire of the Vigil’s sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe who was arrested on 6th July during the peaceful shutdown protest and has since been detained in Chikurubi prison. 

Linda came to public attention as a member of the Occupy Africa Unity Square Protest when she memorably said ‘We are sick and tired of being sick and tired’. 

She appeared in Mbare Magistrate’s Court on Friday and was remanded in custody until Tuesday 26th July although her lawyer pointed out that her constitutional rights had already been violated by the prosecution’s delay in bringing her to court. ROHR Zimbabwe has called on supporters to rally at the court on Tuesday. 

Other points

  • A very big crowd at the start of the Vigil. Regulars were joined by people from a protest against injustice and brutality in Zimbabwe outside 10 Downing Street. It was organised by a group from the north of England. It was good to have with us once again the dedicated human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell
  • MDC UK protested outside the Embassy on Monday. They got into the Embassy and the police were called to evict them.
  • A big thank you to Patricia Masamba for bringing the Vigil paraphernalia (banners, posters, tables etc) to the Vigil. Her journey was not without incident. Unable to get out of the Strand to park her car outside the Embassy she contacted Vigil co-ordinator Fungayi Mabhunu who happened to be in a bus also in the Strand. He leapt out and ran down the middle of the road looking for her car. Fortunately they were united and safely arrived for the start of the Vigil.
  • A special thank you to Roseline Mukucha who took charge of the merchandise and the Vigil table helped by Etines Kapiya and Chipo Parirenyatwa. Roseline brought a new supply of Zimbabwe flags which are in great demand. Thanks to Emmaculate Tshuma for looking after the register and ensuring people signed and to Isabell Gwatidzo for selling raffle tickets for the ROHR Reading fundraiser. Thanks also the Phillip Mahlahla, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Kevin Gondo and Michael Sirewu for putting up the banners. Many people were there at the start to help – too many to mention individually. 

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: over 100 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

LAST_UPDATED2
 
Parallel Universe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 16th July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 17 July 2016 14:54
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/28074499710/sizes/l
 
The Zimbabwean diaspora was interested to hear from Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo that we are being used by Western countries to promote alarm, despondency and unrest in the motherland where all is ‘calm and peaceful’.
 
The Herald says Chombo’s remarks came in the wake of the Vigil’s demonstration at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London against the money-raising visit by Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa which ended in humiliation for the Minister.
 
The Herald quotes Chombo as saying ’so-called asylum seekers should be working for nation building rather than fomenting hate messages against the government’ (see: http://www.herald.co.zw/chombo-blasts-unpatriotic-diasporans/).
 
Chombo is cushioned by his vast wealth (see: http://www.pindula.co.zw/Ignatius_Chombo). He seems to be living in a parallel universe inhabited only by the Mugabe mafia. They appear to be too far gone to see that it is the state that they have created that promotes ‘alarm, despondency and unrest’ – a state that can charge a pastor with treason for wearing the Zimbabwe flag and working for nation building without hate.
 
Zimbabwean exiles were protesting outside the Embassy in London on Wednesday when we saw pictures of the crowds of lawyers who had turned up in court to offer their services free to Pastor Evan Mawarire. We were encouraged to read the reflections of Pastor Scott Marques who was among the many who gathered to support Pastor Evan (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/806-reflections-on-pastor-mawarires-court-case--wednesday-13th-july-2016).
 
Whatever the delusions of the dying regime, the bottom line is that it has run out of money. Once again the army has been told that they cannot be paid on time. Eddie Cross, the MDC-T MP, says the crunch appears to be imminent.  ‘The regime has its back to the wall in Harare and I see no way out . . . The regime has falsified the financial position of the state and the IMF talks have collapsed leaving the regime in Harare totally reliant on the international community for emergency support.’ (http://www.thezimbabwean.co/2016/07/the-economic-and-political-crisis-in-zimbabwe/). The Vigil believes this support must only come when the corrupt Mugabe regime steps down and allows real change.
 
Other points

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: 88 signed the register.
 
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
  • ROHR Leicester branch meeting. Saturday 23rd July from 2 – 4 pm. Venue: the Salvation Army, Kildare Street, Leicester LE1 3FY. Directions: Opposite Peking Chinese Restaurant, City Centre. Contact: Enniah Dube 07403439707, Yvonne Makombe 07453909247 and Moline Nyabonda 07961250525.
  • ROHR Middlesbrough branch general meeting. Saturday 23rd July from 1.30 – 5 pm. Venue: Student Centre, Clarendon Building, Teesside University, Middlesbrough TS1 3BA. For more information please contact Ndumiso Ncube 07532080247, Xoliso Sithole 07455911728,Henrietta Mlilo 079313110024, Esther Munyira 07460861487 and Sharon Shoniwa 07534867127.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 23rd July from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR Reading branch summer national fundraiser. Saturday 30th July from 2 pm till late. Venue: Pakistani Community Hall, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA. Contact: Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Charles Mararirakwenda 07964731721, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Shylette Chipangura 07828929806, Deborah Harrry 07578894896, Sihle Sibanda 07985712749.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest. Saturday 6th August from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark seventeen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Vigil and ROHR Brighton to London Walk. Friday 12th August to Saturday 13th August. The theme of our fundraising walk is ‘Mourning the death of democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe’. The walk will end around 3 pm at the Vigil. If you wish to participate or sponsor the walkers contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . More information to be provided as plans develop.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
    ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835.
LAST_UPDATED2
 
West to rescue Mugabe? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 9th July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 10 July 2016 17:24
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/28218777675/sizes/m/

The West seems hell-bent on saving the beleaguered Zanu PF regime – in spite of a Zanu PF minister accusing Western embassies of fomenting the mounting unrest. The West apparently believes that there will be regional chaos if the regime collapses.
 
Behind the re-engagement process between the West and Zimbabwe is the International Monetary Fund  which has been persuaded by Zimbabwe’s promises of economic reforms and says the country is capable of quick growth if it can only get some cash.
 
The word is that new loans will only come after reforms have been made but the Vigil can’t see how Zanu PF can undertake reforms. For instance, would this involve a 50% cut in the government wage bill as recommended? We do not believe this can be delivered  as it would undermine Zanu PF’s support base.
 
Many others are equally sceptical. The Zimbabwean economist Tony Hawkins says ‘the IMF is being taken for a ride’. An article in the latest edition of the UK’s Economist headlined ‘Bailing out bandits’ makes clear its view that a lifeline for Mugabe is ‘a bad idea’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-bailing-out-bandits/).
 
The West is pinning its hopes on those they see as ‘reformist’ elements in Zanu PF. Vice President Mnangagwa, despite his genocidal history, is seen as one of them, along with Finance Minister Chinamasa, who made a poor impression at a money-raising conference in London’s financial district on Tuesday.
 
The Zimbabwean academic Alex Magaisa was at the conference and says Mugabe and Zanu PF can’t believe their luck at the prospect of new loans. He says Western countries must not delude themselves into thinking that they are dealing with a different creature or that it is in the interests of ordinary Zimbabweans  (see: http://alexmagaisa.com/chinamasa-came-london/). Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who was also at the conference, accused Chinamasa of lying and said Zimbabwe needed a national transitional authority to stabilise the situation and arrange new elections.
 
The MDC T has called on the Southern African Development Community to intervene as it did after the violent 2008 elections. This echoes the call by the Vigil, which last month delivered a petition to Botswana, the current Chair of SADC.
 
Other points

  • Dr Magaisa said that as the conference was taking place the songs and chants by Vigi protestors outside could be heard, prompting laughter when Chinamasa claimed ‘political stability’.
  • For Vigil reports on the day as well as its protest against Chinamasa at a meeting at the Chatham House think tank on Monday (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/802-zimvigil-protests--4th-5th-6th-july-2016). You will also find a brief report on our demonstration on Wednesday in support of the ‘stay away’ in Zimbabwe,
  • Voice of America interviewed Vigil Co-ordinator Fungayi Mabhunu during the Tuesday protest, check: http://www.voazimbabwe.com/a/zimbabwe-politics-economy-chinamasa-zimbabwe-vigil/3405218.html.
  • Chinamasa did not give a good account of his case in an embarrassing interview on BBC’s Hardtalk programme, when he predictably blamed all Zimbabwe’s problems on non-existent sanctions. (see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07jht24/hardtalk-patrick-chinamasa-zimbabwean-minister-of-finance).    
  • Today we marked sixteen months since human rights activist Itai Dzamara was abducted. We also expressed solidarity with other activists back home.
  • An Islamic group ‘Who is Hussain’ take over the Vigil’s our space outside the Embassy every Saturday at 6 pm to feed the homeless. Today they asked if they could put up decorations a little early for an Eid party at the end of Ramadan. Vigil supporter Phillip Mahlahla along with the Vigil ladder was most useful in helping to put up their decorations. We were all invited to the party.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Benjamin Chigamba, Mavis Chisvo, Busie Dlamini, Philile Dlamini, Percy Dube, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Michelle Makoni, Nancy Makurira, Cephas Maswoswa, Praisego Moyo, Sharon Moyo, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Esther Munyira, Euliter Mutami, Vusumuzi Ncube, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Nomcebo Ngwenya, Emilia Nyamhandu, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Zanele Shongwe, Sihle Sibanda and Zenzo Siziba. Thanks to Roseline, Sharon and Esther for looking after the front table and to Phillip, Alfredy, Cephas, Mduduzi, Benjamin and Vusimuzi for putting up the banners. Thanks to Chipo P for selling our wristbands and to Zenzo for bringing scones and crisps for 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 videos of Vigils and other events, check the ROHR facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos?fref=photo.
 
FOR THE RECORD: 47 signed the register.
 
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 16th July from 11 am – 1 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 16th July from 1 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
  • ROHR Slough fundraiser. Saturday 16th July from 6 pm till late. Venue: Sharks Bar, Wexham Road, Slough SL2 5HS. Tickets £15. Money raised will go to books, food and school fees for Zimbabwean children in rural areas. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Fungisai Mupandira (07721383165 and Iline Manhunzi 07824886092.
  • 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 16th July 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.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 23rd July from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR Reading branch summer national fundraiser. Saturday 30th July from 2 pm till late. Venue: Pakistani Community Hall, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA. Contact: Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Charles Mararirakwenda 07964731721, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Shylette Chipangura 07828929806, Deborah Harrry 07578894896, Sihle Sibanda 07985712749.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest. Saturday 6th August from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark seventeen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Vigil and ROHR Brighton to London Walk. Friday 12th August to Saturday 13th August. The theme of our fundraising walk is ‘Mourning the death of democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe’. The walk will end around 3 pm at the Vigil. If you wish to participate or sponsor the walkers contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . More information to be provided as plans develop.
  • 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:
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
    ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835
LAST_UPDATED2
 
Mugabe’s vultures descend on London – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 2nd July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 03 July 2016 12:07
Mugabe’s Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa has admitted that Zimbabwe is broke. ‘Right now we have nothing’, he said on a visit to France to beg for money. Asked in an interview with Radio France International how much credit he was looking for he said ‘there is no limit’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-we-dont-have-a-penny-minister-tells-paris/).
 
Chinamasa was in Paris on his way to London where he will speak at the Chatham House foreign relations think tank on Monday. The Vigil has sent the following notice to its supporters:
 
Zanu PF are descending on London in a desperate plea for money. Please come and join the Vigil in two demonstrations.
 
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa speaks at Chatham House from 12 noon – 1 pm on Monday 4th July
Chinamasa will talk about Zanu PF's economic agenda and no doubt promise to stop looting, act against corruption and observe the rule of law. The Vigil and ROHR will hand out leaflets to people attending explaining why Zanu PF cannot be believed.
 
Chinamasa will be joined by billionaire Obert Mpofu and other Zanu PF gangsters at a conference in London on Tuesday 5th July
The Vigil and ROHR are picketing the conference at which Zanu PF will try to persuade the world that it is reforming and should be bailed out with Western loans. We are being joined by the MDC in the UK. We will be outside the meeting to tell any prospective investors the real reasons why Zimbabwe has run out of money and why the world should be sceptical about any assurances given by the likes of Chinamasa, Minister of Macro Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Obert Mpofu (unaccountably one of the richest men in Zimbabwe) and Mike Bimha, Minister of Industry and Commerce. They are listed to speak at the conference along with Reserve Bank governor John Mangudya.
 
We will hand out the following leaflet at Chatham House:
 
No to Mugabe’s lies
 
Exiled Zimbabweans are picketing this Chatham House meeting at which Mugabe’s Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa will try to persuade you that the ruling Zanu PF party is reforming and should be bailed out with Western loans and investment. He is part of a larger Zanu PF delegation touring Europe in a desperate attempt to raise money. The meeting comes as the bankrupt regime hopes to convince the International Monetary Fund that it is serious about implementing the constitution adopted in 2013.
 
The Zimbabwe Vigil is here to explain the real reasons why Zimbabwe has run out of money and why the world should be sceptical about any assurances given by the likes of Chinamasa.
 
The opposition MP Eddie Cross says Mugabe’s actions have made it clear he has no intention of observing the constitution and points out ‘the leopard that has been courting the IMF and the International Community in the past three years has not changed its spots in any way. The consequences for the country are disastrous. They are again taking money out of our accounts and replacing it with a worthless form of virtual money. Their economic policies are destroying what little is left of a once diversified and sophisticated economy. They are clearly not going to allow a democratic election any time soon and the wholesale theft of resources by a tiny, military and civilian clique is continuing.’ (See: http://www.politicsweb.co.za/opinion/zanupf-the-leopard-has-not-changed-its-spots)
 
We draw your attention to this recent article by the Times correspondent in Harare.
 
‘Shopkeepers struggle with ‘multicurrency’ Mugabenomics - Jan Raath, Harare June 27 2016, The Times
 
Having had triple heart bypass surgery two years ago, Stelio Haralambos, who runs a little store, ought to avoid stress. He came to what was Rhodesia in 1966 as a barber from Lesbos but switched to running a shop.
 
Mr Haralambos has endured a series of economic crises since independence in 1980 but nothing quite like the one now. After Zimbabwe’s currency vanished in hyperinflation in 2009, the US dollar became the official money. But seven years later, and with the country importing twice as much as it exports since President Mugabe destroyed agriculture and industry, there is a shortage of greenbacks, so the central bank has introduced a “multicurrency” system.
 
Customers entering Mr Haralambos’s store for a morning scud, Zimbabwe’s soupy traditional beer, can offer payment in up to seven currencies — US dollars, sterling, Chinese yuan, Japanese yen, Australian dollars, South African rand, Indian rupees and the Botswanan pula. In the store the day’s exchange rates will not have arrived so Mr Haralambos has to do the calculations. You can just about pick up the fibrillation of his heart from the other side of the scratched old glass-topped counter.
 
The banks have tried to ration cash at ATMs but the daily withdrawal limit dwindles steadily. Slow, winding queues are the order of the day. It is the latest absurdity created by Mugabenomics. Other countries borrow but Zimbabwe cannot. Mr Mugabe once borrowed unsustainably and, worse, he doesn’t pay back.
 
Country people, who long for the days of the Zimdollar, have to deal with notes carrying Chinese or Japanese characters. And the township con-artists revel in the opportunity to profit from the confusion. It gets worse. The central bank governor has announced that he will introduce a “bond note”, equal to the US dollar, in October. Economists are trying to find out if it will be currency, money, legal tender, negotiable instrument, treasury bill or promissory note — but the governor is not saying. The only conclusion economists can reach is that it is a piece of paper.
 
The reaction has been a collective nationwide, “No.” The bond note is seen as a government attempt to solve the cash crisis by issuing another form of the Zimdollar, whose value will plunge instantly on appearance. No one has forgotten the instant impoverishment caused by hyperinflation as the value of hard-earned wages, income and investments shrank. Police do their best to boost national outrage. They have become a force of uniformed highwaymen. Anywhere you go, you risk being stopped at a roadblock. On the 275-mile stretch between Bulawayo and Victoria Falls last week, there were 16. At each one police search for faults to fine you — for not having the latest stamp on your fire extinguisher indicating its last service, for example. Zimbabwe must be the only country where you can be fined $20 for a dirty car. I hide my cash so I can say that I can’t pay.
 
Government coffers are nearly empty. Civil servants’ paydays have been repeatedly postponed since late last year and the 40,000-strong army, as well as the police and prison service, were told last week that paydays had been pushed back by two weeks.
 
This week the government was due to present its plan to repay $1.8 billion to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, which would, theoretically, have allowed Zimbabwe to start borrowing again. However, Algeria, which was to have lent $1 billion, has backed off. Not that Mr Mugabe seems to care. He said last week that the cash crisis, “is a temporary problem which should be behind us soon”,
 
Mr Haralambos would best be advised to retire to Lesbos.’
 
Don’t prop up the Mugabe regime
 
Other Points
  • A meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil agreed that any loans to the Mugabe regime should be regarded as ‘odious debt’ and repudiated by any legitimate Zimbabwean government.
  • The meeting congratulated our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe for their protest at Beit Bridge against the import ban. They said police permission had been refused but we advised them to go ahead anyway as the constitution only required the police to be informed of a demonstration.
  • There were celebrations at the Vigil today. Emmaculate Tshuma who was so nearly deported was back with us and Chipo Parirenyatwa brought a magnificent cake to share for her birthday. Other food contributions came from Beauty Nyandoro (drinks and crisps) and Zenzo Siziba (doughnuts). Praisego Moyo contributed chocolates and mini-cheddars to the lucky dip.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Kevin Gondo, Isabell Gwatidzo, Barbara Kachidza, Etines Kapiya, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Tafadzwa Allen Madzivadondo, Phillip Mahlahla, Patricia Masamba, Cephas Maswoswa, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Mduduzi Patrick Ndlovu, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Tawanda Rusape, Benjamin Semwayo. Alice Shimika and Emmaculate Tshuma. Thanks to Roseline for looking after the front table, thanks to Phillip, Alfredy, Cephas and Mduduzi for putting up the high banners and to Chipo P for selling the wristbands. Chipo along with Isabell and Barbra sold raffle tickets for the ROHR fundraiser.
 
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: 43 signed the register.
 
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
  • Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa speaks at Chatham House. Monday 4th July from 12 noon – 1 pm. Venue: The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, 10 St James's Square, London SW1Y 4LE. Join us at 11.30 to hand out flyers to those attending the meeting.
  • Protest at Zimbabwe Conference 2016 ‘Rebooting and Rebuilding’. Tuesday 5th July from 8 am onwards. Venue: outside DLA Piper UK LLP, 3 Noble Street, London EC2V 7EE. For more information: http://africa-confidential-meetings.com/.
  • Zimbabwe Play: Workshop Negative by Cont Mhlanga. Wednesday 6th July to Saturday 9th July at 7.30 pm + 3 pm performance on Saturday. Venue: Gate Theatre, 11 Pembridge Road, Notting Hill, London W11 3HQ. The play is a response to the aftermath of Zimbabwean independence. Its comic and controversial approach led to it being banned by the Mugabe government in 1986, a challenge to artists’ freedom of expression. For more information and tickets check: www.gatetheatre.co.uk/events/all-productions/tangle_presents_workshop_negative.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 9th July from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark sixteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 9th July from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 16th July from 11 am – 1 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 16th July from 1 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
  • ROHR Slough fundraiser. Saturday 16th July from 6 pm till late. Venue: Sharks Bar, Wexham Road, Slough SL2 5HS. Tickets £15. Money raised will go to books, food and school fees for Zimbabwean children in rural areas. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Fungisai Mupandira (07721383165 and Iline Manhunzi 07824886092.
  • 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 16th July 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.
  • ROHR Reading branch summer national fundraiser. Saturday 30th July from 2 pm till late. Venue: Pakistani Community Hall, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA. Contact: Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Charles Mararirakwenda 07964731721, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Shylette Chipangura 07828929806, Deborah Harrry 07578894896, Sihle Sibanda 07985712749.
  • Vigil and ROHR Brighton to London Walk. Friday 12th August to Saturday 13th August. The theme of our fundraising walk is ‘Mourning the death of democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe’. The walk will end around 3 pm at the Vigil. If you wish to participate or sponsor the walkers contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . More information to be provided as plans develop.
  • 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:
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF-490257051027515/?fref=ts
    OHR: https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835
LAST_UPDATED2
 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

JPAGE_CURRENT_OF_TOTAL

How can you help?

The Zimbabwe Vigil exists entirely on donations from the public and well wishers. You can help us by donating via a deposit into our account Thank you.

Polls

Do you think Mugabe will still be in power in a year?