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The great demise – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 2nd April 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 10 April 2016 13:26
There is growing concern in the diaspora about the well-being of Zimbabweans when Mugabe goes. People in the know have already accepted that one day Mugabe will leave us. They have prepared themselves – made a plan as it were. But the people the Vigil worry most about are those who have been led to believe that Mugabe is semi-divine. And it is clear there are many of them. For them the loss will be cataclysmic.

 

Mugabe has gone to see his doctors in Singapore twice in the last few weeks so it is clear that he is about to take leave of us. We must be brave. Others have gone through similar trauma. We remember the mass hysteria in North Korea at the departure of the Great Leader Kim Jong Il, whose people had been led to believe that he could never get ill. Scenes of public grief were broadcast around the world. Zimbabweans must show we are made of sterner stuff.

 

We expect Harare to come to even more of a halt when the great transition occurs. So outside help will be urgently required to minimise grief-related suicides and post-traumatic stress disorders.

 

To do our bit, we in the diaspora are appealing to the United Nations to prepare to send teams of bereavement counsellors who could fan out across the country. Para-psychotherapists could even be air-dropped in remote areas.

 

The Vigil’s approach is two-pronged. We have also written to the American Ambassador in London urging the US to oppose any IMF / World Bank loans to Zimbabwe until the situation is clarified. Surely no-one wants the money to end up in the wrong hands?

 

Here is our letter:

 

Dear Ambassador Barzun

 

With the Mugabe regime nearing its end, Zimbabwean exiles in the UK wish to convey our reservations about the apparent readiness of the International Monetary Fund to advance new loans to Zimbabwe.

 

We ask what purpose this financial injection will serve when there is no clear idea of who will receive the money? We draw your attention to the latest index of economic freedom which concludes that Zimbabwe remains one of the most repressed economies in the world due to rampant corruption and government mismanagement (see: https://www.dailynews.co.zw/articles/2016/03/26/zim-one-of-africa-s-poorest-economies?src=ilaw).

 

We urge the United States to take the advice of Bob Corker, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who called on President Obama to prevent new lending to Zimbabwe unless there is meaningful progress to restore the rule of law and improve human rights (see: https://www.foreign.senate.gov/press/chair/release/corker-no-new-lending-to-zimbabwe-without-meaningful-reform).

 

We draw your attention to the recent report by the International Crisis Group which expresses doubts that the ruling Zanu PF party can ‘walk the talk’ of reform.

 

The Vigil believes that any financial help to prop up the odious Zanu PF regime will simply prolong the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe.

 

Other points

·       We were alarmed to receive a phone call from Vigil supporter Victor Gatsi. He was in detention and booked on a Kenyan Airways flight back to Zimbabwe on 2nd April. We started a phone campaign against the airline and with a timely legal intervention by his lawyer we are pleased to say that his deportation has been stayed. A special thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu for his tireless work on this. Michael Sirewu led prayers for Victor at the Vigil.

·       Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) the successor organization to the Anti-Apartheid Movement, has made a submission to the Universal Periodic Review of the Republic of Zimbabwe 26th Session of the UPR Working Group. ACTSA calls for an independent commission of enquiry into the case of Itai Dzamara who was abducted last March. It also calls for election observers from all foreign governments and international institutions to be allowed to monitor elections and calls on the Harare authorities to enforce the rule of law (see: http://www.actsa.org/newsroom/2016/04/actsa-calls-on-un-to-tackle-human-rights-abuses-in-zimbabwe/).

·       Thanks to those who came early to help set up on a sunny Vigil: Philip Mahlahla, Jacob Mandipira, Isaac Chavasarira, Michael and Lisa Sirewu, Roseline Mukucha, Audrey Chihoho, Tatonga Gutah, Tafadzwa Buka, Sharon Moyo, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Fungayi Mabhunu, Michelle Makoni, Sharon Moyo, Eletha Mpofu, Catherine Musa, Sidumiso Nyoni and Newman Richard. Thanks to Audrey, Roseline and Sharon for looking after 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:  36 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       MDC-T London branch protest. Thursday 7th April from 11 am – 1pm. Venue: outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. This is in solidarity with a demonstration being held in Zimbabwe on the same day to highlight the plight of Zimbabweans who are surviving on less than a dollar per day when the Government of Zimbabwe readily admits the misappropriation of USD15 billion.  Contact Clemence Munyukwi 07889667686 and Sharon Moyo 07877224113.

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

·       ROHR Coventry relaunch. Saturday 9th April from 2 – 9 pm. Venue: Binley Private Members’ Club and Banqueting Suite, 50 Grange Avenue, Binley, West Midlands CV3 2ED. £10 a head for all you can eat buffet, children free. Contacts: Melody Magejo 07490913486, Gladys Muduve 07956 430115, Edward Murota 07979312148 and Sally Mutseyami 07448730581.

·       ROHR Central London branch ‘Mugabe must go’ protest’. Friday 15th April outside the Zimbabwe Embassy from 11 am to 1 pm. Please come and join Central London to make a big statement on the Friday before the 36th anniversary of Zimbabwe’s Independence. 36 years of Mugabe – time to go!

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 16th April from 11 am to 1.30 pm. 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 16th April 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 an optician. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

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

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 16th April from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       ROHR Birmingham Branch Independence Ball. Saturday 30th April from 3 pm till late. Venue: Centrala, 4 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Birmingham B5 5RT. African cuisine, £20 a head, children free. For more information, contact: Gladys Muduve 07956 430115, JaneMary Mapfumo 07412 310429 and Tecla Bandawe 07450507650.

·       Play: ‘After Independence’. 4th – 28th May at the Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL. The play is by May Sumbwanyambe and tackles the issues of independence and government in Zimbabwe. More information is available here: http://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/after-independence/2016-05-04/. The producer has contacted the Vigil for our input and plans to visit us to discuss this.

·       Nottingham demonstration against farm looting Zimbabwean doctor. Date to be advised. Venue: outside The Willows Medical Centre, Church Street, Carlton, Nottingham NG4 1RJ. The Vigil and ROHR are continuing the campaign to have Dr Nyatsuro’s British citizenship revoked. More information to follow.

·       Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly 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

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Appeal to MPs – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 26th March 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 27 March 2016 19:29

The Vigil has written to two prominent British MPs to seek their support for the expulsion from the UK of a Nottingham GP Dr Sylvester Nyatsuro and his wife Veronica who have seized a farm in Zimbabwe.

 

The MPs are the former long-time cabinet minister Ken Clarke who represents the Conservative Party in Rushcliffe constituency, Nottingham, in which the Nyatsuros have a large and luxurious home and Vernon Coaker, a minister in the last Labour government who represents the neighbouring constituency of Gedling, in which the Nyatsuros run an NHS clinic. Below is the letter we have sent them:

 

Zimbabwean exiles in the UK ask for your help as we continue our protest against Nottingham GP Dr Sylvester Nyatsuro and his wife Veronica who run a NHS clinic in Carlton, Nottingham. They have violently seized a farm in Zimbabwe from a white Zimbabwean couple who bought it some 30 years ago with the approval of the Mugabe regime. Dr Nyatsuro claims he has been allocated the farm although he has lived in the UK for the past 15 years and is a British citizen.

 

You will be aware of the desperate situation in Zimbabwe, in particular the real prospect of starvation. The UN recently warned up to a third of the population are facing hunger.

 

The Zimbabwe Vigil which campaigns in the UK for human rights in Zimbabwe, along with our sister organisation the  Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe, has submitted a petition to the government calling for the revocation of the Nyatsuros’ British citizenship (see: http://zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/760-kick-out-zanu-pf-zimbabwe-vigil-diary-27th-february-2016).

 

The petition is currently being considered by the Home Office. We feel that the support of a  former Conservative Lord Chancellor and a former Labour Home Office minister such as yourselves would add weight to our request. 

 

On a broader front we are campaigning for the situation in Zimbabwe to be discussed in Parliament and have enlisted the support of Kate Hoey MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe and, on the Conservative side, Alok Sharma MP for Reading West and others.

 

We have staged a number of demonstrations outside the Nyatsuros’ clinic which have received widespread publicity and plan to stage another demonstration there on 29th April to keep up the pressure on them to make up their minds between farming in Zimbabwe and doctoring in the UK. 

 

Other Points

·       There is a letter on our campaigns page about the Nyatsuros which supporters can send to their own MPs (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/764-suggested-letter-to-your-mp).

·       One of our supporters Emmaculate Tshuma was picked up by the immigration authorities early on Wednesday morning. Emmaculate, who is only 18, was dragged out of bed and treated very roughly and is now in detention. There is a petition to the Home Secretary about how she was treated. To sign go to: https://www.change.org/p/rt-hon-theresa-may-mp-stop-the-deportation-of-emmaculate-to-zimbabwe?recruiter=52935447&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink. A video about this is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URjgOZSoIBI. A collection was made for Emmaculate at the Vigil.

·       Zimbabweans await with baited breath the outcome of Mugabe’s visit to Japan. Not to hear what tea was served at his meeting with the Emperor but because the purpose of his journey is obviously to consult his doctors in Singapore for a second time in the past few weeks.

·       Quote of the week: ‘Zhuwao’s statement is the height of crass insanity and vindicates the PDP’s position that there are no genuine reformers in Zanu PF, but only looters and grabbers’ – People’s Democratic Party spokesperson Jacob Mafume, speaking about the 1st April indigenisation deadline set by Mugabe’s nephew. See the article by Eddie Cross of the MDC T for an analysis of the lunacy involved: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-april-fools-day-the-zimbabwean/.

·       On a blustery wet Easter Saturday thanks to those who were there at the start to set up: Tatonga Gutah, Isabell Gwatidzo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Anna Mafunga, Michelle Makoni, Patricia Masamba, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Fungisai Mupandira, Marlon Nyamakanga and Chipo Parirenyatwa. Thanks to Roseline, Isabell and Etines for looking after the front table and to Chipo for selling all the wristbands we had at the Vigil. Thanks to the team who put up the tarpaulin and the high banners: Tatonga, Fungayi and Marlon. Thanks also to those who stayed till the end to help pack up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Tafadzwa Buka, Percy Dube, Isabell Gwatidzo, Etines Kapiya, Fungayi Mabhunu, Anna Mafunga, Michelle Makoni, Patricia, Masamba, Lipi Mhlope, Eletha Mpofu, Roselyne Mubayina, Roseline Mukucha, Fungisai Mupandira, Beverley Mutandiro and Chipo Parirenyatwa.

 

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: 22 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       ROHR International UK Chapter Training Day. Saturday 2nd April from 12 noon – 5 pm. Venue: The Salvation Army, Kildare Street, Leicester LE1 3FY. Directions: opposite the Peking Chinese Restaurant in the City Centre. Training covers outline of ROHR International, leadership skills and departmental operations. Contacts: Tino Mashonganyika 07463272078, Enniah Dube 07403439707 and Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792.

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 2nd April from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

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

·       ROHR Coventry Relaunch. Saturday 9th April from 2 – 9 pm. Venue: Binley Private Members’ Club and Banqueting Suite, 50 Grange Avenue, Binley, West Midlands CV3 2ED. £10 a head for all you can eat buffet, children free. Contacts: Melody Magejo 07490913486, Gladys Muduve 07956 430115, Edward Murota 07979312148 and Sally Mutseyami 07448730581.

·       ROHR Central London Branch ‘Mugabe must go’ protest’. Friday 15th April outside the Zimbabwe Embassy from 11 am to 1 pm. Please come and join Central London to make a big statement on the Friday before the 36th anniversary of Zimbabwe’s Independence. 36 years of Mugabe – time to go!

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 16th April from 11 am to 1.30 pm. 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 16th April 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 an optician. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

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

·       Nottingham demonstration against farm looting Zimbabwean doctor. Friday 29th April from 12 noon – 3 pm. Venue: outside The Willows Medical Centre, Church Street, Carlton, Nottingham NG4 1RJ. The Vigil and ROHR are continuing the campaign to have Dr Nyatsuro’s British citizenship revoked. More information to follow.

·       ROHR Birmingham Branch Independence Ball. Saturday 30th April from 3 pm till late. Venue: Centrala, 4 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Birmingham B5 5RT. African cuisine, £20 a head, children free. For more information, contact: Gladys Muduve 07956 430115, JaneMary Mapfumo 07412 310429 and Tecla Bandawe 07450507650.

·       Play: ‘After Independence’. 4th – 28th May at the Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL. The play is by May Sumbwanyambe and tackles the issues of independence and government in Zimbabwe. More information is available here: http://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/after-independence/2016-05-04/. The producer has contacted the Vigil for our input and plans to visit us to discuss this.

·       Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly 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

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Mugabe’s ‘hit and run’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 19th March 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 20 March 2016 14:19

President Mugabe, stung by the growing opposition of war veterans, complained at a rally in Bindura  ‘some of you are going as far as China telling them that we need a new leader’.

 

The comment is ironic given reports that the nonagenarian is soon to go on yet another jaunt to the Far East – this time to Tokyo – which some might think shows that Zimbabwe does not need this leader at all.

 

The Herald will no doubt tell us that the trip is as important as the Indian cultural festival that Mugabe used as a pretext last week to go to Singapore to see his doctors. But what credulity has the Herald? This week it splashed a story that a majority of Zimbabweans approve of Mugabe’s leadership – only for it to emerge a day later that the paper was repeating a two-year-old report. It was like reading the same speech to Parliament twice. But who would possibly do that?

 

And anyway, what is there to keep Mugabe in Zimbabwe? Contrary to the Herald’s delayed ‘scoop’, it is clear that even the war veterans have fallen out of love with him. And it is not as if there is anything for him to do in Zimbabwe. All is under control. No one will starve he assured supporters at the rally.

 

‘The food is there and what is slowing distribution is the challenge we are facing in transportation’, he said. ‘To alleviate the transport problem the district development fund has adopted a ‘hit and run’ concept and has ten trucks going around the country moving food from the grain marketing board depots to the public (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-president-reassures-nation-no-one-will-be-denied-food-the-herald/).

 

Ten trucks? All solved then!

 

Other points

·       The Vigil’s quote of the week is from war veteran and former Zanu PF bigwig Margaret Dongo. ‘I left Zanu PF in 1995 and watching from the terraces I am seeing people fighting for a dwindling gravy puddle. The party is a sinking ship and it’s all about who has power now to access more of the little loot left before the inevitable big bang’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-mugabe-zanu-pf-are-gone-dongo-dailynews-live/).

·       Vigil co-ordinator Fungayi Mabhunu drove to Leeds on Friday to pay our last respects to Gladys Nyathi who died this week. She was a great supporter of the Vigil and very active in the Leeds community. Many people gathered at her home to mourn. Fungayi was very moved by the beautiful singing of a Roman Catholic group which was accompanied by two Congo drums. A collection was taken for her at the Vigil. We were particularly distressed to hear that she had lost 3 children. We are sad to record there have been 4 deaths affecting Vigil supporters in the last few weeks.

·       In view of Mugabe’s approaching demise we are having a clearance sale of our wristbands ‘Mugabe must go / has gone’. We are now selling them for only 50p. Get them while you can they are bound to be collectors’ items.  Supporters posted one under the Embassy door to greet any staff who may possibly turn up on Monday (the place never seems to be open as far as we can establish).

·       Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Anna Mafunga, Beverley Mutandiro, Catherine Musa, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Eletha Mpofu, Esther Munyira, Fungayi Mabhunu, Maxwell Kudita, Michael Sirewu, Phillip Mahlahla, Roseline Mukucha, Tafadzwa Buka and Tatonga Gutah. Thanks to Roseline and Eletha for looking after the front table and to Chipo for overseeing the lucky dip and energetically selling Vigil wristbands. Thanks to Philip for leading the team which put up the high banners.

 

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

 

FOR THE RECORD: 24 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 2nd April from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

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

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 16th April from 11 am to 1.30 pm. 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 16th April 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 an optician. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

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

·       Play: ‘After Independence’. 4th – 28th May at the Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL. The play is by May Sumbwanyambe and tackles the issues of independence and government in Zimbabwe. More information is available here: http://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/after-independence/2016-05-04/. The producer has contacted the Vigil for our input and plans to visit us to discuss this.

·       Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly 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

 
Culture of denial – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 12th March 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 14 March 2016 13:04

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/25614638962/sizes/m/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/25105777004/sizes/l

 

Where is Mugabe? The government’s mouthpiece the Herald says he has gone to a cultural festival in India (accompanied by the Foreign Affairs Minister and a planeload of overpaid lackeys}. The fact that the obscure festival was not even attended by the Indian President didn’t matter: Action Man Mugabe must be seen to be doing something and he only feels at home on a plane.

 

The Vigil knows that this is probably all a cover for another trip to his doctors in Singapore. Why should this be kept a secret? Zimbabweans have a right to know who is in charge, who is taking the decisions – and, more importantly, why decisions are not being taken.

 

The International Monetary Fund has concluded its latest consultations in Harare leaving the door ajar to new loans to bankrupt Zanu PF. The IMF seems to think that promises of reform by the regime are bankable. The Vigil has a message for the IMF: read the report by the International Crisis Group in last week’s diary which expresses doubts that Zanu PF can ‘walk the talk’ of reform.

 

Zimbabwean ministers like Chinamasa can promise the moon but no one can deliver except Mugabe. And, as he has shown over civil servants bonuses, he will not make any decision which will imperil his hold on power.

 

So Chinamasa’s promise of massive cuts in the government payroll is simply undeliverable. So are promises of reform of the indigenisation policy or action against parastatal corruption. So are all the other Chinamasa promises, including the fantasy offer to compensate dispossessed farmers.

 

The culture of denial in Mugabe’s Zanu PF is shown by the party’s brazen hypocrisy over the abduction of human rights activist Itai Dzamara. We welcome the statement by the US Embassy in Harare on the anniversary of this outrage demanding justice. We urge the United States to take the advice of Bob Corker, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who called on President Obama to prevent new lending to Zimbabwe unless there is meaningful progress to restore the rule of law and improve human rights (see: https://www.foreign.senate.gov/press/chair/release/corker-no-new-lending-to-zimbabwe-without-meaningful-reform).

 

The Vigil believes that any financial help to prop up Mugabe’s odious regime will simply prolong the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe.

 

It was good to see old friends from the MDC UK who joined us to mark the Dzamara anniversary which was attended by around 100 people. For Vigil supporters it was the second Dzamara demonstration in a week following a protest outside the Embassy on 9th March. (see: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos/10153949189752836/).

 

Other points

·       The Vigil has received an acknowledgement from the Prime Minister’s Office following the delivery of our petition to 10 Downing Street calling for the revocation of the citizenship acquired by the Nottingham doctor Sylvester Nyatuso who has illegally seized a white-owned farm in Zimbabwe. The letter from No 10 says the letter has been handed to the Home Office which deals with citizenship issues.

·       We grieve with our Vigil friend Fungisai Mupandira whose 26-year-old sister died in childbirth in Zimbabwe. The baby also died. A collection was made for the family.

·       Vigil Co-ordinator Rose Benton was interviewed by two Kenyans from Diaspora Voice. They were very interested in our protest.

·       A number of people from the Vigil attended a meeting in London during the week addressed by Mary-Jane Ncube of Transparency International Zimbabwe. We were surprised that she had never heard of the Vigil.

·       The United Nations says it has only raised $78 million so far in its appeal to help feed Zimbabwe. Mugabe had asked for $1.6 billion. The UN said it had been reduced to asking Zimbabwe’s all-weather friends to contribute for the first time to such an appeal.

·       Thanks to the big group who were there to help at the start of the Vigil. Thanks to Cathrine Musa, Sharon Moyo and Esther Munyira for looking after the front table. Thanks also to ROHR Central London branch for the food cooked by Fungayi Mabhunu and Benjamin Chigamba and served by Rashiwe Bayisayi, Mavis Chisvo and Barbara Kachidza to raise funds for ROHR. Central London’s fundraising Lucky Dip was managed by Chipo Parirenyatwa and Isabell Gwatidzo. Thanks to those putting up the high banners: Cephas Maswoswa, Ben Chigamba, Nelson Dauramanzi and Piyo Choga.        

 

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: 87 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       ROHR Reading branch community outreach and general meeting. Saturday 19th March. Community outreach from 12 noon – 1.30 pm: Venue: Broad Street. Awareness campaign on deteriorating human rights in Zimbabwe. General meeting from 2 – 5 pm:  Venue: RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. For further enquiries contact: Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Charles Mararirakwenda 07964731721, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Shylette Chipangura 07828929806.

·       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.

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 19th March from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

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

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 16th April from 11 am to 1.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 16th April 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 an optician. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

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

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

·       Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 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

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Interesting times – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 5th March 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 06 March 2016 15:39

There is apparently an old Chinese warning against living in ‘interesting times’ . . . interesting meaning dangerous, troubled, violent, precarious, unstable etc:  In brief, all the ‘interesting’ conditions that now prevail in Zimbabwe.

 

So hard luck to us after a week which saw the unveiling of Joice Mujuru’s People First Party and the suspension from Zanu PF of War Veterans’ Minister Mutsvangwa. Both events were overshadowed by the government’s chaotic seizure of the Chiadzwa diamond mines owned by Mugabe’s pals.

 

‘We wuz robbed,’ claimed Mugabe. ‘Where has all the money gone?’ feigning not to have noticed the diamonds on the soles of the feet of his well-shod wife and well-heeled cronies and all-weather friends.

 

Chief friend Comrade China says it is offended and hopes it’s all been a mistake. ‘We hope that the Zimbabwean side would earnestly safeguard the legitimate rights of the Chinese companies and employees, according to the local laws and the ‘Agreement on the encouragement and reciprocal protection of investments between China and Zimbabwe,’ Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Ping said. Laws? Agreement? It appears the Chinese were born yesterday. But anyway it must mean farewell to the long-promised ‘mega deals’ which we were told would usher in the promised land (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/china-warns-zim-over-mine-grabs-dailynews-live/).

 

Zimbabwe is floundering with little sign of meaningful reform and sustainable, broad-based recovery says the International Crisis Group. Upbeat economic projections by international institutions are predicated on government rhetoric about new policy commitments and belief in the country’s potential, but there are growing doubts that ZANU PF can “walk the talk” of reform. Conditions are likely to deteriorate further due to insolvency, drought and growing food insecurity,’ it says (see: http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/africa/southern-africa/zimbabwe/b118-zimbabwe-stranded-in-stasis.aspx).

 

One a cold rainy day, the Vigil welcomed human rights activist Ben Freeth on a brief visit to the UK. He went on to speak at the Zimbabwe Action Forum held after the Vigil and was encouraging about our work.

 

He said the situation at home was dreadful and remarked that he recently went back to see his stolen farm and found there were no crops, the irrigation system had been destroyed and his former workers were unemployed and impoverished. He warned that Zanu PF would be looking to control people by exploiting British and American food aid for party-political purposes. ‘The British tax payer will be paying to keep Mugabe in power’.

 

Ben said he was skeptical about the sudden conversion to enlightened democrat of die-hard Zanu PF thieving functionary Joice Mujuru. He recalled how she and her murdered husband General Solomon Mujuru had deceived and stolen their farm from its previous owner who had been forced to flee the country with only one suitcase.

 

He was critical of the European diplomats living in what he called the ‘Harare bubble’ and said how difficult it was to get any of them to go out and see things for themselves. He said he will join the prayers in Africa Unity Square on the anniversary of the murder of the Vigil’s friend Itai Dzamara who was abducted by military intelligence in Harare on 9th March last year.

 

The Vigil will mark the anniversary next Saturday when we will be joined by MDC UK Youth. Ben’s comments about the diplomatic community prompted us to recall that the French Ambassador in Harare Laurent Delahousse was recently reprimanded by Foreign Affairs Minister        Mumbengegwi about his confrontational approach over Dzamara. Mr Delahousse said afterwards he was changing his ‘strategy’. Presumably this means instead of joining the mourners in Africa Unity Square he will be diplomatically licking boots in State House (see: http://www.thezimbabwean.co/2016/02/dzamara-france-says-changing-tack/.)

 

Other points

·       Play: ‘After Independence’. 4th – 28th May at the Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL. The play is by May Sumbwanyambe and tackles the issues of independence and government in Zimbabwe. More information is available here: http://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/after-independence/2016-05-04/. The producer has contacted the Vigil for our input and plans to visit us in April to discuss this.

·       We note that ‘useful idiot’ Matthew Parris, the columnist and former Conservative MP, has written another love letter to Mugabe in the UK Times. Like his predecessors, such as Stalin’s admirer George Bernard Shaw, he didn’t look at the terror and says of his trip ‘I have never felt safer or more welcome’. We await his gushing travel article which will no doubt follow covering his expenses.

·       Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Tafadzwa Buka, Nelson Dauramanzi, Isabell Gwatidzo, Etines Kapiya, Vimbayi Karumbidza, Maxwell Kudita, Fungayi Mabhunu, Anna Mafunga, Phillip Mahlahla, Innocent Maya, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Marlon Nyamakanga, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Newman Lee Richard, Michael Sirewu, Portiah Tobaiwa and Elector Zvorwadza. Thanks to Roseline and Vimbayi for looking after the front table, to Chipo and Isabell for taking care of the lucky dip and to Rashiwe, Mavis and Vimbayi for selling the delicious food cooked by Fungayi. The food and lucky dip provided by the Central London branch raised useful money for ROHR. Thanks also to Philip Mahlahla who led the team (Nelson, Maxwell, Innocent, Marlon, Newman and Michael) which put up the high banners and tarpaulin. 

 

 

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: 48 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       Discussion: ‘Corruption in Zimbabwe’. Wednesday 9th March. Venue: Impact Hub King's Cross - 34b York Way London N1 9AB from 6 – 8 pm. The speaker is Mary-Jane Ncube, Executive Director Transparency International Zimbabwe. The event is free. For more information and tickets: http://www.transparency.org.uk/events/fighting-corruption-in-zimbabwe/.

·       Protest to mark anniversary of the disappearance of Itai Dzamara. Saturday 12th March from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark one year since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents. We will be joined by MDC UK Youth.

·       ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 12th March from 12 noon – 2 pm. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.Contact: Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899, Esther Nyambi 07446210391, Mavis Chisvo 07944612944.

·       ROHR Leicester street campaign and branch meeting. Saturday 12th March. Street campaign from 1-2 pm at Narborough Road. Meeting from 2-4 pm at 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 Reading branch community outreach and general meeting. Saturday 19th March. Community outreach from 12 noon – 1.30 pm: Venue: Broad Street. Awareness campaign on deteriorating human rights in Zimbabwe. General meeting from 2 – 5 pm:  Venue: RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. For further enquiries contact: Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Charles Mararirakwenda 07964731721, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Shylette Chipangura 07828929806.

·       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.

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 19th March from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 16th April from 11 am to 1.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 16th April 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 an optician. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

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

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

·       Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 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

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