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Shot in the foot – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 27th December 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 27 December 2014 14:19

The new indigenisation minister Christopher Mushowe has clarified the indigenisation policy which has been blamed for scaring off desperately needed foreign investment. But his announcement that foreign investors could be left with as little as 1% of their investment is hardly likely to encourage them.

 

Mushowe told the Herald that 49% was the maximum allowed for foreign shareholding and 51% was the minimum for the indigenisation holding: ‘So it's not cast in concrete that it's 49 percent, it can be one percent because it is the maximum and 51 percent can be 99 percent because it's the minimum’ (see: http://www.timeslive.co.za/africa/2014/12/24/foreign-investors-very-lucky-to-get-49-shares-in-their-businesses-zimbabwe-minister Foreign investors 'very lucky' to get 49% shares in their businesses: Zimbabwe minister).

 

The Vigil doubts that foreign investors will rush to donate 99% of their money to Zanu PF. As one Vigil member remarked: ‘the Cabinet reshuffle means that Mugabe has had to get rid of the stupid and promote the really stupid’.

 

After our last Vigil of 2014 we wish all our friends a better 2015. But given Mushowe’s pig-headedness it will take a miracle.

 

People often ask us why we go on with the Vigil when our demand for free and fair elections is denied time after time by Zanu PF chicanery, regional connivance and international indifference.  The answer is that we are determined to keep up awareness of the plight of Zimbabweans. How we do this is shown in our annual summary of Vigil highlights drawn from the weekly Vigil diaries. The first part of the 2014 summary, covering the first four months of 2014, is given below. The rest of the year will be included in subsequent diaries.

 

Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights January – April 2014

Another challenging year – Saturday 4th January: We at the first Vigil of 2014 were spared the worst of the storm which saw flooding in many parts of the UK. But it was still a bracing challenge spending four hours outside the Embassy protected only by a tarpaulin strung between four trees.

The noose tightens –Saturday 11th January: With Mugabe’s return from his latest Asian holiday he will be able to celebrate his 90th birthday in some style. His office has been allocated $206 million in Chinamasa’s budget – nearly six times as much as he was given last year . . . $200 million or so should cover his travel costs this year – after all it is more than the combined allocations for: The Ministry of Industry and Commerce – $7.4 million, The Ministry of Energy and Power Development – £23.4 million, The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development – $8.6 million, The Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development – $155.2 million.

Mugabe finished – Saturday 18th January: A meeting of the bi-monthly Zimbabwe Action Forum held after the Vigil discussed plans to stage a demonstration in Brussels next month when the EU decides whether to renew the targeted sanctions. It was agreed to run a petition to the EU demanding that there should be no recognition of the illegitimate Mugabe regime.

What country friends is this? – Saturday 25th January: The Vigil is to protest at a Zanu PF-backed visit to London by a delegation of Zimbabwean business leaders. The demonstration will take place on Tuesday outside the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House where the delegation will be appealing for international investment and the removal of targeted sanctions.

Mugabe’s delegation turns chicken – Tuesday 28th January: Mugabe’s broiler chickens scampered off clucking in alarm as the Vigil pursued them into Chatham House s. The Zimbabwe business delegation arrived in a people carrier but when they saw the Vigil protest outside they hastily made for a side entrance, losing a few feathers in the flurry. Why broiler chickens? The former Finance Minister Tendai Biti said last week: ‘The biggest problem with Zanu PF is that they think that money grows on trees. People just believe in spending, spending, spending. It’s like a broiler chicken. The broiler just eats itself to death’.

Mugabe’s square egg – Saturday 1st February: A delegation took time out from the Vigil to go across London to the Botswana High Commission to deliver a letter of thanks to President Ian Khama for denouncing SADC’s endorsement of Zimbabwe’s rigged elections. The delegation carried posters reading: ‘Zimbabwe Vigil salutes Botswana’ and ‘Thank You President Khama’.

Financing Mugabe’s looters – Saturday 8th February: The Vigil is advising the British government not to agree to Mugabe’s request to pay for the education of 750,000 Zimbabwean primary school children. The Vigil’s view is explained in a letter to Justine Greening, Secretary of State for the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). Our letter follows up DFID’s response to concerns we expressed about development assistance to Zimbabwe falling into the hands of the rapacious Mugabe gang . . . DFID acknowledges that some British money had been routed through the regime in contravention of DFID’s funding policy in Zimbabwe and said it was strengthening its controls ‘to ensure that there can be no repeat of this kind of mistake in future’.

Boycott EU / AU meeting – Saturday 15th February: The Vigil is writing to Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to boycott the EU / AU Summit in Brussels on 2 / 3 April if Mugabe attends. We think he should follow the example of his predecessor Gordon Brown who refused to attend an EU / AU Summit in Lisbon in 2007.  Our letter said: We ask: what has changed since Mr Brown took his stand? We believe the situation has got even worse, with stolen elections in 2008 and stolen elections last year. Recent revelations in the official media in Zimbabwe confirm how totally corrupt the Mugabe regime is.

Tell us the good news – Saturday 22nd February: The EU’s fawning climbdown over sanctions has predictably been scorned by Zanu PF who will now harp on about the ‘victimisation’ of Mugabe and his wife. Baroness Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, says there has been progress in Zimbabwe. We have written to her asking: What is the good news from Zimbabwe that the EU uses to justify the suspension of targeted measures?

Vigil demonstration at Heathrow – Wednesday 26th February: A group from the Vigil went to Heathrow to demonstrate against the threatened deportation of our supporter Try Mahachi. We are relieved to say he wasn’t put on the plane.

Vigil Demonstration – Thursday 27th February: Vigil activists demonstrated at a London restaurant holding a Zimbabwean tourist promotion. The protestors carried our banner ‘No to Mugabe, No to Starvation’ and posters reading ‘No Rule of Law in Zimbabwe’ and ‘Zimbabwe Tourism props up Mugabe’.

Aid for what? – Saturday 1st March: The British government’s donation of an extra $10 million for basic education for poor children in Zimbabwe came as Mugabe was being feted at a $1 million 90th birthday bash and his daughter’s wedding was being celebrated in equally lavish style. The Vigil suggests that our money would be better spent on funding change in Zimbabwe rather than propping up the regime. Our thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu for donning our Mugabe mask and playing the birthday boy in a tableau at the Vigil marking the wedding. Thanks also to Admire Mhindura for playing the role of a fawning Zuma who cancelled attendance at a Westminster Abbey memorial service for Nelson Mandela to go to the wedding.

Monuments to Mugabe – Saturday 8th March: Prosecutor-General Tomana says that, despite Zimbabwe being bankrupt with only $0.5 million in the bank, it will continue to fund the legal action against the EU for imposing sanctions. We were delighted to be joined by our supporter Deborah Harry who has been released from detention. She was taken to the airport to be deported but at the last minute there was a reprieve.

Asset in Wonderland – Saturday 15th March: As Zimbabwe sinks back to the stone age those of us driven into exile can only shake our heads in resignation at the relentless idiocy of our rulers. One brief announcement summed it up: ‘To make way for the Zim Asset Awareness Seminar, neither the National Assembly nor the Senate will meet on 12th and 13th March’ . . . Zim Asset was cobbled up to bamboozle voters in last year’s elections. To pretend it is a viable plan offering a way out of our difficulties is, in the Vigil’s view, to plunge down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. The question of asylum was brought up at a meeting after the Vigil of the Zimbabwe Action Forum. Ben Semwayo reported on a meeting of the National Coalition for Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC) at which he represented the Vigil.

Vigil supports genuine asylum seekers – Saturday 22nd March: The Vigil has made a new approach to the Home Office over the sending back of asylum seekers to Zimbabwe. Our latest letter to Home Secretary Theresa May came as thousands of people demonstrated in London against the UK’s asylum policy. Our letter was delivered to the Home Office by Fungayi Mabhunu, enclosing a petition protesting at the proposed deportation of Trymore Mahachi.

EU finances Mugabe – Saturday 29th March: The Vigil will be protesting in Brussels against the invitation to Mugabe to attend the EU / Africa Summit on 2nd / 3rd April. The Vigil will be there to tell the world that things are not ok in Zimbabwe. Our message is that aid for Zimbabwe must not be aid for Mugabe and the military junta. We are very sad to report that, despite all our efforts, our supporter Try Mahachi was forcibly removed to Zimbabwe on Thursday. We are disturbed at reports of how he was treated when he was handcuffed and put on the plane.

Brussels demonstration – Wednesday 2nd April: Our Mugabe mask got another outing at the EU / Africa Summit when the Vigil demonstrated in Brussels against the EU’s craven invitation to Mugabe to attend. The mask was first ‘unmasked’ in 2007 when Vigil supporters demonstrated in Lisbon against the EU’s decision to allow Mugabe to attend the Summit there. The EU must have congratulated itself when Mugabe didn’t pitch up for the Brussels meeting, complaining that the invitation did not extend to Grace. David Kadzutu and Peter Sidindi took turns to don the Mugabe mask and enlighten the world about Mugabe’s vision: poverty, disease and corruption. Our ‘No to AU dictators’ poster was particularly popular with the hundreds of Mauritanian protesters we were grouped with who showed great interest in our cause.

Graceless Mugabe – Saturday 5th April: We were glad that participants in the Brussels excursion were able to attend the Vigil today including Ruwimbo Melody Tembo who left Stafford at 1.30 am for Brussels only getting back at 1.30 pm the next afternoon. More than 30 people attended our Zimbabwe Action Forum and heard Vigil founder member Ephraim Tapa report on a recent visit back home during which he had discussions with embassies in Harare. More importantly, he met prominent opposition leaders who suggested co-operation with the diaspora represented by the Vigil coalition.

Vigil welcomes new path – Saturday 12th April: The Zimbabwe Action Forum had a special meeting to discuss recent talks in Harare that Ephraim Tapa had with some leading politicians. The following resolution was passed: ‘The Vigil notes with great interest the developments in MDC-T. The Vigil will work with any organisation whose aims are compatible with our mission statement to secure free and fair elections and end human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, while maintaining our own identity.’ A second resolution was also approved complaining about the growing number of Zimbabwean failed asylum seekers being sent home at a time when the Zimbabwean economy is collapsing. The British government has expressed concern at the corruption in Zimbabwe. Their comment came in a letter to the Vigil in reply to one we had written to Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to boycott the EU / Africa Summit. The letter to the Vigil said the UK was supporting efforts to tackle corruption in Zimbabwe through a number of initiatives. It continued ‘We believe that significant improvements in the electoral process are required along the lines proposed by international and domestic observers, if future elections are to be both credible and transparent’.

Craven Europe – Saturday 19th April: As Zimbabwe marked 34 years of independence amid deepening hopelessness, the Vigil received a letter from the European Union which confirmed our worst fears about their pusillanimous policy towards Mugabe. We had asked them what progress there had been in Zimbabwe that the EU used to justify the suspension of targeted measures?  In their reply the EU cannot think of any progress beyond the generally peaceful manner in which the 2013 elections were conducted’ . . . It’s rather like commending the generally peaceful manner in which the Nazis gassed millions of Jews. The EU letter says: ‘Normalising the relationship with the government will enable the EU to play a stronger role in supporting the return to economic stability, improving the democratic environment, rule of law, respect for human rights, and the living conditions for ordinary Zimbabweans.’ The Vigil believes Europe’s aid money would be better spent in promoting desperately needed change in Zimbabwe – not in propping up this geriatric mafia.

Zanu PF at Chatham House – Saturday 26th April: The Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, known as Chatham House, claims to be an objective and independent-minded think tank. It is nothing of the sort, judging by the Vigil’s experience of how it deals with Zimbabwe. It has just published a long report on Zimbabwe which betrays its bias from the outset: ‘A landslide victory by the Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF) in Zimbabwe’s elections in 2013 resulted in its comprehensive recapture of the state. The endorsement of the results by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Marketfor Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the African Union (AU) and the UN confirmed ZANU-PF’s grip on power. It also symbolized Zimbabwe’s re-admittance into the international community . . .’ Along with Botswana, the Vigil is convinced that the elections were comprehensively rigged and that Zanu PF has no mandate to govern Zimbabwe. Who is Chatham House trying to fool? We hope to have an opportunity to ask them at a discussion on the report at Chatham House on 14th May.

 

Thanks to Helen Rukambiro, Paul Fusire, Dumi Tutani and Fungayi Mabhunu for arriving early to help 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.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 10th January from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 17th January 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 Pizza Express. 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 meeting in Parliament. Monday 19th January from 3.30 – 6 pm. Venue: House of Commons. For information contact: Nicodimus Muganhu – 07877386792, Erick Eluwasi – 07532021348, Charles Ndlovu – 07413879590, Sally Mutseyami – 07448730581, Thandiwe Gwarumba - 07503512308

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 31st January at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

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

  • 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 Vigil Highlights 2013 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/560-vigil-highlights-2013. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2013 Highlights page.

 
Food for Embassy – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 20th December 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 21 December 2014 14:31

Picture link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/15446482833/sizes/m/

 

After learning that Zimbabwean diplomats were going without pay because of lack of funds at the Foreign Ministry the Vigil arranged an emergency Christmas food drop for Zimbabwe House in London. We left a pile of food and other supplies in the Embassy’s doorway with the notice:

Christmas Appeal:

  • Zimbabwean diplomats starving,

  • Leave food for them here,

  • (Sorry – no GM foods)

     

    We also pushed under the door the following letter:

     

    Dear brothers and sisters in the Zimbabwe Embassy

     

    We Zimbabwean exiles in the UK who have gathered outside the Embassy every Saturday since 2002 are worried at hearing that Zimbabwean diplomats have apparently not been paid for the past 20 months (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_zim-diplomats-abroad-yet-to-receive-salaries/‘Zim diplomats abroad yet to receive salaries’).

     

    It pains us to think of you going hungry at Christmas so we have brought some food and left it in your doorway as you have not answered your bell to us for twelve years. We trust that John the caretaker will give it to the Ambassador so that he can divide it fairly among you.

     

    We know it is not much but you will understand that many of us struggle financially as we are called on to send money home to our starving families from the little we earn as, in your words, ‘bottom wipers’ in the UK.

     

    We are comforted, however, that you at least have the Embassy to sleep in and do not have to make do with cardboard boxes to keep out the cold, which is the lot of some Zimbabweans here.

     

    Be assured that when Zimbabwe has received the $50 billion or so it has claimed for damages caused by illegal sanctions, the government of his Senile Excellency will once again be able to pay your salaries.

     

    Until then, we fear, there is scant hope so we suggest you apply for assistance from your nearest benefits office which we trust will smile at your request.

     

    The Vigil urges you not to pursue the way of the Gambian High Commission which has been turned into a tax-free tobacconist and has seen four of its diplomats jailed here (see: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2868771/Gambian-diplomats-jailed-running-tax-free-tobacconist-Kensington-embassy-cheated-British-taxpayers-5million.html).

     

    Best wishes for Christmas and may 2015 bring the 2.2 million jobs promised for last year.

     

    We had thought of the food drop as primarily a symbolic gesture to show up the failures of the Mugabe regime, with people supplying unwanted food from their own resources. But one supporter went to the supermarket to buy food specially and another brought sanitary towels and condoms. In addition, two passers-by went and bought extra food.

     

    This is our 13th Christmas in the cold outside the Embassy and, despite the Herald proclaiming ‘there is hope the country will soon claim its rightful position as an economic giant in the region’, all we see is massive delusion (see: Economists hail Congresshttp://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-economists-hail-congress-the-herald/).

     

    Amid the charade of the Chinamasa budget and the Zanu PF Congress, we hear of hunger reaching further even in the towns (see: Starvation strikes Zim’s urban dwellers – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-starvation-strikes-zims-urban-dwellers/). ‘“The current inability of the economy to address people’s basic needs is leading to hunger in most urban households, with almost none of urban residents affording three meals a day nowadays,” said Philip Bohwasi, chairperson of the Council of Social Workers.

     

    The recent budget devoted more than 80% of government revenue to Civil Service pay but every ministry, except that maintaining the President, complained they were not getting nearly enough money.  The Mugabes however, gobble up money. We learn that the amount spent on them so far this year is 75 times more that the capital spending on every school in Zimbabwe (http://www.theafricareport.com/Southern-Africa/zimbabwes-president-mugabes-holiday-spending-under-the-spotlight.htmlZimbabwe's president Mugabe's holiday spending under the spotlight).

     

    Other points

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 27th December from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • Demonstration in support of Africa Unity Square protester Itai Dzamara. Saturday 17th January. Further details: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/636-occupy-unity-square-protest-zimbabwe-embassy-london-saturday-17th-january-2015-from-2-5-pm)

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 17th January 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 Pizza Express. 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 meeting in Parliament. Monday 19th January from 3.30 – 6 pm. Venue: House of Commons. For information contact: Nicodimus Muganhu – 07877386792, Erick Eluwasi – 07532021348, Charles Ndlovu – 07413879590, Sally Mutseyami – 07448730581, Thandiwe Gwarumba - 07503512308

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 31st January at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

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

  • 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 Vigil Highlights 2013 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/560-vigil-highlights-2013. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2013 Highlights page.

 
Senile Mugabe not voice of Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 13th December 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 13 December 2014 23:15

The Vigil has delivered a letter to the Ghanaian High Commission in London apologising for the insulting remarks about Ghana made by Mugabe at the Zanu PF Congress. We are particularly concerned because senile Mugabe is the President-elect of the African Union and is bringing the whole of Africa not just Zimbabwe into world ridicule. The letter reads:

 

Dear High Commissioner

 

Zimbabweans exiled in the United Kingdom apologise to the people of Ghana for the ill-informed and gratuitously insulting comments about their country made by our illegitimate President Robert Mugabe.

 

Speaking at the ruling Zanu-PF’s recent Congress, Mugabe said: ‘I have been to Ghana, 1958 – 1960, and when you look at them now and compare their present situation to that which existed in the 1960s, no change. There might be more people yes. There may be one road from the airport that has been well done. That’s about all. No change.’

 

What makes these ignorant remarks so offensive to us as well is because of the high regard in Zimbabwe for Mugabe’s Ghanaian-born first wife Sally, who was betrayed by Mugabe on her deathbed in favour of his current wife Grace.

 

We commend former Ghanaian President John Kufuor for his restrained response to Mugabe’s senile drivelling. Mr Kafuor said Mugabe’s comments were his own ‘opinion’ but noted ‘Ghana has made some fantastic improvements since the 1960s’ (see:  http://www.newzimbabwe.com/news-19324-Ghana+ex-president+dismisses+Mugabe/news.aspx).

 

Mr Kafuor also pointed out that Ghana is a democracy which allows people to express themselves freely. We at the Zimbabwe Vigil represent some of the millions of people who have fled Zimbabwe where Mugabe has rigged successive elections to stay in power.

 

We would point out that Ghana is not the only country to have been insulted by Mugabe. Nigeria has also been traduced while Jamaicans – who used to be firm Mugabe followers – have been dismissed as ignorant drug addicts.

 

Yours sincerely, Zimbabwe Vigil

 

We in the UK look around in the streets of London, Luton, Leicester etc and find fellow Zimbabweans but a distinct absence of Ghanaians driven into exile by oppression and poverty. Perhaps, as Mugabe says, it’s the absence of roads in Ghana . . .

 

Speaking of Zimbabweans in the UK, the Vigil is alarmed that so many of them are Zanu PF supporters. Evidence of this came in recent photos in the Zimbabwean media here of a Zanu PF meeting in the UK which showed enthusiastic support for Mugabe. A Vigil supporter said that this was because they were promised farms or other favours if they returned to Zimbabwe. Confirmation of Zanu PF’s popularity in the UK came in a report in The Herald about corruption in the selling of Zanu PF membership cards. Zanu PF says about $400,000 can’t be accounted for and cites, as an example, that South Africa received 3,000 cards but 2,881 of them had yet to be accounted for. In contrast, ‘the United Kingdom received an equal number but sold all the 3,000 cards’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-400k-membership-cards-missing-the-herald/ - $400k membership cards missing).

 

Since Zimbabweans in the UK are, because of Britain’s legislative backlog, entitled to vote in next May’s knife-edge general election, even if they are not UK citizens, Zanu PF supporters here could consider forming a lobby group promoting Mugabe’s values. Given the anxiety about the number of immigrants coming to this country, the British might be attracted by the call for indigenisation! They should call on the veteran Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, who is on record for her praise of Mugabe’s inspirational policies.

 

 

Other points

  • The Vigil has been pressing the Home Office for a meeting to discuss Zanu PF activity in the UK and other questions of concern to Zimbabwean exiles here. To reinforce our request we plan to hold a demonstration outside the Home Office in the new year. Details are to be finalised at a meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum on 17th January.

  • January promises to be a busy time for the Vigil. We have been approached by a supporter of the brave Occupy Africa Unity Square activist Itai Dzamara to hold a protest in his support on 17th January. And on 19th January there will be a meeting to discuss Zimbabwe in a Parliamentary committee room arranged by Alok Sharma MP at the request of ROHR Reading Branch. We will give more details as plans develop.

  • We were interested in an article in the Financial Gazette raising questions about the visit to Zimbabwe by a British business delegation. The paper said that British companies operating in Zimbabwe had downplayed the effect of corruption in the face of ‘growing public concern that the scourge had become endemic in the country’. It noted that Zimbabwe was ranked 156 out of 175 countries on the corruption scale (see: Zimbabwe: British Firms Underplay Zim Corruption – http://allafrica.com/stories/201412120219.html). As the British press would put it: ‘All rather smelly’.

  • We hope the British Embassy in Harare, all too keen to cosy up to Zanu PF, has read the article in the British Daily Mail alleging that British businessman Nicholas van Hoogstraten is bankrolling Dr Grace in her power quest. It says, quoting leaked CIO documents: ‘Grace has spent £2m on shopping this year, including 62 pairs of Ferragamo shoes and 33 of Gucci, 12 diamond rings, a $115,000 Rolex and – most astonishingly – a $300,000 diamond-encrusted headboard. The papers also show she has spent £30,000 on lingerie . . .’ (see: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2870376/Nicholas-van-Hoogstraten-bankrolls-Grace-Mugabe-s-bid-power-Zimbabwe.html). Or the British Embassy could look at the revelations of Zanu PF corruption now disclosed by the sacked former Deputy Minister of Information Bright Matonga (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-matonga-exposes-corrupt-bigwigs/ – Matonga exposes corrupt bigwigs). And as far as the rule of law is concerned we hope the Embassy will alert prospective British investors to the ongoing saga of the illegal land seizure by Dr. Ray Ndhlukula, Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/634-attempted-takeover-of-boxwell-and-banovellum-farms-).

  • We draw your attention to a BBC programme on Zimbabwe’s economy broadcast on 9th December (see: Zimbabwe's Economy, More or Less – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02d20kx).

  • Grateful thanks to Epiphania Phiri for her continuing fundraising efforts. She deposited £46 into our bank account this week. This is a great help as we are entirely self-funding. Thanks also to Mary Muteyerwa, David Kadzutu, Eunice Mucherechedzo, Peter Sidindi, Nkosikana Tshabangu, Paul Fusire and Fungayi Mabhunu for coming early to help 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.

     

    FOR THE RECORD: 34 signed the register.

     

    EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 27th December from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • Demonstration in support of Africa Unity Square Protester Itai Dzamara. Saturday 17th January. Further details later.

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 17th January 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 Pizza Express. 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 meeting in Parliament. Monday 19th January. Details to follow.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 31st January at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

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

  • 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 Vigil Highlights 2013 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/560-vigil-highlights-2013. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2013 Highlights page.

 
Who cares about food? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 6th December 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 06 December 2014 21:58

Picture link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/15774707260/sizes/m/

 

We are told that providing bread and circuses was the way Roman emperors kept the people satisfied. The Vigil thinks that Emperor Mugabe, despite his sweaty Oscar-worthy performance at the party congress, has fallen short in the bread department. Circus-wise he’s done well.

 

Expelled former Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo – free now to express his real opinion – described the ‘non-elective’ congress as a circus (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_zanu-pf-has-now-become-childs-play-gumbo-dailynews-live/ – Zanu PF has now become child’s play — Gumbo). It certainly had all the attributes: clowns, acrobats and bear baiting. Zanu PF, Gumbo added, had been hijacked by ‘vultures’.

 

Although the Vigil always rejoices in the repentance of a sinner, we believe the vultures have been there from the beginning. But we can celebrate the sudden enlightenment of Zanu PF’s thieves and gullible idiots who find themselves now hounded by drunken youths high on M’gabebanje.

 

The brainwashed masses – having driven down Dr Grace Mugabe Way to Robert Mugabe Square – were ecstatic at the Mugabe ‘praise and worship show’, revelling in the familiar anti-Western rhetoric and the lunatic fantasies of the senile tyrant: ‘I have been to Ghana, 1958 – 1960, and when you look at them now and compare their present situation to that which existed in the 1960s, no change. There might be more people yes. There may be one road from the airport that has been well done. That’s about all. No change.’ He added that most French colonies had remained dependent on their former coloniser (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-president-on-assassination%e2%80%a2-mujuru-engaged-mdc-t-nangas-%e2%80%a2-vp-misses-third-straight-indaba-the-herald/ – President on assassination).

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The people of Ghana, a former British not French colony, would no doubt be interested to see how they are described by the Zimbabwe liberation icon as Ghana is generally regarded as one of Africa’s success stories. (Even if Mugabe detects a shortage of roads . . .)  

 

Mugabe’s detachment from reality was endorsed by the gushing praise from other liberation movements, such as the December 12 Movement from the United States represented by Comrade Coltrane Chimurenga who said members of his organisation considered themselves to be Zimbabweans because of their admiration for President Mugabe, whose star had risen across the world: ‘He always says the truth. We say no to factionalism. We say no to people who say the West is best: they are Judases’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-liberation-movements-express-solidarity-with-zanu-pf-the-herald/ – Liberation movements express solidarity with Zanu-PF).

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Well, now the congress is over, Emperor Mugabe can take his usual well-deserved holiday until his birthday celebrations in February while the purged leadership gets on with the goal of the congress: ‘Accelerated implementation of Zim-Asset’. But since this programme is completely vacuous, all it requires is a letter to Father Christmas. As for bread for the people, the Zanu PF leadership can enjoy their month-long festive break without troubling themselves about this. After all, surely this is a job for the despised West?

 

Other points

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 13th December from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 17th January 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 Pizza Express. 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 meeting. Saturday 31st January at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

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

  • 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 Vigil Highlights 2013 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/560-vigil-highlights-2013. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2013 Highlights page.

 
Six impossible things before breakfast – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 29th November 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 29 November 2014 21:37

As Chinamasa delivered his fantasy budget, the Vigil turned to Alice in Wonderland for an insight in what is going on in Zimbabwe. After all, like Alice in the book, we are in a world where we are required to believe six impossible things before breakfast. In our case:

  1. ‘We are not a basket case’ (Chinamasa tells a Johannesburg business breakfast).

  2. ‘Zimbabwe’s economic prospects are weighed down by sanctions’ (Chinamasa’s budget speech).

  3. ‘Corruption has been caused by sanctions’ (Chinamasa tells Danish delegation).

  4. ‘The exposure of corruption in the media is the work of subversive elements trying to destroy the government from within’ (Vice President Mujuru).

  5. ‘Zim-Asset is the answer to our problems’ (Zanu-PF mantra).

  6. ‘The Khampepe Report (on the 2002 elections) is a mere private opinion’ (official Zanu-PF view).

     

    As Zanu PF leaders run around in a circle like Alice in Wonderland’s crazy Caucus-race, allegiances fade away like the Cheshire Cat, leaving only a grin floating in mid-air.

     

    In this topsy-turvy world it seems that Joyce Mujuru is cast as Alice eating cake until she grows too big and Queen of Hearts Grace orders: ‘Off with her head and the heads of all her supporters’.

     

    Mugabe himself is obviously the book’s Dormouse, forever falling asleep at the Mad Hatter’s eternal tea party as they try to stuff him into the teapot.

     

    Will they all wake up before it’s too late?

     

    As Alice says, the Crocodile awaits:

    ‘How cheerfully he seems to grin,

    And neatly spreads his claws,

    And welcomes little fishes in,

    With gently smiling jaws!’

     

    (For those who need reminding of the Alice story, see: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/alice/summary.html.)

     

    For an analysis of the fantasy budget, see this article by the Zimbabwean economist Tony Hawkins writing for the UK Financial Times (http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2014/11/28/zimbabwe-ducks-wage-bill-pledge-in-new-budget/).

     

    Other points

  • A Zimbabwean woman who dropped by the Vigil said she used to work for Air Zimbabwe and recalled that 15 years ago she witnessed a full plane preparing for take-off being unloaded so that Dr Grace could be flown on a shopping trip to Paris. They even reconfigured the passenger seats to put in a bed for her. We expect that when she is President she will need the whole fleet for her shopping expeditions.

  • We have received the following message: On behalf of all the Trustees of the Mike Campbell Foundation, I would like to thank all the Vigil who came to the Royal Geographical Society on November 4th for their wonderful singing.  What a joy it was for everyone arriving to hear . . . Please can you thank them all for coming and giving a message of Hope.  It is hard to keep the Hope when such terrible things are going on . . . Many thanks to you all. God bless you, with love Claire (Freeth). For those who missed our report on the occasion see Vigil Diary of 8th November: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/628-eu-betrays-zimbabwe-zimbabwe-vigil-diary-8th-november-2014.

  • Thanks to David Kadzutu, Mary Muteyerwa, Iline Manhunzi, Peter Sidindi, Linton Magume, Mavis Chisvo, Rosemary Maponga, Nkosikona Tshabangu, Eric Eluwasi and Fungayi Mabhuni who were there at the start of the Vigil to help 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.

     

    FOR THE RECORD: 26 signed the register.

     

    EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Executive Committee meeting. Saturday 6th December from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: RISC 35-39 London St, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 4PS.

  • 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) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy. 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 Pizza Express. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2013 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/560-vigil-highlights-2013. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2013 Highlights page.

 
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