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Waving the flag – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 21st May 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 22 May 2016 14:51

Photos caption: British Ambassador Catriona Laing shares a joke with Vice-President Mnangagwa while Vigil shows support for #ThisFlag.

Photolinks:
http://www.herald.co.zw/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/2005-1-1-VP-MNANGAGWA-MEETS-BRITISH-AMBASSADOR-3.jpg

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/27087406901/sizes/m/

 

The suggestion that the Zimbabwean government is looking at ways of ‘taxing’ the diaspora may be fanciful but it is clear that both Zanu PF and the opposition are looking hungrily at the money earned abroad by the millions of Zimbabweans who have fled Mugabe’s economic Armageddon.

 

The government, we were told this week, has drafted a Diaspora Policy which seeks to tap into exiles’ remittances estimated at $1.8 billion a year – way more than the country is attracting in foreign direct investment (see: Zim Citizens Working Outside The Country To Be Taxed – http://zimmetro.net/index-id-front+page-zk-19691.html).

 

It is typical of the Zanu PF mentality that the government should think it has a claim to any of this money. It’s bad enough that hundreds of thousands of family members in Zimbabwe have become so dependent on remittances – indeed appealing for ever more help.

 

We now learn from a prominent opposition member that their attempt to raise money from the diaspora for an election war fund has met with little response. Can they be surprised given their dismissive attitude to the diaspora down the years? To them the diaspora has only ever been a cash cow.

 

If the government does try to ‘tax’ the diaspora we must consider how we can pay in ‘bond’ notes. After all they are apparently good enough for the people of Zimbabwe. We will have our notes made by the same German printer.

 

We note that so many have fled Zimbabwe that Mugabe can’t even get good cooks. The Vigil laughed at an article about this in NewZimbabwe, and particularly at this comment on the story: ‘It seems that this report is inaccurate. Both Robert Mugabe and Grace Mugabe are excellent cooks. They have been cooking the books on the diamond sales and the Printing Press for years now. There is nothing that they cannot cook with the help of Gono and Scoones – from the money supply and the wild success of the Land Reform Programme to the report on the massacre of 20 000 civilians in Matabeleland. The numbers and facts are always exceptionally well cooked. The latest dish from Master Chef Bob was to tell Patrick Anthony Chinamasa to tell the people that the Bond Notes are going to happen. The Bond Notes will flood the market – again – and then the close inner circle of Zanu will dupe the people of Zimbabwe to swap their genuine US dollars (held by the people) for some Zanu Bond Toilet Paper that Mugabe, Gono, Chinamasa and Scoones will sell as a worthy form of currency! If 10 million Zimbabweans have an average of US$100 each in their mattress – then these cooks (or crooks?) want to get their greasy little paws on it – to the tune of $1000 million US Dollars. The Diasporans need to be careful about feeding the Zanu Fat Cats in their quest to feed the families and friends. The new marketing line for Bond Notes will be “Zanu Bond Toilet Paper – the luxury you cannot afford to pay for in US$.” Once Bob has the US$ he needs he will then use the bond toilet paper to wipe his *#*# and be done with it, like the Matabeleland Massacres.’  (See: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-mugabe-complains-about-graces-cooking/).

 

At the Vigil supporters wrapped themselves in Zimbabwean flags to express their support for the campaign for freedom  launched by Pastor Evan Mawarire which has captured public imagination (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2016/05/20/thisflag-idea-whose-time-come/).

 

Other points

·       We were pleased to be joined by two Danish students, one of whom Anna Bestle spent six months working for the Women’s Resource Centre in Harare.

·       A large group from the Vigil is marking Africa Day on Wednesday 25th May by going to see the play ‘After Independence’ set in Zimbabwe. We are taking our drums and are having a collaborative event at the theatre afterwards. See ‘Events and Notices’ for more details.

·       Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Isaac Chawasarira, Benjamin Chigamba, Mavis Chisvo, Isabell Gwatidzo, Barbara Kachidza, Etines Kapiya, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phylis Magejo, Phillip Mahlahla, Nancy Makurira, Rosemary Maponga, Cephas Maswoswa, Sharon Moyo, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Edward Murota, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Eva Sanyahokwe, Benjamin Semwayo, Michael Sirewu and Elector Zvorwadza. Thanks to those who looked after the front table during the Vigil: Roselone, Elitha, Sharon and Nancy. Thanks also to the team that put up the high banners and tarpaulin: Phillip, Cephas, Alfredy and Mduduzi.

 

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: 45 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       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. Tickets are available from the Box Office: 020 7503 1646 or online from: http://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/after-independence/2016-05-04/.

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 28th May from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       ROHR South Yorkshire Launch. Saturday 28th May from 1.30 – 8 pm. Venue: Christ Church, Armley Ridge Road, Leeds LS12 3LE. Contact: Patricia Nyawo 07443897919, Gladys Muduve 07956430115, Oscar Ndlovu 07474185307 and Rosemary Mupunga 07446380110.

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 4th June 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 4th June 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.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 11th June from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark fifteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·       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. More information as our plans firm up.

·       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
 
Facing reality – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 14th May 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 15 May 2016 13:31

Exiled Zimbabweans in the UK welcomed remarks this week by US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Peter Harry Thomas Jr, who called for full implementation of the constitution, an up-to-date voters’ roll, the elimination of corruption and a ‘reliable’ court system.

 

Speaking to journalists in Harare, Mr Thomas said this was critical if Zimbabwe is to have free and fair elections in 2018. He added: ‘We don’t want to see violence; we don’t want to see intimidation. We want to see people who are given the opportunity to campaign without fear of harassment and the start is full implementation of the 2013 constitution’ (see: http://www.theindependent.co.zw/2016/05/13/finalise-political-reforms-us-envoy/).

 

So far so good. But the Vigil would like clarification of Mr Thomas’s assertion that the US is ‘in support of Zimbabwe’s re-engagement with the international financial institutions’. What exactly does this mean?

 

Zimbabwe desperately needs money, sure. The reason is clear: Mugabe and his cronies have stolen everything. There is pervasive corruption at all levels as well as institutionalised incompetence.

 

An example: Health Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa says his ministry needs $65 million urgently to buy drugs. He said the Treasury approved a budget of $450,000 for Midlands province but it was given only $3,000 – and that was also to cover patients’ food and utility bills . . . Vice-President Mphoko of course blamed Western sanctions (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-health-sector-needs-65m-for-drugs-the-herald/).

 

The Vigil’s fear is that ‘re-engagement’ with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank means approval of some creative bookkeeping to deal with Zimbabwe’s debt to these institutions allowing the imploding regime to access more loans to enable it to steal yet another election.

 

Having been turned down by his ‘all-weather friends’ Mugabe has been left with no option but to try to con money from the enemy and has come up with a plethora of promises from dealing with corruption to a land audit and compensation for white farmers, from halving the state wage bill to reforming bankrupt parastatals. All this is fantasy as there is no real will or capacity to achieve these goals.

 

The IMF has recently toughened its hitherto craven language about the regime. We want it to get even tougher and tell Mugabe that new money will only come if the West is at long last allowed in to observe the elections and judge whether they have been free and fair.

 

As we have pointed out before, the stakes are high. Zanu PF has long been a malignant influence in the region as is shown clearly by recent developments in South Africa. Witness the paranoia of ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe, facing growing opposition to the party, parroting the line that the West is pushing for ‘regime change’ in South Africa. Where did we hear that before? (See: http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/regime-change-claims-reflect-ancs-paranoia-2020528).

 

Other points

·       More than 30 Vigil and ROHR supporters staged another demonstration on Friday outside the clinic in Nottingham run by Dr Sylvester Nyatsuro and his wife Veronica who have seized a farm belonging to a white Zimbabwean. We are campaigning for Nyatsuro’s British passport to be withdrawn. A local journalist there to report the demonstration asked for an interview with Nyatsuro but was turned down. Some of the protesters approached Veronica as she entered the clinic but she refused to say anything – even when asked for advice on who to contact to get a stolen farm. A Kenyan lady arrived at the clinic in a Mercedes said she didn’t understand why we were protesting against a black person taking over a farm and that we were embarrassing her doctor. We replied that his greed was embarrassing us. A more positive response came from a local nurse who took a bundle of our leaflets to hand out to patients. One the organisers of the demonstration Sally Mutseyami was interviewed by the journalist for a radio broadcast the day before about the protest. Two videos of the protest have been posted on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YxsI9RXADs Campaigners against Zimbabwe born doctor and wife and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vwobfmp8pc Campaigners against Zimbabwe doctor over land grab.

·       People worried about the back door moves to introduce a bogus Zimbabwean currency might be interested to read a story in the UK Guardian newspaper which reports that the old Zim$100 trillion note is fetching up to $40 dollars each (see: http://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/may/14/zimbabwe-trillion-dollar-note-hyerinflation-investment).

·       We are looking forward to our excursion on 25th May (Africa Day) to see the play ‘After Independence’ with a collaborative event afterwards. It has had excellent reviews including in the Guardian, Times and Telegraph. See ‘Events and Notices’ for details.

·       Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Cyrus Sangare, Eletha Mpofu, Esther Munyira, Etines Kapiya, Fungayi Mabhunu, Isabell Gwatidzo, Kevin Gondo, Nduduzi Patrick Ndlovu, Phillip Mahlahla, Roseline Mukucha, Rosemary Guveya and Rosemary Maponga. Thanks to Roseline, Isabell and Etines for looking after the front table, to Esther and Eletha for handing out flyers to the public and to Chipo Parirenyatwa for continuing her successful selling of the Vigil’s poetry book ‘The revolution will be televised’. Thanks also to Phillip, Kevin and Nduduzi for putting up the banners and packing up at the end of the Vigil.

 

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

 

FOR THE RECORD: 32 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       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. Tickets are available from the Box Office: 020 7503 1646 or online from: http://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/after-independence/2016-05-04/.

·       ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 21st May from 12 noon – 2 pm. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.Contact: Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899, Mavis Chisvo 07944612944 and Esther Nyambi 07446210391.

·       ROHR Reading branch community outreach and general meeting. Saturday 21st May 2016. Community outreach from 11.45 am – 1.30 pm: Venue: Broad Street. Awareness campaign on ‘Mugabe must go’. General meeting from 2,30 – 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, Deborah Harrry 07578894896, Sihle Sibanda 07985712749.

·       ROHR Middlesbrough branch general meeting. Saturday 21st May from 1.30 – 5 pm. Venue: Teesside University, Student Centre, Clarendon Building, Middlesbrough TS1 3BA. For more information please contact Ndumiso Ncube 07532080247, Xoliso Sithole 07455911728, Henrietta N Mlilo 079313110024, Tapiwa Semwayo 07412236229 and Esther Munyira 07460861487.

·       ROHR Slough branch general meeting. Saturday 21st May from 11 am – 1 pm. Venue: Manor Park Community Centre, Villiers Road ,Slough SL2 1NP.   For further information contact Patricia Masamba (Chair) 07708116625, Fungisai Mupandira (Organising Secretary) 07758958803, Sharon Zimuto (Secretary) 07950837841.

·       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 28th May from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 4th June 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 4th June 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.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 11th June from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark fifteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·       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. More information as our plans firm up.

·       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
 
The megabus arrives? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 7th May 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 08 May 2016 15:36

There is a saying in the UK that you can wait ages for a bus and then several will come along together. It seems the same thing happens with news about Zimbabwe reported in the foreign press. There was a drought in stories about Zimbabwe for years but now the buses are coming regularly.

 

Not long ago we had Cecil the lion capturing world attention. Then everyone was fascinated by the extravagant parties given for nonagenarian Mugabe as if he were Louis XVI, with Grace his Marie-Antoinette advising the hungry to eat cake (shortly before the royal couple were downsized by a head).

 

The buses have continued coming, with widespread interest in Zimbabwe selling off wild life. As Fox News headlined: ‘Zimbabwe’s drought cash crunch forcing the nation to sell its animals’. (Thinking of Zimbabwe selling off its wild life, its nurses, its graduates, its women to Kuwait, suggest there may be room for a sell off of politicians from among its dozens of parties.)

 

Among journalists there is a saying ‘a nose for news’. You would think that Zimbabwe is now positively stinking because they have jumped in force on the latest bus with the announcement that Zimbabwe is to print money again. BBC: ‘Zimbabwe to print its own version of US dollar’, Bloomberg: ‘Zimbabwe introduces new currency angering everyone’, Nigerian Bulletin: ‘Zimbabwe to start printing US dollar notes’, International Business Times: ‘Zimbabwe to print its own US dollars amidst severe cash shortage and deepening economic woes’.

 

The world thinks that this smells – its the megabus – and it expects to see, as the Vigil put it last week, déjà vu again, with the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank sending out runners onto the streets to buy up US dollars with worthless bits of paper as inflation rises again into the billions. And perhaps King Mugabe and Co being downsized . . .

 

Here’s a whatsApp message which amused the Vigil: Kana wakaisa US$1,000 mu bank nezuro, now mava ne SAR5,000 ne ZW$600. Mucha confusika kusvika mataura kwakabva zvihuta.

 

Other points

·       As we marked the 14th month since the abduction by intelligence agents of human rights activist Itai Dzamara, the Vigil paid tribute to Pastor Mawarire for his brave protest wrapped in the Zimbabwe flag (see: This Flag - A Lament of Zimbabwe – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LubMilbHiPg and ZviHuta Govt Of Zimbabwe – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sT6-wgqPxR0).

·       A meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil discussed arrangements to picket a conference in London on Tuesday 5th July to be addressed by senior Zanu PF ministers Obert Mpofu, Patrick Chinamasa and Mike Bimha and the Governor of the Reserve Bank John Mangudya. They are trying to persuade the world that Zanu PF is reforming and should be bailed out with more Western loans. We will be there to explain why the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank should wait until there are internationally-monitored free and fair elections. If Zanu PF wants money from the West they must allow in Western observers to limit vote rigging. Anyone thinking of attending the conference could save their ticket price of £425 – £625 by reading instead this article from the state propaganda organ the Herald (see: http://www.herald.co.zw/zimbabwe-is-no-hell-hole-analysts/).

·       The Forum discussed our next protest in Nottingham against the farm looter Dr Nyatsuro on Friday 13th May. It is part of our campaign to have his British passport revoked. There has been an encouraging response from local people. Thanks to Sally Mutseyami who is to be interviewed on a local radio station. For details see ‘Events and Notices’.

·       The Forum was informed that we have contacted the Botswana High Commission in London asking for a date in late May or early June to present our petition to pass on to President Khama as Chair of the Southern African Development Community calling on the organisation to prepare to intervene to stop a meltdown in Zimbabwe.

·       We were joined at the Forum by Chris Foxon of Papatango Theatre Company. He is the producer of the Zimbabwean-based play ‘After Independence’ by May Sumbwanyambe. We discussed a collaborative event with Vigil supporters after a performance of the play on Africa Day 25th May. There was enthusiastic support for this venture. The play runs from 4th – 28th May at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston. For more information see ‘Events and Notices’.

·       Some months ago the Vigil was contacted by Kennedy Madhombiro who generously offered to publish a book of poetry by Vigil supporters. We were pleased to see the fruits of this today in a small book entitled ‘The Revolution will be Televised’. The contributors are: Aivet Phiri, Handsen Chikowore, Sharon Moyo, Salani (Sally) Mutseyami, Esther Nyambi, Esther Munyira and Talent Madhombiro. 23 copies have been sold already mostly due to the energetic salesmanship of Chipo Parirenyatwa. Mr Madhombiro has offered to publish a history of the Vigil which we hope will be ready by our 14th anniversary in October.

·       The Forum concluded with a discussion about asylum issues and advice on how best to present asylum claims. This will form a regular part of the Forum.

·       During the Vigil we were joined by MDC supporters who asked whether we minded if they staged a monthly demonstration outside the Embassy from 1 – 2 pm on Saturdays and then joined in our activities from 2 pm. We assured them we were happy to work with anyone supporting our mission statement calling for an end to human rights abuses and free and fair elections.

·       On a lovely sunny Spring day, thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Benjamin Chigamba, Audrey Chihoho, Kevin Gondo, Isabell Gwatidzo, Deborah Harry, Barbara Kachidza, Etines Kapiya, Fungayi Mabhunu, Joanne McAndrew, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Sally Mutseyami and Elector Zvorwadza. Thanks to Roseline, Isabell and Etines 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: 56 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       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. Tickets are available from the Box Office: 020 7503 1646 or online from: http://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/after-independence/2016-05-04/.

·       Nottingham demonstration against farm looting Zimbabwean doctor. Friday 13th May 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. Contacts for the Nottingham protest: Chamunorwa Chisuko 07832927609, Enniah Dube 07403439707, Sally Mutseyami 07448730581, Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899, Rose Benton 07970996003.

·       MDC Slough branch demonstration. Saturday 14th May from 11 am. The ‘Mugabe must go to free Zimbabwe’ protest starts in Slough High Street and ends at the Labour offices, 52 Chaveley High Street where the demonstrators will meet Slough MP Fiona Mactaggart. For more information contact: Sipiwe 07775943514, Iline Manhunzi 07824886092 and Deborah Harry 07578 894896.

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 14th May from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 21st May 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 and Esther Nyambi 07446210391.

·       ROHR Reading branch community outreach and general meeting. Saturday 21st May 2016. Community outreach from 11.45 am – 1.30 pm: Venue: Broad Street. Awareness campaign on ‘Mugabe must go’. General meeting from 2,30 – 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, Deborah Harrry 07578894896, Sihle Sibanda 07985712749.

·       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.

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 4th June 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 4th June 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.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 11th June from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark fifteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·       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. More information as our plans firm up.

·       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

 
Déjà vu again – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 30th April 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 01 May 2016 13:50

1st May – May Day – is celebrated around the world to honour workers. Indeed, Zimbabwe calls it Workers’ Day. But the MDC says it should now be rebranded Vendors’ Day instead.

 

MDC spokesman Obert Gutu says there is nothing to celebrate given the depressing state of the economy. Zanu PF, he pointed out, had failed to create the 2.2 million jobs it promised at the 2013 elections. Instead it had created 2 million ‘vendors and loafers’.

 

An equally gloomy view came from People’s Democratic Party’s spokesman Jacob Mafume: ‘The nation is facing insurmountable challenges underlined by a decaying economy, high unemployment and total collapse of service delivery, a ravaging drought and general hopelessness among the generality of the people,’ he said. ‘About 98% of youths are in the informal sector, 60% of the industries which we had operating in 2010 have shut down, 83% of our people live on less than $1 a day and our women still die while giving birth because our hospitals lack basic facilities and medicines.’ (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2016/04/29/workers-day-reduced-vendors-day/).

 

Even people in work are suffering from the economic meltdown as banks struggle to find cash. As Radio Voice of the People puts it ‘it’s déjà vu again’ with many workers reliving the nightmare of 2008 when banks imposed daily cash withdrawal limits (see: http://www.radiovop.com/index.php/national-news/13676-only-hard-decisions-can-save-zimbabwe-from-cash-crisis.html).

 

Back then the financial collapse led of course to the South African-brokered coalition government which pulled the country back from the abyss but saved Mugabe. The Vigil fears that this time Britain and the international community will come to the rescue of Mugabe with mad new lending to a totally corrupt and self-serving regime which will steal every cent of it with no prospect at all of repayment or the money being used to benefit the people at large.

 

The announcement this week of a conference to be held in London in July to discuss a proposed deal between Mugabe and the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank confirms the Vigil’s suspicions that once again the UK has misread the situation in Zimbabwe. You could say it is déjà vu yet again. 

 

Former finance minister Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party has accused the British Ambassador in Harare, Catriona Laing, of lobbying the US State Department to support Mugabe’s bid for renewed IMF funding, warning her that appeasing Zanu PF is ‘tantamount to riding a leopard (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-bitis-pdp-blasts-pro-zanu-pf-brit-envoy/).

 

What does Ms Laing think that Mugabe’s gang will do with the money apart from paying the Israeli Nikuv company to rig the next elections as usual? Wouldn’t it be better to wait until Zanu PF actually implements the new constitution and better still after free and fair elections before they give Zimbabwe more money. As it looks at the moment there are strong indications that Zanu PF will again resort to violence in the run up to the elections in 2018 (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-zanu-pf-threatens-bloody-2018-polls-newsday-zimbabwe/).

 

The Vigil notes that the London conference is to be attended by monstrous minister Mpofu, who is suspiciously wealthy. He will no doubt be addressing the meeting about ethics. We see that one of the people involved is Knox Chitiyo of the London think tank Chatham House. The Vigil doesn’t think of him as an objective academic but we accept he has ‘inside’ knowledge of Zanu PF.  

 

The Vigil will be waiting for them outside the venue. With tickets priced from £425 to £625 (if you want to kiss Mpofu) we will have to be outsiders.

 

Other points

·       It was good to have Chris Foxon of Papatango Theatre Company with us. He is the producer of the Zimbabwean based play ‘After Independence’ by May Sumbwanyambe. He plans to come to our forum after the Vigil next Saturday 7th May to discuss a collaborative event with Vigil supporters after a performance of the play. The play runs from 4th – 28th May at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston. For more information see ‘Events and Notices’.

·       Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Nancy Makurira, Simon Mambongo, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Cathrine Musa, Newman Richard, Jennipher Sabe, Eva Sanyahokwe and Michael Sirewu. Thanks to Roseline and Cathrine for looking after the front table and Simon, Alfredy, Newman and Michael for putting 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: 32 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 7th May 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.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 7th May from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark fourteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 7th May 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. Tickets are available from the Box Office: 020 7503 1646 or online from: http://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/after-independence/2016-05-04/.

·       Nottingham demonstration against farm looting Zimbabwean doctor. Friday 13th May 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. Contacts for the Nottingham protest: Chamunorwa Chisuko 07832927609, Enniah Dube 07403439707, Sally Mutseyami 07448730581, Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899, Rose Benton 07970996003.

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 14th May from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 21st May 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 Reading branch community outreach and general meeting. Saturday 21st May 2016. Community outreach from 11.45 am – 1.30 pm: Venue: Broad Street. Awareness campaign on ‘Mugabe must go’. General meeting from 2,30 – 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, Deborah Harrry 07578894896, Sihle Sibanda 07985712749.

·       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

 
Emperor with no clothes – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 23rd April 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 24 April 2016 21:23

The newish American Ambassador to Harare, Peter Harry Thomas Jnr, has quickly got the hang of Mugabe, speaking this week of his ‘wicked sense of humour’. Commenting on Mugabe’s ‘invisible sanctions’ mantra, Mr Thomas showed he had come to realise that the President is a joker (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2016/04/23/us-ambassador-denies-targeted-sanctions-hurting-ordinary-citizens/).

 

Hans Christian Anderson’s ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ is a story about a vain emperor who is tricked into wearing what he is told are clothes that are invisible to those who are stupid. Everyone raves about his clothes until a child cries out ‘he isn’t wearing anything at all’.

 

It often takes an outsider to say that the emperor has no clothes. People were merely puzzled as Mugabe bowed to a picture of himself at his Independence Speechday.  They pretended not to see he was exposing himself (see: http://www.newzimbabwe.com/news-28808-WATCH+Mugabe+bows+to+own+portrait/news.aspx).

 

Zanu PF supporters didn’t dare see the humour when Mugabe told them that the economy was on a rebound, with firms reopening for business and creating jobs. They didn’t even laugh when he said: ‘My government is determined to translate political independence into meaningfulness by attending to the socio-economic needs of our people’.

 

Even claims that bankrupt parastatals such as Air Zimbabwe and National Railways of Zimbabwe had come out of the woods, failed to draw a smile, let alone his comment that ‘progress has been made in the development of social infrastructure in health, education and housing’. Nobody laughed when he promised to improve the well-being of government workers so that they can earn salaries above the poverty datum line. Perhaps they did not get the ‘wicked’ joke that he has promised the International Monetary Fund to halve the government wage bill this year.

 

There was not even a giggle when he concluded ‘one of the greatest tributes we can pay to Zimbabwe is to shun corruption, regionalism and nepotism’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-economy-on-rebound-mugabe-newsday-zimbabwe/).

 

Mind you many people also didn’t get the joke when he promptly flew off to the United States for the ceremonial signing of the UN climate change agreement and droned on as usual about sanctions when signatories – mainly lower-ranking officials – were supposed to keep their remarks to 40 seconds.

 

But those at the UN meeting realized that Mugabe had not travelled all the way to New York for a mere 40 seconds . . . he and his cronies no doubt had serious shopping to do for some more new clothes.

 

Other points

·       Chris Foxon, the producer of a play about Zimbabwe ‘After Independence’ is visiting the Vigil on 30th April between 4 and 5 pm to tell us about the play which opens in London next month. For details see ‘Events and Notices’.

·       Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Alfredy Mukuvare, Cathrine Musa, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Eletha Mpofu, Eva Sanyahokwe, Fungayi Mabhunu, Michael Sirewu, Phillip Mahlahla, Portiah Tobaiwa, Roseline Mukucha and Traiphine Maguwu. Thanks to Roseline, Cathrine, Portiah and Traiphine for looking after the front table and to Chipo for her usual efficient selling of wristbands and raffle tickets for the ROHR Birmingham ball. Thanks also to the team putting up the high banners: Phillip, Michael and Alfredy.

 

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: 31 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       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.

·       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 30th April from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 7th May from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark fourteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 7th May 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 7th May 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 13th May 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 Central London branch meeting. Saturday 21st May 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 Reading branch community outreach and general meeting. Saturday 21st May 2016. Community outreach from 11.45 am – 1.30 pm: Venue: Broad Street. Awareness campaign on ‘Mugabe must go’. General meeting from 2,30 – 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, Deborah Harrry 07578894896, Sihle Sibanda 07985712749.

·       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/.

·       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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