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Zanu PF’s forked tongue – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 27th September 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 11:25

The Vigil notes Mugabe’s restatement of his attitude towards the ‘evil’ donors who are trying to educate our children, maintain some semblance of a health service and feed those starving in the rural areas.

 

Speaking at the UN, Mugabe told the General Assembly that, for daring to empower her people, Zimbabwe had become a victim of ‘the evil machinations of Western countries, namely the United States of America and the European Union’, who continue to apply unilateral and illegal sanctions as a tool to achieve regime change. He added: ‘No good can come from undermining our economy or depriving our citizens of the necessities of life’. (See: Mugabe denounces evil US, EU – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_mugabe-denounces-evil-us-eu/).

 

Mugabe’s tired rant exposed the hypocrisy of Zimbabwe’s Deputy Foreign Minister Christopher Mutsvangwa who, while claiming to be an intimate of Mugabe, voiced a very different view of the West when he spoke at the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House in London on 16th September.

 

While the Vigil was outside the building protesting at his visit, a Herald reporter was inside and here is the gist of what he reported:

 

The City of London must ‘pay heed to the tantalising opportunities in SADC’ and mobilise international capital to invest in a region with ‘a solid foundation of democracy, peace and political stability’. Throwing open his arms, Mutsvangwa went on: ‘why not do once again what Cecil Rhodes did in 1890 when he brought capital and business to Zimbabwe’.

 

‘Indigenisation and land reform should be no barriers to investing in Zimbabwe’, he said. To make his point crystal clear Mutsvangwa explained: ‘any gripes on indigenisation and rule of law should of necessity be applicable in a universal foreign direct investment eco system’. Presumably the Herald knows what this means.

 

Waxing lyrical, the Deputy Foreign Minister asserted: ‘the still under-farmed African grasslands are highly fertile and can furnish food security to the emerging middle class of China, India and other emergent economy populous regions’. The Vigil supposes this means from the abundance remaining after filling Zimbabwe’s empty bellies . . . (see: http://www.herald.co.zw/zimbabwes-agenda-for-sadc-regional-international-priorities/).

 

Who to believe then: Mutsvangwa or Mugabe? At a time when an IMF team is in Zimbabwe saying that, because of our unpaid debt, it can’t lend us more money and will instead ask ‘the donors’ to help out, Zimbabwe’s foreign policy is hypocritical if not schizophrenic. 

 

The Vigil was interested to see the response to our last diary in which we repeated the charges made against Mutsvangwa of organising violence in the 2008 elections. In a comment he posted he said the Vigil is heartless (or perhaps it was a spelling mistake): ‘All this is demonic slander totally devoid of even an aorta (sic) of evidence. I will sue you for this even in an English court. I shall want to see the colour of your evidence. I never was in in charge of the police in zimbabwe. I have never traded in diamonds serve as chairman of mmcz. The names of political victims you litter are a fiction to my mind. You motimotivated by unbridled evil. I will sure expose you.’ (See: Tables turned – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 20th September 2014 – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_news/.)

 

The Vigil trusts that the EU will pay attention to Mugabe’s UN speech rather than that of fawning Mutsvangwa when it meets in November to consider removing the remaining targeted measures. As for Mr Mutsvangwa, our solicitors would be happy to hear from him. They are Sue, Grabbit and Runne, c/o Private Eye, London. Mr Mutsvangwa would be advised not to instruct the Zimbabwean government lawyers whose case in the EU against the ‘ illegal’ sanctions has now been thrown out.

 

Other points

  • ROHR 2014 National Conference. Saturday 4th October from 11 am till late. Venue: Malaika House, 81 George Street, Lozells, Birmingham B19 1NS. Restoration of Human Rights International invites its members, supporters, partners and the general public to come and celebrate. Contact: Branch Chairperson – Thandiwe Gwarumba 07503 512308, Publicity Department – Tino Mashonganyika 07463 272078, Fundraising – Gladys Muduve 07956 430115, Secretary – Catherine Muchabayiwa, 07529 556254, Organizing Secretary – Jane Mary Mapfumo 07412 310429.

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 4th October from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • ‘Educating the Youth in Zimbabwe – Building for a Better Future’. Wednesday 8th October at 6.30 pm Venue: Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3GA (0207 3242570). The Budiriro Trust presents a talk by David Coltart, former Zimbabwean Minister of Education with refreshments and discussion with David Coltart and members of the Trust. Entry free but please register at: www.freewordcentre.com/events/detail/a-talk-by-david-coltart.

  • Zimbabwe Vigil’s Twelfth Anniversary. Saturday 11th October.

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 11th October from 6.15 pm. This forum will be marking the 12th anniversary of the Vigil. 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.

  • ROHR Central London Branch general meeting. Saturday 18th October from 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 25th October at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • Hope for Zimbabwe’. Tuesday 4th November from 7 – 9 pm. Venue: the Royal Geographical Society, London. Hosted by the Mike Campbell Foundation with Ben Freeth, MBE, Christina Lamb, OBE, Dame Linda Dobbs (Chair). Tickets: £15. For more information, check:  http://www.mikecampbellfoundation.com/page/events-2014.

  • 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.

  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.

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

  • The Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets twice a month after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy

 
A Zim Asset – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 13th September 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 14 September 2014 14:10

In these difficult times for Zimbabwe the Vigil is awed by the academic triumph of the First Lady – now to be known not just as Mother of the People but also as Doctor.

 

Her new title is not a mere honorary doctorate such as the dozens showered on President Mugabe. Those ceremonial honours are mere ornaments compared to a real doctorate earned after original scholarly research. Grace’s degree is such a doctorate and our ailing people, in their time of need, can now call for help on a real doctor.

 

One could see the pride on Mugabe’s face as he gently conferred the Doctor of Philosophy degree on his young bride at a ceremony at our premier university. There was not the slightest sense that he felt outdone by Dr Grace’s superior academic qualification; just a contented feeling that he was handing over the baton to someone academically qualified for the highest office.

 

And what could be more appropriate than the subject of her learned thesis ‘The changing social structure of the family: the case of children’s homes in Zimbabwe’. What could be of greater importance than the future of our millions of orphans? They must be the worst-affected of the 72% of the population which, according to a recent report by the World Food Programme, are living below the poverty line.

 

Few could deny that Dr Grace is qualified on such a subject. She may have only achieved 7% in her BA English course ‘Approaches to Text’ and 9% for ‘Explorations in Literature’, but that was at a British university and before she acquired her vast and ever-expanding orphanage holdings in Mazowe. As the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe Professor Levy Nyagura suggested at the graduation ceremony ‘illegal sanctions have a lot to answer for’.  

 

What must be acknowledged is that her mastery of orphanages is extraordinary and it is no surprise that she was able to complete her doctoral dissertation in the two months since she registered for the degree. While the President slept, she would have burnt the midnight oil thinking philosophically after putting the orphans safely to bed.

 

Other points

  • ROHR President Ephraim Tapa, just back from 12 days in Zimbabwe, said the use of Grace, possibly hand in hand with former Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono, was a ploy by Mugabe to play off the rival Mujuru / Mnangagwa factions. Ephraim was speaking at a lively meeting of the bi-monthly Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil, which was attended by the Chair of Zapu Europe Christopher Maphosa and Zapu activist Arthur Molife. Ephraim said he had found a dispirited people who had lost faith in politics but were ready to respond to human rights issues in a country with a vast disparity between the rich and poor. He said MDC Renewal leaders had told him they were working towards unity with other groups such as Zapu, Welshman Ncube, the NCA and Makoni. 

  • The Vigil exchanged flyers with a group of Kurdish exiles who passed by in a demonstration against the Islamic psychopaths ISIS.

  • Thanks to Joseph Chivayo and Fungayi Mabhunu for arriving early to help set up. Once again we had delicious sadza and stew, this time provided by Iline Manhunzi, Tendai Chadehumbe, Patricia Masamba and Fungisai Mupandira of ROHR Slough branch.

     

    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: 33 signed the register.

     

    EVENTS AND NOTICES:

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

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 20th September at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • ROHR Southampton Branch at the 3rd Eastleigh Mardi Gras. Saturday 20th September from 10 am – 7 pm. Venue: Eastleigh Recreation Ground, Leigh Road, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO50 9DE. Well-wishers welcome to help raise funds for a charitable cause. Dancers, stalls, food,  games, workshops, music, talent show final, bands, kids competitions and Mardi Gras. Procession starts at 4:30 pm.

  • ROHR Middlesbrough Fundraising Event. Saturday 20th September from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Humanah CIC, Unit 5 BBC Broadcasting House, Brentnall Street, Middlesbrough TS1 5JA. Enjoy delicious food and amazing entertainment. All inclusive for £5. Raffle tickets with good prizes. For more information please contact: Masimba Musodza (Chairman) 07581887359, Ndumiso Ncube (Organizing Secretary) 07532080247, Xoliso Sithole (Treasurer) 07476558655, Helen Sibanda (Secretary) 07799574994 & Tapiwa Semwayo (North East Info & Pub Secretary) 07412236229.

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 27th September from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and Pizza Express. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

  • ROHR Central London Branch general meeting. Saturday 27th September from 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • ROHR Reading Branch general meeting and outreach. Saturday 27th September from 10:30 am to 5 pm. Venue: RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. Contact: Information & Publicity Officer: 07532021348.

  • Zimbabwe Vigil’s Twelfth Anniversary. Saturday 11th October.

  • Hope for Zimbabwe’. Tuesday 4th November from 7 – 9 pm. Venue: the Royal Geographical Society, London. Hosted by the Mike Campbell Foundation with Ben Freeth, MBE, Christina Lamb, OBE, Dame Linda Dobbs (Chair). Tickets: £15. For more information, check:  http://www.mikecampbellfoundation.com/page/events-2014.

  • 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.

  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.

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

  • The Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets twice a month after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy

 
‘Tax’ the Mafia – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 6th September 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 07 September 2014 20:23

President Mugabe – having failed to sell Zimbabwe in Beijing – is now turning to other salesmen to bail out his bankrupt regime. Street vendors in Chitungwiza are being told they must register to pay tax to the Zimbabwe Revenue authority, although most of them only manage to scrape up a few dollars a day to feed their families  (see: Zimra descends on vendors – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-zimra-descends-on-vendors-the-zimbabwean/).

 

Although Mugabe came home from China with the prospect of various development projects, it is clear there will be no cash injection to pay the government’s running costs. Finance Minister Chinamasa said plaintively: ‘China doesn’t supply budgetary support’ – for all the world as if this is a law of economics instead of a brush-off. Or perhaps he didn’t want to acknowledge that only the reviled West provides budgetary support for rocky African economies, such as for instance our cousins in Malawi. The upshot is that the Zimbabwe treasury is now, as they put it, about to run out of the readies.

 

Zimbabweans know all too well what happens when you run out of money: you have to cut your spending, sell your goods, borrow, beg . . . or steal. Mugabe has exhausted this list. Zanu PF can’t cut spending because most of it is on salaries – and where would that leave their supporters? It can’t sell anything because all parastatals are broke. It can’t borrow because its credit rating is zero. The failed trip to Beijing shows it can’t even beg successfully. That leaves only stealing: so it’s off to Chitungwiza to fleece the poor.

 

The Vigil believes, however, that there is still an untapped source of funding available: how about cropping the Zanu PF bigwigs and their mysterious wealth? After all, there is a school of thought that argues that wealth not accounted for is necessarily illegitimate. Take, for instance, the case of Vice-President Mujuru. She appears to be ready for plucking: her brooding clucking certainly suggests as much – feathers flying in all directions. Publicly accused by a party stalwart of the premature cremation of her vastly wealthy husband, Mai Mujuru has been quick to come up with money to buy votes.

 

Perhaps the valiant helicopter downer could be asked to make a donation to the fiscus from some of the reported $9 billion loot left by the late incinerated General Mujuru. The Vigil is sure he would have wished for no less. And if her rich supporter Didymus Mutasa and other cronies could also be ‘persuaded’ to cough up a billion dollars or so, Zanu PF could look forward with confidence to a well-fed congress in December at which the President could hand over the baton safely to a new generation of Mugabes who could carry on the valiant fight against illegal progress.

 

Other points

  • Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu for donning our Mugabe mask for a tableau illustrating the financial desperation of the Zanu PF regime. He was shown with a bucket for donations from the passing public, flanked by posters reading: ‘Bankruptcy sale’, ‘Liquidation’, ‘Everything must go’ and ‘Country clearance’.

  • Zimbabwean food is becoming a popular feature at the Vigil to fundraise for ROHR branches. Today was Fungayi’s turn to bring food in support of Central London branch, He was helped by his wife Thobile Gwebu and Central London member Helen Rukambiro. Also on sale was a car boot full of Zimbabwean greens grown by a local Zimbabwean family. With all the vendors it felt as if we were in Chitungwiza. For a lively account of vendors’ lives in Chitungwiza we recommend: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_m_chitungwiza-vendors-bring-smiles-to-stressed-residents-dailynews-live/.

  • The singing and dancing at the Vigil drew an appreciative response from a big march in defence of the National Health Service which took 20 minutes to pass by.

  • Thanks to Brenda Chavundura, Epiphania Phiri, Cecilia Tandi, Kelvin Kamupira and Francesca Toft for arriving early to help set up.

  • Supporter Joseph Chivayo took part in a meeting held in the Houses of Parliament to discuss the situation of asylum seekers in the UK. He said the meeting was a success with more than 30 MPs attending.

     

    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:

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 13th September from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and Pizza Express. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

  • ROHR Executive Committee meeting. Saturday 13th September from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.

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

  • ROHR Central London Branch general meeting. Saturday 20th September from 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • ROHR Southampton Branch at the 3rd Eastleigh Mardi Gras. Saturday 20th September from 10 am – 7 pm. Venue: Eastleigh Recreation Ground, Leigh Road, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO50 9DE. Well-wishers welcome to help raise funds for a charitable cause. Dancers, stalls, food,  games, workshops, music, talent show final, bands, kids competitions and Mardi Gras. Procession starts at 4:30 pm.

  • ROHR Middlesbrough Fundraising Event. Saturday 20th September 2014 from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Humanah CIC, Unit 5 BBC Broadcasting House, Brentnall Street, Middlesbrough TS1 5JA. Come and enjoy delicious food and amazing entertainment. All inclusive for £5. Raffle tickets with good prizes. For more information please contact: Masimba Musodza (Chairman) 07581887359, Ndumiso Ncube (Organizing Secretary) 07532080247, Xoliso Sithole (Treasurer) 07476558655, Helen Sibanda (Secretary) 07799574994 & Tapiwa Semwayo (North East Info & Pub Secretary) 07412236229.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 27th September at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • ROHR Reading Branch general meeting and outreach. Saturday 27th September from 10:30 am to 5 pm. Venue: RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. Contact: Information & Publicity Officer: 07532021348.

  • 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.

  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.

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

  • The Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets twice a month after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy

LAST_UPDATED2
 
‘Tax’ the Mafia – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 6th September 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 07 September 2014 11:08

President Mugabe – having failed to sell Zimbabwe in Beijing – is now turning to other salesmen to bail out his bankrupt regime. Street vendors in Chitungwiza are being told they must register to pay tax to the Zimbabwe Revenue authority, although most of them only manage to scrape up a few dollars a day to feed their families  (see: Zimra descends on vendors – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-zimra-descends-on-vendors-the-zimbabwean/).

 

Although Mugabe came home from China with the prospect of various development projects, it is clear there will be no cash injection to pay the government’s running costs. Finance Minister Chinamasa said plaintively: ‘China doesn’t supply budgetary support’ – for all the world as if this is a law of economics instead of a brush-off. Or perhaps he didn’t want to acknowledge that only the reviled West provides budgetary support for rocky African economies, such as for instance our cousins in Malawi. The upshot is that the Zimbabwe treasury is now, as they put it, about to run out of the readies.

 

Zimbabweans know all too well what happens when you run out of money: you have to cut your spending, sell your goods, borrow, beg . . . or steal. Mugabe has exhausted this list. Zanu PF can’t cut spending because most of it is on salaries – and where would that leave their supporters? It can’t sell anything because all parastatals are broke. It can’t borrow because its credit rating is zero. The failed trip to Beijing shows it can’t even beg successfully. That leaves only stealing: so it’s off to Chitungwiza to fleece the poor.

 

The Vigil believes, however, that there is still an untapped source of funding available: how about cropping the Zanu PF bigwigs and their mysterious wealth? After all, there is a school of thought that argues that wealth not accounted for is necessarily illegitimate. Take, for instance, the case of Vice-President Mujuru. She appears to be ready for plucking: her brooding clucking certainly suggests as much – feathers flying in all directions. Publically accused by a party stalwart of the premature cremation of her vastly wealthy husband, Mai Mujuri has been quick to come up with money to buy votes.

 

Perhaps the valiant helicopter downer could be asked to make a donation to the fiscus from some of the reported $9 billion loot left by the late incinerated General Mujuru. The Vigil is sure he would have wished for no less. And if her rich supporter Didymus Mutasa and other cronies could also be ‘persuaded’ to cough up a billion dollars or so, Zanu PF could look forward with confidence to a well-fed congress in December at which the President could hand over the baton safely to a new generation of Mugabes who could carry on the valiant fight against illegal progress.

 

Other points

  • Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu for donning our Mugabe mask for a tableau illustrating the financial desperation of the Zanu PF regime. He was shown with a bucket for donations from the passing public, flanked by posters reading: ‘Bankruptcy sale’, ‘Liquidation’, ‘Everything must go’ and ‘Country clearance’.

  • Zimbabwean food is becoming a popular feature at the Vigil to fundraise for ROHR branches. Today was Fungayi’s turn to bring food in support of Central London branch, He was helped by his wife Thobile Gwebu and Central London member Helen Rukambiro. Also on sale was a car boot full of Zimbabwean greens grown by a local Zimbabwean family. With all the vendors it felt as if we were in Chitungwiza. For a lively account of vendors’ lives in Chitungwiza we recommend: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_m_chitungwiza-vendors-bring-smiles-to-stressed-residents-dailynews-live/.

  • The singing and dancing at the Vigil drew an appreciative response from a big march in defence of the National Health Service which took 20 minutes to pass by.

  • Thanks to Brenda Chavundura, Epiphania Phiri, Cecilia Tandi, Kelvin Kamupira and Francesca Toft for arriving early to help set up.

  • Supporter Joseph Chivayo took part in a meeting held in the Houses of Parliament to discuss the situation of asylum seekers in the UK. He said the meeting was a success with more than 30 MPs attending.

     

    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:

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 13th September from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and Pizza Express. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

  • ROHR Executive Committee meeting. Saturday 13th September from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.

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

  • ROHR Central London Branch general meeting. Saturday 20th September from 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • ROHR Southampton Branch at the 3rd Eastleigh Mardi Gras. Saturday 20th September from 10 am – 7 pm. Venue: Eastleigh Recreation Ground, Leigh Road, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO50 9DE. Well-wishers welcome to help raise funds for a charitable cause. Dancers, stalls, food,  games, workshops, music, talent show final, bands, kids competitions and Mardi Gras. Procession starts at 4:30 pm.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 27th September at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • ROHR Reading Branch general meeting and outreach. Saturday 27th September from 10:30 am to 5 pm. Venue: RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. Contact: Information & Publicity Officer: 07532021348.

  • 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.

  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.

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

  • The Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets twice a month after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy

 
The empty vessel – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 30th August 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 17:32

As Mugabe made his thirteenth visit to Beijing, his famously enigmatic hosts must have found it Chinese torture to keep a straight face at the sight of the ancient cartoon dictator. A 21-gun salute for the empty vessel must have been the final straw, especially knowing they were expected to fill it with gold.

 

The Chinese, as well as being smart business people, have a long memory. They will remember that when Mugabe came to power in 1980 Zimbabwe’s annual gross domestic product was rather more than theirs at US$1,295 per head compared to China’s US$1,061. They will have observed in awe how he has managed to completely ruin the country so that in 2013 the GDP figures were: Zimbabwe US$446 and China US$3,583 (see: Former underdogs outperform Zim –http://www.financialgazette.co.zw/former-underdogs-outperform-zim/).

 

Like clockwork, Mugabe trotted out the tired cold war rhetoric: ‘Down with colonialism, imperialism and capitalism’ which must have seemed rather quaint to his welcoming group of Chinese capitalists, colonialists and imperialists. If Mugabe had expected them to join his chorus he must now realise that they no longer zhing from the same zhong sheet.

 

We are fortunate in the diaspora to have ready access to a broader range of news than is easily available at home and the Vigil thinks it has a responsibility not only to show the outside world what Zimbabwe is suffering but also to show people at home how misguided they would be to rely on Zanu PF’s empty promises of a better tomorrow.

 

What prompts these reflections was an eloquent article in the Zimbabwean by the economist and author Vince Musewe pleading for Zimbabweans in the diaspora to become more politically active (see: Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-things-fall-apart-the-centre-cannot-hold-the-zimbabwean/). Trying to create a coalition for change has been the Vigil’s aim from its beginning 12 years ago. We are sad to say we have met with only limited success. There are many reasons for this but the chief one could be called the fissiparous tendency. Just as every Zimbabwean has a new constitution under their mattress so when two Zimbabweans gather together they will each soon want to form their own party.

 

The Vigil organised a conference last October reaching out to all diaspora groups to work together. But even on the most basic objective – free and fair elections – support has been disappointing. Every Zimbabwean wants to be the leader and every leader wants to be the leader forever. But Vince is surely right that the diaspora has an important role to play – and not just by the remittances of many hundred million dollars sent home every year. But if Zimbabwe is to be really helped from abroad, the diaspora must learn to work together.

 

 All we can do at the moment is offer support. But, given the fissiparous tendency, support for what? The MDC renewal team’s only achievement so far seems to have been to choose a party colour! What the Vigil would like to know is if it’s true as reported that they think the 2013 election results were ok? (See: People voted Zanu PF – Mafume http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_m_people-voted-zanu-pf-mafume-dailynews-live/). For our part, the Vigil is convinced the elections were rigged. We are also puzzled by their offer to work for Zanu PF.      

 

In the meantime, we applaud the brave youths who took to the streets for a second week to be beaten for their legitimate demand that the Mugabe regime keep its promises. And we are happy that the MDC T now agrees with us that the opposition should not to take part in elections until there are reforms.

 

Other points

·        Despite our complaint above about lack of support from other groups, we were pleased that Christopher Maphosa, President of Zapu UK, joined us today.

·       Thanks to Ben Semwayo, Siza Ndebele, Elizabeth Mathe and Helen Rukambiro who were there at the start of the Vigil to help set up.

·        A special thank you to Patricia Masamba for mending and washing our cloth banners which have remained unchanged for 12 years and read: ‘No to Mugabe, No to Starvation’ and ‘End Murder Rape and Torture in Zimbabwe’.

 

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:

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

  • ROHR Slough Branch general meeting. Saturday 6th September from 1 – 3.30 pm. Venue: Upton Lea Community Hall, Wexham Road, Slough SL2 5JW.   For further information contact Fungisai Mupandira (Organising Secretary) 07758958803, Patricia Masamba (Chair) 07708116625, Sharon Zimuto (Secretary) 07988165394.

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 13th September from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and Pizza Express. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

  • ROHR Executive Committee meeting. Saturday 13th September from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.

  • ROHR Central London Branch general meeting. Saturday 20th September from 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 27th September at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • 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.

  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.

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

  • The Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets twice a month after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy

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