Vigil Diary 18-10-08 PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 18 October 2008 00:00

Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 18 th October 2008

The Vigil's petition to the EU has drawn much interest at a time when SADC has been asked to break the political deadlock. The petition calls on the EU to suspend government-to-government aid to SADC countries because of their dereliction over Zimbabwe . We have even had a detailed enquiry from a Malawian journalist.

There was little confidence at the Vigil that the SADC security troika of Swaziland , Angola and Mozambique would suddenly change their allegiance and stand up to Mugabe.

We were joined by a Zimbabwean journalist based in South Africa who said he'd been inspired by our petition to research the possibility of sueing SADC. The organisation has already admitted it acted too hastily in recognising the Mugabe regime after elections SADC's own observers said were seriously flawed.

People at the Vigil felt that pressure must be maintained on SADC until it suspends Zimbabwe 's membership and denies the Mugabe regime visas and freezes their bank accounts.

Sixth Anniversary of the Vigil PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 11 October 2008 00:00

Sixth Anniversary of the Vigil – 11 th October 2008

Friends from times past joined us in brilliant sunshine for the Vigil to launch our 7 th year outside the Embassy. Unfortunately Glenys Kinnock MEP was unable to be with us to receive our petition to the EU so we sending it to Brussels by post (see letter below).

Our partner organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe is foremost in our thoughts at the moment. They are trying to expand democratic space in Zimbabwe and you may have seen in the media how their struggle has been going (see our last entry). Ephraim Tapa, the ROHR President and a Vigil founder member, was with us to brief us on the organisation's bold protest in Harare on Friday. It is a new dimension for their campaign for justice and democracy. They are demanding free and fair elections within the next two years.

With the world financial crisis dominating the news, the Zimbabwe situation has inevitably slipped from the headlines. We were asked by several passers-by: “Why are you still demonstrating?” We regard it as an important part of our mission to make people aware of the situation when media attention is elsewhere.

With a large turnout singing and dancing on the Strand we certainly got noticed. Afterwards it was off to our local pub the Theodore Bullfrog for an anniversary party. Grateful thanks to Chipo Chaya and Gugu Ndlovu-Tutani for working so hard all day to provide very tasty sadza and stew for Vigil supporters. They were helped by Moses Kandiyawo and Dumi Tutani. Thanks also to Arnold Kuwewa who. in the absence of our chefs, had many extra duties. We were touched by the generosity of three ladies from the Zimbabwe Exiled Women's Association (Florence Matongo, Pauline Mutema and Ekiwa Chimedza) who unexpected provided soft drinks for the Vigil.

Vigil Diary 04-10-08 PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 04 October 2008 00:00

Blustery weather saw out the 6th year of our Vigil outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. But mercifully the threatened downpour held off. Many passers-by were puzzled about what is going on following the power-sharing agreement. We were unable to give them good news. But we are happy to say that Glenys Kinnock MEP will join us next week to mark our anniversary. Mrs Kinnock has taken the Zimbabwe cause to her heart and will pass on our petition to the European Union calling for action to alleviate the suffering of Zimbabweans. (See press release)

As we ended our 6th year, we were pleased to hear from Roy Bennett, Treasurer-General of MDC, with encouraging words for the Vigil. The Vigil was started at Roy’s suggestion at an MDC Central London forum in 2002. When he visited us in August 2005 he described the Vigil as “A fire in Mugabe’s bum”. His latest message: “Thanks for the tremendous work you guys have done around the Vigil. It is the most positive, united and constructive effort that has come out of the UK. Well done you Vigil guys and thanks again for all your commitment and work to free Zim. God bless.”

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FOR THE RECORD: 105 signed the register.

Vigil Diary 27-09-2008 PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 04 October 2008 22:05

Despite the brilliant late summer weather in London, all the talk at the Vigil was about the gloomy situation at home. We all had stories to recount of starvation and the collapse of the health and education systems. A supporter reported that his mother in Mbare says she has permanent diarrhoea. Even boiling the water doesn’t help. As for schools, it looks like 2008 is going to be wipe-out year . . . . no teachers, no exams.. Our lives are on hold.

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