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Unhappy anniversary – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 3rd August 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 04 August 2019 17:58

August marks the first anniversary of the army massacre of six civilians in Harare during a protest over the delay in releasing the election results. At least 35 others were wounded. The Motlanthe Commission appointed by the government found that the use of live ammunition against fleeing civilians was ‘clearly unjustified and disproportionate’. It called for prosecutions and compensation.

A year on not a single prosecution has taken place. Instead the government promoted the officer in charge of the Presidential Guard responsible for the shootings, Brigadier General Anselem Sanyatwe, and blamed the violence on the opposition which it said had ‘unleashed mayhem’. 

The government recently went so far as to name Sanyatwe as Zimbabwe’s Ambassador-designate to Tanzania, only for the United States to place him under sanctions for ‘gross violations of human rights’. The government’s self-righteous protests that this was ‘undermining Zimbabwe’s sovereignty’ has been met with laudable directness by the US Embassy: ‘No one has been held responsible for these heinous acts. The people of Zimbabwe deserve better.’

Judge for yourself whether the Americans are correctly informed about Zimbabwean affairs by reading an article in the influential New York Times which describes the situation in Zimbabwe as a nightmare, pointing in particular at the water crisis, apart from the energy crisis and shortage of fuel and medicines. 

The paper quotes the chief economist of the National Chamber of Commerce, Kipson Gundani, as saying: ‘We had a window of opportunity when Mugabe left power but we missed that window’. (See: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/31/world/africa/zimbabwe-water-crisis.html).

Next Saturday the Vigil will be devoted to a protest against the government’s inaction over the army’s killing of civilians last August and again in January.

Other points

  • Grace Mugabe heads a list of Zanu PF bigwigs accused of looting $160 million from CBZ Bank. She is alleged to have irregularly obtained a loan of $4.5 million without collateral. Number two in the looters’ list is predictably Obert Mpofu who owes $2.5 million, followed by Gideon Gono, the former Governor of the Reserve Bank, with $2 million. Vice President General Chiwenga’s wife Jocelyn owes a mere $900,000. The chastened bank has employed the law firm of former Finance Minister Tendai Biti to try to recover the money.
  • Congratulations to those who raised funds from their sponsors for last week’s walk: Hazvinei Saili £468.20 (in sterling and euros), Ephraim Tapa £225 (more to follow), Molly Ngavaimbe £92 and Miriam Gasho £60. We expect this list to expand as others are still collecting contributions from their sponsors. Esther Munyira’s report on the walk can be seen here: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1027-report-on-the-rohr-peace-walk-27th-july-2019.
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Happy Chazuza, Jane Kaphuwa, Lucia Mungwari, Richard Munyama, Casper Nyamakura, Hazvinei Saili and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Lucia, Margaret Munenge and Miriam Gasho for looking after the front table, to Hazvinei, Jane, Esther Munyira and Bigboy Sibanda for handing out flyers and to Casper and Jonathan Kariwo for photos.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. 

FOR THE RECORD: 22 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 10th August from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625.
  • Demonstration to mark anniversary of army’s shooting of civilians. Saturday 10th August from 2 – 5 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. Organised by Esther Munyira 07492058109.
  • ROHR Beach Barbecue. Sunday 25th August. Venue: Frinton-on-Sea, Essex CO13 9DN. Tickets: adults £20, Kids £10. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Heather Makawa 07716391800, Esther Munyira 07492058109 and Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
  • 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.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Facebook pages:
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
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Report on the ROHR peace walk – 27th July 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 01 August 2019 15:19

Zimbabwe is currently under a military dictatorship since the advent of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s second republic. Since the July 2018 general election, more than 20 innocent civilians have been shot dead from behind, execution style, while fleeing soldiers. The brutal army crackdown which followed the 14 January 2019 ‘national shutdown’ has engendered a climate of fear and ordinary citizens are now resigned to suffer in silence. 

The Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) International strongly believes that the exercise of civil liberties and political expressions should never never be about coercion, dictatorship, manipulation or blatant abuse of citizens. Rather, it should be about the people’s issues and fair play, transparency and accountability as underpinned by the rule of law, justice and peace.

This commitment to human rights and democracy prompted the organisation into a peace walk to help raise awareness and restore basic freedoms.

On 27 July 2019, twenty-one UK based human rights activists travelled long distances from across Britain, some as far away as Scotland and Middlesbrough, to walk for peace and human rights in Zimbabwe. By 8.30am, participants had gathered and by 9am, the peace walkers had started the 15 mile walk from Redbridge train station to Zimbabwe House, Charring Cross in London. Among the participants, were mothers with buggies and babies, and one lady was over 60 years, all for the love of their beloved Zimbabwe.

Despite the rain, participant morale remained high and the walk was punctuated by freedom songs and slogans all the way through. It was encouraging to note that the British public was very supportive in their comments and demeanour. “Keep fighting, Freedom will eventually come!’' were words recorded from one of the motorists; “Zimbabwe, we hear you and it will definitely make an impact”.

As we approached Victoria Park, the halfway point: the majority of the participants were tiring but with the able leadership and support of our leader, Ephraim Tapa, none gave up. Instead, all participants persevered, albeit at a slower pace, until arrival at the Strand street; where the Zimbabwe House is situated. At once, everybody felt re-energised as the walk broke into toyi-toyi. The chatting and singing became louder and the ululation rose to crescendo levels as walkers celebrated a job well done. This was a lap of victory by the participants in getting to Zimbabwe House, in defiance of all the odds staked against us. As we were being welcomed and congratulated by those at the Vigil some could not hide their tears of joy! The intrinsic value derived from walking to the final point in the fight for freedom would be invaluable, going forward.

Participant after participant, spoke of their determination to keep going as they felt emboldened to take the struggle for human rights to another level. At the end walkers agreed that next year’s effort needs to be bigger, well planned and executed to the greatest possible impact.

Recent declarations by Deputy Minister (Defence) Victor Matemadanda of Zanu PF that “We will release soldiers who are trained to kill if you demonstrate”, must be taken seriously and met with a more than equal measure of resolve, determination and self-sacrifice for the cause of human rights and people freedoms.

UK based human rights activists remain committed to bringing an end to the long suffering of the people of Zimbabwe. Truly, Zimbabwe deserves better.

All participants reached the finishing point (Zimbabwe House) with no incidents of casualties reported.

Thanks to the ROHR President, Ephraim Tapa for the vision, leadership and the support from start to finish and all those who participated!

Photos of the walk can be seen on this link: 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157709861129111

Esther Munyira
Peace walk organiser

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A ‘one day’ economy – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 27th July 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 28 July 2019 17:20

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/48397089922/sizes/m/

At a time when there is a shortage of virtually everything except poverty and corruption, the tale of the one-day bush bakery in an open maize field seems to sum up what is wrong in Zimbabwe.

Newsday tells the story: ‘A rudimentary bread oven that was officially opened by two ministers in Makonde amid pomp and fanfare has been closed barely 24 hours after it became operational.’

A local villager said they were not aware the project until the ministers arrived to commission the oven, which uses firewood and could produce 500 loaves a day.

‘The moment the ministers went away everything came to a halt’, he said. Not surprising as the 50 kgs of flour delivered on the day had been exhausted.

The usual Herald report hailing a pioneering government project to relieve rural poverty failed to materialize, probably because  one of  the ministers, Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Minister Priscah Mupfumira, was arrested on her return to Harare under new powers given to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission over an alleged $95 million corruption scandal. 

Mupfumira was previously Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister in charge of the national social security authority, which looks after the tempting billion-dollar state pension fund and was the subject of a critical audit report still to be published by the government.

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa says corruption has become ‘a national anthem’ and life has become unbearable with ‘no fuel, no power, no money, no passports, no jobs and no food’.

He called for seven days of national prayer, fasting and intercession by Zimbabweans inside and outside the country beginning on Monday, ahead of what he said would be decisive steps by the party to rescue the country. 

Other points

  • Activists from the Vigil and our sister organization Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) walked 15 miles from Redbridge in Essex to the Zimbabwe Embassy today to raise funds for our work in Zimbabwe. Thanks to our valiant walkers: Shylette Chipangura, Daizy Fabian, Beaulah Gore, Deborah Harry, Simbarashe Jingo, Josephine Jombe, Tatenda Mandiki, Charles Mararirakwenda, Patricia Masamba, Cephas Maswoswa, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Bianca Mpawaenda, Margaret Munenge, Esther Munyira, Fungisai Mupandira, Molly Ngavaimbe, Hazvinei Saili, Ephraim Tapa and BensonTsikwa. A special thank you to Esther who organised the event and to Mary Muteyerwa who prepared snacks for the walkers and to Jonathan Kariwo who took the exhausted walkers to a well-deserved meal at Nandos after the Vigil
  • The charity ZANE (Zimbabwe a National Emergency) is organising a much longer fundraising walk from Canterbury to Oxford from 28th August to 11th September.  Money raised will help the poor and elderly left destitute by the crisis in Zimbabwe. If you would like to take part or contribute in some way see their website: www.zane.uk.com.
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table today and put up the banners: Marvellous Chinguwa, Isabell Gwatidzo, Jane Kaphuwa, Jonathan Kariwo, Philip Maponga, Gloria Mudzimu, Mary Muteyerwa, Tsitsi Nyirongo and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Isabell and Tsitsi for looking after the front table, to Gloria and Marvellous for handing out flyers, to Mary and Hazvinei for drumming and to Patricia, Tatenda, Hazvinei, Daizy, Isabell and Jonathan for photos.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 27 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 10th August from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625.
  • ROHR Beach Barbecue. Sunday 25th August. Venue: Frinton-on-Sea, Essex CO13 9DN. Tickets: adults £20, Kids £10. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Heather Makawa 07716391800, Esther Munyira 07492058109 and Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
  • 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.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Facebook pages:
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
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Howzat! – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 20th July 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 21 July 2019 18:16

The endemic corruption in Zimbabwe has seen the country’s cricket teams suspended by the International Cricket Council. ICC funding to Zimbabwe has been frozen and Zimbabwe is now unlikely to be able to play the scheduled T20 World Cup matches in October. 

The decision was made at the ICC’s annual meeting in London and follows the Zimbabwean decision last month to sack the board of Zimbabwe Cricket. ICC Chairman Chashank Manchar said what happened in Zimbabwe was a serious breach of the ICC constitution and could not be allowed to continue unchecked. He called for the elected cricket board to be reinstated within three months.

Mr Manchar said: ‘We do not take the decision to suspend a member lightly but we must keep our sport free from political interference’. Reports say the ICC was concerned that millions of dollars of funding it provided may have been diverted rather than used for the development of the game 

The mess has been blamed on President Mnangawa’s son-in-law Gerald Mlotshwa who was recently surprisingly appointed Chairman of the Sports and Recreation Commission which took the decision to suspend the board.

A ZC official told Zimlive that the organization depended on ICC grants and there will be no tours and no salaries for staff and players until the government stops interfering in cricket.

The scandal of Zimbabwean cricket is dwarfed however, by revelations in Parliament that top government officials don’t know anything about what happened to $3 billion provided by the Treasury to fund Command Agriculture.

Howzat! for corruption?

Other points

  • The human rights situation in Zimbabwe continues to deteriorate. Activists are scared to voice their concerns because of the government’s brutal approach to dissent. On 27th July ROHR and the Vigil will take part in a 15 mile walk to the Zimbabwean Embassy in London to raise funds in support of human rights and democracy in Zimbabwe. ROHR President Ephraim Tapa explains why in an article ‘Walking for human rights under a military dictatorship in Zimbabwe’ which you can read on our Campaign page (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1024-walking-for-human-rights-under-a-military-dictatorship-in-zimbabwe-). For details of the walk see ‘Events and Notices’ below.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up the front table today and put up the banners: Happy Chazuza, Beaulah Gore, Jonathan Kariwo, Margaret Munenge, Esther Munyira, Mary Muteyerwa Hazvinei Saili and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Beaulah, Margaret, Esther, Patricia Masamba and Dambudzo for looking after the front table, to Hazvinei and Happy for handing out flyers and to Mary for drumming.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 17 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Walk for human rights under a military dictatorship in Zimbabwe. Saturday 27th July. Vigil and ROHR activists will be starting a 15-mile walk from Redbridge station at 8.30 am to (hopefully) reach the Vigil by 2 pm. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013, Patricia Masamba and Farai Muroiwa 07365431776.
  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 10th August from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625.
  • ROHR Beach Barbecue. Sunday 25th August.  Venue: Frinton-on-Sea, Essex CO13 9DN. Tickets: adults £20, Kids £10. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Heather Makawa 07716391800, Esther Munyira 07492058109 and Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
  • 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.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Facebook pages:
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Walking for Human Rights under a Military Dictatorship in Zimbabwe PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 20 July 2019 16:13

Walking for Human Rights under a Military Dictatorship in Zimbabwe

 

Zimbabwe is currently under a military dictatorship where the military can freely use live ammunition against defenceless citizens to keep the restless nation under control. This follows the disputed 2018 election after which Emmerson Mnangagwa, former president Robert Mugabe’s enforcer, is now President. Suffice it to say when Mugabe’s 37-year reign ended in a military coup towards the end of 2017, many celebrated on the streets of Zimbabwe and abroad, hoping for a new beginning. Their hopes now lie in ruins as Zimbabwe is made to painfully watch civil liberties rolled back and democratic space shrunk. Under the dark clouds of fear, innocent civilians being shot dead from behind, tortured, raped, harassed and/or disappeared by the military government. Any civil action is brutally and swiftly put down by Zimbabwe’s national army. The people of Zimbabwe need your help in their struggle for their human rights, justice and greater freedoms.

 

The Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) International strongly condemns the military government’s high-handed and intolerant approach to the exercise of civil liberties and political expression in Zimbabwe. This should never be about coercion, dictatorship, manipulation or blatant abuse of citizens. Rather, it should be about the people’s issues and aspirations - within an environment of fair play, transparency, and accountability as underpinned by the rule of law, justice and peace.

 

To this end, ROHR International seeks to raise funds in support of human rights and democracy in Zimbabwe. There is need to bring about a new political mindset in the country that promotes tolerance and equality, shuns corruption and embraces a human rights culture. There is need to defend civil rights and dismantle the fear that threatens to choke the values of our freedoms and make a mockery of  hard fought independence. ROHR believes that your donation will go a long way in building the peace, leadership training, awareness workshops and re-establishing the voice of the voiceless as enshrined in the country’s constitution. Bringing about a culture of human rights, democracy and an end to the military rule is the most pressing challenge of today.

 

UK based human rights activists will therefore embark on a 15 miles walk for over 4 hours to the Zimbabwe Embassy in London on 27 July 2019 in effort to raise awareness and the necessary funds to support the human rights causes.

 

We therefore kindly appeal for your generous donations to help bring an end to the long-suffering people of Zimbabwe. We believe Zimbabwe deserves better!

 

Ephraim Tapa

 
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