Zimbabwe a global museum – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 5th June 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 06 June 2021 11:44

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/51227316883/sizes/m/

 

President Mnangagwa has described Zimbabwe as the ‘museum capital of the world’. Speaking at the opening of the Bulawayo Arts Festival, he called on local authorities to rename buildings and streets after the country’s heroes.

 

Mnangagwa visited monuments and museums including the Natural History Museum, which he said ‘has the biggest collection of both animal and human relics on this earth and I am told that some of the most rare artifacts in the world are found here’. (See: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zim-is-a-global-museum-mnangagwa/.)

 

He also went to the Hanging Tree where people were hanged in an Ndebele uprising against white settlers in 1896. Recently he unveiled a statue in Harare of Mbuya Nehanda, a 19th century spirit medium who has become a liberation heroine. Mnangagwa described the erection of the statue as a victory against colonialism.

 

According to the Herald the statue cost $56 million. The expenditure has been widely criticised at a time when the health system is under great strain because of the Covid 19 pandemic.

 

The writer Cathy Buckle, in her latest ‘letter from Zimbabwe’, says that some 500 kilometres away in Chimanimani victims of Cyclone Idai two years ago feel abandoned. One survivor is quoted as saying ‘Most people are still living in tents. Imagine staying in a tent every day for the past two years. We are really getting worried that this will be our life forever. What we thought would have happened and the promises we had been given, have not been fulfilled and we have lost hope.’ (See: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/river-of-many-hippos-and-the-bronze-statue/.)

 

The leader of MDC Alliance, Nelson Chamisa, says the situation in most urban centres is dire. Speaking during a tour of Harare’s residential areas, he said he was shocked by the poverty levels and the amount of uncollected garbage, which he blamed on government interference in local authorities.

 

His party is launching a national clean-up campaign. Chamisa said: ‘We can do a lot to take care of our environment. We have a failed leadership in this country, but as we wait to resolve and fix the fundamental broad question on failed leadership, we can do something at a community level, at a local level. It’s about residents doing something to fix our own problems. I have just walked around, it is so embarrassing.’ (See: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/were-doomed-chamisa/.)

 

Less serious but also embarrassing is the secret suffering of men beaten up by their wives. Kenyan men have appealed for help in this new men’s liberation struggle (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1145-tell-our-wives-were-in-charge-men-in-kenya-plead).

 

The  crisis extends to Zimbabwe where one poor man has had the tables turned and instead of continuing happily to beat up his wife she has taken lessons in martial arts and is now beating him up. He has appealed for donations to take self-defence classes (see: https://www.facebook.com/TheCitizenZim/posts/man-flees-home-after-wife-bashes-himappeals-for-donations-to-take-up-self-defenc/537591097687228/).

 

Other Points:

  • Despite Mnangagwa’s appeal to respect the country’s history, his government has launched a nationwide campaign to replace the famous blair toilets which were invented at Zimbabwe’s Blair Research Institute in the 1970s to improve rural sanitation. National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Daniel Garwe said new flushable toilets were going to replace them. Hopefully some of the historic blair toilets will be preserved – perhaps at parliament (see: https://www.herald.co.zw/govt-bans-blair-toilets/).
  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. We ask our activists to put on Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia and take a photo of themselves holding an appropriate poster reflecting our protest against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The photos are uploaded on our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157719352991284. Our virtual Vigil activists today were Esther Munyira and Grace Munyanyi  who both kindly contributed to Vigil funds.
  • For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Notices:

  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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

 
Government’s magical fix for economy – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 29th May 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 29 May 2021 20:46

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/51212253780/sizes/m/

 

Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the new National Development Strategy is ‘the magic wand to steer the economy on a growth trajectory and stabilise the exchange rate’.

 

At a post-cabinet briefing Mutsvangwa acknowledged that the last plan launched by the Mnangagwa government, the Transitional Stabilisation Programme, had failed but said the new one would ensure achievement of a prosperous upper-middle-income society by 2030.

 

It envisaged growth averaging 5% a year, with a sustainable fiscal deficit of 1.2% of GDP, exchange rate stability and single digit inflation based on doing away with ‘unmitigated and unbudgeted subsidies’. (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/05/govt-admits-policy-failures/.)

 

Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti will not be convinced by the wave of a magic wand. Taking part in an online review of a report on private and state cartels in the region, he said ‘Zimbabwe faces the biggest existential crisis as a country because we are now run by bandits and thugs’.

 

He said reports of corruption in Zimbabwe only ‘scratched the surface’. It had become worse since the military coup in 2017. ‘For all intents and purposes we have become a fully-fledged kleptocratic state’.

 

Biti estimated that 82 cents from every dollar collected as tax in Zimbabwe goes on corruption. ‘Corruption is a cancer. It is the major cause of Zimbabwe’s fragility and instability’.

 

He continued: ‘the impact of corruption is more than the pauperisation of Zimbabwe. It is more than the under-development of Zimbabwe, it is also the de-democratisation of Zimbabwe.’

 

Mark Heywood, editor of Maverick Citizen, said: ‘The personal wealth of President Emmerson Mnangagwa is estimated at $500 million, yet the per capita income of a Zimbabwean is in the region of $900. Zimbabwe is a country rich in resources, but it is poor in terms of what it has been subjected to in terms of very sophisticated and sustained corruption’.

 

Maverick Citizen recently published a report on cartels contributed to by Zimbabwean academics and published in South Africa anonymously as they feared reprisals by the Zimbabwean government. The online review was hosted by the Mail and Guardian (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimbabwe-faces-an-existential-crisis-like-never-before-says-former-finance-minister-tendai-biti/).

 

Last word goes to Zimbabwean social justice activist Farai Maguwu: ‘the greatest challenge of this generation is to fight corruption and everybody has a role to play, especially the media, as research such as the cartel report is required to fight corruption. It is time for ethical leadership to emerge.’ (See: https://mg.co.za/special-reports/2021-05-27-exploring-the-role-of-illicit-financial-flows-in-zimbabwes-political-economy/.)

 

Other Points:

  • With widespread poverty in Zimbabwe, there has been criticism of the government for spending money on a ten-foot statue of Nehanda Charwe Nyakasikana, a nineteenth century spirit medium and anti-colonial figurehead. Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono said it was a disgrace to squander money on the Harare statue when hospitals were in an state of collapse. ‘Doctors and nurses at Mpilo hospital in Bulawayo are having to carry sick patients or the dead using staircases, because elevators are not working! This is why we are saying building multimillion dollar statues when hospitals are not working is illogical!’ (See: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/may/26/anger-in-zimbabwe-at-nehanda-statue-amid-collapsing-economy?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other).
  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. We ask our activists to put on Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia and take a photo of themselves holding an appropriate poster reflecting our protest against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The photos are uploaded on our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157719295156338. Our virtual Vigil activists today were Margaret Munenge, Grace Munyanyi and Dudzai Mukondorongwe who all kindly contributed to Vigil funds.
  • For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Notices:

  • 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

 
Zimbabwe on ‘list of shame’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 22nd May 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 23 May 2021 13:03

Zimbabwe was among a small group of countries who voted against a UN resolution aimed at protecting vulnerable people against genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

 

One hundred and fifteen countries voted in favour, including South Africa and Botswana, and twenty-eight abstained, while 15 voted against, including China, Russia and North Korea as well as Zimbabwe.

 

The UN said the resolution came ‘amidst an historic weakening of the laws and norms that safeguard humanity and at a time when a record 80 million people around the world have been displaced by persecution, conflict, and atrocities.’

 

It continued: ‘In far too many situations around the world, civilian populations are experiencing indiscriminate attacks on schools and medical facilities, widespread rape and sexual violence perpetrated as a weapon of war, disproportionate and deadly force being used against peaceful protesters, and institutionalized persecution of minority groups.’ (See: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/zimbabwe-in-shame-vote-against-un-resolution-to-stop-genocide/.)

 

UN Watch, a Swiss-based human rights group, described the list of countries which voted against the resolution as ‘a list of shame’. MDC Alliance Vice President Tendai Biti asked ‘Why would a right-thinking person and a right-thinking country reject a convention against genocide, ethnic cleansing and war crimes?’ He added that President Mnangagwa was ‘a national embarrassment’.

 

The director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum, Musa Kika, said Zimbabwe voted against the resolution because Mnangagwa was trying to escape responsibility for past atrocities, including the Gukurahundi massacre of more than 20,000 people, mainly Ndebeles, in the 1980s (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/05/zim-votes-to-perpetuate-genocide/).

 

Talking about lists of shame, the Zimbabwean has published what it describes as ‘a full list of Reserve Bank looters’. As you would expect, it’s a long list indeed. Among prominent Zanu PF people included who received Reserve Bank loans they never repaid is former President Mugabe (US$2,239,109) and President Mnangagwa (US$411,728). (See: https://www.thezimbabwean.co/2021/05/breaking-full-list-of-rbz-looters-finally-released/.)

 

Other Points:

  • A traditional court has ordered Grace Mugabe to give away five cows and two goats for improperly burying her husband at her birthplace rather than at a family gravesite where his mother is buried. Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao has accused Zanu PF of trying to get control of Mugabe’s remains.
  • Newsday says British Ambassador Melanie Robinson was summoned to a meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister Frederick Shava and reprimanded for meddling in national affairs. She is said to have mobilised several ambassadors for a meeting with Vice President Chiwenga, the Health Minister, to discuss Covid-19. For the life of us, we can’t see what’s undiplomatic about that. It just appears paranoid. For her part, Robinson says she was delighted to have a meeting with Shava to discuss UK-Zimbabwe relations, trade and how they could work together on climate change (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/05/govt-summons-meddlesome-uk-envoy/).
  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. We ask our activists to put on Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia and take a photo of themselves holding an appropriate poster reflecting our protest against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The photos are uploaded on our Flickr site.
  • For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Notices:

  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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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