Vigil Diary 13th December 2008 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 14 December 2008 19:55

Another drenching day. Our tarpaulin collected gallons of rainwater which we periodically unloaded by prodding it with umbrellas. It was a bedraggled day for our partners, the Zimbabwe Association, who were marking it as a ‘singing for our supper’ day in towns all over Britain.  To quote them, ‘After years of being stranded in the limbo of a seemingly endless asylum process, hundreds of Zimbabweans in the UK are now destitute and without support. Those attempting to support themselves are faced with criminalisation for working without permission. In this season of goodwill desperate Zimbabweans ask for their status as refugees to be recognized, so that they can stand on their own feet, support themselves, pay taxes and rebuild their lives.’ The Vigil was happy to join the Zimbabwe Association choir singing carols in the rain in English, Shona and Ndebele. Money collected from passers-by will go to help destitute Zimbabweans in the UK and to assist with the cholera crisis.  


The Vigil’s own carol day will take place next week when we are mounting a media stunt on the last Saturday before Christmas.  Our Mugabe impersonator, Fungayi Mabhunu, will make an appearance as Father Cholera dressed in the traditional Santa Claus suit and wearing our Mugabe mask. He will hand out presents labelled cholera, anthrax, starvation, violence, murder, rape, torture, greed etc,etc.  Passers-by will be invited to light candles before a Cross in the doorway of the Embassy.  Yes, we know, a Cross at Zimbabwe House! There is bound to be an angry complaint to the police from the devil’s own Ambassador.  The Vigil wishes to show the passing public the horrors of the Zimbabwe Christmas this year in contrast with our Western Christmas even during the current economic downturn. 


Fungayi today had a trial run with his Father Cholera outfit and was interviewed by CNN, who filmed the Vigil.  The Vigil is always asked to put forward people to speak about the Zimbabwe crisis and Fungayi earlier this week appeared on France 24 TV.  Luka Phiri of the Zimbabwe Association and the Vigil appeared on BBC television.  Ephraim Tapa was interviewed by Deutsche Welle Radio on Human Rights Day about his torture experiences. 


The plight of Zimbabwean human rights campaigner, Jestina Mukoko, and other activists who have been abducted in Zimbabwe has prompted international concern. The Independent Catholic News has set up a petition (see They asked us where they can submit it and we are putting them in touch with SW Radio Africa’s page of recommended action from Amnesty International -


Isaac Ndoro, Interim Chair of ROHR in Liverpool reports that they help another protest on Saturday,13th December. “Another rainy and cold day for Liverpool activists as they presented once more their petition to the lovely and friendly community of Liverpool in Church Street. As the cholera epidemic sweeps across the country Liverpool activists tried their best to let the world realise how bad the scenario in Zimbabwe is.” They are running the Vigil petitions and report that they collected 409 signatures.  See ‘For your Diary’ for details of their next protest. 


For latest Vigil pictures check the pictures page. 


FOR THE RECORD: 94 signed the register.


Central London Zimbabwe
Forum. Monday 15th December at 7.30 pm. The speaker is Dr. Farai Madzimbamuto, a Director of Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, who will talk about the cholera epidemic. Venue: The Cole Room, Fabian Society, 11 Dartmouth St, London SW1H 9BN (020 7227 4900). Nearest station: St. James’ Park.
Next ROHR Liverpool Protest. Saturday, 20th December 2008 from 14.00 – 16.00. Venue: Bold Street, Liverpool City Centre. 

ROHR Wolverhampton Christmas Party. Saturday 20th December. Venue: Heath Town Community Centre, 208 Chervil Rise, Wolverhampton WV10 0HP. Contact: Colleen Maredza 07733394648, Nancy Mangwandu 07727019329, Tendai Sithole 07966381953

ROHR Brighton Christmas Fundraising Party. Saturday 20th December. Venue: St Leonard Church Hall, 12 Glebe Villas, Hove, Brighton BN3 5SL. Admission £5 (one plate of Isithwala/Sadza and two drinks free). Contact: Sinikiwe Dube 07824668763, Seph Mpofu 07786164808, Phyllis Chibanguza 07535936460

Next Glasgow Vigil. Saturday, 20th December 2008, 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Argyle Street Precinct. For more information contact: Patrick Dzimba, 07990 724 137, Tafadzwa Musemwa 07954 344 123 and Roggers Fatiya 07769 632 687. 

Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays). 

How can you help?

The Zimbabwe Vigil exists entirely on donations from the public and well wishers. You can help us by donating via a deposit into our account Thank you.