Zimbabwe Vigil Diary 20/12/2008 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 21 December 2008 22:48

Father Cholera visits the Vigil

There was massive media presence because of the juxtaposition of cholera and Christmas. We were particularly pleased to have the SABC with us because our main message is addressed to South Africa.  We are encouraged that the rest of the world seems to be coming around to our view – both our petitions are aimed pressing South Africa to take action against Mugabe.


Father Cholera had an exhausting time sweating behind his Mugabe mask. When he appeared in his Santa Claus outfit he was mobbed by television crews (Sky, CNN, Channel 4, Aljazeera and others). He cut down from the trees beautifully wrapped Christmas presents (grateful thanks to Pattie and her group for producing these) and handed them to Vigil supporters representing the people of Zimbabwe. They were labelled: cholera, anthrax, starvation, hunger, violence, murder, rape, torture, greed, injustice, destruction, death,  corruption, lies, inflation, AIDS, malaria, devastation, kleptocracy, terror.  People told Father Cholera that they did not want his presents and led by Jenatry Muranganwa shouted out a chorus ‘Mugabe must go, Mugabe must die’. Feelings were very high as many have relatives suffering from the cholera crisis. It was decided that a fitting place to leave the presents was the doorstep of the Embassy where we also placed a large white cross.    


Lots of people were interviewed about their experiences. We should caution here that the Vigil does not necessarily endorse the comments made by people attending the Vigil. There is no way that we can stop people being interviewed but we always try to use spokespeople that we know are well-informed and in harmony with the Vigil mission statement.  


We googled ‘Father Cholera’ and found that the story of our protest was widely reported.  As well as being on the Channel 4 and Yahoo News websites and those of national newspapers (Guardian, Daily Express, Mirror, Daily Star) it was in the Post in Ireland, the Herald and the Falkirk Herald in Scotland, and provincial English papers in Wigan, Liverpool and Bath. There is a good video on Virgin Media, check link: 


On a mild, dry day the protest drew a large crowd augmented by a busload from Leicester brought by Patson Muzuwa. We celebrated the second birthday of Zizi, son of Dumi and Gugu Tutani of the Vigil Management Team.  A collection was made for cholera. Finally, congratulations to Vigil supporter Yeukai Taruvinga. She has won an award for her work as a Volunteer with the Refugee Council.  Please check: for the full story.  


For latest Vigil pictures check: 


FOR THE RECORD: 200 + signed the register.


Central London Zimbabwe Forum. Monday 22nd December at 7.30 pm. Venue: The Cole Room, Fabian Society, 11 Dartmouth St, London SW1H 9BN (020 7227 4900). Nearest station: St. James’ Park. 
   Next Glasgow Vigil. Saturday, 3rd January 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
Unite Zimnite. Saturday, 24th January 2009 at 7 pm. King’s College London’s student-led charity Project Zimbabwe is holding a fundraiser for Zimbabwe. The event is an African themed open mic night with over 8 acts coming to perform.  Money raised will go towards their MedYouth Project, a life skills programme being taught to school children in Bulawayo next summer. Venue: Function Room, Walkabout, Temple. Cost: £10/£5NUS. For more information, check: 
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).

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