Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 4th April 2009 Print
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Sunday, 05 April 2009 16:33

Much talk at the Vigil about the plight of Zimbabwean prisoners. Most of us knew about the dreadful conditions in Zimbabwean prisons – some because we had experienced them ourselves. But such is the power of television that we were all shocked by the SABC report exposing the holocaust. We were sickened to hear Justice Minister Chinamasa say that the SABC pictures couldn’t have shown the situation in Zimbabwean prisons because cameras are not allowed in and the pictures must have been from some other country.  The only encouraging thing was that the SABC has finally cast aside its blinkers and decided to show what the situation in Zimbabwe is really like. 

The feeling at the Vigil was that something must be done immediately to save these poor devils starving to death. We despair of the new government. How can the MDC allow this situation to continue when so many of their own people are incarcerated?  

We noticed that Finance Minister Biti is now bleating about sanctions. What is he talking about? Has he been hypnotized? Has he not taken aboard the message that the West is not going to give money to Mugabe? People at the Vigil commented that the MDC ministers are beginning to sound and behave more and more like Zanu-PF. We were appalled that they were so keen to grab their new Mercedes instead of taking the opportunity to make a telling point to the world by refusing them.   

A lady from Botswana came past the Vigil and said she didn’t like our petition. Here it is: “A Petition to the UK Government:  In the light of the Zimbabwean power-sharing agreement, we call upon the UK government to withhold government aid to Zimbabwe until they can ensure that any aid will benefit the people rather than the corrupt Mugabe regime.” We can’t understand her complaint. Is the West expected to keep Zanu PF in power? Let SADC pay. 

It was an unusual Vigil because the Water Board had invaded our space and caged off two of our trees and one of our lampposts.  Renewal of sewerage they said – pretty appropriate for Zimbabwe!  We made the most of the barriers to display our posters showing the tortured and beaten. Despite the unity government we are told that there is still a lot of fear. Newly arrived Zimbabwean children are apparently too scared to come to the Vigil because of possible repercussions back home. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/ 

FOR THE RECORD: 310 signed the register. 

·         Central London Zimbabwe Forum. Monday 6th April at 7.30 pm. Venue: Bell and Compass, 9-11 Villiers Street, London, WC2N 6NA, next to Charing Cross Station at the corner of Villiers Street and John Adam Street.       
·        ROHR Liverpool general meeting. Saturday, 11th April. Venue: Prescot Lodge, 52-56 Prescot Road, Fairfield, Liverpool L7 0JA.  Contact: D Chimuka on 07917733711 or P Mapfumo on 07932216070   
·        ROHR Chelmsford general meeting. Saturday 18th April from1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Springfield Parish Hall Centre, CM1 6GX. Sadza, Mazondo, neMaguru plus Zim music zviri jahwi. Remember it's Independence Day in Zimbabwe what do you say, are you free? Contact: Billy R Machekano 07908332724
/07765459538, Robert Mafigo 07944815190, Tendai Gwanzura 07961702832 or Faith Benesi 07958650670.
·        ROHR Coventry fashion show. Saturday 18th April from 3 pm – 2 am. Venue:  Stoke Aldermoor Community Centre, 3 Acorn Street, Stoke Aldermoor CV3 1DP. Contact: V J Mujeye 07534034594, Pauline Makuwerere 07533332306, Nash 07886660392, Christine Katsande 07958560094
·        ROHR Leeds general meeting. Saturday, 25th April from 1.30 – 5 pm. Venue: Dock Green Inn, Leeds LS9 7AB. Contact: Wonder M Mubaiwa 07958758568, Donna Mugoni 07533259373 or B Sikosana 07940181761
·         Fundraising for the Vigil at the London Marathon. Sunday, 26th April.  Steve Garvey, teacher at the Dolphin School, Battersea, is running in the London Marathon to raise money on behalf of the Vigil.
·         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).