Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 29th May 2010 Print
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Sunday, 30 May 2010 19:17

The Vigil has called on the new British government to support our demand for early elections in Zimbabwe. In a letter to Foreign Secretary William Hague we urge the UK government to ensure peacekeeping troops are sent to Zimbabwe  to prevent  Mugabe’s militias from stealing the elections. Here is our letter: 

“Dear Mr Hague 

“The Zimbabwe Vigil wishes to congratulate you on your appointment and express our best wishes.  We trust that we will continue to have the support of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Parties in our campaign for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. We pay tribute to Michael Ancram, among others, for his long-standing support for our cause and were pleased to be visited by Mr Clegg of the Liberal Democrats.   

“The Zimbabwe Vigil has been protesting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy every Saturday afternoon since October 2002 against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe and for internationally-monitored, free and fair elections. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk. 

“The Vigil is calling for new elections in Zimbabwe as soon as possible provided they can be overseen by an international peace-keeping force. We have been collecting signatures for the following petition: ‘Petition to the UN Security Council. We call on the Security Council to ensure that the next elections in Zimbabwe are free and fair. We look to the United Nations to supervise the electoral process and the handover of power to a new government and believe peace-keeping troops will need to be in place before, during and after the polling.’ 

“We urge the United Kingdom to insist that new elections in Zimbabwe are held under international supervision, including a military force to protect against violence already being planned by Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.  

“The view of the Zimbabwe Vigil is that the interim Zimbabwean government is a charade and that there is no alternative other than to have new elections as soon as possible as Mugabe has refused to honour his undertakings under the Global Political Agreement signed more than 18 months ago.  

“We take this opportunity to draw your attention to another petition being run by the Vigil: ‘A petition to the UK government. We welcome the UK’s humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe but call on the UK government to withhold development aid until it is confident that the money will benefit the people rather than the corrupt Mugabe regime.’ 

“As you will know, the Movement for Democratic Change has been coerced into calling for the removal of targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his cronies. A delegation from the Zimbabwean government is expected to have talks soon with the European Union at which this matter will no doubt be discussed. It will argue that progress towards implementing the Global Political Agreement depends on the lifting of these sanctions. The Zimbabwe Vigil hopes that the UK government will reject this implicit threat. The MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has learnt that giving in to Mugabe does not advance the cause of freedom.” 

Vigil co-ordinator Dumi Tutani explained to ZimVigil TV the reasoning behind the letter. He said it was important that the Vigil’s view was clearly presented  at a time when other Zimbabwean groups in the UK were seeking to engage with the British government. He said that we represented activists and shouldn’t be side-lined by others who spent their time talking instead of engaging the public and campaigning for change. 

The Vigil was glad to see an address by Jacob C Ngarivhume, Chair of the group Voice for Democracy, on the occasion of the International Day of UN Peace-keepers today. In it he refers to the UN principle ‘Responsibility to Protect’, which was endorsed by the Zimbabwean government five years ago. Mr Ngarivhume said ‘As there is nothing to suggest that the Zimbabwe government can or will protect its own people, the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ voters in the run-up to elections falls squarely on SADC, the AU and the international community.’ It is encouraging to see other groups working on the same lines as we are.  For the full address check:http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/may30_2010.html#Z1. 

With a meeting of the countries comprising the group Friends of Zimbabwe due to be held in Oslo in June, the Vigil urges them to put pressure on the unity government to take seriously the negotiations on implementing the Global Political Agreement. We are disturbed that the negotiations that President Zuma said last November should be over in weeks are still going on more than six months later. The latest meeting of the principals – delayed since early April – was due to take place on Friday but was postponed by Tsvangirai’s late return from his latest jaunt abroad. Perhaps he should be under the same travel sanctions as Mugabe to force him to stay at home and deal with the matter. 

The brilliant spring weather broke today and rain greeted the start of the Vigil. Thanks to Moses Kandiyawo of the Vigil management team who came early because he thought there would be problems setting up in the rain. He grabbed the tarpaulin and had it up in record time – within 15 minutes the tarpaulin, banners, posters and tables were all in place and we were ready to start. The Vigil wants ‘Vigil set-ups’ to be introduced as a sport in the Olympics in London in 2012. After all our practice we are confident of carrying off the gold.  

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check the link at the top of the home page of our website.  For earlier ZimVigil TV programmes check: http://www.zbnnews.com/home/firingline. 

FOR THE RECORD: 127 signed the register. 

·       OTIENO by Trevor Michael Georges. A contemporary reworking of Shakespeare's Othello, set against the continuing deprivation of present-day Zimbabwe. Till Saturday 12th June at 7.30 pm, matinees 3 pm. Venue: Southwark Playhouse, Shipwright Yard (Corner of Tooley St. & Bermondsey St.), London SE1 2TF. For tickets ring 020 7407 0234 or book online here.
·       ROHR Northampton general meeting. Saturday 5th June at 2 pm. Venue:  Carey Memorial Baptist Church, King Street, Kettering, Northants, NN16 8QL. ROHR Executive members present and Guest Speakers. Contact: Marshall Rusike 07833787775,Wadzanayi Mpandawana 07717795574, Gladys Milanzi  07846 448 711, Norian Chindowa 07954379426, Sherry Ngaseke 07869295544 Or P Mapfumo 07915 926 323 / 07932 216 070.
·       ROHR Bristol launch meeting. Saturday 5th June 2010 from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Joseph's Presbytery, 232 Forest Road, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 3QT. Come along and hear what's happening back home and see if we can do something to help. ROHR President, National Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact Bridget Mubaiwa 07789084534, Cecilia Ndhlovu 07545118593, Emelia Sydney 07789991197, P Chibanguza 07908406069, P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·       ROHR South East London general meeting. Saturday 12th June from 1 – 3 pm. Venue: 16 Sydenham Road, Sydenham, London SE24 5QW. Contact P Chitsinde 07897000075, C Chiromo 07894586005 or 07838153217.
·       ROHR Liverpool general meeting. Saturday 12th June from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Fairfield Police Club, Prescot Road, Fairfield, LiverpoolL7 0JD. T-shirts available for £10.00. NEW MEMBERS ARE VERY WELCOME. Contact: Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758. Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161
·       ROHR Liverpool demonstration. Saturday 19th June from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark) Liverpool City Centre. For details please contact: Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161 Next Demonstration: Saturday 26th June from 2 – 5 pm at Paradise Street, Liverpool City Centre.  Future demonstrations: Saturdays from 2 – 5 pm at Church Street (Outside Primark), Liverpool City Centre. Dates: 24th and 31st July, 7th and 21st August, 4th September.
·       Church Service in Support of Zimbabwean Victims of Torture. Saturday 26th June from 12 -1.30 pm. Venue: Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8EP. This is an annual event organised by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum on the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The Zim HR Forum has asked the Vigil to provide a choir.  After the service there will be a procession to the Vigil.
·       ROHR Peterborough launch meeting. Saturday 3rd July from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: 37-38 Copeland, Bretton, Peterborough PA3 6YJ.  Present will be the Founder of ROHR and National Executive plus a well known lawyer. Contact: Alista Mabiya 07724540506, Nyarai Maziso 07732545514, P Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·       Campaign on behalf of Zimbabweans with disputed nationality. There is a possibility that the group known as London Citizens may launch a campaign on behalf of Zimbabweans with disputed nationality (such as arriving in the UK on a non-Zimbabwean – for instance Malawian – passport).  This campaign can only go ahead if there are sufficient numbers to warrant the expense.  If you are in this category please email your name to Vigil management team member Luka Phiri: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Your information will be treated in the strictest confidence and not passed on to anyone in authority.
·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturdays from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.  Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. For more information check: www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.
·       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).
·       Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. For information: http://www.citizensforsanctuary.org.uk/pages/Strategic.html or contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
·        For Motherland ENT’s videos of the Vigil on 24/04/2009, check: http://www.youtube.com/
and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7qqXJ7jfVY.