Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 26th June 2010 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 27 June 2010 18:03

The healing process in Zimbabwe is a sham and reconciliation should be handled by an independent commission said the National Director of the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance, the Reverend Useni Sibanda. He was speaking at a church service in London to mark the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.  

Pastor Sibanda said the organ of national healing run by the coalition government was dysfunctional and wasting everyone’s time. He said it should be recognized that the diaspora were also victims of the regime and they should raise the matter with the Deputy Prime Minister, Ms Thokozani Khupe of the MDC, during her forthcoming visit to the UK. 

The service at the Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church was led by Father Nigel Johnson SJ from Bulawayo who said the perpetrators of abuses must acknowledge what they had done so that Zimbabweans could move forward. He quoted the Bible: ‘The truth will set you free’.  

Vigil supporters were well-represented at the Service and Pastor Sibanda paid tribute to the Vigil for carrying on the struggle for so long. The Vigil choir led by Sister Beverley Mutandiro was accompanied by exuberant dancing and drumming.  One observer said ‘The singing was fabulous’. The service was followed by a procession to the Vigil with posters proclaiming ‘26th June – International Day in Support of Victims of Torture – United Nations’, ‘The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum supports Zimbabwe Victims of Torture’ and ‘The Zimbabwe Vigil supports Zimbabwe Victims of Torture’. On a hot, sunny day they arrived at the Vigil singing and toyi-toying. 

Other points
·       The service was organised by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum who called on the Zimbabwean government  to ratify the convention against torture. In a statement they decried the culture of impunity.
·       A message was read from Geoffrey Van Orden, MEP, a resolute champion of Zimbabwe. He said ‘The Mugabe regime has grown fat off the land whilst Zimbabwe’s people have gone unfed. Those who would not go quietly have been tortured – or even killed – simply for having the audacity to challenge this terrible status quo.’
·       The Vigil was assailed by an English PR agent, Penny Hooper, of a company called Travel e-Sense. She is promoting the Zimbabwean tourist industry and said she was appalled to see the negative image that we were giving.  We pointed out that we were not against tourists going to Zimbabwe but we were against pretending that there was nothing wrong there. We explained that Zimbabwe had the worst torture record in the world and that last year Zimbabweans were world champions in the asylum stakes.
·       Passer-by Marie Henry (age 15) disagreed with Ms Hooper. She wrote: ‘These people have every right to protest against Mugabe. He is an evil man – he must be out of power!’
·       Our sympathies to our Leicester supporters who hired a mini-bus to come in force to the church service and Vigil.  Unfortunately they broke down on the motorway and spent five hours waiting for help. Despite their long delay they came on to the Vigil and spent the last hour with us. (Mitchell Meki, Elizabeth Mhara, Patson Muzuwa, Crispen Kulenji, Charles Ndelemani, Lizzway Jose, Patrick Musengwa, Debrah Chinogwenya, Diana Shambara, Portia Mudzudzu, Chrissie F Tsikirayi, Makaza Chizinga, Wadzanayi, Magondo, Christina Ndhlovu, Millicent Sabau, Mandiwengerei Zambeza, Vimbai Mangoma.)
·       Special thanks to Godfrey Madzunga who was at the church early and was a tremendous help throughout the day. Thanks also to Rashiwe Bayisayi and Patrick Nyamwanza who helped manage the register and merchandise.
·       Vigil supporter Adrian Smale is proposing to cycle from Salisbury to the Vigil (85 miles). He is raising money for Zimbabwean orphans. If you want to sponsor him contact him on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or tel: 07946 128204.
·       We have been contacted by Yvonne Marimo of the Zimbabwean Women’s Network who are involved in bringing Thokozani Khupe to the UK.  They are keen that she should meet Vigil supporters and Tuesday 6th July has been suggested subject to confirmation with Ms Khupe’s office.  We will let you know when plans firm up.
·       We were not surprised that the start of the constitutional outreach was marred by violence – see: 

For latest Vigil pictures check: 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: 

FOR THE RECORD: 184 signed the register. 

·       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.
·       Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum Workshop on Transitional Justice Outreach to the Diaspora. Thursday 1st July from 11 am – 4 pm. Venue Development House, Meeting Room 2b, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT. Nearest tube: Old Street. Facilitators: Rev Useni Sibanda (National Director of Zimbabwe Christian Alliance), Father Nigel Johnson SJ (Station Manager: Radio Dialogue) and Gabriel Shumba (Director of Zimbabwe Exiles Forum). Places are limited. To register email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone Wiz / Ebba on 020 7065 0945. Travel help for the unwaged – let the organizers know in advance.
·       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.
·       Another opportunity to meet Philip Barclay, a diplomat stationed at the British Embassy in Harare from 2006 – 2009. He will be discussing his book ‘Years of Hope and Despair’. He asks why the world stood by and watched as Zimbabwe burned and questions whether power-sharing offers the way forward. Tuesday 6th July at 6.30 pm. Venue: Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT.
·       Discussion with Mark Canning, British Ambassador to Zimbabwe. Friday 9th July from 11 am to 12.15pm. Venue: Lancaster House, Stable Yard, St James, London, SW1A 1BB. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office invites you to a discussion with Mr Canning on “The politics and situation in Zimbabwe and the UK Government Response”. Names must be submitted in advance to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (tel: 020 7008 4871) by 2pm on Thursday 8 July. Photographic ID required. Closest tube station: Green Park
·       ROHR North London general meeting. Saturday 10th July from 2 – 5.30 pm Venue: Tottenham Chances, 339 High Road, London N17 6QN, Closest Tube - Seven Sisters, from Seven Sisters towards Tottenham three stops on buses 123, 149, 256, 349, 341, 476. ROHR Executive and Guest Speakers present. Contact Gladys Mapanda 07576941003, Bekthemba Nyahwa 0754905348, Nobuhle Ndlovu 07949588597 or Collin Chitekwe 0795771291.
·       ROHR London South-East Branch general meeting. Saturday 10th July 2010 at 1 pm. Venue: 16 Sydenham Road, London SE26 5QW. Contact Wellington Rupere 07799702750; Priscilla Chitsinde 07804696328, Courage Chiromo 07894586005 or C Chitekwe 07957712691.
·       ROHR Liverpool Vigil. Saturday 24th July 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. Future demonstrations: 31st July, 7th and 21st August, 4th September. Same time and venue.
·       ROHR Coventry general meeting. Saturday 24th July from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: 90a Paynes Lane, Coventry CV1 5JH. ROHR National Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact V.J Mujeye 07534034594, Nash Sibanda 07886660392, Pauline Makuwere 07575265710, P. Mapfumo 07932216070/07915926323 or P Chibanguza 07908406069.
·       ROHR Hayes general meeting. Saturday 31st July from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: Brookside Community Centre, Hayes, UB4 0PE. The raffle for the cmputer, DVD player, printer and Samsung mobile phone will be drawn and tickets are still on sale. ROHR Executive present. Contact Roda Kulhengisa 07958205544, Snodia Chihowa 07852921523, Charity Nyamuzuwe 07898765091 or P Mapfumo 0791592623 / 07932216070
·       Vigil Facebook page:
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·       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:
·       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: 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: and


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