Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 12th February 2011 Print
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Sunday, 13 February 2011 17:11

As Egyptians celebrated the triumph of people power, the Vigil marked the second anniversary of Zimbabwe’s Government of National Unity (GNU) with posters expressing our disgust at how the agreement has rescued Zanu-PF and emasculated the MDC.  

We are still bewildered why MDC leaders signed up to such a flawed document. ‘Two years forward for GNU – two years backward for MDC’ read one of our posters. 

We are still angry that the agreement’s SADC guarantors have allowed Mugabe to get away with murder. ‘Two years of GNU – two years of violence and looting’ read another poster.  

Vigil supporters are disgusted that the opposition is more occupied in fighting among themselves than against Zanu-PF: ‘MDC: many-headed Hydra – all parties of excellence?’ read another poster. 

In short ‘Two years of GNU – thanks for GNUTHING’ concluded another. 

With the quasi-legitimacy conferred by the GNU, Zanu-PF is making further inroads in the UK. We have always had the families of Zanu-PF bigwigs here of course – for education, to look after investments etc. (Who knows when a bolt-hole will be needed when the ‘Ben Ali / Mubarak’ time comes?) Then there are the dozens of CIO people working for the Embassy . . .  

The Guardian newspaper reported recently that 32 suspected Zanu-PF war criminals are believed to be in the UK – among hundreds of suspects at large from countries ranging from Iraq and Afghanistan to Rwanda and the DRC. (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/feb7_2011.html#Z4). 

Among the dubious Zimbabwean organizations springing up here is ‘Zimbabwe Achievers UK’ who have announced a ‘short’ list of about 160 nominees for awards in some 30 categories (see: http://www.mafaro.com/awards/news.php).  Surprisingly there is not a specific category for ‘Zimbabwe war criminal’ or ‘Zanu-PF propagandist’. But Vigil supporters noticed the inclusion of long-standing Mugabe fan George Shire in the category ‘Academic Award’. (‘This award recognizes the individual who best exemplifies an advocate for professionalism and presenting the best public image. Will also have served as a model of dedication, enthusiasm, and leadership’).  Very soon they will be electing Mugabe president of the year. 

Diary readers may remember Shire (called ‘Professor’ in the Zimbabwe Achievers announcement) from the Vigil’s encounter with him in Lisbon in December 2007 when he mounted a rival demonstration in support of Mugabe who was attending an EU / AU summit meeting. Certainly Shire is a ‘model of dedication’ to Zanu-PF (see: http://www.swradioafrica.com/news101207/zimvig101207.htm 

Needless to say the Vigil has not been nominated for an award. But it is for the best: we wouldn’t want to pay £60 a head to attend this fake Rolex event.  

Other Points
·           Vigil founder member Ephraim Tapa – who is President of ROHR – said the current violence in Zimbabwe showed how inappropriate was the UK government’s proclaimed intention to send back failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers. He said this plan should be shelved until after elections in Zimbabwe. If there were free and fair elections people in the diaspora would want to go home.
·           It was good to meet Edward Sims from the office of the Member for the European Parliament for the East of England Geoffrey Van Orden. Edward spoke of Mr van Orden’s fight to keep EU targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his cronies (see: EU starts deliberations on extending sanctions targeting Zimbabwe President Mugabehttp://www.zimbabwesituation.com/feb13_2011.html#Z7).
We were impressed by Sandra Manyika’s efforts to get to the Vigil. She left Sheffield at 10 am with Kieran 8 years, Kanisha 6 years and Brianna 3 months and didn’t expect to get home till 11.30 pm.
·           We welcomed back Josephine Zhuga who has been unwell for a while.  She spent her convalescence knitting stylish hats and scarves in the Zimbabwean colours.  See our photos.  She has been asked to bring more.  

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check http://www.zimvigiltv.com/   

FOR THE RECORD:   120 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.
·           ROHR Stoke-on-Trent general meeting. Saturday 19th February from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: 19 Regent Road Stoke-on-Trent ST1 3BT. ROHR executive members present. Contact: David R Mugwira 07833943494, Maxwell Dube 07533349840, Faith Pemba 07780594852, P Chibanguza 07908406069 / 07534626040 or P Mapfumo on 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·           ROHR Yorkshire general meeting. Saturday 19th February from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Dock Green Inn, Ashley Road, Leeds LS9 7AB. Contact:  Chinofunga Ndoga 07877993826, Prosper Mudamvanji 07897594874, Wonder Mubaiwa 07958758568, Donna Mugoni 07748828913 or R Chifungo 07795070609.
·           Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum Meeting: Elections in Zimbabwe 2011 – good idea? Monday 21st February at 7.30 -9.30 pm. Venue: Amnesty International UK Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Yard Inn, London EC2A 3EA. Nearest tube: Old Street (Exit 4) or Liverpool Street (Bishopsgate West Exit). Speakers: Okay Machisa and Kucaca Phulu National Director and Chair of Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights). You will also be able to view the ZimRights photographic exhibition ‘Reflections’ which features images of Zimbabwe’s violent 2008 election period.
·           ROHR Peterborough general meeting. Saturday 26th February from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Millfield Community Centre, 3 New England Complex, Lincoln RoadPeterborough PE1 2PE. Contact: Alista Mabiya 07724540506, Bertha Chiyangwa 07846151527 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·           ROHR Bournemouth general meeting. Saturday 26th February from 2 – 5.30 pm. Venue: East Cliff Reformed Church opposite ASDA store, Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth BH8 8AY. Contact: Sekai 07772211220, Sledge 07788850146, Abi 07780831455, P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·           ROHR Bristol general meeting.  Saturday 5th March from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Joseph’s Presbytery Church, 232 Forest Road, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 3QT. Contact: Ronald Oputeri 07791109394, Bridgita Mubaiwa 07789084534,Cecilia Ndlovu 07740122687 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070
·           Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
·           Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
·           ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and 0send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe.
·       Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk). Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you are interested in taking part.