Vigil demands ‘no haven in UK for CIO torturer’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 28th May 2011 PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 30 May 2011 14:27
The revelation that Britain is harbouring a CIO torturer has caused outrage beyond the Vigil’s expectations when we reported on the scandal in last week’s diary. The press have been besieging Phillip Machemedze’s house in Wales (provided at public expense). Anger at the ridiculous decision to allow him to stay in the UK is unlikely to flag, given the gruesome possibility that it could further open the door to any torturer in the world to find haven in Britain under crazy human rights legislation which seems to support the perpetrator of abuses rather than the victim.

The Vigil cannot understand the decision of the immigration judge not to send Machemedze back to Zimbabwe ‘because he might face ill-treatment there’. To Zimbabweans who have fled to the UK to escape persecution from people like him, his very presence here among us is a threat. It reminds us of the swaggering presence of Zanu PF murderers at home enjoying immunity from prosecution.

We cannot understand why Machemedze cannot be tried here in Britain under international laws against human rights violators. After all, he has admitted committing atrocities ‘too gruesome to recount’. Otherwise he should be sent to the Hague for trial by the International Criminal Court. A third possibility is that any of his victims who may be in the UK should sue him in the British courts – though they will have to face the dispiriting prospect that he will have funds  from British taxpayers to support his case through interminable levels of appeals . . .

As it is, it appears that Machemedze has been breaking British law. Police are said to be investigating allegations that he illegally obtained work here by deception – appropriately enough as a ‘care worker’! It’s not clear whether he was equipped with the pliers he said he had used to pull out the teeth of an MDC supporter after he had broken his jaw (

What is galling to people at the Vigil who have been forced to leave our country is that someone like him should be allowed to live here when so many of us are facing deportation back to Zimbabwe. Who will be allowed in next to be plugged into the British welfare system – Robert Mugabe? For a view of this case from Zimbabwe read Cathy Buckle’s latest letter (

On the subject of torture, the Vigil has again been invited to play a prominent part by providing the music for the annual service for Zimbabwean victims of torture organized by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum at 2 pm on Sunday, 26th June (the UN international day in support of victims of torture) at Wesley’s Chapel and Leysian Mission, 49 City Road, London. Speakers are Irene Petras of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Kudakwashe Chitsike of the Research and Advocacy Unit (Zimbabwe). For more details check ‘Events and Notices’.

The Vigil was glad to have many Spanish people signing our petitions. They were in London for the big football match between Barcelona and Manchester United at Wembley.  We were glad they were so supportive and wish them a speedy recovery from their hangovers!


For latest Vigil pictures check: Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check  

FOR THE RECORD: 67 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.
·       ZBN News. The Vigil management team wish to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News. 
·       The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: and to watch the video check:
·       Lecture: A Shadow of Its Former Self: Robert Mugabe and Zimbabwe's Education System. Thursday 9th June 6 pm. Venue: Alumni Theatre, New Academic Building, Lower Ground Floor (LG.09), London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE. The speaker is Peter Godwin, award-winning foreign correspondent, author, documentary-maker and screen writer. Chaired by Baroness Bonham Carter. The event is organized by Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) and the LSE Africa Initiative. The lecture is followed by a reception (7.30pm - 9.00pm): NAB 8th Floor. RSVP: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Admission free but donations welcomed on the door towards CARA's work supporting Zimbabwean academics and the re-building of the country's higher education system.
·       ROHR National Fundraising Event. Saturday 25th June from 12 noon till late. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF. Come and enjoy African dishes and music while donating to a good cause.  Admission fee £8 includes a plate of food and a soft drink. Raffle tickets on sale @ £1. Contact: Peter Nkomo 07817096594, V J Mujeyi 07403446696, Tsvakai Marambi 07915065171, Solomon L Matshoba 07733741065, P Chibanguza 07908406069, R Chifungo 07795070609 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·       Service of Solidarity with Zimbabwe’s torture victims: Sunday 26th June from 2 – 4 pm. Venue: Wesley’s Chapel and Leysian Mission, 49 City Road, London EC1Y 1AU (nearest tube: Old Street). The event is organized by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum ( Speakers are Irene Petras, Director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Kudakwashe Chitsike, Lawyer in the Women’s Department of the Research and Advocacy Unit (Zimbabwe). Vigil supporters will be providing the music in the form of Zimbabwean hymns.
·       Vigil Facebook page:
·       Vigil Myspace page:
·       ‘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 send 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 ( 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.


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