More than hitches – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 18th August 2012 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 19 August 2012 16:48

The Vigil observed a period of silence to mourn the massacre of mineworkers by police in South Africa. We were horrified that such a thing could happen in a country to which we look for help.


It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that there is a fatal flaw in South African governance that can allow the mining confrontation to develop to this point – just as it has allowed the situation in Zimbabwe to deteriorate.


South African leaders appear willfully blind to realities – from ‘Crisis, what crisis?’ Mbeki to Zuma’s dismissal of Zanu PF’s latest attempt to subvert the constitution-making process as ‘minor hitches’.


In the hope of seeing a more dynamic approach to the Zimbabwe problem the Vigil is submitting the following letter to the President of Mozambique on Tuesday as part of the 21st Movement Free Zimbabwe Global Diaspora Protest.


His Excellency President Armando Emílio Guebuza

c/o Mozambique High Commission

21 Fitzroy Square

London W1T 6EL


Your Excellency


Zimbabweans in the diaspora – of whom there are millions – urge you as the new Chair of SADC to give priority to dealing with the dangerous situation in Zimbabwe in the run-up to next year’s crucial elections.


We are pleased to see that the summit in Maputo reaffirmed the decisions already taken on Zimbabwe but we see little evidence of urgency in the summit resolutions, particularly in preparing the ground so that the elections will be free and fair.


We are unhappy that President Mugabe’s Zanu PF party is still being allowed to put obstacles in the way of any reforms. We draw your attention to the remarks made by Daniel Bekele, Africa Director at Human Right Watch: ‘SADC leaders need to maintain pressure on ZANU-PF to honor its commitment to reform. They should make it clear that there will be consequences if ZANU-PF fails to adhere to the terms of the election road map and the GPA.’ (See:


We believe SADC should now insist that Zanu PF immediately end its refusal to the appointment of SADC representatives to the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC).


The letter will be presented to the Mozambique High Commission during a demonstration on Tuesday 21st August from 12 – 2 pm (see Events and Notices for details).


Other points

·        Claire Freeth of the Mike Campbell Foundation has contacted us to ask for support for the ‘Save the SADC Tribunal’ Campaign. You can read their media release on this link: The campaign is supported by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and John Sentamu, Archbishop of York. To sign the petition go to: and for videos, check: and Claire also asks for support for the Mike Campbell Foundation expedition ‘Sailing across the Makgadikgadi Pans’ which will raise money for the work of the Foundation. To sponsor go to We look forward to Ben Freeth’s visit to the Vigil on 10th November.

·        We were saddened to hear of the death of Vigil supporter Loreta Govere, who was MDC Portsmouth Twinning co-ordinator. Our condolences go to her family and friends. We continue to collect for the family of Vigil supporter Bernard Hukwa whose body was found in the Thames on 9th July.

·        Our best wishes for her recovery go to Vigil supporter Sue Shaw who had a serious stroke in May and spent 2 months in hospital. She is now at home with carers visiting 4 times a day.


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 RECORD: 57 signed the register.



·        Eighth 21st Movement Protest. Tuesday 21st August from 12 noon – 2 pm outside the Mozambique High Commission, 21 Fitzroy Square, London W1T 6EL. Nearest stations: Warren Street, Great Portland Street.

·        Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 25th August 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.

·        Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 1st September from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. Directions: The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn. Future special ZAF meetings: Saturday 13th October when we mark the 10th anniversary of the Vigil and Saturday 10th November when our special guest will be Ben Freeth.  These two meetings will take the place of the regular ZAF meetings in October and November. Both events at 6.30 pm at Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see entry above.

·      The Rain that Washes showing at the Lounge, Leicester Square Theatre, from Monday 17th September – Saturday 6th October at 7 pm. Check: or phone the booking line: 08448733433 for specific dates and to book tickets, ‘Instantly plunged into a young man’s compelling story of growing up in turbulent Zimbabwe, we live and breathe his extraordinary journey from innocence to escape, finally returning to his homeland to witness the greatest betrayal of all . . . Inspired by a series of interviews between Zimbabwean Christopher Maphosa and writer Dave Carey, The Rain That Washes is a true story that is poignant, political and most of all. personal’.

·        Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2011 can be viewed on this link:  Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2011 Highlights page.

·        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. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.

·        ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes 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: To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: and

·        Vigil Facebook page:

·        Vigil Myspace page:

·        Useful websites: which reports on Zanu PF abuses and where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.


How can you help?

The Zimbabwe Vigil exists entirely on donations from the public and well wishers. You can help us by donating via a deposit into our account Thank you.