Sanitising Zanu PF – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 25th May 2013 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 26 May 2013 19:55

‘We are sorry and we pass our condolences to his family’ said MDC T MP for Mazowe Central Shepherd Mushonga. Who was the noble soul he was lamenting? None other than Elias Kanengoni, the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Organisation who died unexpectedly at his farm in Concession.


The late lamented was sentenced to seven years in prison for the shooting and maiming of former Gweru mayor Patrick Kombayi in the run-up to the 1990 elections. But he was pardoned by Mugabe. The late lamented was also named by the MDC T as one of the people responsible for the deaths of 14 party activists at Chaona village in Chiweshe on a night in May 2008. Speaking to SW Radio Africa last year Mr Mushonga said: ‘The awful thing about this massacre is that people were executed in cold blood and in public view by perpetrators well known in the district and province’ (see: One of Mugabe’s top spies dies –


The Vigil is sorry that Mr Mushonga is saddened by the death of this weekend farmer who, although a public servant, was a member of the Zanu PF central committee. Why are we going on about this hypocrisy? Well, the Vigil thinks that the demand for justice is not going to go away however hard the MDC tries to reassure Zanu PF.  There is simply no way that Zanu PF can escape being called to account – if only by a South African-style truth and reconciliation process.


The Vigil’s reflections on this were prompted by a sycophantic fawning television documentary on the Mugabe family made for the SABC by Dali Tambo, son of South African liberation hero Oliver Tambo. ‘Flowers, silver cutlery and a box of tissues adorn the spotless white tablecloth’ reports the British Guardian newspaper, which was given a preview of the programme. ‘Mum chortles’ as the first family tucks in . . . ‘You're very loving, you're kind, you're generous’, she gushes to the President.


Tambo, says the Guardian, makes no apology for humanising a man he believes has long been demonised. Describing Mugabe as ‘warm, charismatic and very humorous’, he said: ‘I feel, honestly, a pride in that man and I think that he has been misunderstood and ill-judged by a lot of the press.’  (Mugabes under the spotlight – Zimbabwe's first family filmed at home – 


The sanitising of Mugabe drew some critical comments from the readership of the article. Here is one we found particularly illuminating: My father managed a 5 star hotel in central London in the late 80's. Mugabe used to stay at the hotel. When his motorcade would leave for Heathrow, it included a dozen trucks from the likes of Harrods, and after check out, a handler from the High Commission would come to the hotel with a suitcase of cash and pay for anything missing from the inventory of the rooms they used in exchange for not pressing charges of theft or going to the press. Everything from TVs to cutlery to chairs would be missing and loaded on to their trucks.


Other points

·         The Vigil salutes Comrade Mugabe as he leads a delegation of 50 to yet another conference – this time to the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (held in Yokohama!) The jaunt will be paid for by increasing pension contributions (see: trip gobbles millions).

·         The Vigil eagerly awaits Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube’s promised mid-year launch of the ‘Leather Sector Strategy’. Glad to see there are still some animals around (see: deficit to widen to US$3 billion).

·         After months of dreary weather we were grateful for warmth and sunshine today. London was awash with German football fans for the Champions League final between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. Some joined in our dancing and we told them we were sure the Germans would win!

·         The Vigil was charmed by Josephine Mudzingwa Siziba, the ‘Queen of North Shields’ whose positive attitude to life in the UK is so encouraging to people forced into exile by Mr Tembo’s idol (see: Queen of North Shields). Watch it quickly because it will drop off BBC iplayer in a few days.

·         We ask your prayers for Vigil management team member Josephine Zhuga whose grandchild was stillborn. On the same day her other son was involved in a head-on collision on his way to pick up Josephine to put her on the train to South Yorkshire to visit the family who had lost the baby. We are relieved to say that her son was not seriously injured and has been discharged from hospital and her daughter-in-law is out of intensive care.


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: 34 signed the register.



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