Time to be serious – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 8th June 2013 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 09 June 2013 18:36

The Zimbabwean diaspora in the UK looks forward to the upcoming contest. We won’t be able to avoid the massive media coverage. After all, the Wimbledon tennis championships attract world-wide interest.  We will no doubt hear former champion John McEnroe, now a television tennis commentator. His famous complaint to the umpire ‘you can’t be serious’ makes us think of the ruling by the constitutional court.


We disenfranchised Zimbabweans think that Zanu PF spokesman Gumbo can’t be serious in describing President Zuma’s advisor Lindiwe Zulu as ‘a mad woman’ for insisting on the promised reforms before elections. ‘She doesn’t know what she is doing’, says Dumbo (see: Sadc wasting time: Zanu PF –


Gumboat diplomacy is unlikely to endear Zanu PF to Zuma and the Vigil hopes that the South African President will dismiss the decision of the aptly-named ‘con’court to order elections by the end of next month. No doubt the ‘mad woman’ will have informed him of the opinion of Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba that the ruling ‘defied logic’. The Mail and Guardian quoted her as saying that her boss and SADC leaders want free and fair elections in Zimbabwe ‘with or without the court ruling’ (see: Zimbabwe puts SADC to the test –


A SADC ambassador based in Harare is quoted in the same article as saying that the postponed summit will be the most important since the GPA was signed in 2008. The ambassador said the court’s judgment ‘will be followed to the extent that it is feasible to do so and this means that people have got to be rational and flexible in dealing with these issues’.


The Vigil found these comments reassuring in the light of the sombre observation by Human Rights Watch that ‘as things stand, the chances of having free, fair and credible elections are slim, particularly given the stalled security sector reforms and reforms in other sectors’ (see: reforms: Elephant in the room).


Zimbabweans in the UK, reduced to watching the tennis, will be asking SADC the question ‘Are you serious?’


 Other points

·         One of the reasons given by Mugabe for asking for the postponement of the SADC meeting was his trip to Japan along with 50+ flunkeys. The Japanese surprised everyone with big financial and aid plans for Africa but, despite Mugabe’s enormous retinue, Zimbabwe was represented by only one person at the trade fair there (see: Zimbabwe exhibits at Ticad –

·         During the day we saw cyclists in all guises. Some 50 or so naked cyclists passed through the area in a summer demonstration but we had a better view of several clothed cyclists on penny-farthings and unicycles.

·         Thanks to Wendy Ziyambi, Rose Maponga and Peter Sidindi who arrived early to help set up. Thanks also to Tino Mashonganyika and Michael Sirewu for their help putting up the high banners.

·         The Zimbabwe Association (ZA) has asked us to publicise their ‘Culture without Borders’ project. Vigil people are invited to attend the events. For further details see our ‘Events and Notices’ Section.


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: 31 signed the register.



         ROHR Midlands Region Fundraising. Saturday 15th June from 2 pm – 2 am. Venue: Malaika House, 81 George Street, Lozells, Birmingham B19 1NS. Food (BBQ) and Drinks, Music and Dance, Raffle etc. Contact: Zenzile Chabuka 07951418577, JaneMary Mapfumo 07412310429, Tafadzwa Mushakwe 07551873256, Enniah Dube  07403439707, Elector Zvorwadza 07905831330, Tecla Bandawe 07450507650, Pedzisai James 07428180518, Petronella Mapara 07903644612 and Anne Chikumba 07857528546.

         Screening of ‘Beatrice Mtetwa and the rule of law’. Tuesday 18th June at 7.45 pm. Venue: London School of Economics, New Theatre, East Building, Houghton Street WC2A 2AE. There will be a question and answer session with Beatrice and the event is free. For the film trailer, check:, For more information, check: and to register for tickets email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . There is another screening of the film on Wednesday 19th June at 8.30 pm. at the Lexi Cinema, 194b Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise, London NW10 3JU. Discounted £5 tickets (quote discount code: Zimbabwe) can be purchased at the box office 0871 7042069 or by visiting:

         Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 22nd June from 6.30 – 9.30 pm – PLEASE NOTE: change of date for this forum. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. 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.

         Culture without Borders. Tuesday 25th June onwards. For more information contact Wiz Bishop at the Zimbabwe Association 020 7739 8226, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,

-         Storytelling with Chenjerai Hove. Tuesday 25th June from 11 am – 2 pm. Venue: Spitalfields City Farm Yurt,  Buxton St, London E1 5AR

-         Solidarity with Zimbabwean victims of torture. Wednesday 26th June from 11.30 am – 2.30 pm. Venue: Oxford House Theatre Oxford House, Derbyshire St, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG.

-          Chenjerai Hove in Birmingham. Thursday 27th June from 6 – 9.30 pm. Hosted by the ZA regional Drop-in Centre at Carrs Lane Church, Birmingham B4 7SX.

-         Arts and Culture Consultation with the Zimbabwean diaspora. Friday 28th June from 10.30 am – 5 pm. Venue: Oxford House Theatre, Oxford House, Derbyshire St, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG. ZA is collaborating with the Culture Cluster of the Commonwealth Organisations Committee on Zimbabwe (COCZ) on this event.

         Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2012 can be viewed on this link:  Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2012 Highlights page.

         The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization 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.

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


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