Zimbabwe Vigil PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 10 April 2016 14:44

Zimbabwe Vigil

Every Saturday from 14.00 - 18.00 since October 2002

Zimbabwe Vigil Mission Statement:

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, London, will take place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights by the current regime n Zimbabwe. The Vigil will continue until internationally - monitored, free and fair lections are held in Zimbabwe. 

Looking for Vigil pictures? See them on Flickr Click here

 
Commonwealth to save Zimbabwe? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 21st April 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 22 April 2018 15:20
Mnangagwa lookalikes

The Commonwealth is reported to have agreed to a rescue mission for Zimbabwe at its meeting in London this week during the visit by Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Lieutenant-General Sibusiso Moyo.

The London weekly newsletter Zimbabwe Confidential says Commonwealth countries hosting exiled Zimbabweans have agreed to organize airlifts back to Zimbabwe to allow them to vote in the elections, expected in July or August.

The decision follows General Moyo’s announcement that, although no date has yet been announced for the elections, it was too late to organize voting in the diaspora as Zimbabwe’s diplomatic missions are hardly ever open and staff had not been approved by the Israeli Nikuv company which traditionally arranges Zimbabwe’s elections.

The UK’s ‘fly to vote’ operation is expected to be funded by its foreign aid budget and the new Zimbabwe Airways, apparently connected to the Mugabe family, will provide planes. All travel arrangements are in the hands of Vice-President General Chiwenga’s wife Mary and the diaspora will cast their ballots at a special polling station set up by the military on the Agriculture Rural Development Authority seed farm she recently seized near Harare.

The Vigil has done exhaustive research and is sorry to say that this is all fake news, or what we used to call Herald or ZBC news. We are particularly sorry because this scenario is the only way we can see that the millions of people in the diaspora will be able to exercise their constitutional right to vote and because it reflects our skepticism about the running of the elections.

With only three months or so to go before the polls, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network says it is dismayed at the lack of progress in implementing electoral reforms (see: https://www.dailynews.co.zw/articles/2018/04/19/reforms-delay-jeopardises-polls). And now we learn of an MDC T activist being assaulted  by soldiers and kidnapped in Bindura on Independence Day (see: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-133628.html).

We at the Vigil have been busy following General Moyo’s visit to London (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/press-releases/934-zimbabwe-vigil-media-release-19th-april-2018-). As we gathered outside the Embassy today there was an unusual amount of activity at the normally recumbent Embassy and we were told that Moyo was there and that it had been suggested that he should come out and speak to us. He didn’t appear. We questioned those coming out and learned that it was an open meeting for the diaspora but when our activists tried to get in they were turned away. So much for ‘open meeting’. It was open for Zanu PF supporters only.

Other points

  • After a bitterly cold early Spring, we are experiencing a mid-April heatwave and would advise General Moyo and his coterie that it looks ridiculous in London to wear a woolly scarf in this weather – even it’s only in slavish imitation of President Mnangagwa who seems to have adopted the custom of wearing a scarf in Zimbabwean colours.
  • Vigil activists will be outside the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House on Monday when General Moyo is to speak. Check ‘Events and Notices’ for details.
  • Check: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/20/boris-johnson-says-britain-will-support-zimbabwe-return-commonwealth/amp/ for a comment from one of our activists Salani (Sally) Mutseyami on the premature nature of Boris Johnson’s comments that Britain would back a Zimbabwean bid to rejoin Commonwealth if presidential elections go smoothly.
  • Thanks to those who attended our weekday protests: Abigail Chidavayenzi, Chido Makawa, Daizy Fabian, Dennis Benton, Dumi Tutani, Eletha Mpofu, Heather Makawa, Martin Chinyanga, Mary Ndoro, Michelle Makoni, Rose Benton, Rosemary Maponga and Sipho Ndlovu on Wednesday outside the Zimbabwe Embassy and Abigail Chidavayenzi, Michelle Makoni, Rose Benton and Tozonziani Musanhi on Thursday in support of the Swazi protest outside the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Abigail Chidavayenzi, Daizy Fabian, Isabell Gwatidzo, Heath Jiri, Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa, Kennedy Makonese, Lucia Mudzimu, Margaret Munenge, Esther Munyira, Maria Mwaruwari, Morella Nhau, Ulibile Nkwate, Simon Nyanhi and Innocent Zvihwati. Thanks to Esther, Abigail, Ulibile and Chido for looking after the front table, to Isabell, Ulibile, Abigail, Maria, Heath, Simon, Heather and Chido for handing out flyers and to Daizy, Margaret, Abigail, Morella, Maria, Ulibile and Heath for putting up the banners. Thanks to Heather for taking photographs.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 21 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Protest outside Chatham House. Monday 23rd April from 4 pm. Venue: 10 St James's Square, London SW1Y 4LE. Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Moyo is speaking from 4.30 – 5.30. Vigil supporters will be outside to once again press our message for reforms to ensure truly free and fair elections. For more information check: https://www.chathamhouse.org/event/zimbabwe-s-international-re-engagement-and-socio-economic-recovery.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 19th May from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, Contact: Daisy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • ROHR Reading Fifth Anniversary celebration. Saturday 26th May from 2 pm till late. Venue: Pakistani Community Hall, London Road, Reading West RG1 3PA. There will be food, drinks, music, games, prizes and raffle and ROHR Reading will be presenting food donations to local food banks. Contact: Nicodimus 07877386792, Josephine 07455166668, Shylette 07828929806 and Deborah 07578894896.
  • 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 http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded over the past 15 years as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil for £10. All proceeds will go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Facebook pages:
 
Zimbabwe Vigil Media Release: 19th April 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 April 2018 18:33

Grotesque Charade in London 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/26676653847/sizes/m/

Zimbabwe’s military regime was embraced in the UK while back home Vice-President General Chiwenga sacked all nurses in government hospitals for demanding a living wage. See: https://zwnews.com/vp-chiwenga-pointing-at-ed-mnagagwa-independence-day/.

Vigil activists were outside the Embassy in London on Independence Day when the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister General Sibusiso Moyo was present at a reception. The Embassy called the police who were happy to let our protest continue as long as we didn’t block the Embassy doorway.

The Vigil distributed the following leaflet: 

‘Lipstick on a pig’

 Exiled Zimbabweans welcomed the ousting of Robert Mugabe in the military coup last November. But the Zimbabwe Vigil cautions against prematurely embracing the new regime represented here by Lieutenant General Moyo, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

General Moyo is fresh from what the regime’s newspaper calls ‘a charm offensive’ in New York, where he parroted President Mnangagwa’s mantra that Zimbabwe is ‘open for business’. General Moyo said that, apart from economic reforms, the regime is undertaking ‘serious agreed political reforms’.

The Vigil has seen no sign of these and suggests that you would be wise to see whether the forthcoming elections are accepted as free, fair and credible.

Here’s what the Zimbabwean academic Dr Nkululeko Sibanda, Professor of International Relations at the University of Huddersfield, has to say: ‘No country develops out of putting a begging bowl for the rest of the world to donate to. He must develop the conditions of the economy on the ground, the fundamentals of the economy. In terms of the elections, I think it’s a serious challenge and it would seem as though the government is trying to put lipstick on a pig and hoping that it will look like something beautiful to marry. It is not.

'If they are serious about free and fair elections, they must forthwith make available a voters’ roll that can be inspected by any member of the public, at any particular moment, either for a fee or no fee at all. Failure of that, the election is just going to be a joke and will only be believed by those who are desperate to believe the ED (Mnangagwa) government.’

In our 16th year of protesting outside the Embassy it was interesting to see several of our former supporters joining the queue for the Embassy reception. 

Vigil supporters were on the street again today, Thursday, to support Action for Southern Africa’s protest against oppression in Swaziland outside the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Pall Mall.

Pall Mall was alive with activity – 4 other protests were going on at the same time:  for Biafra, Barbuda and Sri Lanka as well as an LGBT group demanding that anti-LGBT laws should be abolished in the Commonwealth.

For photos of the protests, check: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157667947920628 and https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157695111977404.  

 
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