Zimbabwe Vigil PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 26 January 2020 14:59

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

 
Dolly Parton and the gun rape – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 23rd May 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 24 May 2020 12:20

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/49929778931/sizes/m/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/49929782596/sizes/m/

 

Human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, in an open letter to President Mnangagwa, has passionately condemned the abduction and sexual abuse of three young MDC women leaders which has once again turned the eyes of the world on Zimbabwe.

 

Mtetwa said the victims were clearly targeted ‘in the most despicable of ways’ to dissuade young women from engaging in politics outside the ruling party. Addressing General Valerio Sibanda as head of the defence forces, she said that if soldiers were involved he was as responsible ‘as if you held that gun that was used to simulate sexual intercourse’.

 

Turning to Police Commissioner General Matanga, she said the women had been stopped at a roadblock manned by uniformed police and taken to the central police station where they were released to unknown third parties, ‘The buck stops with you on how arrested persons were unlawfully removed from your premises by abductors and torturers’.

 

Taunting the State Security Minister, Owen Ncube, Mtetwa said scornfully that if his agents were not involved he should at least look as if he cared. ‘You can even resort to a few fall guys, who will take the can and be pardoned thereafter as has happened many times before.’ (See: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/beatrice-mtetwas-open-letter-to-president-emmerson-mnangagwa/).

 

Mtetwa’s scepticism about justice in Zimbabwe seems to have been borne out by the reaction of Justice Minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi who, when questioned in Parliament, said the three women had broken the law by taking part in a demonstration and violating the lockdown rules and were wanted by the police for questioning. He added that they seemed very happy in hospital (see: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-185781.html).

 

One of the women is quoted by the Zimbabwe Mail as saying: ‘They ordered us to sing a song, saying that we are going to stop leading demonstrations. Whenever we stopped they would beat us under the feet and on our legs. We were put in shallow holes in the middle of nowhere. They gave me the nickname Dolly Parton as they took turns sucking my breasts. They forced us to drink our urine and then stripped me,” she said of her ordeal in between sobs. ‘I thought they were going to rape me. They then shoved a gun into my private parts.’ (See: https://www.thezimbabwemail.com/main/eu-us-lobbies-for-mnangagwa-opposition-talks/.)

 

Subsequently a senior official of the Artuz teachers’ union, Moreblessing Nyambara, said she had been beaten up by suspected state security agents in Domboshava over a video she posted on social media protesting at the abduction of the three MDC women (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2020/05/artuz-leader-tortured-over-video-of-mdc-abductees/).

 

Western Heads of Mission in Zimbabwe have issued a statement insisting that Zimbabwe meet its international human rights obligations. They demanded a swift, thorough and credible investigation into the abduction and torture of the MDC women and urged a constructive dialogue between government and opposition (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/local-statement-on-human-rights-situation-in-zimbabwe).

 

Other points

·       The authorities have stamped down on a free feeding charity used by hundreds of hungry children and desperate adults in the Harare township of Chitungwiza. It was run by a lawyer Samantha Murozoki from her home but she has now been ordered to stop because the project did not ‘meet minimum requirements for a feeding kitchen’.

·       Some good news: ROHR’s Mtoko Irrigation Project in aid of women living with HIV/AIDS in rural Zimbabwe has had its first harvest. Well done to the Mtoko women and to all our Vigil activists who contributed to the fundraising for this project. For photos see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157714435421202.

·       Prisons in Zimbabwe are short of Zanu PF inmates so former police chief Augustine Chihuri would be a welcome addition. But somehow we doubt it will result from the Prosecutor-General’s High Court application for an order compelling Chihuri to explain what happened to US$ 32 million he is said to have diverted for his own use (see: https://www.thezimbabwemail.com/zimbabwe/ex-zimbabwe-police-chief-accused-of-embezzling-32m-of-public-funds/).

·       Everyone knows that if you are Zanu PF you can get away with anything. Particularly if you are Mnangagwa’s son Tarirai. He is accused of threatening to shoot a Zesa employee sent to record the electricity meter reading at his farm in Norton, west of Harare. Tarirai apparently fired into the air and said his farm was ‘State House and protected place’ (see: https://www.thezimbabwemail.com/zimbabwe/mnangagwas-son-in-gunning-totting-storm/).

·       This abuse of the state by the elite is increasingly recognised by the international community as a major problem. The EU’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Timo Olkkonen, said budgetary support for Zimbabwe’s bankrupt government was not under consideration, citing ‘massive misuse’ of public funds (https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2020/05/15/eu-refuses-to-fund-corrupt-zim-admin/).

·       Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have started a virtual Vigil. We asked our activists to put on Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia and take a photo of themselves holding an appropriate poster reflecting our protest against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The photos are uploaded on our Flickr site.

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

 

NOTICES:

·       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 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. All proceeds 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.

·       Facebook pages:

         Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

         ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/

         ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515

 
Credibility zero – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 16th May 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 17 May 2020 16:05

Nobody anywhere believes in the corrupt and violent Zimbabwe government – not even its ‘all weather friends’ like China and South Africa, who will no longer lend it money. The Vigil suspects that Zanu PF supporters themselves only see the party as an avenue for self-advancement.

 

Immediately news broke on Wednesday that three young MDC women had disappeared after being detained by the police following a demonstration in Harare over food shortages than the world knew exactly what was going on. It has happened so often before: critics abducted by state agents to be tortured, perhaps killed, as a warning against opposing the government.

 

The victims this time were Zimbabwe’s youngest opposition MP Joana Mamombe and two youth leaders Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova. Alarm was expressed by Western governments and human rights groups such as Amnesty International.  

 

The three women were eventually found more than 24 hours later dumped in Bindura, partially clothed after being assaulted. They said they had been forced to eat human excreta. Ms Mamombe and Ms Marova found it difficult to walk after their injuries while Ms Chimbiri complained of severe head pains.

 

An MDC spokeswoman Thabika Khumalo said the women had been brutalized and traumatised for standing up for the suffering Zimbabwean people. She said: ‘We are literally slaves in our own country’ (see: https://www.voanews.com/africa/rights-groups-condemn-torture-protesters-zimbabwe).

 

The police denied arresting the women. Government spokesman Nick Mangwana said police wanted to interview them on suspicion of committing crimes related to the lockdown laws and the holding of illegal demonstrations (see: https://iharare.com/govt-speaks-on-mdc-activists-abduction).

 

The Vigil came across Mangwana as Zanu PF leader in the UK. He was the head of a small, expensively-dressed group trying to counter our protests when Zimbabwean ministers visited London. A petition has been launched calling for his family to be deported and his British citizenship revoked (see: http://chng.it/94myW6rvzb). It has already been signed by thousands of people.

 

Other points

NOTICES:

  • 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 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. All proceeds 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.
  • Facebook pages:
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
 
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Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights of 2010
Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights of 2009
Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights of 2008
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