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

 
Virus stops Vigil – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 21st March 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 22 March 2020 15:08

After nearly 18 years of weekly protests outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London the Vigil could not take place this Saturday because of the highly contagious coronavirus. With the death toll from the disease mounting exponentially, the UK government has banned public gatherings, closed cafes and bars and advised that social interaction and travel be kept to a minimum. Scientists and medical experts here say conditions may be relaxed in four months but warn that it may be a year before normal life resumes.

 

Vigil activists want to continue the campaign for a better Zimbabwe and the Vigil is looking at ways we can do this without physically meeting on the street. We are particularly anxious to continue fundraising for our sister organsation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe.

 

We will keep you informed through the Vigil diary, which will continue to comment on how we see the situation in Zimbabwe, which appears to be reaching another crunch point with the arrival of the coronavirus, apart from the ever-devaluing currency and ever-rising inflation (now put at over 1,000% by American observer Professor Steve Hanke).

 

All shall be well says President Mnangagwa but can you trust his word?  He has just flown off to Namibia for the inauguration of President Hage Geingob despite having said the government would observe a travel ban (See: http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/10/365721/World/Africa/Zimbabwe-president-defies-own-travel-ban-over-coro.aspx).

 

This week he also banned all public gatherings attended by more than 100 people but the next day he addressed a rally attended by thousands of supporters (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2020/03/ed-breaks-own-covid-19-decree/).

 

Earlier he told visitors to his farm: ‘At this farm, we have plenty of livestock including cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and countless poultry. From all those we eat whatever we want when we feel like’ – this despite recently telling Zimbabweans to eat vegetables and potatoes because ‘meat is not good for you’ (see: https://nehandaradio.com/2020/03/14/i-eat-plenty-of-meat-at-my-farm-mnangagwa-tells-starving-villagers/).

 

At least Mnangagwa is consistently inconsistent!

 

Other points

  • Latest developments in the government corruption saga: former boss of the Zimbabwe National Road Authority Frank Chitukutuku faces losing six houses, a fleet of cars and several companies. He is accused by the National Prosecuting Authority of approving questionable contracts that prejudiced Zinara of US$39 million in connivance with rural district officials and road engineers (see: https://www.herald.co.zw/zinara-corruption-saga-opens-can-of-worms/).
  • Former Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo has been luckier. It seems he will escape a charge of criminal abuse of office because a crucial document is ‘missing’ (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2020/03/ex-minister-chombo-off-the-hook/).
  • For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.                                                                            

EVENTS AND 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:
 
‘Living on the Edge’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 14th March 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 15 March 2020 16:24

A valiant group braved coronavirus to hold the Vigil outside the Zimbabwe Embassy despite the UK gradually going into lockdown as the disease claims more victims.

 

Airliners are being grounded and large gatherings cancelled to reduce the chances of infection. People are urged to wash their hands frequently, not to shake hands and, indeed, keep a metre distance from others – difficult if crowded into a bus or train.

 

These precautions are being taken in countries with sophisticated health services. What will happen when the coronavirus hits Zimbabwe fills us with trepidation, given the state of its health service and the weakened immune system of so many malnourished people.

 

Whether this troubles the Zanu PF elite is open to doubt. After all, President Mnangagwa, instead of investing in hospitals, has wasted money on hiring three expensive public relations companies to campaign for the removal of US sanctions. The Americans have now extended them, including Owen Ncube, the security minister accused of ordering security services to abduct and mistreat members of the opposition.

 

The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, urged the Zimbabwe government to ‘immediately end state-sponsored violence including against peaceful protesters, civil society, labour leaders and members of the opposition in Zimbabwe, and to investigate and hold accountable those responsible for human rights violations and abuse.’ (See: https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-zimbabwe-sanctions/u-s-blacklists-zimbabwe-officials-over-human-rights-abuse-idUKKBN20Y2D7).

 

To mark the 5th anniversary of the abduction of the human rights campaigner Itai Dzamara, the European Union has demanded action by the Zimbabwe government. The response was a bizarre statement by the police that investigations into the matter were continuing and that law enforcement agents had submitted ‘over 113 fortnightly updates to the High Court’! (See: https://www.herald.co.zw/police-submit-over-100-reports-on-dzamara/.)

 

An equally bizarre comment came from Zimbabwe’s Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri who said coronavirus was the work of God punishing countries which imposed sanctions. She added: ‘They are now staying indoors. Their economies are screaming just like they did to our economy’. (see: https://www.enca.com/news/coronavirus-work-god-punishing-west-zimbabwe-minister.)

 

Other points

  • During the week a number of Vigil activists attended a meeting of the Mike Campbell Foundation at the Royal Geographical Society. Under the title ‘Living on the Edge’ there was a discussion on the rule of law in Zimbabwe. Chief Felix Ndiweni gave a moving account of his legal persecution. The late Mike Campbell was one of the farmers beaten up when his land was seized. We doubt that he would be convinced by the government’s announcement offering land to dispossessed farmers (see: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-13/zimbabwe-offers-land-to-recompense-dispossessed-white-farmers). Those who attended from the Vigil and MDC were: Cephas Maswoswa, Charles Mararirikwenda, David Kadzutu, Delice Gavazah, Dennis Benton, Esther Munyira, Handsen Chikowore, Martin Chinyanga, Mary Muteyerwa, Mercy Mukaririrwa, Patricia Masamba, Rose, Benton, Rosemary Maponga and Tapiwa Muskwe. Special thanks to Rose Maponga for bringing a drum.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up the Vigil today: Miriam Gasho, Rosemary Maponga, Philip Maponga, Patricia Masamba, Tapiwa Muskwe, Farai Mutumburi, Sithobekile Sikhosana and Kevin Wheeldon. Thanks to Rosemary and Miriam for looking after the front table, to Farai, Kevin, Netsayi Makarichi and Sithobekile for handing out flyers, to Patricia for taking photos, to Miriam for prayers and to Rosemary for providing hot drinks.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

                                                                              

FOR THE RECORD: 10 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 12th April from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058107.
  • 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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