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

 
Zimbabwean seeks refuge back home – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 23rd January 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 25 January 2021 18:09

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/50867549582/sizes/m/

 

A young Zimbabwean woman who says her family ‘fled’ to the UK in 1996 has gone back to Zimbabwe, where she says she will be better off.

 

In a scathing attack on the British government, published in the UK’s Guardian newspaper, Michelle Kambasha a 28-year-old ‘publicist’, says Zimbabwe’s cautious handling of the pandemic has made it feel safer than Britain. ‘It’s no secret that England’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been at best lacklustre and at worst fatal’, she said. In contrast, ‘many African countries, scarred by previous pandemics, realised quickly that there was very little room for error, and did what they needed to do . . . . governments like Zimbabwe’s did as much as they could.’

 

Ms Kambasha described the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, as incompetent. ‘I felt no schadenfreude, but as I sat on my flight to the relative safety of an African country, I considered whether there were some lessons in humility to learn among an elite that projected such confidence in its ability to mount a “world-beating” response to the virus.’ (See: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/18/family-fled-zimbabwe-covid-safer-england-government-pandemic.)

 

The Vigil disagrees and thinks the UK can indeed boast a ‘world-beating response to the virus’. Here are some facts: first vaccine announced in Germany 9th November; first country to approve the vaccine UK 2nd December; first country to get supplies UK 4th December; first country to begin vaccinations UK 8th December.

 

Within 6 weeks of vaccinations beginning the UK this week reached its target of 2 million vaccinations a week, bringing  total vaccinations so far to more than 6 million – many more than any other country in Europe. Prime Minister Johnson, competent or not, can be proud of these facts at least.

 

As far as competency goes, Ms Kambasha falls short herself. Despite saying her family had ‘fled’ Zimbabwe, she admits a few paragraphs later ‘My family moved to England as economic immigrants wanting to make a better life for their children . . . England offered education, amenities, healthcare and a stable government’.

 

They obviously did well because she goes on the say: ‘Ten years ago, we began going back to Zimbabwe every other Christmas.’ She tells of staying at a lodge just three hours outside Harare. ‘Our temperatures were checked every day and all staff and visitors, without exception, wore PPE (personal protective equipment) to ensure our safety.’

 

Ms Kambasha was happy going on a game drive. Perhaps now that she is living back in Zimbabwe she might like to show some humility herself and go to Chitungwiza to meet some ordinary people struggling to survive amid the rapidly worsening Covid-19 pandemic which has carried off 2 cabinet ministers in 48 hours.

 

The suffering people of Zimbabwe could do with a publicist (See: https://www.voanews.com/covid-19-pandemic/zimbabweans-blame-government-covid-19-deaths-officials).

 

Other Points:

  • This week the UK’s National Health Service sent out letters inviting more people to book their free vaccine injections for Covid-19. The letters were not only in English but in Arabic, Bengali, Spanish, Farsi, Gujerati, Hindi, Kurdish, Nepali, Punjabi, Polish, Romanian, Somali, Albanian, Tagalog, Urdu and Chinese. The UK has already donated £548 million to the World Health Organisation which is to provide vaccines to 92 developing countries. The UK has offered 3 million vaccines to Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans in the UK will have contributed to the cost of this through their taxes.
  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. We ask 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: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157718011034607. Our virtual Vigil activists today were Deborah Harry, Shylette Chipangura and Dudzai Mukondorongwe who all kindly contributed to Vigil funds.

 

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

 
Zimbabwe’s contradictions – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 16th January 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 17 January 2021 13:18

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/50844380781/sizes/m/

 

Zanu PF’s attitude has always been do as we say not as we do. Freshly returned to lockdown Zimbabwe from medical treatment in China, Vice President and Health Minister Chiwenga dismissed suggestions that Covid-19 is out of control even though it’s reckoned that a person is dying in Zimbabwe every hour from the disease.

 

Against all evidence, he said that public health facilities were not yet strained and accused social media of propagating lies that there were not enough hospital beds. He insisted that there were enough beds to accommodate serious cases, maintaining that 85% of people affected were in ‘self-isolation’!

 

‘However, if the need arises in future, my ministry may consider options of increasing facilities currently designated for Covid-19 or designate more hospitals to take in patients’.

 

Despite a surge in serious cases, Chiwenga indicated that he was taking a cautious approach to vaccinating people against the virus.

 

Medical experts have expressed fears that the country is ill-prepared for the new wave of infections, with supplies of medical oxygen running out and a dire shortage of intensive care facilities. Doctors for Human Rights said the country only had 30 intensive care beds (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/01/covid-19-under-control-chiwenga/).

 

Another Zanu PF us against them attitude is shown by the release on bail of Mining Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya, a party stalwart, who was arrested at Harare airport trying to smuggle 6 kilograms of gold worth US$330,000 to Dubai (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/01/rushwaya-granted-bail-2/).

 

Rushwaya had contacts at the heart of Zanu PF but opponents of the regime are routinely refused bail even when facing flimsy charges.

 

Rushwaya was a strong candidate for our fraud of the week but the award goes to Florence Chimbumu, a top manager of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education. Her qualification for the job turned out to be a single O Level pass but she had produced a forged certificate showing 5 passes, as well as diplomas in accounts and secretarial studies and a higher national diploma in office management.

 

Great Zimbabwe University says it has withdrawn the Bachelor of Science Honours degree (Politics and Public Administration) conferred on Chimbumu. In addition she loses the perks of being a boss of the country’s quality regulator of degree and diploma programmes, including a private security guard, an all-terrain Toyota Hillux double-cab vehicle, school fees and international holiday allowances – not to mention a domestic worker’s allowance, medical cover for her, her husband and three children, clothing and entertainment allowances etc (see: https://www.thezimbabwemail.com/education/ex-zimche-boss-stripped-of-degree/).

 

Under Zanu PF you can go a long way with one O Level.

 

Other Points:

  • The lockdown has been a great disaster for many people living at subsistence level. ‘Commanding the closure of the economy without the necessary supporting economic reliefs, medical and social measures is suicidal, said Fadzayi Mahere, spokesperson for the MDC Alliance (see: https://www.theafricareport.com/57779/zimbabwe-lockdown-amid-covid-surge-has-no-support-for-people/).
  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. We ask 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: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157717923010683. Our virtual Vigil activists today were Deborah Harry and Benjamin Molife who both kindly contributed to Vigil funds.

 

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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