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

 
Different worlds – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 20th February 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 21 February 2021 13:41

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/50965510762/sizes/m/

 

Despite the pandemic, Zimbabwe is poised for economic growth this year according to President Mnangagwa. He told the Politburo that the country was progressing from strength to strength.

 

Comrade Mnangagwa said the economy was expected to grow by 7.4%, driven by strong recovery in agriculture, mining, electricity generation, construction, transport and communications as well as finance and insurance.

 

He claimed the government had entrenched the rule of law and constitutionalism, and was attracting more supporters through its ‘consistent culture of hard honest work, transparency, accountability and stronger national institutions’. (See: https://www.herald.co.zw/zim-on-growth-path-president/.)

 

A rather different view of the situation in Zimbabwe was expressed by the European Union’s High Representative who said the country’s multi-faceted and prolonged crisis had further deepened in the past year. ‘The lack of substantial reforms has allowed the continued deterioration of the humanitarian, economic and social situation. Violations of human rights and limitations on the democratic space are also persisting.’

 

The diplomat continued: ‘The EU is especially concerned about a proliferation of arrests and prosecutions of journalists, opposition actors and individuals expressing dissenting views, and the use by high-level officials of speech that could be interpreted as incitement to violence.’

 

A statement added that the EU had decided to renew its arms embargo and maintain a targeted assets freeze against Zimbabwe Defence Industries. This did not affect the people and the EU would continue its development and humanitarian aid. The EU would closely follow developments, with particular attention to the human rights situation (see: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2021/02/19/zimbabwe-declaration-by-the-high-representative-on-behalf-of-the-european-union/).

 

No doubt the wide differences between the contrasting views of the government and the EU will provide further ammunition to the satirists who are becoming increasingly popular in Zimbabwe.

 

Rashweat Mukundu, a media researcher for an NGO, said: ‘Art and comedy have taken a centre stage in political commentary in Zimbabwe. This is mostly due to the repression of the mainstream media. So, people resort to satire to express their frustrations and concerns in a way that makes it difficult for authorities to target them.’ (See: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/comedians-standing-up-to-repression-in-zimbabwe/2149424.)

 

Other Points:

  • MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has urged the international community to stop rubberstamping illegitimate election outcomes. In an article published in the influential UK paper the Guardian, he said that to recognise the outcome of unfair elections such as the one in Uganda last month serves only to entrench authoritarian regimes like the one in Zimbabwe (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/the-international-community-must-stop-legitimising-despots-regimes-in-africa/).
  • 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/72157718373994703 . Our virtual Vigil activists today were Deborah Harry and Shylette Chipangura 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
 
‘State capture on steroids’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 13th February 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 14 February 2021 13:08

A detailed report published by South Africa’s online publication Maverick Citizen examines the extent of the corruption which has reduced Zimbabweans to poverty and despair.

 

The paper speaks of a network of cartels plundering the country. It defines cartels as arrangements ‘characterised by collusion between the private sector and influential politicians to attain monopolistic positions, fix prices and stifle competition’.

 

The activities of cartels involved ‘abuse of power by office holders as a means to generate ill-gotten profits for themselves and their cronies’. As if to highlight this, we learnt this week that known crook Henrietta Rushwaya has been reinstated as president of the Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (see: https://www.zimlive.com/2021/02/09/zimbabwe-miners-federation-re-instates-henrietta-rushwaya-as-president/).

 

Rushwaya, who is close to the Mnangagwa family, was sacked after being arrested at Harare airport trying to smuggle gold to Dubai. She said she had picked up the heavy bag loaded with gold ingots by mistake instead of the light bag with her knickers in. An easy mistake to make! She was released on bail unlike opposition activists who rot in prison awaiting court hearings on trumped-up charges.

 

The massive scale of what is described as ‘state capture on steroids’ is documented in the lengthy report, which names President Mnangagwa as one of the bosses who run lucrative cartels in a wide range of commodities.

 

The report says Zimbabwe may be losing up to half its GDP (the annual value of goods and services produced ) through corrupt economic activity, including US$3 billion in gold and diamonds smuggled out of the country every year.

 

It cites an illicit payment of Zim$3.3 billion made in 2019 to Sekunda, a fuel company owned by Kudakwashe Tagwirei, an ally of Mnangagwa. Sekunda was supposed to receive only Zim$330 million and the shortfall was met by the central bank printing money, causing a massive overnight devaluation of the Zimbabwean dollar. (see: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-02-09-how-cartels-operate-and-their-impact-on-the-people-of-zimbabwe/).

 

The Maverick Citizen editor says the report ‘provides a post mortem on the cancer that killed the Zimbabwean dream of freedom and independence’.

 

Jim Risch, a senior member of the US Senate foreign relations committee, said it ‘exposes the destructive effects that elite cartels play in robbing the country’s future . . . the Zimbabwean people deserve better’.

 

Peter Hain, a former British cabinet minister, describes the report as ‘explosive’ while the MDC Alliance senator David Coltart tweeted: ‘if you are puzzled why such a wealthy country, with such intelligent, well-educated people can be so poor then read this report’. (See: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-02-10-daily-maverick-report-on-zimbabwe-state-capture-gains-international-attention/.)

 

Other Points:

  • A convicted criminal has been appointed the new foreign minister in replacement for General Sibusiso Moyo who died recently of Covid 19. The new minister is Frederick Shava who as a government minister in the 1980s was jailed for involvement in the notorious Willowvale car scandal. Mugabe ordered his release after he spent one night in jail (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/zimbabweans-fume-as-fraud-accused-shava-is-appointed-foreign-minister/).
  • The Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono has been named joint winner of an African journalism prize following his exposures of government corruption in the procurement of Covid 19 medical equipment (see: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/zimbabwe-journalist-wins-award-for-exposing-corruption/2142796).
  • The UN Human Rights Office says it is concerned about reports that the Zimbabwean government is using the pandemic as a pretext to clamp down on freedom of expression (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/un-concerned-as-zim-uses-covid-19-as-excuse-to-stifle-dissent/).
  • 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.

 

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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