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

 
Zimbabwe a source of concern – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 27th November 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 28 November 2021 12:59

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/51709580699/sizes/m/

 

The British government says Zimbabwe remains a major source of concern because of human rights violations such as clamping down on protests against the government and the arrest of critics and journalists (see: https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/tea/rest-of-africa/uk-raises-alarm-over-human-rights-violations-in-zimbabwe-3629650).

 

The Foreign Office statement came as the House of Lords discussed what was described as the deteriorating political and socio-economic crisis in Zimbabwe. Members called for intervention by SADC, particularly South Africa.

 

Parliamentarians insisted that, before being able to return to the Commonwealth, Zimbabwe should meet certain conditions, including holding free and fair elections. President Mnangagwa is keen to rejoin the organisation from which Mugabe walked out.

 

A minister of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Lord Ahmad said: ‘Within Zimbabwe, we must see rights restored, the constitution respected and human rights – w hich includes the rights of other political parties to participate fully in the democratic process – guaranteed.’ He added: ‘We regularly urge the Zimbabwean government to live up to their own Constitution by ensuring that the opposition, civil society and journalists are allowed to operate without harassment and that due legal process is respected.’

 

Ahmad also said the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had not had a ‘one-on-one’ meeting with Mnangagwa at the recent Glasgow climate change conference (see: http://www.newsdzezimbabwe.co.uk/2021/11/uk-presses-govt-over-free-and-fair-polls.html and a video of the House of Lords debate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ARbI5RdqwA).

 

The US has also dismissed claims that Mnangagwa had discussed the removal of sanctions at a meeting with President Biden at the conference. A US spokesperson said they had only met briefly at a reception.

 

The Zimbabwe Independent also reports that the South African government is very dismissive of Mnangagwa. A recent online discussion organised by the journalist Hopewell Chin’ono heard South African Head of Public Diplomacy Clayson Monyela say that the South African government had no kind words for their Zimbabwean counterparts. ‘Take my word for it, some of the language that is used when there are meetings behind closed doors, you would be shocked.’ (See: https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2021/11/26/mnangagwa-suffers-yet-another-diplomatic-blow/.)

 

The Vigil was pleased to see that medical experts in the UK have been full of praise for their South African counterparts for the speed of their reporting of the new Covid variant, now named the Omicron variant. international flights to South Africa and Zimbabwe and other southern African countries have been halted but one leading British scientist says a new vaccine can quickly be produced to counter the variant (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1183-how-long-before-a-vaccine-protects-us-against-the-omicron-covid-variant-).

 

Other points

  • NewZimbabwe says that some Zimbabweans in the diaspora express fears for their security and that of their families for calling for the return of constitutionalism and the rule of law. They say that Zimbabwean security agents keep a list of people to be targeted. A Zimbabwean asylum lawyer working in the UK is alleged to be involved in this. On the list  are said to be a number of Vigil activists (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/rogue-diasporans-fret-over-safety-on-returning-to-home/).
  • Chinese mining firms have been accused of decimating delicate environments, along with attempts to displaced thousands of villagers from their ancestral lands. The Zimbabwe Independent reports that a petition has been launched calling for Chinese investors to be stopped from mining for chrome in Mutorashanga in Matabeleland West. Local residents fear it will damage the Green Pool scenic resort (see: https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2021/11/26/tempers-flare-as-chinese-threaten-sacred-resort/).
  • Today was a virtual Vigil. For the moment we are meeting outside the Embassy every other week and our next gathering will be on 4th December. On the alternate Saturdays we will continue with the virtual Vigil. To be recorded as participating in a virtual Vigil your photo, taken with a poster with a message reflecting the situation in Zimbabwe, must be taken at one of the actual Vigils. There will be a small charge to cover admin costs, the ongoing upkeep of the Vigil and our support for the human rights work of ROHR, our sister organisation in Zimbabwe. The photos will then be labelled with your name, uploaded on our website, Flickr site and Facebook pages. For today’s photos, see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157720235716615. Our virtual Vigil activists today were Joyce Mbairatsunga, Charles Mararirakwenda, Richard Munyama and Delice Gavazah who all kindly contributed to Vigil funds.

 

Events and Notices:

  • The next Vigil. Saturday 4th December from 2 – 5 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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

 
Heading for dictatorship – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 20th November 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 21 November 2021 13:17

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/51693561138/sizes/m/

 

Zimbabwe under President Mnangagwa is well on the way to becoming a full-blown dictatorship, according to Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition. It said in a report that the current administration is even worse than the Mugabe regime in governance, rule of law and human rights, among other things.

 

‘In as much as the "Second Republic" or "New Dispensation" came promising wide ranging reforms of the country's politics and governance mode, the evidence at hand point to more talk and less action,’ it observed.

 

In particular, Crisis Coalition noted a high level of systematic and escalating violations of human rights by the security forces, particularly targeting opposition members and civic actors such as journalists, student leaders and trade unionists (see: https://www.263chat.com/not-much-difference-between-first-and-second-republic/).

 

Crisis Coalition said that under Mnangagwa there had been a ‘heavy militarisation’ of businesses through the emergence of opaque security sector-run companies in ventures ranging from diamond and gold mining to farming, tourism and fuel industries.

 

‘At the heart of the Zimbabwe crisis lies a nationalistic military business and political class that has been growing its tentacles to all sectors of society since 2000.’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/11/zim-morphing-towards-dictatorship/.)

 

Evidence of the government’s determination to override human rights and ensure it wins the 2023 elections came with the gazetting of the Private Voluntary Organisation Amendment Bill which will seriously curtail the activities of civic society organisations.

 

The legal think tank Veritas said the bill contravened the provisions of the declaration of rights in the constitution, was not clearly drafted and encouraged government officials to make unduly repressive interpretations and would stifle democracy and economic development (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/11/outcry-over-anti-ngos-bill/).

 

For its part, the MDC Alliance said the proposed law was unconstitutional, draconian and undemocratic. Party spokesperson Fadzai Mahere said: ‘The PVO Bill confirms that the regime is in panic mode and its solution to the bad governance and legitimacy crisis is to stifle democratic freedoms as we approach 2023.’ (See: https://thestandard.newsday.co.zw/2021/11/14/proposed-law-exposes-mnangagwa-panic/.)

 

Other points

  • The MDC Alliance says party leader Nelson Chamisa’s campaigning in rural areas was again disrupted by Zanu PF, this time in Nkayi, Matabeleland North. Deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba said the state ‘unleashed terror’ (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/11/nkayi-police-disrupt-chamisa-rally/).
  • The success of Mnangagwa’s recent trip to the UK can perhaps be judged by the dismissive response of the Archbishop of Canterbury to a delegation of clergymen included in Mnangagwa’s entourage. They asked the Archbishop’s help for the  removal of sanctions. He said he would ‘see how we can advocate for the poorest while ensuring that those who steal from the country what is not theirs, be themselves not the beneficiaries (and) don’t benefit from the relief of the sanctions.’ (See: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/sanctions-no-mercy-for-thieves-says-uk-cleric/.)
  • The Vigil was visited today by the Zimbabwean cricketer Francis Ncube who now lives in Bournemouth in Southern England.  He said how cheered he was to see us.
  • Today we met outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. For the moment we are meeting outside the Embassy every other week and our next gathering will be on 4th December 2021. On the alternate Saturdays we will continue with the virtual Vigil. To be recorded as participating in a virtual Vigil your photo, taken with a poster with a message reflecting the situation in Zimbabwe, must be taken at one of the actual Vigils. There will be a small charge to cover admin costs, the ongoing upkeep of the Vigil and our support for the human rights work of ROHR, our sister organisation in Zimbabwe. The photos will then be labelled with your name, uploaded on our website, Flickr site and Facebook pages. Thanks to those who came: Beverley Mutandiro, Casper Nyamakura, Charles Mararirakwenda, David Makuyana, Delice Gavazah, Jonathan Kariwo, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Margaret Munenge, Patricia Masamba, Philip Maponga, Richard Munyama and Rose Benton. Special thanks to Patricia Masambe for bringing the Vigil paraphernalia through the confusing mass of roadworks in London’s streets. Photos of today’s Vigil can be accessed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157720161200459.

 

Events and Notices:

  • The next Vigil. Saturday 4th December from 2 – 5 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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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