Sinking ship – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 9th November 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 10 November 2019 18:01

With almost half the population now registered for food aid, the government is taking decisive action to deal with the threat – not by providing food for the people but by fattening up the army and police.

As the ship of state, Zanu PF Zimbabwe, slips like the Titanic beneath the waves, the call goes out at the lifeboats: soldiers and police first!

While doctors get fired for striking for more money for the health service, and teachers protest they don’t earn enough to go to work, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube announces that the security services are to get the lion’s share of the new budget.

The Zimbabwe Independent reveals the reason in their story ‘Hungry soldiers spark government fears’. The essence is that the economic situation has become so bad that the Mnangagwa regime is in danger of rebellion by its dissatisfied foot soldiers.

The problem is that the president seems to have no idea what to do beyond hiring a plane to fly him to his next destination, Zimbabwe Airways having apparently been sacrificed to pay for the renovation of a house belonging to a relative of government minister Joram Gumbo.

Foreign diplomats in Zimbabwe are said to be increasingly disturbed by Zimbabwe’s lack of direction. A senior British Foreign Office official Harriet Matthews, accompanied by the British Ambassador and a senior official from Britain’s Department for International Development, had a meeting with Mnangagwa this week. Mrs Matthews said afterwards they had frank discussions. ‘The first thing I think is a call for a step up in reforms, in particular human rights and on corruption’.

This week also saw the dismissal by the constitutional court of a petition by the MDC leader Nelson Chamisa contesting the legitimacy of the last elections. MDC Treasurer-General David Coltart, himself a lawyer, said ‘It is hard to believe that trained, experienced, judicial officers could have written this judgment.’

For his part, Chamisa said Zimbabwe was now in a de facto state of emergency. It was in reality a police state and Mnangagwa’s days were numbered. He was speaking after police blocked civil servants from marching to government offices with a petition demanding better salaries, although the protest had earlier been approved. 

Other points

  • Thanks to all those who came on a very wet day to set up and pack up the Vigil: Norah Bomani, Cynthia Chibanda, Benjamin Chigamba, Patience Chimba, Rangarirai Chivariro, Miriam Gasho, Beaulah Gore, Simbarashe Jingo, Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa, Rufaro Makaya, Dambudzo Marimira, Patricia Masamba, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Benjamin Molife, Bianca Mpawaenda, Lucia Mudzimu, Washington Mugari, Esther Munyira, Fungisai Mupandira, Beverley Mutandiro, Mary Muteyerwa, Hazvinei Saili, Ephraim Tapa and Kevin Wheeldon.
  • 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: 28 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Reading Christmas Party Fundraiser. Saturday 30th November from 6.30 – 11 pm. Venue: The Spice Oven Buffet Restaurant, 2 – 4 Church Street, Reading RG4 8AT. Theme: to restore dignity to the suffering people of Zimbabwe. Tickets: £20 per adult, free entry for children under 5 years. For more information, contact: Deborah Harry 07578894896, Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Josephine Jombe 07455166668.
  • ROHR fundraising dinner dance in aid of women living with HIV/AIDS in rural Zimbabwe. Saturday 7th December from 7 pm till late. Venue: Lee Chapel South Community Centre, The Knares, Basildon SS16 5SA. Formal dress code. Tickets £30. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Hazvinei Saili 07857602830, Margaret Munenge 07384300283, Pamela Chirimuta 07762737339.
  • 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
 
Mnangagwa alienates China – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 2nd November 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 03 November 2019 16:44

As President Mnangagwa goes through his pantomime head of state role, flying off all over the place in expensively-hired planes, Zimbabwe slips into mass starvation and hopelessness impelled by incompetence and corruption.

While he plays with his scarf, the government is desperately trying to repair relations with China after officials seized US$10 million from an escrow account containing funds for the expansion of the Robert Mugabe international airport in Harare.

An escrow account is where funds are held in trust while a transaction is completed. In this case the Zimbabwean officials replaced US dollars with the rapidly depreciating local currency. 

China lost patience with their deceit and froze three infrastructure projects it is financing to the tune of US$1.3 billion. The projects are the US$1.1 billion expansion of the Hwange coal-fired power station, the US$153 million extension of the airport and the US$71 million expansion of NetOne Telecoms.

Apparently the Shanghai Construction Group is also complaining that it is unable to access hard currency for the new parliament at Mount Hampden which is being financed by a $100 million free Chinese grant. 

Zimbabwean economist John Robertson said: ‘This deception from government is very serious. We don’t deserve economic support when government acts like this.’ (See: https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2019/11/01/raiding-of-funds-erodes-confidence-in-zim-govt/.)

Despite the economic challenges facing the government it has still managed to find $5 million for allowances and accommodation for MPs at the Victoria Falls for a pre-budget seminar. They will no doubt discuss the government’s austerity measures…..

Other points

  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners on a wet day: Cynthia Chibanda. Evelyn Chigaro. Chido Makawa, Dambudzo Marimira. Esther Munyira, Hazvinei Saili, Sikhumbuzule Sibanda and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Hazvinei for looking after the front table, to Patience Chimba for handing out flyers, to Chido, Cynthia and Margaret Munenge for drumming and to Chido for photos.
  • Thanks to those who made further contributions for the gazebo: Evelyn Chigaro, Tendai Chigariro, Chido Makawa, Margaret Munenge and Sikhumbuzule Sibanda.
  • 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: 18 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 9th November from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058109.
  • ROHR fundraising dinner dance. Saturday 7th December from 6 pm till late. Venue tba. ROHR is hosting a dinner dance to raise funds for a Zimbabwe peace building initiative. Tickets £25. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Hazvinei Saili 07857602830, Margaret Munenge 07384300283, Pamela Chirimuta 07762737339.
  • 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
 
Sanctions lunacy – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 26th October 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 October 2019 12:04

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/48964124801/sizes/m/

The anti-sanctions public holiday on Friday was a new dimension in Zimbabwean lunacy, buoyed by mistaken African solidarity. They accept Zanu PF propaganda without looking into what these sanctions are or why they were imposed.

They won’t even notice the poor attendance at the anti-sanctions rallies in Harare and Bulawayo – where the main interest of those attending was the chicken, chips and Pepsi on offer. Fortunately, the economic effect of a day off work will be minimal in a country of mass unemployment.

It is dereliction of care that SADC doesn’t pay attention to the catastrophe in Zimbabwe. Are they not troubled by this ‘invitation’ to the anti-sanctions rally sent to ‘all Heads of ministries and departments in Bulawayo’? ‘Your members of staff are invited without fail to be part of this very important march. May you kindly favour this office with a list of your members of staff for ease of accountability.’ A copy of the letter can be seen on this link: https://www.vantunews.com/news/politics-anti-sanctions-march-bulawayo-civil-servants-invited-without-fail-by-government-a-register-to-be-used-to-mark-those-present).

To the Vigil this sounds like fascist North Korea – unsurprising since the Matabeleland genocide in the 1980s was committed by the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade of Mnangagwa.

An article in Newsday by the US Ambassador Brian Nichols pulls no punches: ‘Blaming sanctions is a convenient scapegoat to distract the public from the real reasons behind Zimbabwe’s economic challenges —corruption, economic mismanagement, and failure to respect human rights and uphold the rule of law.’ See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2019/10/its-not-sanctions-its-corruption-lack-of-reforms-2/

The US followed it up with another punch, banning state security minister Owen Ncube from entering the US because of his involvement in gross violations of human rights. ‘We are deeply troubled by the Zimbabwean government's use of state-sanctioned violence against peaceful protestors, and civil society, as well as against labour leaders and members of the opposition leaders in Zimbabwe,’ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. ‘We urge the government to stop the violence, investigate and hold accountable officials responsible for human rights violations and abuses in Zimbabwe,’ he said. 

The Vigil today marked one such abuse with this letter to the Zimbabwean Embassy signed by all present: ‘Your countrymen outside the Embassy are protesting today at the brutal murder of Harare street vendor Hilton Tafadzwa Tamangani by the police. Tamangani was arrested along with ten other vendors and taken to Harare police station, where they were beaten with baton sticks. 29-year-old Tamangani, who has a seven-year-old son, was left in agony from his injuries and died without sedatives during the night. The Zimbabwe Vigil calls for an inquiry into his death and the prosecution of the offenders .Scandals like this have become all too common, with the police acting illegally, with impunity.’ Thanks to Rosemary Maponga, Mary Muteyerwa and Patience Chimba for leading on this protest and bringing  posters.

Other points

  • A Pastor in the Bulawayo area who is supported by some Vigil activists reports: ‘Wherever we go people no longer say the usual ‘How are you/I am fine.’ They go directly into talking about their problems. They say: I haven’t eaten for two days, no food at all, even today. We made a mistake by voting for the present government because we thought that by removing the late president things would get better, but they are worse. The prices have gone up so much we can’t afford to buy; the children will die.  They can’t even go to school; We can’t afford to go to hospital when we are sick because the bus fares are too high. Now our money can’t buy anything.  After all this the President doesn’t say anything, nothing encouraging, no plan. At least President Mugabe would say something. We don’t know what’s going to happen to the whole nation.  There’s hunger everywhere. If you need anything like a birth-certificate you have to pay somebody for it.  If you don’t pay you don’t get it. We are praying and praying and praying and we thank God that we are still alive. He has heard our prayers. (See: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1044-report-from-the-bulawayo-pastor-october-2019).
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners on a wet day: Cynthia Chibanda, Benjamin Chigamba, Marvellous Chinguwa, Leslie Gakanje, Delice Gavazah, Rosemary Maponga, Esther  Munyira, Mary Muteyerwa, Hazvinei Saili, Rudo Takiya, Ephraim Tapa and Kevin Wheeldon. Thanks to Rosemary and Hazvinei for looking after the front table, to Hazvinei, Marvellous and Esther for handing out flyers, to Mary and Delice for drumming, to Delice for prayer and to Hazvinei and Jonathan Kariwo for photos.
  • We’ve had many wet Vigils lately so a collection was made to buy a gazebo. Thanks to those who contributed: Happy Chazuza, Benjamin Chigamba, Patience Chimba, Marvellous Chinguwa, Rangarirai Chivariro, Delice Gavazah, Yvonne Jacobs, Philip Maponga, Rodwell Mpawose, Washington Mugari, Esther Munyira, Hazvinei Saili, Ephraim Tapa and Kevin Wheeldon.
  • 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:  22 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 9th November from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058109.
  • ROHR fundraising dinner dance. Saturday 7th December from 6 pm till late. Venue tba. ROHR is hosting a dinner dance to raise funds for a Zimbabwe peace building initiative. Tickets £25. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Hazvinei Saili 07857602830, Margaret Munenge 07384300283, Pamela Chirimuta 07762737339.
  • 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:
 
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