The never-ending party – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 12th August 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 August 2017 15:39

The Mugabe family have dramatically expanded their property empire in the Mazowe area by giving themselves a billion dollars of government money to build a new university there to be called the Robert Gabriel Mugabe University with themselves as the trustees. 

It will be convenient for their two sons, Robert Jnr and Chatunga Bellarmine, who were recently thrown out of their luxury flat in Johannesburg after a drunken and drug-fuelled party left a man with a broken leg and arm. There has been speculation that they could be relocated to Zimbabwe for ‘security’. Robert had already been ‘relocated’ from the United Arab Emirates for similar shenanigans.

Grace Mugabe missed a rally to go down to rescue the pair but they seem to have continued their profligate ways on a visit to Harare. The Zimbabwe Independent says they left patrons at Club 1+1 stunned by their extravagance, keeping tables in the VIP section overflowing with champagne and whiskey. One patron said he counted 51 bottles, costing an average of $190 each (see: https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2017/08/08/mugabes-sons-party-storm/).

Robert’s studies at the University of Johannesburg seem to have been a bit of a fantasy, with lectures hardly ever attended – certainly not in the morning when his chauffeur was rarely required. So a local uni run by mum and dad far away from the fleshpots of Joburg and 40 kilometres from Harare would seem to be suitable. And since Grace got her doctorate from the University of Zimbabwe after a few weeks’ work, it shouldn’t be too difficult for the boys to match this at their own place, so to speak.

‘The influence of champagne and whiskey on cognitive function’ might make a PhD thesis. Or perhaps closer to Grace’s interest, ‘The effect of privilege on child development’.

A fantasy? Yes, but the whole university project is a fantasy even though it was endorsed by the cabinet with much bogus solemnity. Zimbabwe already has going on for 20 universities struggling by on about $300 million in all. So where will the massive grant to the Mugabes come from? Not the Chinese who have already cooled on their offer to fund a new parliament building at Mount Hampden, 16 kilometres from Harare, which Mugabe declared was going to be the new capital city.

And, anyway, Zimbabwe’s 2017 budget already envisages a $400 million deficit this year, with total government revenue of only $3.7 billion. Most of this goes on wages, which would have to be cut by a third to pay for the billion dollar Mugabe tombstone. 

Other points

  • At the Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil, there was discussion of speculation that next year’s elections would be engineered so that Zanu PF would remain in control but bring in MDC people to the government again to revive the economy and attract donor funding. 
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Babula Gwatiringa, Fungayi Mabhunu, Junior Madzimure, Shiella Matiza, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Shiellah Mushunje, Vincent Shoniwa and Dean Zhuwa. Thanks to Roseline and Josephine for looking after the front table, to Esther Munyira, Linda Dodzo, Babula, Nancy Makurira, Sally Mutseyami and Abigail Chidavayenzi for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Alfredy, Dean, Junior, Babula and Vincent for putting up the banners. Thanks also to Abigail for bringing cakes and Beverley Mutandiro for bringing sandwiches.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 41 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Reading branch BBQ fundraiser for ZimPAP. Saturday 19th August from 2 pm till late. Venue: Pakistan Community Hall, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA. Bus 17 from Reading Station. Variety show, music and dance, raffle. Indoor dress code: males black and white, females red and white. Tickets £20 adults, £10 children to include BBQ meal. Contact: Sihle 07985712749, Alice 07462067504, Charles 0796473172, Josephine 07455166668, Shylette 07828929806, Deborah 07578894896 and Mercy 07492061376.
  • 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.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 19th August from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum. Saturday 26th August from 6.30 pm. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. We will move to the RFH at the end of the Vigil at 6 pm.
  • ZAF meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  •  Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2016 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/843-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2016. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2016 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
 
Crunch point in Zimbabwe? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 5th August 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 06 August 2017 16:02

The mysterious visit to Zimbabwe this week by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, a long-time Zanu PF supporter, is a clear sign that things have reached crisis point in Zimbabwe.

The South Africans say that the hurried visit was at Mugabe’s invitation but Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba said Mbeki had requested a meeting with Mugabe and the discussion was strictly private.

But an unprecedented feature of the lightning visit was a meeting between Mbeki and Zimbabwe’s security chiefs at a time of growing differences between them and Mugabe over the succession issue.

Service chiefs are believed to be pressing him to name Vice-President Mnangagwa as his successor and they were reported to have had a meeting with Mugabe on Monday urging him to settle the issue to end the increasingly bitter conflict in Zanu PF.

 

Last week, Mugabe publicly berated the generals for interfering in the political process. ‘There are secret manoeuvres going on’, he said. At the same party meeting Grace Mugabe called on him to name his successor, saying the party would rally behind his anointed ‘horse’ (tiudzei bhiza ramuri kuda timhanye naro muone henyu) – clearly a reference to herself!

Further drama this week came as soldiers beat up police in Harare in apparent retaliation for the police’s use of spikes to halt a military vehicle after an alleged traffic offence.

With more bond notes being pumped into the bankrupt economy and Zanu PF equally bankrupt of ideas to halt the downward spiral, the Vigil turns to veteran observer Cathy Buckle in Marondera for a snapshot of Zimbabwe on the eve of Heroes’ Day. ‘The ordinary people are Zimbabwe’s real heroes in 2017’, she concludes (see: http://www.cathybuckle.com/index.php?id=236)

Other points

  • The Vigil welcomes the agreement to reunite the MDC in an alliance with other parties to confront Zanu PF in next year’s elections. It will support Morgan Tsvangirai for president.
  • We were sorry to hear that one of our key supporters, Phillip Mahlahla, has been detained and served with a deportation order. We are trying to help but were left with little time to organise an effective campaign.
  • Thanks to the large group who arrived early to help set up – too many to mention individually. Thanks to Roseline Mukucha, Josephine Jombe, Mavis Chisvo and Patience Muyeye for looking after the front table, to Chipo Parirenyatwa, Nancy Makurira, Nomusa Dube, Sally Mutseyami, Newman Richard and Rumbi Sambana for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Alfredy Mukuvare, Comfort Zibwowa, Flemming Diza, Simbarashe Mutero and Charles Mupawose for putting up the banners.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

 FOR THE RECORD: 61 signed the register.

 EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum. Saturday 12th August from 6.30 pm. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. We will move to the RFH at the end of the Vigil at 6 pm.
  • ZAF meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • ROHR Reading branch BBQ fundraiser for ZimPAP. Saturday 19th August from 2 pm till late. Venue: Pakistan Community Hall, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA. Bus 17 from Reading Station. Variety show, music and dance, raffle. Indoor dress code: males black and white, females red and white. Tickets £20 adults, £10 children to include BBQ meal. Contact: Sihle 07985712749, Alice 07462067504, Charles 0796473172, Josephine 07455166668, Shylette 07828929806, Deborah 07578894896 and Mercy 07492061376.
  • 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.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 19th August from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2016 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/843-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2016. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2016 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
 
Lunatics in charge – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 29th July 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 30 July 2017 10:12

Four years after the vaunted new constitution was approved in a national referendum, Zanu PF has forced through an amendment restoring the President’s power over the choice of the Chief Justice and other top judges. 

Considering that much of the 2013 constitution has still to be implemented, including the right of a vote for the diaspora and the right to demonstrate – it is ominous that the first amendment further undermines the rule of law.

The amendment was moved in the House of Assembly by Vice President Mnangagwa, who is favoured by the West (and China) to take over from Mugabe as the ‘sane’ element in Zanu PF.

The MDC in Parliament found Mnangagwa anything but reasonable. It pointed out that the parliamentary move was clearly violating the express views of the nation, the independence of the judiciary and the principle of separation of powers.

Eddie Cross, MDC MP, who fought against the constitutional amendment said: ‘I despair of sanity in this mental Institution where the inmates seem to be in charge’.

The Vigil was opposed to the waste-of-time constitutional process from the beginning. It lasted years, cost millions and diverted the energies of the MDC during the so-called government of national unity from the need for electoral reforms. The shambles of the 2013 elections was the result.

Now, once again, the MDC is faced with the dilemma of taking part in a charade or declaring to the world: there is no democracy in a lunatic asylum.

Other points

  • An annual London cycle event meant massive road closures around the Strand. Both sides of the road were completely barricaded which meant some supporters couldn’t cross the road to get to the Vigil.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Vimbayi Chambara, Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Theodora Mandishaya, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Pearl Shambare and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Roseline, Josephine and Pearl for looking after the front table, to Bianca Mpawaenda and Alice Majola for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Alfredy, Jonathan, Fungayi, Vimbayi, Theodora and Ephraim for putting up the banners and tarpaulin. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 21 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 5th August from 11 am. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
  • 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.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum. Saturday 5th August from 6.30 pm. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. We will move to the RFH at the end of the Vigil at 6 pm.
  • ZAF meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 5th August from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2016 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/843-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2016. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2016 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
 
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Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights of 2010
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