Emperor with no clothes – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 23rd April 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 24 April 2016 21:23

The newish American Ambassador to Harare, Peter Harry Thomas Jnr, has quickly got the hang of Mugabe, speaking this week of his ‘wicked sense of humour’. Commenting on Mugabe’s ‘invisible sanctions’ mantra, Mr Thomas showed he had come to realise that the President is a joker (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2016/04/23/us-ambassador-denies-targeted-sanctions-hurting-ordinary-citizens/).

 

Hans Christian Anderson’s ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ is a story about a vain emperor who is tricked into wearing what he is told are clothes that are invisible to those who are stupid. Everyone raves about his clothes until a child cries out ‘he isn’t wearing anything at all’.

 

It often takes an outsider to say that the emperor has no clothes. People were merely puzzled as Mugabe bowed to a picture of himself at his Independence Speechday.  They pretended not to see he was exposing himself (see: http://www.newzimbabwe.com/news-28808-WATCH+Mugabe+bows+to+own+portrait/news.aspx).

 

Zanu PF supporters didn’t dare see the humour when Mugabe told them that the economy was on a rebound, with firms reopening for business and creating jobs. They didn’t even laugh when he said: ‘My government is determined to translate political independence into meaningfulness by attending to the socio-economic needs of our people’.

 

Even claims that bankrupt parastatals such as Air Zimbabwe and National Railways of Zimbabwe had come out of the woods, failed to draw a smile, let alone his comment that ‘progress has been made in the development of social infrastructure in health, education and housing’. Nobody laughed when he promised to improve the well-being of government workers so that they can earn salaries above the poverty datum line. Perhaps they did not get the ‘wicked’ joke that he has promised the International Monetary Fund to halve the government wage bill this year.

 

There was not even a giggle when he concluded ‘one of the greatest tributes we can pay to Zimbabwe is to shun corruption, regionalism and nepotism’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-economy-on-rebound-mugabe-newsday-zimbabwe/).

 

Mind you many people also didn’t get the joke when he promptly flew off to the United States for the ceremonial signing of the UN climate change agreement and droned on as usual about sanctions when signatories – mainly lower-ranking officials – were supposed to keep their remarks to 40 seconds.

 

But those at the UN meeting realized that Mugabe had not travelled all the way to New York for a mere 40 seconds . . . he and his cronies no doubt had serious shopping to do for some more new clothes.

 

Other points

·       Chris Foxon, the producer of a play about Zimbabwe ‘After Independence’ is visiting the Vigil on 30th April between 4 and 5 pm to tell us about the play which opens in London next month. For details see ‘Events and Notices’.

·       Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Alfredy Mukuvare, Cathrine Musa, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Eletha Mpofu, Eva Sanyahokwe, Fungayi Mabhunu, Michael Sirewu, Phillip Mahlahla, Portiah Tobaiwa, Roseline Mukucha and Traiphine Maguwu. Thanks to Roseline, Cathrine, Portiah and Traiphine for looking after the front table and to Chipo for her usual efficient selling of wristbands and raffle tickets for the ROHR Birmingham ball. Thanks also to the team putting up the high banners: Phillip, Michael and Alfredy.

 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

FOR THE RECORD: 31 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       ROHR Birmingham Branch Independence Ball. Saturday 30th April from 3 pm till late. Venue: Centrala, 4 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Birmingham B5 5RT. African cuisine, £20 a head, children free. For more information, contact: Gladys Muduve 07956 430115, JaneMary Mapfumo 07412 310429 and Tecla Bandawe 07450507650.

·       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 30th April from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 7th May from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark fourteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 7th May from 11 am to 1.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 7th May from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and an optician. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.

·       Nottingham demonstration against farm looting Zimbabwean doctor. Friday 13th May from 12 noon – 3 pm. Venue: outside The Willows Medical Centre, Church Street, Carlton, Nottingham NG4 1RJ. The Vigil and ROHR are continuing the campaign to have Dr Nyatsuro’s British citizenship revoked. More information to follow.

·       ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 21st May 2016 from 12 noon – 2 pm. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.Contact: Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899, Mavis Chisvo 07944612944.

      ROHR Reading branch community outreach and general meeting. Saturday 21st May 2016. Community outreach from 11.45 am – 1.30 pm: Venue: Broad Street. Awareness campaign on ‘Mugabe must go’. General meeting from 2,30 – 5 pm:  Venue: RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. For further enquiries contact: Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Charles Mararirakwenda 07964731721, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Shylette Chipangura 07828929806, Deborah Harrry 07578894896, Sihle Sibanda 07985712749.

·       Play: ‘After Independence’. 4th – 28th May at the Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL. The play is by May Sumbwanyambe and tackles the issues of independence and government in Zimbabwe. More information is available here: http://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/after-independence/2016-05-04/.

·       Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.

·       Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2015 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/746-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2015. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.

·       Facebook pages:

Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515

ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835

 
36 years of destruction – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 16th April 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 17 April 2016 14:06

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/26443126756/sizes/m/

 

As we marked Zimbabwe’s 36th independence anniversary, exiles in the UK were joined by Mugabe himself at Saturday’s Vigil outside the London Embassy. His Excellency, in the form of Fungayi Mabhunu in our Mugabe mask and carrying a poster reading ’36 years of me. What else can I destroy?’, answered some of our questions.

 

The first was how he justified spending $20 million on foreign trips so far this year at a time when the economy is alleged not to be booming. ‘Well, this trip to London is costing nothing’, he said. ‘As you may know I have recently had to make one or three essential visits to the Far East so I have collected lots of air miles’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-mugabe-blows-20m-on-trips-dailynews-live/).

 

Our second question to his well-travelled Excellency was about  the 300 cattle that he announced he had donated to the African Union last year to reduce the AU’s dependence on Western aid. ‘It just struck me that no one had ever thought of a gift by way of cattle to the AU’, he said, brushing aside reports that none of the beasts had been sent . . . (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-mugabes-300-au-cow-gift-non-existent/).

 

Mugabe was then asked about Zanu PF’s rejection of genetically modified food  -  a move condemned by  Zimbabwean farmer Nyasha Mudukuti in an article in the Wall Street Journal:  So my country – a country that can’t feed itself – will refuse what millions around the world eat safely every day . . . we’re apparently better dead than fed’ (see: http://www.agweb.com/blog/the-truth-about-trade/zimbabwes-rejection-of-gmo-food-aid-is-a-humanitarian-outrage/).

 

The nonagarian  went on: ‘What some people don’t realise is the effect of illegal sanctions. As well as inflicting aids on  Africa and causing our drought the West is now determined to exterminate us with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) so that they can control us like they do the troublemakers who caused chaos in Harare on Thursday in an attempt at regime change’.

 

The Vigil is pleased to see that our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe was prominent among those who took part in the MDC T demonstration on Thursday. ROHR in the UK followed it up by gathering outside the Zimbabwe Embassy on Friday carrying posters such as ‘Old Clueless Mugabe must go’. As usual, the Embassy was closed. 38 people attended.

 

Other points

·       A meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil congratulated the British government on refusing to accept Mugabe’s proposed new ambassador to London. He recently stole a farm in Figtree. We wonder whether the British government’s  move follows the fuss we made over the Nottingham farm looting GP Dr Sylvester Nyatsuro.  We agreed to send our congratulations to the government and ask them what action they were taking to remove Nyatsuro’s British citizenship so that he can pursue his new found mission as a farmer in Zimbabwe.  It was agreed to have another protest outside Dr Nyatsuro’s clinic on Friday 13th May. See ‘Events and Notices’ for details.

·       The Forum decided to approach the Botswana High Commission in London to arrange a date to hand over our petition to be passed on to President Khama as Chair of Southern African Development Community. The petition calls on SADC to prepare to take action  to stop a meltdown in Zimbabwe.

·       It was good to welcome back Takunda Maravanyika who performed a piece of political theatre at one of our forums in January. For his PhD work he interviewed several people to get their reactions to  his performance. 

·       Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Humphrey Dube, Isabell Gwatidzo, Etines Kapiya, Traiphine Maguwu, Phillip Mahlahla, Jenniffer Maritsa, Cephas Maswoswa, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Marlon Nyamakanga, Chipo Parirenyatwa and Elector Zvorwadza. Thanks to Roseline, Etines and Eletha for looking after the front table and to Chipo and Isabell for supervising the lucky dip to raise funds for ROHR. Thanks also to Phillip, Humphrey and Cephas for putting up the high banners and tarpaulin and a final thank you to Chipo for her efficient selling of the “Mugabe must go / has gone’ wristbands.

 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

FOR THE RECORD: 45 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       ROHR Birmingham Branch Independence Ball. Saturday 30th April from 3 pm till late. Venue: Centrala, 4 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Birmingham B5 5RT. African cuisine, £20 a head, children free. For more information, contact: Gladys Muduve 07956 430115, JaneMary Mapfumo 07412 310429 and Tecla Bandawe 07450507650.

·       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 30th April from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 7th May from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark fourteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 7th May from 11 am to 1.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 7th May from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and an optician. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.

·       Nottingham demonstration against farm looting Zimbabwean doctor. Friday 13th May from 12 noon – 3 pm. Venue: outside The Willows Medical Centre, Church Street, Carlton, Nottingham NG4 1RJ. The Vigil and ROHR are continuing the campaign to have Dr Nyatsuro’s British citizenship revoked. More information to follow.

·       Play: ‘After Independence’. 4th – 28th May at the Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL. The play is by May Sumbwanyambe and tackles the issues of independence and government in Zimbabwe. More information is available here: http://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/after-independence/2016-05-04/. The producer has contacted the Vigil for our input and plans to visit us to discuss this.

·       Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.

·       Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2015 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/746-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2015. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.

·       Facebook pages:

Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515

ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835

 
People of Zimbabwe arise: 14th April 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 19 April 2016 10:40

https://www.flickr.com/photos/90023465@N03/26152036610/sizes/m/

 

The Zimbabwe Vigil salutes our sister organization the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) for its participation in the brave MDC T demonstration on Thursday against Mugabe’s rapacious regime. We are to join ROHR outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London on Friday 15th April to support their ‘Mugabe must go’ protest.

 

We have a constitutional right to protest and are grateful that the courts have dismissed the police attempts to close down all demonstrations. We must have demonstrations every day in Zimbabwe if we are to free ourselves of this barren regime.

 

We must challenge the great geriatric: come and commune with us on the streets. Tell us what you have done with our $15 billion.

 

Here is a report from ROHR Programmes Co-ordinator who attended the demo today.

 

An estimated 8,000 people today thronged the streets of Harare in a march organised by the main opposition party MDC T and other civic organisations and well-wishers taking part to voice their concerns on the missing $15 billion, unemployment, abductions and the general economic decay.

 

The march started at Freedom Square behind the Sheraton Hotel with the organizing secretary Mwonzora giving orders. The procession started when Tsvangirai arrived and people burst into songs waving placards with various messages directed to the Mugabe Regime. People jostled as they walked on the jammed streets. Police were deployed at every street corner wielding baton sticks and teargas canisters. Uncharacteristically today allowed the people to exercise their democratic right as enshrined in the constitution of Zimbabwe Section 59.

 

The crowd congregated at Africa Unity Square which was surrounded by anti-riot police armed to the teeth. Morgan Tsvangirai addressed the crowd. He spoke of the failure by the regime to address bread and butter issues, corruption and oppression and promised a new hope for Zimbabwe. After the address people dispersed singing revolutionary songs.

 

For photos see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/90023465@N03/albums/72157667027087791

 
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