‘An event of truly spectacular moral ugliness’ was how the Mayor of London Boris Johnson described Mugabe’s 91st birthday party. Johnson’s opinion counts as he has a strong following and is widely tipped to be a future Prime Minister.
‘While his people are starving, the ancient despot will convoke 20,000 cronies at a kind of golf club-cum-safari lodge near the Victoria Falls’ said Mr Johnson, a classics scholar. ‘In scenes reminiscent of the more disgusting and luxurious behaviour of the emperor Commodus, he will cause various exotic beasts to be slaughtered for the feast. Five impalas will be roasted, two sables, two buffaloes – and then, to the ululations of his drunken Zanu-PF supporters, there will be a series of culinary climaxes, each more revolting than the last.’
He continued: ‘A local farmer has procured two elephants, and after these rare and majestic creatures have been butchered for the delectation of the semi-deified Mugabe, there will be one more type of meat to come – an animal that you might think was semi-sacred, whose killing should be taboo, a creature that people would never normally dream of eating. Yes, a lion, the king of the animal kingdom, will lay down its life before the meat-maddened mob and have the honour of surrendering its mortal flesh to the palsied gullet of the man who still calls himself the “Hitler of Africa”.’
Johnson goes on: ‘And then, at last, the cake will appear, predicted to weigh 200lb, and in the most depraved and demoralising vignette of all, this crowd of brainwashed Zimbabweans will sweetly sing Happy Birthday to the man who has impoverished their country. This birthday party is predicted to cost $1 million at a time when Zimbabweans are living on 35 cents a day. Teachers across the country have been forced to contribute $10 each to put on the show.’ (See: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/11428364/
Happy-birthday-Mr-Mugabe-with-special-love-from-Labour.html – Happy birthday, Mr Mugabe, with special love from Labour).
The Mayor of London doesn’t have to look far to find ‘brainwashed Zimbabweans’. The Zanu - PF UK Chairman, Nick Mangwana, told a birthday celebration in Birmingham that Mugabe was ‘a visionary who does not get old but instead gets better . . . It is the gift to see what nobody else can see’. Things like food on the table, clean tap water, electricity, jobs? (see: http://www.mafaro.co.uk/2015/02/pics-mugabes-uk-birthday-bash.html?m=1 – Mugabe's UK Birthday Bash).
No doubt Mr Mangwana will nod his head in approval at the visionary advice Mugabe gave on the eve of his birthday feast. Avoiding a full tummy is the secret to long life he told Zimbabwe’s starving masses during a ZBC interview. ‘I eat well, not filling my stomach, eating foodstuffs that I believe sustain one most’ he said as he prepared to tuck into two elephants and a lion (see: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/zimbabwe/11440126/
Avoiding-a-full-tummy-is-the-secret-to-long-life-reveals-Zimbabwes-President-Robert-Mugabe.html) - Avoiding a full tummy is the secret to long life,' reveals Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe).
The economist Vice Musuwe sees things differently. In a letter to the diaspora he said walking the streets of Harare it is difficult not see and smell the poverty and hopelessness. Living standards have gone back 60 years and we should expect nothing new in 2015 except lies that things are getting better (see: A letter to the Diaspora – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_a-letter-to-the-diaspora/).
· Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu for donning our Mugabe mask to illustrate the ‘nauseating feast; at Victoria Falls.
· Insights into our rulers: former Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono is disputing a claim for $1.3 million for cars he bought for his various business enterprises in January 2009. He doesn’t contest the debt but argues it was an illegal transaction as it shouldn’t have been done in US dollars at the time! Just another of his dodgy deals then? (see: $1,3m debt haunts Gono – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_13m-debt-haunts-gono-the-herald/).
· Vice President Mnangagwa says the government is ‘realigning’ the indigenisation policy to attract foreign investment. But new indigenisation minister Chris Mushohwe say he is still trying to find out what he is supposed to be doing in his job . . . (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-govt-to-revisit-indigenisation-mnangagwa-the-zimbabwe-independent/ - Govt to revisit indigenisation: Mnangagwa).
· Nehanda Radio says the sacked Masvingo Minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti is fleeing the country after destroying the mango and orange trees on the farm he grabbed under land reform. We expect to see him in the UK shortly (see: (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-sacked-minister-destroys-farm-plans-to-leave-the-country-nehanda-radio/ - Sacked minister destroys farm, plans to leave the country)
· For Makusha Mugabe’s article on our big protest on Saturday 21st February see: http://www.changezimbabwe.com/index.php/news-mainmenu-2/1-latest/5252-time-to-u-nite-and-send-robert-mugabe-packing.
· There are two further showings in London of the film ‘Democrats’: 20th March at 6.30 pm at the Barbican and 23rd March at 6.15 pm at the Ritzy, Brixton. Check: http://ff.hrw.org/film/democrats?city=4 for tickets. Both screenings are followed by discussion with filmmaker Camilla Nielsson and Dewa Mavhinga, Senior Researcher for Zimbabwe and Southern Africa, Africa Division, Human Rights Watch).
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 Executive Meeting: Saturday 7th March at 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
· Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 7th March from 6.15 pm. 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 Pizza Express. 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.
· Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 7th March from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
· ROHR Southampton branch meeting and outreach. Saturday 14th March 11 am – 3 pm. Venue: Eastleigh Library, 1st Floor, Swan Centre, Eastleigh SO50 5SF. Special guests Councillor Wayne Irish and NHS Practitioner Sunitha Rajeev. For further enquiries please contact: Sally Mutseyami (Chairperson) on 07448730581.
· The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco, a play by Zimbabwean writer Andrew Whaley showing at the Gate Theatre, 11 Pembridge Road, London W11 3HQ from 26th February to 21st March. The theatre has given the Vigil flyers with a promo code for discounted tickets of £5 until 14th March. These can be picked up from the Vigil. Check: http://www.gatetheatre.co.uk/events/all-productions/the_rise_and_shine_of_comrade_fiasco for more information and to book.
· Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 28th March at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.
· Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
· 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 Vigil Highlights 2014 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/642-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2014. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2014 Highlights page.
· Facebook pages:
· SW Radio Africa’s website and sound archive is being hosted on www.archive.org. Go to the site and type in swradioafrica which will link you to snapshots of their site over the years and at the top of that page a link to their website where, under podcasts, you will find the audio.