The beating heart of hypocrisy – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 26th May 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 27 May 2018 16:18

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The hypocrisy at the heart of the Zanu PF regime was exposed by President Mnangagwa’s son Emmerson Jr in a graphic interview he gave in Harare to the London Sunday Times veteran foreign correspondent Christina Lamb about his father’s escape from attempts by the Mugabes to kill him.

He said: ‘There were six break-in attempts, no police investigation; he was hit by a car and they tried to kill him, no investigation; he was poisoned, no investigation; they put cyanide in his office, no investigation; all his projects as vice-president were sabotaged, and ministers were not reporting to him.’

Emmerson Jr said his father refused to believe that the Mugabes were out to get him until he was given a vanilla ice-cream cone at a Zanu PF rally last August and was violently ill. He was airlifted to South Africa where doctors identified arsenic. The ice-cream allegedly came from Grace’s dairy.

When Mugabe sacked Mnangagwa on 6th November, Emmerson Jr and two of his brothers drove to their father’s house. He said all security had been removed. ‘People were phoning to say, they’re coming to arrest you and will put you in a police station and poison you or hang you and make it look like you committed suicide,’ Emmerson Jr said.

He said he and his father took to the mountains to cross the border into Mozambique, passing through a landmine area, after being stopped at gunpoint at a border checkpoint. From their hiding place in Beira, they were rescued by a friend in South Africa who sent a plane to pick them up and take them to Pretoria where they hid in a small flat ‘living off takeaways from Nandos’.

The article continues: ‘Their guards told them a bounty of $10m (£7.4m) had been put on their heads and that 50 Zimbabwean intelligence agents had been sent to South Africa to search for them.’ (See: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/940-grace-mugabes-vendetta-against-her-snake-emmerson-mnangagwa).

Emmerson Jr’s account portrays his father in an heroic light and mainly blames Grace for his troubles. But the Vigil is puzzled why Mnangagwa still pays lip service to the myth of Mugabe as the Great Leader, declaring a national holiday in his honour. At the same time, the new Mnangagwa regime claims it has abandoned all Mugabe’s ideological baggage and seeks to cozy up to the formerly-despised ‘Western imperialist racist neo-liberal rapacious capitalists’.

The Vigil is not surprised that Mnangagwa is finding it hard to sack Deputy Finance Minister Terence Mukupe who warned the opposition that the army would never allow anyone but Zanu PF to rule – this from a man accused of fuel smuggling and assaulting a top official in his office and is currently being sued by a Chinese business for an unpaid bill. But how can Mnangagwa sack him when he himself proclaims that Zanu PF will rule forever?

With Mugabe ignoring the will of Parliament to account for his actions and apparently plotting against Mnangagwa, isn’t it time to drop the pretence and finally disown the poisonous Mugabe heritage which has reduced Zimbabwe to penury and destroyed so many lives?

 Other points

  • Mugabe is reported to be backing the new National Patriotic Front Party, which is complaining to the Southern African Development Community and the African Union that, following the military coup, the situation in Zimbabwe is not conducive to free and fair elections (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2018/05/zim-not-conducive-for-free-and-fair-elections/).
  • Today we held a demonstration against voter intimidation and election violence in Zimbabwe. Thanks to Esther Munyira for organising this demonstration.
  • Thanks to those who came early and helped set up by putting up the banners: Isaac Chawasarira, Junior Madzimure, Rosemary Maponga, Patricia Masamba, Esther Munyira, Patience Muyeye and Jennifer Senzere. Thanks to Rosemary, Patricia and Isaac for looking after the front table, and to Patience, Rosemary and Isaac for handing out flyers.

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: 15 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Cycle ride for the Human Rights Defenders’ Project. Vigil activist Sipho Ndlovu will be cycling 219 miles from 28th May – 2nd June to raise funds for the Human Rights Defenders’ Project of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. Sipho will cycle through 6 cities: Luton, Cambridge, Colchester, Chelmsford, Southend-on-Sea and back to London. To donate, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sipho-ndlovuhdrproject
  • MDC London branch meeting. Saturday 2nd June from 12 noon to 2 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. For more information, contact: Sharon Moyo 07877224113 and Clemence Munyukwi 07889667686.
  • ROHR fundraising walk. Saturday 9th June. This will be a sponsored fundraising walk ending at the Vigil. Proceeds will go to pre-election voter education by the Zimbabwe Peace Actors’ Platform (ZimPAP). More information as plans develop. If you wish to take part or contribute, contact: Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 16th June from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, Contact: Daisy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • 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.
  • Save the Zimbabwe elephants protest. Friday 15th June from 1 noon – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. One of our activists Nomusa Dube is organising a protest about the export of baby elephants from Zimbabwe to China. She asks Vigil activists to join her at this protest. 
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded over the past 15 years 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 for £10. All proceeds will 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.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum 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.
  • 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

 

 
Questions over Britain’s new relationship with Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 19th May 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 20 May 2018 15:40

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The revelation that the British government is to support a loan to Zimbabwe ahead of the elections has alarmed those opposed to Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF government.

Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti said foreign governments should not back such loans until credible elections have taken place. ‘The elections are only a few months away’, he pointed out. ‘Let’s see the quality of this election first’.

The opposition sees the move as further unbalancing the electoral playing field, arguing that it will give international credibility to the military regime, which has promised reforms but so far delivered little.

The British move was reported by London’s influential Financial Times newspaper, which said this will be the first time the British government has been directly involved in a commercial loan to Zimbabwe’s private sector for more than 20 years.

The amount involved is $100 million and will come from the Standard Chartered Bank with backing from the CDC Group, the government’s development finance institution owned by the Department for International Development. They will share the default risk on the loan facility, said to be intended to provide desperately-needed foreign exchange to struggling businesses.

CDC’s chief executive Nick O’Donohoe, insisted that the move did not represent an endorsement of the Zimbabwean government. But sceptics say that, following the overthrow of Mugabe, the UK seems to be taking a pragmatic ‘realpolitik’ approach to Zimbabwe. This would confirm fears expressed by MDC President Nelson Chamisa during his recent visit to Britain that the British government was focusing on political stability and trade and commerce at the expense of democracy.

Other points

  • The Vigil demonstrated today in support of electoral reforms. A banner strung above the front table read: ‘Free & fair credible elections in Zimbabwe’. A big thank you to Patience Muyeye who organised the protest and generously paid for the new banner and a large number of placards such as ‘Electoral reforms first in Zimbabwe’ and ‘End corruption and state looting’.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Isaac Chawasarira, Isabell Gwatidzo, Jonathan Kariwo, Tozonziani Musanhi, Patience Muyeye, Tryness Ncube and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Tryness, Patience and Daizy Fabian for looking after the front table, to Isaac for handing out flyers and to Jonathan, Isaac, Tozonziani,  Patience, Isabell, Tryness and Ephraim for putting up the banners. A special thank you to Heather Makawa for printing flyers to hand out to the public at the Vigil.

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: 18 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Demonstration for voters’ rights and voter safety in Zimbabwe. Saturday 26th May from 2 – 5 outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. Join us to demonstrate for voter safety in Zimbabwe – no violence, no threats, no bribes, all parties able to campaign freely. For more information, contact the organiser: Esther Munyira 07492058107. This ties in with the walk to fundraise for voter education. See below.
  • ROHR Reading Fifth Anniversary celebration. Saturday 26th May from 2 pm till late. Venue: Pakistani Community Hall, London Road, Reading West RG1 3PA. There will be food, drinks, music, games, prizes and raffle and ROHR Reading will be presenting food donations to local food banks. Contact: Nicodimus 07877386792, Josephine 07455166668, Shylette 07828929806 and Deborah 07578894896.
  • ROHR fundraising walk. Saturday 9th June. This will be a sponsored fundraising walk ending at the Vigil. Proceeds will go to pre-election voter education by the Zimbabwe Peace Actors’ Platform (ZimPAP). More information as plans develop. If you wish to take part or contribute, contact: Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 16th June from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. Contact: Daisy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • 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.
  • Cycle ride for the Human Rights Defenders’ Project. Vigil activist Sipho Ndlovu will be cycling 219 miles from 28th May – 2nd June to raise funds for the Human Rights Defenders’ Project of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. Sipho will cycle through 6 cities: Luton, Cambridge, Colchester, Chelmsford, Southend-on-Sea and back to London. To donate, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sipho-ndlovuhdrproject
  • MDC London branch meeting. Saturday 2nd June from 12 noon to 2 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. For more information, contact: Sharon Moyo 07877224113 and Clemence Munyukwi 07889667686.
  • Save the Zimbabwe elephants protest. Friday 15th June from 1 noon – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. One of our activists Nomusa Dube is organising a protest about the export of baby elephants from Zimbabwe to China. She asks Vigil activists to join her at this protest. 
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded over the past 15 years 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 for £10. All proceeds will 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.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum 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.
  • 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
 
Open for deceit – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 12th May 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 May 2018 15:50

Just what sort of ‘open for business’ does President Mnangagwa have in mind for his new Zimbabwe? Transport Minister Joram Gumbo seems to think it means telling lies in the national interest.

Talking about the can of worms that is the new national carrier Zimbabwe Airways, Gumbo said the government had decided to mislead people about the ownership of the airline to avoid attachment of its planes by creditors of bankrupt Air Zimbabwe.

‘That is when we also came up with the story that the diasporans were buying the ($70million) aircraft . . . Otherwise we could have lost the money as the country and government.’ (See: https://www.dailynews.co.zw/articles/2018/05/12/zim-airways-circus-continues).

It is not only the government that is given to ‘flights of fancy’. Nelson Chamisa’s HARDtalk interview this week with the BBC’s Stephen Sackur was uncomfortable for MDC wellwishers. Some lessons need to be learned from this if the party is to win confidence abroad.

Agitated comments on social media accuse Sackur of bias. This is nonsense. He is certainly challenging: this is what the programme is about. Anyone who agrees to take part had better be prepared. Chamisa was not.

If you are in the public spotlight you must be expected to be asked about a blue moon promise you made in Bindura of a bullet train from Harare to Bulawayo, or claims that Donald Trump had promised $15 billion in aid if you won the elections. And suggestions you would be able to fix the country’s liquidity problems in two weeks is certain to attract skepticism . . .

Mr Chamisa made a good impression on many people during his trip to the UK but the party leadership would be advised to ensure that he is properly briefed before giving interviews like the HARDtalk one. He has much to say that people in Zimbabwe and abroad are keen to hear. Speaking on several occasions during his visit, he addressed the question of electoral reforms, but they hardly got a look in the HARDtalk interview. You can’t blame this on Sackur.

At the Foreign Affairs Institute at Chatham House, Chamisa cautioned against what he perceived to be ‘a bit of a shift on the part of the British government in terms of focusing more on political stability and trade and commerce at the expense of democracy’.

He went on: ‘For a long time, the British government has been emphasising norms, values – let those norms and values of free and fair elections be respected. That is all we want – we’re not asking for money. We’re asking for the solidarity of a global coalition for free and fair elections’. (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2018/05/zim-needs-democracy-not-managed-stability-chamisa/). That’s more like it.

Mr Chamisa ought to have been aware that the bullet train idea was put forward by Zanu PF a few years ago. He certainly should have been alert enough to point out the fantasy of Zanu PF’s new manifesto promise of building 1.5 million houses in the next 5 years . . . like the millions of jobs they promised last time around.

Other points

  • Mr Chamisa was accompanied on the trip by former Finance Minister Tendai Biti and the former Education Minister David Coltart, who said they had pointed out there was a gulf between the rhetoric of the Mnangagwa administration and action on the ground. ‘We explained that for all the statements of commitment to a "free, fair and credible election" the reality is that less than 3 months from the election ZEC remains a biased, militarised institution; the opaque process for the printing of the ballots using the same tricks as 2013, the deployment of troops in rural areas, subtly intimidating the electorate and the ongoing use of the ZBC, Herald and Chronicle as propaganda vehicles (in brazen defiance of clear constitutional obligations) all show that this regime is not committed to a fair election. We stated that a fair election cannot solely consist of an election which is relatively violence free.’
  • Upcoming events at the Vigil: Saturday 19th May – demonstration for electoral reforms in Zimbabwe and Saturday 9th June – fundraising walk: proceeds to go towards voter education. For more information, check ‘Events and Notices’.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up the Vigil: Deborah Harry, Jonathan Kariwo, Rosemary Maponga, Patricia Masamba, Cephas Maswoswa, Esther Munyira, Patience Muyeye and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Patricia and Rosemary for looking after the front table, to Rosemary and Heather for handing out flyers and to Jonathan, Cephas, Rosemary, Deborah, Patience, Esther, Patricia and Ephraim for putting up the banners and tarpaulin on a very damp day.

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: 18 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Demonstration for electoral reforms and good governance in Zimbabwe. Saturday 19th May from 2 – 5 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. Join us to demonstrate for free and fair elections and the diaspora vote. For more information, contact the organiser: Patience Muyeye 07512383391.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 19th May from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, Contact: Daisy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • ROHR Reading Fifth Anniversary celebration. Saturday 26th May from 2 pm till late. Venue: Pakistani Community Hall, London Road, Reading West RG1 3PA. There will be food, drinks, music, games, prizes and raffle and ROHR Reading will be presenting food donations to local food banks. Contact: Nicodimus 07877386792, Josephine 07455166668, Shylette 07828929806 and Deborah 07578894896.
  • ROHR fundraising walk. Saturday 9th June. This will be a sponsored fundraising walk ending at the Vigil. Proceeds will go to voter education before the elections by the Zimbabwe Peace Actors’ Platform (ZimPAP). More information as plans develop. If you wish to take part or contribute, contact: Daizy Fabian, 07708653640.
  • 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.
  • Save the Zimbabwe elephants protest. Friday 15th June from 1 noon – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. One of our activists Nomusa Dube is organising a protest about the export of baby elephants from Zimbabwe to China. She asks Vigil activists to join her at this protest. 
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded over the past 15 years 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 for £10. All proceeds will 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.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum 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.
  • Facebook pages:
 
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