Mugabe’s non-stop party – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 22nd July 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 23 July 2017 11:43

You must hand it to the Mugabes – they know how to party. No expense spared. No distance too far to travel. No diamond ring too big. No guilt. No conscience. In fact, no hypocrisy because they don’t understand the word. To them it’s entitlement.

It was the sense of entitlement that reeked more than the smell of mbanje from the luxury apartment in the affluent Sandton area of Johannesburg from which Mugabe’s party-loving sons Robert Jnr and Chatunga Bellamine were evicted after a late night brawl over women which left one of their guards with a broken leg and shattered arm and the apartment trashed with cigarette burns, whisky, champagne and red wine-soiled carpets.

One source quoted by the Zimbabwe Independent said the boys lived ‘a carefree life of luxury, partying and over-indulgence. Their driver would wait dutifully on call in one of the luxury vehicles, often sleeping there, awaiting a command to drive them to wherever they wanted. It was rarely the case that Robert Jnr emerged for morning lectures which he was supposed to attend at the University of Johannesburg’.

Money never seems to be a problem with the lucky Mugabe family. Zimbabwe may be rated poor by some misguided Western critics but for the Mugabes it has always been a land of milk and honey. The President himself, continuing his neurotic attempts to escape the country, spent $4,588,990 on travel in January, $ 4,250,630 in February and $4,119,638 in March – $13 million in the last 3 months for which data is available (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-chefs-blow-14m-in-three-months/). Not bad for a 93 year-old who can hardly walk.

Where does the money come from? One well-informed observer says the diaspora provides as much as a third of Zimbabwe’s income, with minerals and tobacco providing the rest. So Mugabe and his grotesque family are basically having a non-stop party at the diaspora’s expense.

The Constitutional Court’s refusal this week to recognise the diaspora vote provided for in the yet-to-be implemented 2013 Constitution and the massive irregularities exposed in last week’s Chiwundura by-election confront the diaspora with an uncomfortable challenge. Should we choke off what amounts to our funding of the regime?

As the Zimbabwean diaspora becomes acculturated in their new countries, bonds with home will inevitably weaken. One instance: it used to be routine at the Vigil to collect money to help pay for the repatriation of the bodies of Zimbabweans who had died in the UK. Now more and more people are being buried here instead – their new homeland, where their children are going to school.

Another sign of change is the mounting impatience with the insatiable demands being made on the diaspora by their families back home. It’s no longer just money for food, medicine and school fees: it’s computers and high end telephones when most Zimbabweans in the diaspora work long hours just to survive themselves – perhaps giving a too positive view of their situation to loved ones back in Zimbabwe. And, as a pastor in the Bulawayo area tells us, there is widespread jealousy of people who receive support from abroad (see: http://zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/870-interview-with-matabeleland-pastor).

We at the Vigil expect Zanu PF to manipulate the elections next year and we expect the bogus results to be endorsed by Africa and the outside world as usual. So what do we do next: can we cut we cut off diaspora funding for Mugabe’s non-stop party? What alternative is there if we are to save Zimbabwe from Zanu PF?

Thanks
Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Abigail Chidavayenzi, Flemming Diza, Sibongile Gumbo, Isabell Gwatidzo, Deborah Harry, Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Shiella Matiza, Erica Mukosha, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Margaret Munenge, Richard Munyama, Charles Mupawose, Patience Muyeye and Benjamin Semwayo. Thanks to Roseline, Josephine and Patience for looking after the front table, to Abigail, Deborah and Bianca for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Alfredy, Jonathan, Charles, Flemming, Ndodana Maphosa and Fungayi for putting up the banners. Thanks also to Isabell Gwatidzo for selling tickets for the ROHR Slough branch fundraiser dinner in aid of ZimPAP. 

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: 32 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Slough branch fundraiser. Saturday 29th July from 17.30 – 23.30. Come and share an all-you-can-eat buffet. Tickets: £25 adults, £10 children 5-12 yrs, £15 13-17 yrs. Venue: Zaza’s Restaurant, 108A Whitechapel Rd, London E1 1JE. Contact Patricia Masamba (Chair) 07708116625, Casper Nyamakura  (Fundraiser) 07577666912. Nkosinkona Tshabangu (Vice Chair) 07539658455 and Fungisai Mupandira (Organising Secretary) 07468504393
  • 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:
 
Campaign of fear – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 15th July 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 16 July 2017 15:46

Fears of violence are growing as the 2018 elections approach. The fears are especially acute in rural areas such as Gutu West constituency, where a local NGO reports that Zanu PF intimidation has triggered panic in the entire community. 

Villagers says a former chief, George Chivhande Serima, now a Zanu PF ward chairman, has warned them of severe punishment if they support opposition parties. People are being ordered to submit their names and national registration details to village heads.

MDC MP Eddie Cross says: ‘the entire rural population is living under a regime of terror built up over many years by the Zanu PF party. The level of intimidation and control is extraordinary and includes beatings, targeted abductions, rape, threats, the use of traditional leaders and threats of expulsion from their homes. It includes close supervision of voting and collective punishment for communities or villages who are known to support, in any way, the opposition.’

The MDC said teams had been deployed from the Registrar General’s office to conduct voter registration ahead of the legal voter registration process by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. MDC presidential spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka said: ‘While debate rages over the contentious Biometric Voter Registration exercise and the ZEC’s decision to prejudice the MDC by earmarking fewer registration centres in the urban areas, perceived to be opposition strongholds, it has emerged that Zanu PF has already clandestinely begun its own parallel voter registration exercise.’

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association expressed grave concern over the rise in political conflict in the country and said ‘political developments should be taken seriously by the international community to avert a slide into more violence’. 

The new British Minister for Africa Rory Stewart has expressed ‘deep distaste at the horrifying record of the Mugabe regime’. He was replying to a question in Parliament about British policy in Zimbabwe asked by the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe Kate Hoey: ‘Mugabe spent $53 million on private travel overseas last year. At the same time, the United Kingdom is paying proportionately more in aid to that country than to any other country in Africa. Does the Minister think that, with the elections coming next year and Mugabe refusing to implement the 2013 constitution, now is the time to put some of that money into helping voter education in those rural areas controlled by ZANU-PF, or we will not have free and fair elections?’ Mr Stewart said he agreed with her that focusing on free and fair elections was one of the most important things Britain could do for Zimbabwe.

The reports of voter intimidation justify the Vigil’s efforts, in conjunction with other human rights groups, to see civilian peacekeepers set up in rural areas to educate people in their constitutional rights and counter fear.

Other points

  • Vigil co-ordinator Fungayi Mabhunu was interviewed by Voice of America about the attempts in Zimbabwe to form an opposition coalition. He said this was irrelevant as the election outcome was already being rigged. He said opposition politicians were primarily interested in their jobs and the possibility of getting posts in a new government of national unity.  Fungayi said the Vigil believed the answer lay in a transitional authority overseen by the UN. You can hear Fungayi on Voice of America’s live talk programme, check: https://www.voazimbabwe.com/a/3941507.html. His interview starts about 40 minutes into the programme.
  • People were being encouraged to attend ROHR Slough branch’s fundraising dinner on Saturday 29th July. It will be held at Zaza’s restaurant in Whitechapel Road in London and participants will enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet. Full details can be seen in our ‘Events and Notices’.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Abigail Chidavayenzi, Daizy Fabian, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Gloria Mabika, Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa, Patricia Masamba, Cephas Maswoswa, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Margaret Munenge, Esther Munyira, Sipho Ndlovu, Cecilliah Phiri, Rumbidzayi Sambana, Maxmus Savanhu, Michael Sirewu, Farai Tanyanyiwa and Nkosinkona Tshabangu.  Thanks to Roseline, Esther and Cathrine Musa for looking after the front table, to Abigail and Nancy Makurira for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Alfredy, Jonathan, Maxmus, Farai, Cephas and Nkosinkona for putting up the banners.
  • Our condolences to Vigil activist Michelle Makoni who lost her father in Zimbabwe. A collection was made for her.

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: 43 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 22nd July 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.
  • 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.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 22nd July from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR Slough branch fundraiser. Saturday 29th July from 17.30 – 23.30. Come and share an all-you-can-eat buffet. Tickets: £25 adults, £10 children 5-12 yrs, £15 13-17 yrs. Venue: Zaza’s Restaurant, 108A Whitechapel Rd, London E1 1JE. Contact Patricia Masamba (Chair) 07708116625, Casper Nyamakura  (Fundraiser) 07577666912. Nkosinkona Tshabangu (Vice Chair) 07539658455 and Fungisai Mupandira (Organising Secretary) 07468504393
  • 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 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:
 
Reality and delusion – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 8th July 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 09 July 2017 20:22

Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene appears to have been smoking weed again. Only a few weeks after raving about mbanja to Mugabe at his Mutare rally (see: 17th June diary - http://zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/868-who-needs-wheels-zimbabwe-vigil-diary-17th-june-2017), she has come up with a proposal to lie to attract tourists. This may be acceptable to an advertising agency but should it be government policy? 

Chimene urged those involved in tourism in Manicaland to claim that an Indian tourist who mysteriously disappeared three years ago while climbing the sacred Inyangani mountain would return one day. ‘Some of them will wait for him to meet them’ she said, adding ‘this world is so cruel. We need strategies if we are going to survive in this industry’.

Mandi’s attitude is in keeping with Zanu PF’s deceitful short-termism: when in doubt lie. Reality is an illusion. One minute Vice President Mnangagwa assures prospective South African investors that land invasions are over then, incited by Mugabe, the remnants of a farm developed by a white family over the last 80 years are seized – and by none other than the presiding bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Zimbabwe.

As the Vigil has long pointed out, the delusional world of Zanu PF – with their alternative reality – has gained a foothold in the UK where a professor at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies Stephen Chan has now published a book claiming that, despite opposition complaints of election rigging, Mugabe would have won the 2013 elections anyway – and furthermore the elections had taken place under relatively ‘credible’ conditions.

Asked to justify this conclusion, Chan said he had ‘crunched the numbers’. The Vigil would like to examine his case but can’t afford to pay £75 to buy a copy of his book 'Why Mugabe Won: The 2013 Elections in Zimbabwe and their Aftermath' (see: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/110711716X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499408534&sr=1-1&keywords=why+mugabe+won).

And, anyway the Vigil wonders how you can ‘crunch’ the voters intimidated into voting for Mugabe or the opposition voters moved off the voters’ roll by the Israeli Nikuv rigging company employed by the Mugabe regime when even the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission says it doesn’t have a copy of the 2013 voters’ roll? (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2017/06/26/zec-refuses-release-2013-voters-roll/).

The Vigil is aware that a cabal sympathetic to Zanu PF at London’s Chatham House think tank and Oxford University shares Chan’s delusions but to us a more convincing analysis of Mugabe’s repeated victories was given in a recent article by the MDC Bulawayo MP Eddie Cross who outlines the strategies he says were used to achieve Mugabe’s re-elections (see: http://www.thezimbabwean.co/2017/06/will-election-2018-solve-problems/).

Other points

  • From delusion to outright lies is a step too far. The Vigil sporadically comes under attack in what could be called the ‘gutter’ websites. The latest rubbish has, of course, no truth in it. (See for yourself: http://www.newsdzezimbabwe.co.uk/2017/07/activist-leaders-in-uk-worse-than.html.) The Vigil says there was no such collection and ROHR President Ephraim Tapa believes that this attack has been prompted by pique at the success of ROHR and the Vigil’s recent fundraising efforts for the Zimbabwe Peace Actors’ Platform (ZimPAP) which seeks to train 100,000 civilian peacekeepers for next year’s elections. See our campaigns page for a more detailed response: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/872-refutation-of-the-allegations-made-against-the-vigil-and-rohr.
  • The walkers who walked 15 miles from Ilford to the Vigil last Saturday to fundraise for ZimPAP are busy collecting their sponsorship money and hope to raise a good amount. Contributions can still be made via the Justgiving link: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/zimvigil-co-ordinator.
  • Thanks to Sister Bev Mutandiro who led the prayers on the theme of Psalm 124: If it had not been the Lord who was on our side – let Israel now say – if it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when our enemies attacked us, then they would have swallowed us up alive, when their anger was kindled against us; then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us; then over us would have gone the raging waters. Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey to their teeth. We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
  • On a very hot day London was seething with revellers marking Gay Pride day. Several came past the Vigil and signed our petitions.
  • A newly arrived white Zimbabwean came to the Vigil today. He had arrived destitute in the UK and had slept rough last night. The Vigil rallied round – gave him some financial assistance, bought him a sim card and top-up for his phone and with the help of the local police found him accommodation. Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu, Catherine Musa, George Chinamora and Philip Maponga who helped him.
  • We were glad to be joined by Vigil founder member and former co-ordinator Dumi Tutani who now lives in Oxford.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Mavis Chisvo, Tafadzwa Gore, Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Heather Makawa, Rosemary Maponga, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Margaret Munenge, Esther Munyira, Charles Mupawose, Cathrine Musa, Farai Mutumburi, Mduduzi Ndlovu and Farai Tanyanyiwa. Thanks to Roseline, Josephine, Cathrine and Mavis for looking after the front table, to Nancy, Esther, Rosemary, Cathrine, Farai Mutumburi and Faith Ndhlovu for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Phillip, Jonathan, Charles, Eletha, Faria Mutumburi and Farai Tanyanyiwa 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: 38 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Leicester branch meeting. Tuesday 11th July from 6 – 7.30 pm: To meet at the Clock Tower and proceed to the venue. Contact: Enniah Dube 07403439707, Yvonne Makombe 07453909247 and Moline Nyabonda 07961250525.
  • ROHR Southampton branch meeting. Saturday 15th July from 1 – 4 pm. Eastleigh Library, Southampton SO50 5SF. Contact: Ben Semwayo (Chair) 07401611932, Reuben Waretza (Information and Publicity) 07946607617 and Cecil Shumba (Secretary) 07575954654.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 15th July from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: 4th floor, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. 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.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 22nd July from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR Slough branch fundraiser. Saturday 29th July 2017 from 17.30 – 23.30. Venue: Zaza’s Restaurant, 108A Whitechapel Rd, London E1 1JE. Contact Patricia Masamba (Chair) 07708116625, Casper Nyamakura  (Fundraiser) 07577666912. Nkosinkona Tshabangu (Vice Chair) 07539658455 and Fungisai Mupandira (Organising Secretary) 07468504393
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 5th August from 11 am. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
  • 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.
  • 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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