Let them eat ice cream – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary, 22nd August 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 23 August 2015 14:00

All the reports we get at the Vigil suggest that the wheels are coming off Zimbabwe. This week we were sent several emails which in different ways graphically show how bad things are becoming.

 

‘We live in a country with absolutely no rule of law’, said one correspondent. ‘There is no money and everyone, not only government, is desperate to find funds. Corruption and bribery are a way of life. They are ingrained and will be hard to get rid of. We survive in hope!’

 

Our correspondent, a veterinarian, is worried that the desperate scramble for money poses a threat to wildlife. Commenting on reports that Chinese staff have replaced locals at Hwange Park, he said it was difficult to get correct information. ‘We know that anti-poaching activities in Matusadona have been stopped and we know baby elephants have been moved to China. We think ivory and rhino horn are also going as well as body parts from lions and other animals which have value in China and other Asian countries.’ He added ‘the huge reaction to the killing of the lion Cecil is a great way to cover up what is going on’.

 

Another message to the Vigil came from a Christian charity working in Zimbabwe, which is supported by us. ‘Zimbabwe is not the place for an easy life today’. It says. ‘With the economy in tailspin, businesses closing and workers being laid off in increasing numbers, and with a quarter of the population forced to work outside the country in order to keep their families alive, it comes as no surprise to learn that the unemployment rate is a staggering 90 per cent.  And if life is difficult even for the few in employment, one can but wonder how the rest manage to get by.’ (See: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/712-zimbabwe-alert--relentlessly-pushing-zimbabwes-poor-towards-the-edge).

 

The third danger signal for us came in the latest article by economist and MDC T MP Eddie Cross, who has managed to be optimistic whatever the setbacks – until now. He said real hunger and deprivation is now common in all rural districts. ‘I estimate that up to 5000 people a day are now crossing our southern borders into South Africa – more than 40 000 a week or 2 million people this year. Some will return but the majority will stay and seek new lives. Can South Africa take such an additional burden at this time? I think not.’ (See: http://www.thezimbabwean.co/2015/08/the-deepening-crisis-in-zimbabwe/).

 

As the axles gouge the roads, Dr Grace has opened a new factory selling her dairy products, including ice cream. MDC spokesman Obert Gutu spoke of her extravagant display of wealth in a sea of poverty and said it was a clear sign that the Zanu PF regime was completely out of touch with the people

 

Other Points

·       We were visited by a Zimbabwean-born academic from Seattle University who asked for our help with his research on experiences when returning home to Zimbabwe and thoughts on reconciliation.

·       Zimbabwean performers, including Vigil supporters, are taking part in the Journeys Festival in Leicester next weekend. See ‘Events and Notices’ for details.

·       Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Eunice Mucherechedzo, Esther Nyambi, Humphrey Dube, Nqobizitha Moyo, Mary Muteyerwa, Bridget Mupotsa and Fungayi Mabhunu. Thanks to Eunice and Esther for looking after the front table.

 

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: 35 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 29thAugust July 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.

·       Journeys Festival, Leicester. Sunday 30th and Monday 31st August. Venue: Orton Square, Cultural Quarter, Leicester LE1 1SB. Zimbabwean performers: the band Harare which includes Vigil supporter Kuduashe Matimba (formerly of the Bundu Boys) at 12 noon on Sunday and the Zimbabwe Association Choir at 11 am on Monday,

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 5th September from 6.15 pm. From the Vigil it’s about a ten 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.

·       Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 5th September from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       Vigil’s Monthly Itai Dzamara Protest. Saturday 12th September from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark 6 months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·       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:

Vigil: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts

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

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

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.
 
Produce all skulls – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 15th August 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 16 August 2015 10:57

Photolink: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/20593480542/sizes/m/

 

Sacked information minister Jonathan Moyo simply can’t get out of propaganda mode. From his lowly perch as just one of the education ministers, Moyo is reduced to tweeting that the Zanu PF government can’t concentrate on turning around the economy before the repatriation of the remains of First Chimurenga heroes from foreign museums (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-nehandas-skull-first-before-economy-newsday-zimbabwe/).

 

The British government last year invited Zimbabwe to send experts for discussions in London on the return of any Zimbabwean human remains held in British museums. But historians say it is highly unlikely these include the skulls of any 19th century Zimbabwean freedom fighters (see UK Times story on our campaigns page: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/710-mugabe-demands-return-of-freedom-fighters-skulls).

 

So it could be a long search – which means, according to Moyo, farewell to any hopes of the economy receiving any attention for some time, though he did promise that when the government does finally get around to the matter the economy would bounce back ‘big time on the back of the irreversible indigenisation and empowerment bedrock’. The Vigil can’t wait. We would love to bounce back home.

 

Moyo’s egregious remarks followed Mugabe’s usual crazy bluster at Zanu PF’s Heroes’ Day rally in Harare at which he accused Britain of displaying the beheaded skulls in a ‘history museum’.

 

Mugabe went on to extol the achievements of ZimAsset, which he maintained was ‘certainly yielding fruits’. He didn’t mention the 2.2 million jobs he is producing since the last elections, but said the government was delivering 313,368 urban housing units and serviced stands by December 2018 . . . (see: http://www.newsdzezimbabwe.co.uk/2015/08/as-foreign-investment-dries-up-mugabe.html).

 

The Vigil advises prospective foreign investors to examine closely what they are dealing with. They might note the outcome of the long negotiations with the Indian conglomerate Essar to revive Zisco Steel. A month ago industry minister Mike Bimha insisted that the troubled $750 million deal was going ahead. Now he has admitted it is dead (see: http://www.thezimbabwean.co/2015/08/bimha-makes-u-turn-on-zisco/). Perhaps the government could ask Essar to build 313,368 urban housing units instead.

 

The Vigil managed to capture pictures of Mugabe visiting the British Museum in search of skulls. He was accompanied by his pet lion Rhodes perching on his shoulder. The museum said it didn’t have the skulls he was looking for but it would no doubt welcome his own as soon as possible for display in the dinosaur room. For our part, we urge Zanu PF to expand its search for skulls to include the 20,000 victims of Gukurahundi still haunting us today. And by the way where is Itai Dzamara?

 

Other points

·       Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu for playing the role of Mugabe in our mask and to Tendai Chadehumbe for accompanying him to the British Museum during the Vigil. Thanks to Patricial Masamba for looking after the Vigil in the absence of Mugabe and for being on the front table throughout the Vigil together with Sukoluhle Sibanda and Ivy Dangerembizi. Thanks also to those who arrived early to help set up: Mary Muteyerwa, Thulani and Percy Chagwiza, Sukoluhle, Ivy and Fungayi.

·       Another weekday protest about Itai Dzamara’s abduction by the CIO five months ago is taking place on Tuesday 18th August. Meet at 10.30 am at McDonalds, Charing Cross for the protest outside the Embassy at 11 am.

·       It is with some relief we greet the end of Mugabe’s time as SADC Chair. For a look at where he has taken the bankrupt organisation, see, for instance: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_sadc-tenure-exposes-mugabes-fading-legacy-the-zimbabwe-independent/.

 

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: 36 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       Itai Dzamara Protest, Tuesday 18th August. Meet at 10.30 am at McDonalds, Charing Cross for the protest outside the Embassy at 11 am. For more information, contact: Lazarus Matiyenga 07793939444, Danny Kadiki 07718056631.

·       ROHR Birmingham summer barbecue fundraiser. Saturday 22nd August from 2 – 9 pm. Venue: Malaika House, 81 George Street, Lozells, Birmingham B19 1NS. Contact Tino 07463202078, Thandie 07503512308, Chamu 07832927609.              

·       Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 22nd August from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 29thAugust July 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.

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 5th September 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 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.

·       Vigil’s Monthly Itai Dzamara Protest. Saturday 12th September from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark 6 months since Dzamara’s abduction by the CIO.

·       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:

Vigil: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts

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

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

·       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.

 
Mugabe and Co – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 8th August 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 09 August 2015 14:56

Picture links:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/20401743212/sizes/m/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/20223978889/sizes/m/

 

One of the leaders of the Gamatox faction has complained that Zanu PF has been turned into Mugabe’s private property and says the party is inflicting ‘untold misery’ on Zimbabweans. Former Masvingo Minister of State Kudakwashe Bhasikiti was speaking in an interview with the Daily News.

 

Bhasikiti says he was one of three people who could speak officially for the proposed People First party expected to be launched next month. The others are the former Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo, ousted Zanu PF spokesman. Bhasikiti asserted that People First would be led by Joice Mujuru who he insisted would never rejoin Zanu PF. ‘Gamatox will never be Zanu PF again. The post-congress Zanu PF translated itself into a private company which is now owned and privatised by a single family. We cannot be part of someone’s company’, he declared (see:  Mujuru turns down Mugabe, Zanu PF – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_mujuru-turns-down-mugabe-zanu-pf-dailynews-live/).

 

Bhasikiti is the latest expelled Zanu PF bigwig to spill the beans about the party’s corruption, violence and vote rigging. Last week Mutasa said in an interview with the Daily News that People First must apologise not only to the people they had misruled but also to the entire world.

 

The Vigil thinks this will be a good start but doubts that their deathbed repentance will convince the 50 or so opposition parties. ‘As a matter of principle we are not going to join hands with the likes of Joice Mujuru and Didymus Mutasa because their hands are dripping with blood’, said Elton Mangoma of the latest MDC partyette, the Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_mangoma-blames-govt-for-dzamara-abduction-the-zimbabwean/ - Mangoma blames govt for Dzamara abduction).

 

As Mugabe’s bankrupt private company, facing liquidation, veers crazily between plans to tax vendors or drive them out of business, retain ghost workers and sack real ones, invite foreign investors and rob them blind, details have emerged of how Zanu PF has looted the National Security Authority, which is responsible for paying pensions. A revealing article in the South African Mail and Guardian describes how it has been used by Mugabe and Co as a cash cow (http://mg.co.za/article/2015-08-06-greed-corruption-lead-to-povertyamong-zims-pensioners - Greed, corruption 'fuel poverty among Zim's pensioners').

 

Other points

·       The Vigil welcomed unexpected visitors from Zimbabwe: Douglas Mwonzora, Secretary-General of MDC-T, and Theresa Makone, the party’s Treasurer. They were accompanied by officers of the MDC’s UK province: Owen Muganda, Secretary, and Sibongile Sihwa, Vice Chair. Ms Sihwa warned us against CIO infiltration and said it was paying big money to undermine opposition groups. The Vigil is all too well aware of the CIO’s tactics. Mwonzora addressed the Vigil and spoke of reforms wanted by MDC-T, including the diaspora vote. This drew cheers from Vigil supporters.

·       The Vigil marked 5 months since the activist Itai Dzamara was abducted by the CIO. Despite international protests, all we get from Mugabe and Co is deathly silence.  Martin Chinyanga led a Vigil group in a demonstration outside the Embassy on Friday about the abduction. He found that the Embassy had summoned the police and said it showed how closely they read the Vigil diary which had trailed the protest. Martin also said a lady had been refused help by the Embassy with her passport on the grounds that she had attended the Vigil. Those who took part in the demonstration were: Hilda Gwesele, Roda Majoni, Nobukhosi Moyo Lazarus Matiyenga, Paul Chipamhadze, Crispen Ndlovu, Peter Sidindi, Martin Chinyanga and Danny Kadiki.

·       Thanks to Humphrey Dube, Eunice Mucherechedzo, Helen Rukambiro, Prue Glanfield, Paul Fusire and Fungayi Mabhunu who arrived early to help set up. Thanks also to Eunice, Helen and Rose Maponga for taking care of the front table and to Paul for bringing delicious cupcakes.

·       We were interested to see that police boss Augustine Chihuri is the latest shareholder of the Mugabe firm to acquire a doctorate, joining Deputy Chairman Grace and army chief Constantine Chiwenga.  Dr Chihuri obtained his doctorate from Harare’s ‘Mount Carmel Institute of Business Intelligence’. Rector Mufaro Gunduza says his research was ‘beautiful’ (see: http://ewn.co.za/2015/08/04/Zimbabwes-police-chief-awarded-a-doctorate – Zim’s Police Chief Receives Doctorate). The Vigil is informed that his handwriting was also pretty good, with all the letters properly joined together between the lines.

·       Some of us at the Vigil support a pastor in the Bulawayo area. He reports: On 5 August 2015 around 2 pm, without warning, the Zimbabwe Republic Police in the company of the Deputy Sheriff arrived at the headman’s house on Willsgrove Farm with an eviction order and commanded the headman to move away and said that they were destroying the buildings.  This farm is the property of a brick manufacturing company. As the senior police officer was talking to the old man the rest of his team rushed into the house and started throwing out the belongings. No sooner had they started than a bulldozer arrived and started to demolish the buildings. They did not only demolish the homestead but also three chicken houses that the headman had, containing about 2000 birds. The remaining live chickens were stuffed into sacks. The turkeys’ legs were tied and they were also shoved into sacks. Most of them suffocated. In addition puppies were also put into sacks and suffocated. They also towed the headman’s car away. It was found with no bonnet and a smashed windscreen. The headman had been living on the property for 27 years.  After this they moved to another brick under iron homestead which they destroyed and took property such as fridges which were taken to an unknown destination. They targeted the four leaders of the community first. After that they started on the other homesteads. There was a lot of crying among the people: women and men and children.’ For the full report see our campaigns page: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/708-pastors-eviction-report

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: 35 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 22nd August from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 29thAugust July 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.

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 5th September 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 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.

·       Vigil’s Itai Dzamara Protest. Saturday 12th September from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark 6 months since Dzamara’s abduction by the CIO.

·       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:

Vigil: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts

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

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

·       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.

 
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