‘Command Justice’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 7th March 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 09 March 2020 14:17

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/49632396352/sizes/m/

 

The British newspaper the Times has published a report on the tawdry divorce battle between Vice President Canstantino Chiwenga and his wife Marry. Zimbabweans will be familiar with the lurid account of attempted murder, voodoo and drugs. But what rang a bell with the Vigil was Marry’s comment that she was doomed because of ‘command justice’. (See: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1065-marry-chiwenga-jilted-wife-off-zimbabwe-strongman-fears-for-her-life).

 

Zimbabwe has become a command state: ‘command agriculture’ has provided a smooth avenue for corruption, ‘command economy’ an equally convenient way of siphoning off the country’s riches to Zanu PF bigwigs.

 

It has long been clear that ‘free and fair elections’ is an aspiration rather than the rule. In many countries elections have become a charade. The fuss over the last elections in Malawi provide bracing evidence of this. Zimbabweans are used to having ‘command election results’ followed by Marry Chiwenga’s ‘command justice’ when the opposition protests.

 

President Mnangagwa is already preparing for the next elections in 2023, though he admitted to the Politburo this week that his government had failed and had no new ideas (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/mnangagwa-admits-failure-he-must-go/).

 

The schizophrenic position of the government could perhaps explain the extraordinary behaviour of a senior Zimbabwean diplomat in the United States who has been flown home after being arrested by police while running around in the middle of the night screaming and shouting (see: https://www.zimlive.com/2020/03/06/top-zimbabwe-diplomat-breaks-into-united-states-home-gets-immunity/).

 

We can only speculate that he could have been driven mad by the US Government’s decision to renew targeted sanctions imposed on some Zanu PF officials. A US statement said President Mnangagwa’s government ‘has arguably accelerated its persecution of critics and economic mismanagement in the past year, during which security forces have conducted extrajudicial killings, rapes, and alleged abductions of numerous dissidents.’ (See: https://www.zimlive.com/2020/03/04/us-extends-zimbabwe-sanctions-over-accelerated-persecution-of-critics/).

 

Other points

  • Zimbabwe is facing ‘an economic and humanitarian crisis’ says the International Monetary Fund. IMF officials recently visited Zimbabwe and complained of a lack of reforms (https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/03/zimbabwe-in-economic-and-humanitarian-crisis-as-imf-sounds-alarm.html).
  • On Friday Vigil activists attended churches on the World Day of Prayer, which this year was devoted to Zimbabwe with the service written by Zimbabwean women. We were deeply touched by the support we witnessed in the UK but sorry to hear reports that the day was less successful in Zimbabwe itself. One observer complained that the service she had attended in Bulawayo had devoted most of its time to acknowledging dignitaries rather than praying for the suffering. A contact in Bulawayo said she was distressed by the politicisation of the event and what she called the corruption of the church.
  • The Zimbabwe army commander Edzai Chimonyo says the military are soon to start monitoring social media, which he said posed a dangerous threat to national security. The move has been condemned by human rights groups (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2020/03/army-to-monitor-social-media/).
  • The Vigil today marked the 5th anniversary of the abduction by government agents of civil rights protester Itai Dzamara. He has not been seen since.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up the Vigil today: Beauty Bangura, Cynthia Chibanda, Pamela Chirimuta, Rangarirai Chivaviro, Enniah Dube, Daizy Fabian, Delice Gavazah, Jonathan Kariwo, Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa, Garikai Mananje, Jacob Mandipira, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Margaret Munenge, Esther Munyira, Mary Muteyerwa, Qiniso Sibanda, Ephraim Tapa, Kevin Wheeldon and Ntombizodwa Zololo. Thanks to Daizy, Esther and Margaret for looking after the front table, to Kevin , Rangirai and Jacob for handing out flyers, to Mary and Chido for drumming, to Jonathan and Chido for taking photos and to Rosemary Maponga for providing hot drinks. Thanks also to those who made posters for the Itai Dzamara protest: Garikai, Daizy, Washington Mugari and Tapiwa Muskwe.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.                                                                

FOR THE RECORD: 26 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Living on the Edge. Tuesday 10th March from 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6 pm). Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. The event is organised by the Mike Campbell Foundation. Among the speakers are Chief Felix Ndiweni and Beatrice Mtetwa. For full details of the event check: https://media.wix.com/ugd/02876c_5b68a136280c42ebbf39f8ebbb722299.pdf.
  • 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.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded 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. All proceeds 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.
  • 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
 
Unbelievable reality – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 29th February 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 02 March 2020 12:33

Secret money printing by the government, subsidised grocery shops set up in military barracks and a quarter of a million US dollars handed over in cash to Mnangagwa’s daughter – just some of the stories circulating in Zimbabwe.

 

Zimbabwe has long been a member of the club of failing states which, with Russia’s help, include such corrupt regimes as Iran, Syria and Venezuela. An article in the UK Times this week explained how these regimes prosper from catastrophe: how the unbelievable becomes the reality.

 

The writer, Roger Boyes, concludes that ‘enforced poverty depoliticises rather than radicalises the population’. He says: ‘Revolutions erupt because of rising but thwarted expectations. So the primary task of kleptocrats is to banish ambition. The ambitious, the able-bodied, the desperate flee the country in droves. And the leaders are OK with that, too. One day, they figure, the pressure of refugees mounting up in western countries will force the outside world to strike a deal with leaders who have demonstrated their survival skills. Allowing their states to fail gives them a perverse advantage: it makes them indispensable. As a result many people in these miserable states don’t even pretend to trust their leaders. Better muddle through with the ruler we know, is the short-term calculation, than topple him and risk the wholesale collapse of society.’ (See: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1063-why-do-some-failing-states-never-fail.)

 

A sobering assessment, which perhaps explains Russia’s renewed interest in Africa’s raw materials and profitable reasons for propping up the Zanu PF regime – with or without Mnangagwa, whose tenure in office may soon be terminated, according to the maverick former Zanu PF minister Jonathan Moyo, stirring up trouble from the safety of South Africa.

 

Moyo talks of an exit package being agreed with military chiefs under which Mnangagwa would get a settlement of US$10 million and continued benefits on leaving office, as well as ‘a modest motorcade’. In a separate tweet Moyo speaks of Mnangagwa’s daughter collecting an apparent down payment of a quarter of a million dollars from the Reserve Bank as part of a payment of $5 million (See: https://zwnews.com/mnangagwa-daughter-fraudulently-gets-us250k-from-rbz-no-receipts-for-transaction/.)

 

In Harare’s febrile culture these stories may prove to be off mark, but allegations of secret money printing by the Central Bank are anchored on a statement by the International Monetary Fund. IMF officials found that more of the dodgy Zimbabwe dollars were being printed to provide subsidies for gold producers (see: https://www.ft.com/content/4ae27da8-5967-11ea-abe5-8e03987b7b20).

 

As the cost of living soars the government have resorted to providing soldiers with subsidised basic commodities to stem unrest (see: https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/africa/Zimbabwe-military-shops/4552902-5471140-tqj028z/index.html). The police will have to be next . . . and then teachers . . . until the only ones paying the cost will be – who else but the people.

 

A welcome revelation came in the state-owned Herald newspaper that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission has identified over US$7 billion in cash and assets stashed abroad. ZACC Chairperson and former High Court judge, Loice Matanda-Moyo, said ‘Informally, we have now identified over US$7 billion worth of property and cash all over the world which were siphoned by our former leaders, current leaders, private sector and individuals. So this information we only got informally, so now we have to formalise the process so that we start the processes of repatriating the monies back home’. (See: https://www.iol.co.za/business-report/economy/zimbabwe-pursuing-billions-of-dollars-stashed-in-foreign-countries-43505463.)

 

Good luck to judge Matanda-Moyo but the Vigil bets the odds on jailing any ‘former or current leaders’ are approximately zero.

 

Other points

  • The Vigil was bewildered by how the MDC was persuaded to waste its energies during the Government of National Unity on a new constitution, which we knew would be altered later. Now Zanu PF is seeking to cancel, through amendments, key concessions made during the constitutional reform process (see: http://constitutionnet.org/news/fortifying-zimbabwes-imperial-presidency-proposed-second-amendment-constitution).
  • Thanks to the intrepid few who braved the foul weather to help set up the Vigil today: Beaulah Gore, Alice Majola, Rosemary Maponga, Philip Maponga, Tapiwa Muskwe, Ephraim Tapa and Kevin Wheeldon. Thanks to Rosemary and Alice for looking after the front table and for taking photos, to Kevin and Tapiwa for handing out flyers and to Rosemary for providing hot drinks.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.                                                                 
FOR THE RECORD: ­­­9 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 7th March from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058107, Enniah Dube 07367504747, Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
  • Itai Dzamara Remembrance Day. Saturday 7th March from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Zimbabwe Embassy, 439 Strand, London WC2R 0JR. Join us to remember Itai Dzamara’s bravery and legacy. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Daizy Fabian 07708653640, Benjamin Molife 07490919900.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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.
  • World Day of Prayer for Zimbabwe. Friday 6th March. This year the focus is on Zimbabwe and the service has been prepared by Christian women in Zimbabwe. The theme is ‘Rise! Take you mat and walk’. Christians all round the world will be praying for Zimbabwe. Try to get your own church involved. For more information check: https://www.wwdp.org.uk/.
  • Living on the Edge. Tuesday 10th March from 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6 pm). Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. The event is organised by the Mike Campbell Foundation. Among the speakers are Chief Felix Ndiweni and Beatrice Mtetwa. For full details of the event check: https://media.wix.com/ugd/02876c_5b68a136280c42ebbf39f8ebbb722299.pdf.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded 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. All proceeds 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.
  • Facebook pages:
 
‘Taken over by monkeys and baboons’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 22nd February 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 23 February 2020 14:03

It is not surprising that runaway former minister Saviour Kasukuwere should use Friday’s absurd Mugabe Day to attack the regime which overthrew the former president. Predictably defending Mugabe, Kasukuwere said Zimbabwe’s situation was worse under Mnangagwa who, he said, was protecting corrupt criminal cartels who were raping the nation, bleeding it of billions of dollars (see: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-179741.html),

 

Many Zimbabweans appear ambivalent about the change of regime. They include youths who are meant to be inspired by a public holiday on Mugabe’s birthday. Cathy Buckle in her latest Letter from Zimbabwe says ‘it’s hard to see what our youth have got to celebrate. Unemployment around 90%, inflation over 500%, queues for money, food and fuel and not even electricity today. Hopes of getting a job are extremely slim; manufacturing capacity predicted at 27% this year and a guarantee of tear gas, police truncheons and brutality if you dare to demonstrate.’

 

Buckle’s comment about a clampdown on dissent is confirmed by a news report of a wave of arrests of people taking part in anti-government protests against the worsening political and economic crisis (see: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-179751.html).

 

In her letter, Cathy Buckle looks at how food aid supposed to feed the hungry is being diverted to the black market by corrupt officials in Zimbabwe and sold in neighbouring countries: ‘A Parliamentary Portfolio Committee heard that abuse of the subsidised maize facility was rife. Senior executives in the government’s GMB (Grain Marketing Board) were implicated: allocating subsidised maize to millers far in excess of their capacity. The millers were in turn diverting the maize to the black market and selling it to neighbouring countries, making huge profits in the process. There were accounts of trucks from the DR Congo offloading copper in South Africa and on their return journey through Zimbabwe filling their empty trucks with our subsidised maize. The corruption extends to border officials who stamp documents with false declarations as to the source of the cargo on trucks which proceed to exit Zimbabwe loaded with our cheap maize.’

 

She goes on to note that 20 years ago this week the farm invasions began: ‘twenty years later Zimbabwe as a whole continues to pay the price of the destruction of commercial agriculture’ (see: http://cathybuckle.co.zw/looting-cheap-food-from-hungry-zimbabweans/).

 

Buckle’s comments are backed up by a coruscating news report: ‘Factories grind to a halt as Zimbabwe’s economy implodes’. The article notes: Zisco’s once-imposing steelworks are a series of derelict buildings, rusting pipes and sheets of corrugated iron. As the natural bush encroaches, the buildings are increasingly home to ever-opportunistic monkeys and baboons.’  (See:  https://finance.yahoo.com/news/factories-grind-halt-zimbabwe-economy-050000822.html),

 

Other points

  • February has been a turbulent time in the UK weatherwise with gales and endless rain causing widespread flooding. Nevertheless someone came down to join us today all the way from Scotland.
  • Thanks to those who braved the foul weather to help set up the Vigil today: Delice Gavazah, Jonathan Kariwo, Godfrey Katerere, Esther Munyira, Mary Muteyerwa, Qiniso Sibanda, Ephraim Tapa and Kevin Wheeldon. Thanks to Esther for looking after the front table, to Kevin for handing out flyers, to Mary and Delice for drumming and to Jonathan for photos. Thanks also for a further contribution to the ROHR’s Valentine fundraising dinner From Delice Gavazah.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: ­­­10 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR fundraising dinner dance. Saturday 29th February from 6 pm till late. Postponed from 15th February because of bad weather. Venue: 38 Marcon Place, London E8 1LP. The event is in aid of women living with HIV/AIDS in rural Zimbabwe. Tickets £30. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058107, Molly Ngavaimbe 07415443973, Patricia Masamba 07708116625 or Margaret Munenge 07384300283
  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 14th March from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058107.
  • 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.
  • World Day of Prayer for Zimbabwe. Friday 6th March. This year the focus is on Zimbabwe and the service has been prepared by Christian women in Zimbabwe. The theme is ‘Rise! Take you mat and walk’. Christians all round the world will be praying for Zimbabwe. Try to get your own church involved. For more information check: https://www.wwdp.org.uk/.
  • Living on the Edge. Tuesday 10th March from 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6 pm). Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. The event is organised by the Mike Campbell Foundation. Among the speakers are Chief Felix Ndiweni and Beatrice Mtetwa. For full details of the event check: https://media.wix.com/ugd/02876c_5b68a136280c42ebbf39f8ebbb722299.pdf.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded 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. All proceeds 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.
  • 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
 
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Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights of 2010
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