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:
 
Walk for peace – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 1st July 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 04 July 2017 11:02

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/34848448073/sizes/m/ 

Thirty people joined the Vigil at the Embassy after a 15-mile walk to raise funds for the Zimbabwe Peace Actors’ Platform (ZimPAP) which seeks to train 100,000 civilian peacekeepers for next year’s elections.

The thirty included Margaret Munenge’s toddler Ethan (who made his mother walk twice the distance) but excluded the twins expected by heavily pregnant Etines Kapiya, who also completed the walk.

Waving posters, they were singing as they came to join us down the Strand, conveniently closed to traffic by demonstrators complaining about financial ‘austerity’ in the UK.

Ephraim Tapa, President of the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe, wondered ruefully whether the British protesters knew what austerity really was. He awarded certificates to those who completed the walk, which was organised by ROHR to help finance a joint civil society initiative to educate rural people on their constitutional rights and overcome fear and intimidation. 

A graphic insight into Zimbabwean-style ‘austerity’ in the rural areas comes from a pastor in the Bulawayo area who is supported by members of the Vigil. Asked in an interview about the mood of the people, he said, ‘They are sad, very depressed.  The only time they are happy is when they receive food from us.’

The pastor went on: ‘There is a lot of witchcraft going on around Zim as well as in the church.  The reason is because of suffering due to the economy collapsing.  Most businesses have closed down and people can’t get jobs so can’t get money to pay their bills, or buy food, or school fees, or get treated for their illnesses. There is a high level of corruption and as a result people seek the services of false prophets and nyangas. 

‘There is a group of intercessors at Nkulumane.  The pastor’s son (6) was stolen.  The intercessors began to pray and alerted us to pray when the child had been missing for two days.  The person who had kidnapped the child also stole three other children. On the third day he was travelling in his car, on the way to South Africa, when it broke down. He asked for help from three male passers-by and one of them (related to the pastor) recognized the missing child.  They asked where the boy was going to and they became aggressive with the driver and even threatened to kill him. The driver pleaded with them to allow him to phone his boss in South Africa and the South African offered them USD20 000 if they promised not to report the case. However the men phoned the police, who came out and took the man in and towed the car to the police station.  The number of the South African was also given to the police. The boys were all returned safely to their families.  Sadly we cannot be sure the police will take action as they are greedy for money.

‘In the newspaper it was reported that a girl (15) was found in a state of decomposition with body parts missing. Four families came to claim the body hoping it was their child. Also in many churches leaders are focusing on miracles and healing for which the congregation have to pay.’

The pastor added: ‘Jealousy is widespread among families because they cannot meet their basic needs, especially if one part of the family has children supporting them from outside the country. Because the needs are so great people are just looking out for themselves and neglecting other relatives.  Married couples are breaking up bitterly and often the children are deserted. I have many times tried to bring some new street kids back to the family but often the parents don’t even want them. The children say they are happier to be away from the relatives.

‘Very old people are also deserted by the family members who leave and never send anything for them.  I have many grandparents now.

‘Another thing that is difficult for me is children dying from malnutrition; up to five a month.  At the cemetery in Luveve the ground is spreading with children’s graves. According to traditional beliefs if a child is less than three months the women are expected to bury the child, especially very elderly women. This is very difficult to watch. These things keep us on our knees.’

We are withholding the name of the pastor for his own safety. For the full interview check our campaigns page: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/870-interview-with-matabeleland-pastor.

Other points

  • Thanks to Daizy Fabian who organised the walk and to Sipho Ndlovu who worked out the route from Ilford to the Vigil. Sipho recently cycled 324 miles to raise funds for ZimPAP.  Thanks to all the walkers: George Chinamora, Enniah Dube, Daizy Fabian, Joshua Kahari, Etines Kapiya, Fungayi Mabhunu, Gloria Mabika, Alice Majola, Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa, Michelle Makoni, Rosemary Maponga, Charles Mararirakwenda, Patricia Masamba, Nyarai Masango, Nyarai Masvosva, Cephas Maswoswa, Margaret Munenge (and Ethan), Esther Munyira, Fungisai Mupandira, Charles Mupawose, Sally Mutseyami, Faith Ndhlovu, Sipho Ndlovu, Rumbidzayi Sambana, Maxmus Savanhu, Michael Sirewu, Xoliso Sithole and Ephraim Tapa. Special thanks from Daizy to: Bianca Mpawanenda for providing water, to Chido (head of first aiders) and the other first aiders: Rosemary, Fungisai, Patricia and Michelle. Thanks also to the marshals: Maxmus, Fungayi, Cephas, Xoliso, Rumbidzayi and Charles Marirakwenda and to the publicity team led by Sally (Salani). Photos and videos of the walk are posted on our facebook pages. Check the last item on 'Events and Notices' for links.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Mavis Chisvo, Isabell Gwatidzo, Josephine Jombe, Barbara Kachidza, Jonathan Kariwo, Phillip Mahlahla, Nancy Makurira, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Shiellah Mushunje, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Edmore Pedzisai, Jennipher Sabe, Benson Tsikwa and Ben Jnr Tsikwa. Thanks to Roseline, Josephine and Mavis for looking after the front table, to Nancy, Patience and Ben Tsikwa Jnr for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Alfredy, Phillip, Mduduzi, Jonathan and Edmore for putting up the banners.
  • Special thanks to Deborah Harry and Mercy Bayipayi for bringing sadza and stew to fundraise for ZimPAP, to Patricia Masamba for providing sandwiches for the walkers, to Lucia Mudzimu for bringing fat cakes and nuts to share and to Barbara Kachidza who opened the Vigil with prayer.

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: 60 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 8th July from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • 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.
    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.
  • 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 (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.
  • Facebookpages:
 
Victims of ‘sovereignty’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 24th June 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 25 June 2017 15:07

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/35123679130/sizes/m/

As Zimbabwe embarks on the final lap before the next elections, all indications are that it will be a repetition of the stolen 2013 polls, nodded through by an acquiescent outside world with political correctness overriding blatant electoral manipulation by Mugabe’s Zanu PF.

Vice President Mnangagwa, speaking on a money-raising trip to South Africa, insisted that the elections would be free and fair, saying electoral reforms had been made to level the playing field, such as the introduction of biometric voter registration.

But this is belied by a report that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission will still use the database set up by the notorious Israeli company Nikuv International which was accused by the opposition of helping Zanu PF rig the voters’ roll in the last elections.

Interestingly, the Chinese firm controversially awarded the tender to supply the BVR kits is said to be alarmed that its own reputation could be tarnished by the link (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2017/06/22/zec-nikuv-bvr-rigging-plot-exposed/).

Renewed support for the Zimbabwe status quo came from former South African president Thabo Mbeki, always pictured hand in hand with Mugabe. He said political leaders who had ‘outstayed their welcome’ must be shown the door – but only by their own people, adding that he would fight any South African who stood up to say Mugabe must go. ‘It’s none of your business’ he insisted.

This is the spurious ‘independence solidarity’ rhetoric which he and other antediluvian leaders have used to legitimise brutal undemocratic regimes – ignoring all evidence of oppression and happily sacrificing the welfare of the people on the altar of sovereignty.

 Other points

  • Plans for the peace walk to fundraise for the Zimbabwe Peace Actors’ Platform (ZimPAP) on Saturday 1st July were discussed. Sipho Ndlovu who recently cycled 324 miles to eight UK towns to raise funds for ZimPAP, has worked out the route for the walk. It will be mostly on pedestrian paths starting at Redbridge station on the Central line. The halfway point will be Victoria Park in Bow. The walkers will then continue to Holborn and from there walk to the Vigil. People were encouraged to get as much sponsorship as possible for the walk. ZimPAP aims to train 100,000 civilian peacekeepers to educate people in their local communities on their constitutional rights and to help overcome fear and intimidation leading up to and after the 2018 elections. The peacekeepers will also monitor incidents of violence and intimidation. Contributions can also be made to: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/zimvigil-co-ordinator.
  • We were pleased to be joined by Vigil founder member Addley Nyamutaka with her son Mandla, one of the earliest Vigil babies. Addley was a victim of torture and, more than a decade later still suffers the consequences. We hope she will be able to attend a book launch we are thinking of holding soon to mark the publication of a journal of the Vigil.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Chido Makawa, Michelle Makoni, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Margaret Munenge, Charles Mupawose, Sipho Ndlovu, Michael Sirewu and Sharon Zimuto. Thanks to Roseline, Catherine Musa, Josephine and Pearl Shambare for looking after the front table, to Cathrine, Tawanda Chitate and Heather Makawa for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Alfredy, Phillip, Sipho, Michael and Michelle 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: 29 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

 
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