Seeking asylum in Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 30th July 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 31 July 2022 16:14

A collapsing economy, starving people with a corrupt government and a partisan police force: all very important – but not nearly as entertaining as a Croatian businessman on the run from the police in Harare seeking asylum at the EU Embassy. Not quite in the Embassy but in the Embassy’s parking lot – anyway certainly more comfortable than Chikurubi prison. He apparently wants to be transferred to the French Embassy. Perhaps he thinks the food would be better there.

 

The asylum seeker is Joseph Richard Crnkovic, apparently a dual citizen of Croatia and Zimbabwe. He is fighting over control of Glen Forest Memorial Park. He says the cemetery is on land designated for residential and agricultural purposes only. One would have thought that being buried was pretty residential but he seems to want the 40,000 graves dug up.

 

We will watch Mr Crnkovic’s progress with interest. He says he was pursued to the EU Embassy by 40 unmarked cars and feared for his life. We wonder whether this phalanx will chase him to the French Embassy (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/investor-seeks-refuge-at-eu-embassy-after-high-speed-chase-by-suspected-state-security-agents/).

 

It is not just a ‘memorial park’ that is at risk in Zimbabwe. An even bigger prize for money-makers is the Victoria Falls, where two companies are planning to build on restricted zones designated by UNESCO as world heritage sites. They have been taken to court by environmentalists and residents who say the authorities are granting the concessions in an underhand manner (see: https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2022/07/29/dogfight-over-victoria-falls/).

 

Meanwhile, senior police officers seem to have been helping themselves to cars impounded from motorists. The vehicles apparently ended up at an auction business owned by Vice-President Chiwenga’s former father-in-law. Former senior assistant commissioner in charge of transport and logistics Robert Masukusa has been summoned to court over charges of theft of state property, along with Vusimuzi Ncube, formerly chief staff officer in charge of administration and records (see: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-221875.html).

 

‘Corruption has shot through the roof and no one seems to care’, comments Leonard Koni in an article in Bulawayo 24. He writes: ‘The country’s economy is on its knees and probably needs biblical resurrection. The Zanu PF government has lost its marbles and its successive economic blueprints have failed to turn around the country's fortunes. For the past 20 or so years, the Zanu PF government has been busy chasing after the opposition day and night. It is unfortunate that the regime has nothing to offer besides regurgitating propaganda stories in the State media.’ (see: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-opinion-sc-columnist-byo-221818.html).

 

Other points

 

Events and Notices:

  • Next ROHR Meeting. Saturday 6th August at 11 am.
  • Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe  Embassy. Saturday 6th August from 2 – 5 pm. We will continue meeting on the first and third Saturdays of every month. On other Saturdays we will continue the virtual Vigil.
  • ROHR Beach Party. Saturday 13th August at Frinton-on-Sea, Essex. Frinton’s railway station’s post code is CO13 9JT. For more information, Contact: Chido Makawa 07413024807, Enniah Dube 07367504747, Esther Munyira 07492058107 and Delice Gavaza 07752653891.
  • 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.
  • 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

 
The same old story – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 23rd July 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 24 July 2022 14:50

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/52235639494/sizes/m/

 

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has criticised Zanu PF after one of the party’s supporters was caught on camera telling rural voters to claim to be illiterate so that they could be assisted  by people who would ensure they voted for the ruling party. The ZEC director of voter education Rejoice Sibanda indicated that the matter would be pursued by the Commission as it was against the code of conduct for political parties and candidates.

 

Sibanda blamed voter registration apathy on the state of the economy, saying that even civic groups faced resource challenges in mobilising people to register to vote. Over one hundred civic and faith-based organisations had been authorised to conduct voter education but less than ten were currently doing this (https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/07/zec-blames-voter-apathy-on-economy/).

 

The European Union says the Zimbabwe government’s failure to carry out electoral reforms threatens the credibility of next year’s elections. It said ‘This follows repeated promises by President Emmerson Mnangagwa that elections will be free and fair. However, the ability of voters to freely choose their leaders remains in serious doubt.’

 

It said only two of the 23 recommendations made by the EU after the 1918 elections had been implemented. The EU noted that one key recommendation coming out of recent discussions related to the importance of ZEC ‘reinforcing its communication strategy and adopting a proactive approach to information-sharing to promote trust in the process ahead.’ (See: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/lack-of-reforms-will-cost-zimbabwe-credible-2023-elections-eu/.)

 

While millions of Zimbabweans live in grinding poverty with an ever-falling average income, the government press boasts of a US$500 million investment by a Dubai company in a ‘cyber city’ project in Mount Hampden on the outskirts of Harare (see: https://www.herald.co.zw/cyber-city-putting-zim-on-4th-industrial-revolution-footing/).

 

No doubt this is a welcome development but we suspect it will offer little hope to those struggling to survive today. An article by Claire Felter in Bulawayo24 paints a bleak picture. The article notes that one-third of the population are in need of food aid according to the World Bank (see: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-opinion-sc-columnist-byo-221584.html).

 

Other points

  • The Media Alliance of Zimbabwe has accused the Chinese Embassy in Harare of bullying the media. This came after the Standard newspaper was threatened by the Embassy with ‘strong measures’ for publishing articles on violations by Chinese mining companies in Zimbabwe. The Media Alliance said this amounted to an attack on press freedom. The Chinese arrogance is no doubt rooted in knowledge of the huge debt Zimbabwe owes it for borrowing some US$13 billion for infrastructure projects. Like so many other Chinese debtors in the third world, Zimbabwe is finding it increasingly difficult to service these debts (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/zim-alliance-condemns-media-bullying-by-chinese-embassy/).
  • Our virtual Vigil activists today were Joyce Mbairatsunga, Kudzai Chikowore and Esther Munyira  who all kindly contributed to Vigil funds. See: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720300751297 for today’s photos.
  • For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Events and Notices:

  • Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe  Embassy. Saturday 6th August from 2 – 5 pm. We will continue meeting on the first and third Saturdays of every month. On other Saturdays we will continue the virtual Vigil.
  • Next ROHR Meeting. Saturday 6th August at 11 am.
  • ROHR Beach Party. Saturday 13th August at Frinton-on-Sea, Essex. Frinton’s railway station’s post code is CO13 9JT. For more information, Contact: Chido Makawa 07413024807, Enniah Dube 07367504747, Esther Munyira 07492058107 and Delice Gavazah 07752653891.
  • 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.
  • 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

 
State capture – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 16th July 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 17 July 2022 11:41

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/52221990510/sizes/m/

 

With the election fast approaching, increasingly reckless statements are being bandied about, raising the political temperature to fever pitch. The latest insane comment came from  - of all people! – a bishop, or should we say a so-called bishop.

 

He is Zanu PF member Abton Mashayanyika of the Habbakuk Apostolic Faith Mission in Mberengwa in the Midlands. He went as far threatening opposition leader Nelson Chamisa and his family with death. A video taken at a rally shows him saying: ‘When we say down-down with Chamisa, we mean he should be killed. Do you all understand the meaning? Down with CCC (Citizens Coalition of Change), down with Chamisa and his
children.’

 

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the matter was being investigated at local level. Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa refused to comment. But the CCC acting spokesperson  Gift Siziba said: ‘We do not take this lightly chiefly because there have been numerous attempts on the life of president Chamisa. It is to this end that we call for our able police service to move with speed and detain Mashayanyika and charge him and his accomplices with death threats and calling for violence.’

 

Lawyer Alec Muchadehama said Mashayanyika should be charged for inciting public violence. He said the police response showed how they applied the law selectively, only targeting people who are perceived to be anti Zanu PF. Certainly the police did not hesitate to take action against CCC legislators such as Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole who have been incarcerated at Chikarubi maximum security prison since 14th June on charges of inciting violence following the murder of an opposition activist MoreBlessing Ali.

 

The Vigil has seen a message from Job Sikhala expressing their gratitude for the support fellow CCC activists have given them. ‘Please pray for us’, it says. The Vigil doubts that Bishop Mashayanyika will oblige! (See: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/my-reward-is-in-heaven-jailed-sikhala-pens-an-emotional-letter-to-zimbabweans-asks-them-to-turn-sunday-a-national-day-of-prayer/).

 

Steve Hanke, an American economics professor who has taken a close interest in Zimbabwe over the years, says: ‘Zanu PF has more in common with a criminal organisation than a political party.’ In an interview with CNBC Africa he said: ‘“You have got criminals running the country.’  Political lecturer and analyst Eldred Masunungure said Hanke’s assertion was spot on. ‘This is a party in government, deeply corrupt and has all sorts of predatory conduct, both in politics and the economic issues of the country; but it remains a political party. It’s an ugly animal, yes.’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/07/death-threat-on-chamisa/.)

 

The Zimbabwean economist Eddie Cross, a former member of the Reserve Bank Monetary Committee, has also criticised the government. In an interview with the state broadcaster he said the country’s economic problems were caused by ‘entrenched interests whose selfish actions are almost a form of state capture.’ (See: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/mnangagwa-captured-by-advisers-cross/.)

 

Despite a history of successfully rigging elections, Zanu PF still betrays anxiety as polling day approaches. The party’s youth league executive member Phenias Makombe has tried to settle nerves by assuring members that sources at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission have told him the party will win the 2023 election. Although voting is some time away, Mnangagwa is apparently mysteriously already leading with at least 3.8 million votes, while Chamisa is at a mere 20,000 (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zec-told-us-we-are-leading-in-2023-elections-says-zanu-pf-leader-claims-mnangagwa-already-has-3-8-mln-votes/).

 

Other points

 

Events and Notices:

  • Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe  Embassy. Saturday 6th August from 2 – 5 pm. We will continue meeting on the first and third Saturdays of every month. On other Saturdays we will continue the virtual Vigil.
  • Next ROHR Meeting. Saturday 6th August at 11 am.
  • ROHR Beach Party. Saturday 13th August at Frinton-on-Sea, Essex. For more information, Contact: Chido Makawa 07413024807, Enniah Dube 07367504747 and Esther Munyira 07492058107.
  • 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.
  • 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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