Poison in Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 31st August 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 02 September 2019 10:47

The European Union’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Timo Olkkonen, says corruption is destroying the country. He said the international appeal for a couple of hundred million dollars to prevent mass starvation would have been met by only a fraction of the stolen money.

Mr Olkkonen told Newsday: ‘Corruption has had a huge effect; you have people talking about hundreds of millions, even billions, in terms of the Auditor-General’s report’ (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2019/08/corruption-hurting-zim-more-eu/).

It emerged at a parliamentary hearing this week that the Treasury is unable to account for more than a billion dollars paid under the Command Agriculture programme which is supposed to support farmers with irrigation and inputs.

The money was paid to Sakunda Holdings, a company run by the ubiquitous Kudakwashe Tagwireyi, who is said to be a key player in the country’s extortionate fuel supply cartel and a conduit for funds to the army and Zanu PF bigwigs.

The extent of state capture in Zimbabwe is shown by Energy Minister Fortune Chasi’s order to the country’s power supply company to reverse a decision to cut off the farms of Zanu PF leaders, including Mugabe’s Gushongo dairy farm, for unpaid bills. The minister said that, given the drought and food shortages, now was not the time to disconnect any farmer.

After nearly 40 years in power Zanu PF leaders have become accustomed to living off the state. They have never had to pay their bills. Like former Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, who is being sued for failing to pay a $311,000 electricity debt. The matter is yet to be set down for a hearing but no doubt Comrade Sekeramayi is busy dealing with ‘the drought and food shortages’.

Observers may well conclude that, with Generals Chiwenga and Moyo still off ill, there is certainly something poisonous going on in Zimbabwe. President Mnangagwa, himself a victim of Gushongo ice cream, may again have to stop his cavalcade to buy a safe burger on the street.

Other points

  • Last Sunday Vigil activists (Chido Makawa, Daizy Fabian, Dennis Benton, Ephraim Tapa, Esther Munyira, Hazvinei Saili, Heather Makawa, Isabell Gwatidzo, Margaret Munenge, Molly Ngavaimbe, Patricia Masamba, Rose Benton, Simbarashe Jingo and Theodora Mandishaya) attended a fundraising barbecue at Frinton-on-Sea. It was a very hot day and swimming in the sea was wonderful. But we were phoned by anxious relatives at the end of the day – Frinton had hit the headlines with reports of something causing swimmers to have coughing fits. Fortunately our group was unaffected. Special thanks to Daizy for salads, sadza and providing the barbecue stand, to Hazvinei for salads, to Simba for buying the meat and to Esther for organising the day.
  • It was good to have with us today David Wilkins, a courageous blind journalist, who has supported the Vigil over the years. He baked us some tasty olive bread.
  • Congratulations to Esther Munyira who has been appointed a Vigil co-ordinator. She has worked tirelessly organising recent events such as the walk on 27th July which was such a financial success and the beach outing to Frinton.
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Nathan Chiyanja, Beaulah Gore, Heather Makawa, Dambudzo Marimira, Patricia Masamba, Farai Mutumburi, Hazvinei Saili, Pearl Shambare and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Hazvinei, Patricia and Philip Maponga for looking after the front table, to Heather, Farai and Tapiwa Muskwe for handing out flyers, to Hazvinei for drumming and to Hazvinei and Heather for photos.
  • 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: 16 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 14th September from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058109.
  • ROHR Reading branch outreach and general meeting. Saturday 21st September. Community outreach from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Awareness campaign on deteriorating human rights in Zimbabwe. Venue: Broad Street, Reading. General meeting from 2 – 5 pm: Venue: The RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. Contact Nicodimus 07877386792, Josephine 07455166668, Shylette 07828929806, Josh 07877246251.
  • 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:
 
Police State – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 24th August 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 25 August 2019 10:21

Within days of President Mnangagwa lecturing the West about how ‘the rule of law is sacrosanct’ in Zimbabwe, the police in Harare arrested representatives of rural teachers for trying peacefully to present a petition to the Finance Ministry complaining about their poor pay.

Also arrested was their legal representative Doug Coltart who was thrown on the ground, kicked and handcuffed by riot police. His father David Coltart, a leading opposition figure and former cabinet minister, said ‘only police states detain and assault lawyers for representing their clients’.

President Mnangagwa’s comment – a virtuoso demonstration of hypocrisy – was part of the angry government response to Western condemnation of the suppression of opposition demonstrations over the deteriorating economic situation.

The European Union, as well as representatives from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Sweden and Romania individually, together with the United States, Canada and Australia, called on the Zimbabwean authorities to respect the constitutional right to freedom of assembly and ‘to peacefully demonstrate and petition’.

Meanwhile the popular comedian Gonyeti was abducted, beaten, stripped and made to drink sewage by masked gunmen after making a joke about police brutality.

The writer Petina Gappah has now had enough of the Mnangagwa regime and has resigned from the trade and investment role she was given when ‘the new dispensation’ was announced at the end of 2017.

Dr Gappah, who previously worked for the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, accused the Zanu PF leader’s close lieutenants of pursuing personal wealth accumulation at the expense of genuine reforms to turn around the country’s fortunes.

Other points

  • A comment article in the UK Times newspaper is headlined ‘Zimbabwe’s hope is devoured by the Crocodile’. The article by Ian Birrell puts the boot into the British Foreign Office,to asserting ‘Britain’s complicity in backing another tyrant to replace Mugabe has betrayed a suffering people’. You can read the article on our campaigns page: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1031-zimbabwes-hope-is-devoured-by-the-crocodile.
  • More congratulations to those who raised funds from their sponsors for the fundraising walk on 27 July: Abigail Chidavaenzi £240.25 (this in addition to £483 already contributed making a total of £723.25), Pamela Chirimuta £40 and Josephine Jombe £76.
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Josephine Jombe, Alice Majola, Dambudzo Marimira, Lucia Mudzimu, Hazvinei Saili and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Alice, Josephine and Chido Makawa for looking after the front table, to Hazvinei and Heather Makawa for handing out flyers, to Dambudzo for drumming and to Hazvinei and Heather for photos.
  • 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: 11 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Beach Barbecue. Sunday 25th August. Venue: Frinton-on-Sea, Essex CO13 9DN. Tickets: adults £20, Kids £10. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Heather Makawa 07716391800, Esther Munyira 07492058109 and Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
  • ROHR Reading branch outreach and general meeting. Saturday 21st September. Community outreach from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Broad Street, Reading. Awareness campaign on deteriorating human rights in Zimbabwe. General meeting from 2-5pm: Venue: The RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. Contact Nicodimus 07877386792, Josephine 07455166668, Shylette 07828929806, Josh 07877246251.
  • 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
 
Constitution ignored – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 17th August 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 19 August 2019 06:18

The Zimbabwe government has made it clear that the much vaunted new constitution counts for nothing. The MDC fulfilled the legal requirement to inform the police before Friday’s demonstration in Harare but the government nevertheless banned it at the last minute. 

As usual, peaceful people were beaten and tear-gassed by the police for their temerity in protesting against the government. Among them were women singing protest songs. One helpless protester was repeatedly kicked. But they escaped comparatively lightly considering that half a dozen human rights activists had earlier been abducted and tortured. 

Interestingly, the government blamed the abductions on CIO agents loyal to Mugabe – just as they blamed the Harare killings by soldiers in January on people who had ‘stolen’ military uniforms.

This time the MDC was forewarned by wild police allegations that the opposition was planning violence and they finally called off the protest to save unnecessary bloodshed.

But the damage to the government’s reputation is inestimable. The UN human rights office said the government should heed the people’s legitimate grievances over the economic situation and stop cracking down on protesters.

Who is going to take seriously Zimbabwe’s ‘open for business’ message when the constitutional rights of the people are trampled underfoot like this? Even Mugabe is so disaffected that he says he doesn’t want to be buried in Heroes’ Acre, prompting Mnangagwa to immediately send a delegation to Singapore to warn Mugabe that he had no option but to accept the badge of shame. 

Heroes’ Acre badly needs Mugabe – and, for that matter, Mnangagwa and the rest of the Zanu PF leadership. As it is, hardly anyone bothered to go to the annual ceremony there on Monday.

Like Disneyland, it needs some new attractions. Fill up Heroes’ Acre as soon as possible.

Other points

  • A large group of Zimbabweans including Vigil activists joined an MDC demonstration outside the Embassy on Friday.
  • More congratulations to those who raised funds from their sponsors for the fundraising walk on 27 July: Abigail Chidavaenzi £483, Simbarashe Jingo £100, Alice Majola £10, Tatenda Mandiki £65 (in addition to £64 he has already contributed), Dambudzo Marimira £245, Patricia Masamba £110, Tarisai Matambanadzo £10, Esther Munyira £100 and Sikhumbuzule Sibanda £100. A special thank you to Esther Munyira for her hard work in collecting and accounting for all the contributions.
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Nathan Chiyanja, Beaulah Gore, Alice Majola, Netsayi Makarichi, Tatenda Mandiki, Dambudzo Marimira, Nyarai Masvosva, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Mary Muteyerwa, Farai Mutumburi, Tsitsi Nyirongo, Hazvinei Saili and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Margaret Munenge and Joice for looking after the front table, to Farai, Nyarai, Hazvinei and Netsayi for handing out flyers, to Mary for drumming and to Tatenda, Netsayi and Tapiwa Muskwe for photos.
  • 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: 20 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Beach Barbecue. Sunday 25th August. Venue: Frinton-on-Sea, Essex CO13 9DN. Tickets: adults £20, Kids £10. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Heather Makawa 07716391800, Esther Munyira 07492058109 and Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
  • 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:
 
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