Virus out of control – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 9th January 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 10 January 2021 14:08

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/50820766662/sizes/m/

 

The UK is in lockdown, experiencing the highest level of deaths from Covid 19 since the pandemic broke 10 months ago. In all more than 80,000 people here have died of the virus.

 

The disease has become even more contagious with the emergence of a variant form of the virus, which has run through South Africa and is now a major threat in Zimbabwe.

 

In the UK rapid progress has been made in vaccinating people. The National Health Service is under extreme pressure and vaccinations are seen as the only hope of taming the disease.

 

But the Times newspaper reports that doctors are being faced with patients who deny the virus exists, even when they are being treated for it. Conspiracy theorists are running riot on social media.

 

The President of the Royal College of Physicians Andrew Goddard said: ‘It is much worse than being told the world is flat or that the Moon landings were faked, people may die because of it. If the public think there is no crisis in hospitals and they don’t need to play their part, the virus will kill many more.’

 

The virus has taken hold now in Zimbabwe after hopes we would escape lightly. A Vigil activist visiting Zimbabwe is now on oxygen at one of the few hospitals that can help.

 

In London Vigil Co-ordinator Rose was this week injected with the vaccine because she is in her 70s. She said there was a slight discomfort in the arm afterwards but it soon passed and there were no other after effects. So far she has not grown a tail!

 

The Vigil urges everyone to take the vaccine if they are offered it. Until then the best advice is to observe the recommended constraints on social mixing. The police commander responsible for engaging with minority communities in London such as the Zimbabwe Vigil has asked our help in encouraging people to observe the latest restrictions. They include precautions against mixing with others after communal worship (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news).

 

All of us are now hearing of people struck down by this virus. It is not a passing inconvenience like flu. Even if you recover there can be long-term consequences. It is not only the old and vulnerable who are getting seriously ill. Even young people can be badly affected.

 

Other Points:

  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. We ask our activists to put on Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia and take a photo of themselves holding an appropriate poster reflecting our protest against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The photos are uploaded on our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157717817846383. Our virtual Vigil activist today was Rudo Takiya who kindly contributed to Vigil funds.
  • For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Notices:

  • 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

 
Rising prices a good sign – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 2nd January 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 03 January 2021 12:43

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/50794916182/sizes/m/

 

The governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, John Mangudya, seems positively pleased with the latest price increases of basic commodities. He said they show the economy is not doing badly.

 

Dr Mangudya says: ‘The reason businesses are increasing prices is that people have money. If people did not have money they would not increase prices.’ (See: https://news.pindula.co.zw/2020/12/31/people-have-money-thats-why-businesses-increased-prices-mangudya-on-recent-price-increases/.)

 

This must be the clever thinking than earned Mangudya his doctorate. Coincidentally, it fits in with Comrade Mnangagwa’s rosy view of the past year, which he portrayed as a great leap forward.

 

Addressing the Zanu PF Central Committee, President Mnangagwa said: ‘Indisputable success continues to be scored in all sectors of our economy such as agriculture, mining and tourism, manufacturing, infrastructure development, education, health and cultural heritage’.

 

Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti of the MDC Alliance took a different view. He said 2020 had been a terrible year. ’No amount of side shows, spin or propaganda will detract from the fact that Zimbabwe is in a mess.’ (See: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/tough-2021-awaits-zimbabweans-as-bread-fuel-power-prices-go-up-biti/.)

 

The divisions in the opposition, fostered by the government, are causing the outside world to lose interest in Zimbabwe says long-time foreign observer Professor Stephen Chan of London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies. He said there was little prospect of Zanu PF and the opposition ‘finding each other’ in 2021. (See: https://dailynew Mrs.co.zw/global-interest-in-zim-fading-chan-says-both-zanu-pf-opposition-culpable-for-this/.)

 

The United States government has been told not to waste millions of dollars trying to help reform Zimbabwe’s political processes, especially elections. A report presented to the upper house of Congress by Senator Rand Paul said the scheduled 2023 elections were are ‘already rigged’.

 

The report said: ‘Mr Mnangagwa’s opponents now fear he is more dangerous than his predecessor. In his first 21 months in office, Mnangagwa had already imprisoned more people for subversion than Mugabe did in 37 years’. (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2020/12/us-wasting-millions-on-zim-election-process-report/.)

 

Other Points:

  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. We ask our activists to put on Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia and take a photo of themselves holding an appropriate poster reflecting our protest against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The photos are uploaded on our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157717696098973. Our virtual Vigil activist today was Esther Munyira who kindly contributed to Vigil funds.
  • For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Notices:

  • 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

 
Virus of ignorance and bigotry – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 26th December 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 27 December 2020 16:28

The reaction to Britain’s offer of enough vaccine for 3 million Zimbabweans, reported in the government newspapers, has shown that Covid 19 is not the only virus to be feared. An equally fatal one is the virus of ignorance and bigotry – just as dangerous and infectious.

 

The Herald says the vaccine offer was made by British Ambassador Melanie Robinson at a meeting with the Minister of Health, Vice President General Doctor Chiwenga.

 

Being a Zanu PF paper, readers’ comments on the article were predictably hostile. ‘UK is not a country to trust . . . the British are bitter about the land issue and have a score to settle . . . a good way is to wipe out the black population and destroy our government and make us dependent on them’, read the first.

 

‘If you live in Britain you will understand the true evil ways of the English. Don’t accept these tainted vaccines from Britain’, read the next comment.

 

And so they continued: ‘Zimbabwe should not put their hopes up for this promise. It’s all sweet talk’. On and on: ‘When it’s ready they should test their own people first.’ The next comment continues this line: ‘They want to use Zimbabweans for trial. We are not mice.’ And the next: ‘Be careful this donor syndrome will eradicate the black race from the face of the earth.’

 

The next comment had an appropriately seasonal ring: ‘Wake up my people, how can you take a cure from Satan and his seed?’ And then on to sanctions: ‘We are under British sanctions and yet they pretend they are our friends . . . and care about our health. This vaccine is bad news.’ (See: https://www.herald.co.zw/just-in-uk-offers-to-vaccinate-zimbabweans-against-covid-19/.)

 

The comments were universally negative. Poor Ambassador Robinson. It’s a tough task getting a regime kept it power by propaganda to change its ways. It’s not enough to point out that the UK is one of the most generous donors to Zimbabwe and is keen to encourage bilateral trade while Zanu PF continues to excrete its manufactured paranoia virus.

 

Ambassador Robinson’s job is to explain that bigotry cannot be turned on or off like a tap if Zimbabwe is to build a relationship with the West. But, of course, the Zanu PF regime has more important priorities: money and power . . .

 

It’s 18 years now since the Vigil started and we still live in hope of a free Zimbabwe. Anyway, we wish a better 2021 for all Zimbabweans and advise everyone to have the vaccine. Britain has already started a vaccination programme with more than half a million people vaccinated in the last couple of weeks.

 

Other Points:

  • John Sparks of Sky News gave a graphic account of the suffering of a Zimbabwean student at the hands of the authorities for daring to stand up for freedom (see: https://news.sky.com/story/zimbabwe-kidnapped-tortured-and-humiliated-one-students-fight-for-freedom-12168501).
  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. We ask our activists to put on Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia and take a photo of themselves holding an appropriate poster reflecting our protest against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The photos are uploaded on our Flickr site.
  • For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Notices:

  • 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
 
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