SADC troops for Mozambique? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 3rd April 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 04 April 2021 13:09

The Southern African Development Community has moved closer to taking action against the Islamist terrorists who have left a bloody trail of decapitated heads in the northern Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique.

 

President Masisi of Botswana, Chair of SADC’s security troika, indicated after talks in Harare with previous Chair President Mnangagwa that SADC was likely to take military action ‘to ensure the integrity and sovereignty of one of our own now being assailed by dissidents’. He said he had already had talks with the third member of the troika President Ramaphosa of South Africa (see: https://www.herald.co.zw/sadc-talks-tough-on-mozambique-bandits/).

 

A four-year insurgency by Islamist militants has seen many people killed and some 650,000 displaced. The Mozambican government has had to call on private military contractors from South Africa and Russia for help, but the Russians withdrew after heavy losses.

 

In the latest fighting, Islamic State militants seized the town of Palma threatening a nearby US$20 billion French Total company exploiting natural gas reserves. The South African mercenaries used helicopters to rescue some people from the town, one of them a man desperately disguised as a woman, but Total refused to supply fuel when the helicopters ran low.

 

The UK redeployed some of its soldiers from Kenya to help the rescue but expatriates were among the hundred or so people killed, casting doubt over the future of the regional oil development – at US$60 billion the biggest in Africa (see: https://www.herald.co.zw/attacks-threaten-mozambiques-future/).

 

Martin Ewi of the Institute for Strategic Studies in South Africa has urged South Africa to send in troops to end what he called ‘the reign of terror’ by Islamic State jihadists who wanted to establish Sharia Law not only in Cabo Delgado but all over Mozambique.

 

He said there was a possibility of attacks spreading to neighbouring South Africa and Zimbabwe adding that there were already active Islamic State cells in South Africa. ‘We need a regional response in order to make sure that even if we eliminate the Islamic State in Mozambique, it will not pop up somewhere else – which is most likely if we deal with this purely as a Mozambican problem,’ Ewi said (See: https://www.biznews.com/africa/2021/03/30/isis-mozambique-sa).

 

A correspondent for the UK Times, Jane Flanagan, has filed a graphic report for the paper headlined ‘Expats in Mozambique faced a ring of murderous jihadists. It was do or die.’

 

Flanagan says a Zimbabwean construction firm boss, Brendon Bekker, went to Palma in a supply vessel. One of his colleagues was shot dead when militants fired from the shore. ‘There were people all over the different beaches,’ he said. ‘Everyone fearing for their lives and thinking they weren’t going to make it out.’ (See: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1129-expats-in-mozambique-faced-a-ring-of-murderous-jihadists-it-was-do-or-die.)

 

Other Points:

  • More than 40 years after Zanu PF came to power following the liberation struggle, President Mnangagwa has urged the ever-growing number of ‘was veterans’ to put aside their walking sticks and rally behind the party in the 2023 elections. Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition says: ‘we hope the President’s call for war veterans to mobilise and campaign for Zanu PF does not translate into reactivation of the ruling party’s violence machinery.’ (See: https://www.thezimbabwean.co/2021/03/fears-of-violence-in-2023-elections-as-re-engagement-suffers-major-blow/.)
  • 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.

 

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

 
The name game – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 27th March 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 28 March 2021 14:11

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/51078571411/sizes/m/

 

The crucial question facing MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa as he prepares for the 2023 elections is what to call his party. He certainly won’t be able to call it MDC A or T.

 

The MDC brand, Zanu PF courts have ruled, belongs to the MDC T leader Douglas Mwonzora. But that is apparently not enough for him. He know suggests that his candidates will contest future elections under the MDC Alliance name (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/03/mwonzora-plots-chamisa-killer-punch/).

 

Does that mean that Chamisa can go back to the old days of being himself MDC T. Doubtful. Perhaps he should call his party the Former MDC. Or will Mwonzora claim that as well?

 

Mwonzora – in his role as  MDC emperor of all he sees – graciously accepted the government’s offer of a carriage to its Victoria Falls vaccination ball where he promised to co-operate in solving the country’s problems, if indeed there are any. SADC certainly doesn’t seem to think so.

 

Mwonzora said it was no longer the time for opposing for the sake of opposition. ‘We have changed the way to do things,’ he said. ‘We now want politics of tolerance and to work together, putting the people of Zimbabwe first. We don’t want politics of hunger, hate and intolerance.’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/03/well-work-with-zanu-pf-mwonzora/.)

 

Newsday says Mwonzora’s comments are seen as supporting suggestions that his party has been working with Zanu PF to decimate the Chamisa faction. He recently instructed his MPs to stop heckling or walking out on Mnangagwa and has had about 40 MDC Alliance people booted out of parliament.

 

MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the depleted party would continue to hold Zanu PF to account, champion the cause of the people and be the voice of the suffering masses. ‘We will take all necessary steps to stop the attempt by Zanu PF and its surrogates who usurped the will of the people to create a one-party State. The regime must respect the democratic and constitutional rights of the citizens to challenge its policies and offer alternatives for the betterment of the nation,’ she said.

 

Chased out of his Harvest House headquarters and parliament, with the very name of his party stolen, Chamisa must wonder how he can present his party to the electorate in two years’ time. Perhaps he should just call it the Chamisa party. They couldn’t possibly claim ownership of that , , , Or could they?

 

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/72157718804253442. Our virtual Vigil activists today were Esther Munyira and Margaret Munenge who both kindly contributed to Vigil funds.

 

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

 
Is Zimbabwe really opening up? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 20th March 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 21 March 2021 16:51

‘Zimbabwe has turned a corner.  And whilst across the world the past year has been focused on closing – from lockdowns to closed borders – Zimbabwe continues to focus on opening up its economy, democracy and media space.’ So claims self-satisfied Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube.

 

According to Ncube’s article in New Europe: ‘For many in Europe, Zimbabwe is a faraway land, tarnished by years of mismanagement and a distinct absence of freedom.  But the last few years tell a truly different story.  A story of reform. A story of renewal.’ (See: https://www.neweurope.eu/article/zimbabwe-is-opening-up/.)

 

Many people in Zimbabwe would dispute Ncube’s rosy assertions including that the 2018 elections were ‘the freest, fairest and most credible and peaceful elections in Zimbabwe’s history’. Among them would be former Finance Minister Tendai Biti, Vice President of MDC Alliance, who has been booted out of Parliament for campaigning for reform. Biti chaired Parliament’s public accounts committee, which, he said, was about to release damning reports of corruption in several state entities (see: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-03-18-zimbabwe-mdc-alliances-biti-says-he-has-been-kicked-out-of-parliament-to-avoid-exposing-massive-corruption/).

 

The party’s spokesman, Fadzayi Mahere said: ‘This rogue regime is employing all tactics including repressive 'patriotism' laws, dismembering parliament and arbitrary arrests to crush dissent.’ About half the party’s MPs have now been recalled and Mahere demanded that the government allow by-elections without delay. (See: https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/africa/2021-03-18-zimbabwe-parliament-expels-six-lawmakers-as-opposition-infighting-escalates/.)

 

Mahere said: ‘MPs have been selected by the people and the continued disregard for this social contract constitutes the greatest betrayal of the people. It undermines the democratic process and further weakens an already frail electoral system. Zimbabweans must not be shaken. We know worse is coming.’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/03/mdc-alliance-bullish-despite-parly-setback/.)

 

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is also critical. It says the judiciary has been ‘captured’ by the state: ‘We are disturbed by the fact that judicial capture has contributed significantly to the shrinking of the democratic space in Zimbabwe with the State using the courts to punish dissenting voices.’ (See: https://www.thezimbabwean.co/2021/03/crisis-coalition-disturbed-by-the-continued-weaponization-of-the-judiciary-to-persecute-activists/.)

 

Other Points:

  • The Crisis Coalition has expressed its dismay over SADC’s inaction at the Mozambiquan Islamist terrorist crisis. It appeals to the inert bloc to assist countries threatened by extremism (see: https://www.thezimbabwean.co/2021/03/crisis-coalition-appalled-by-sadc-inaction-over-mozambican-crisis/).
  • This weekend sees the anniversary of the Vigil’s lockdown. Supporters have missed seeing each other outside the Embassy every Saturday. The campaign for a free Zimbabwe continues in the virtual Vigil and we hope to be able to meet in person soon.
  • 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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