Goldrush – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 9th July 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 11 July 2022 07:10

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/52157392711/sizes/m/

 

As Zimbabwe’s currency crisis worsens, the Central Bank has announced it will start selling gold coins ‘as a store of value’. The coins can be bought from 25th July in local currency, US dollars and other foreign currencies at a price based on the prevailing international price of gold and the cost of production.

 

The 22-carat coin is part of measures to counteract the soaring inflation rate and the sharp deterioration of the Zimbabwe dollar, which has lost more than two-thirds of its value against the US dollar this year. The coin named Mosi-oa-tunya (smoke that thunders), a reference to the Victoria Falls, can be traded locally and internationally (see: https://www.reuters.com/business/zimbabwe-introduce-gold-coins-local-currency-tumbles-2022-07-05/).

 

The academic and former senior civil servant Ibbo Mandaza says Zimbabwe is 40 years behind some other African countries because of misrule and the loss of people with professional skills who have gone abroad. Mandaza said the country was in a serious mess and should mobilise all Zimbabweans and the diaspora as a matter of urgency. ‘It is evident that the current situation in Zimbabwe is one in which both the private and particularly the public sector are depleted of skills and therefore lacking in capacity to deliver as would be expected in any society.’

 

He added: ‘Zimbabwe cannot recover, economically and politically, without the mobilisation of its diaspora. As it is, it is the diaspora which is contributing almost US$2 billion in remittances — a massive support and safety net in a country so ravaged by poverty and unemployment. And why then deny the right to vote to citizens out there who now number an estimated four to five million?’ (See: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-221116.html.)

 

You know you’ve reached failed state status when your supermarkets are devoid of people on payday’ writes the editor of Biznews introducing Cathy Buckle’s latest letter from Zimbabwe. Cathy says that, with the right connections to government officials, however, you can become an overnight millionaire by buying US dollars at preferential rates doubling your money on the street in minutes. She said the country had rapidly gone back to the days ‘when all the basics on our tables have become luxuries’ (see: https://www.biznews.com/africa/2022/07/04/solace-zimbabwe-travails-nature).

 

Other points

  • A Zimbabwean doctor whose practice in the UK was closed after a campaign by the Vigil, is facing allegations of patient mistreatment.  Dr Sylvester Nyatsuro returned to Zimbabwe to take over a white-owned tobacco farm with the help of Grace Mugabe. He was appointed chairman of the Zimbabwe national family planning council board by the then health minister Obadiah Moyo before Moyo was sacked over Covid 19 procurement fraud. Nyatsuro has returned to the UK where a medical practitioners’ tribunal is considering allegations of patient mistreatment before he is allowed to resume practice here (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/uk-26-out-of-30-patient-mistreatment-charges-upheld-against-mugabe-farm-grab-doctor/),
  • Many Zimbabweans living in the UK take a great interest in the politics of their adopted country. Indeed we know of a number who have become municipal councillors. Following the ousting of Boris Johnson this week while he still had a mandate for two more years in office, some of the UK Zimbabweans have remarked on social media at the ability of MPs to remove the Prime Minister, pointing out how different it is in Zimbabwe.
  • Congratulations to ROHR walkers and supporters for their fundraising efforts for the 13 mile ROHR walk on 18th June. The aim is to raise funds for voter registration, mobilisation and education to ensure all eligible citizens exercise their right to vote without fear or manipulation to help ensure free, fair and credible elections in Zimbabwe. So far £1,273 has been raised with more to come. For photos of the event check: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720299887947.
  • 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 16th July 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 3rd August at 11 am.
  • 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

 
Zimbabweans return to uncertain future – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 2nd July 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 03 July 2022 14:41

 

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The South African Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has criticised civil society organisations for opposing his decision not to extend the exemption permits granted to Zimbabwean nationals. He condemned court action challenging the move and said the government’s decision had been widely supported by South African citizens (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/06/sa-minister-blast-csos/).

 

About 300,000 Zimbabweans face deportation when their permits expire on 31st December. In the decade or so that the permits have been available many Zimbabweans have built new lives in South Africa. Sharon Ekambaram, head of the South African Refugee and Migrant Rights programme at Lawyers for Human Rights, said she expects forced removals. The organisation was already being overwhelmed by people seeking help. ‘You have family living here: they have no connection with Zimbabwe. They don’t have a home in Zimbabwe. Children have grown up in our country and speak our South African official languages.’

 

‘Sylvia Dobi, who went to South Africa ten years ago, is worried about losing her job and being sent back to Zimbabwe. She says she has relatives who are dependent on her to send them money.’ ‘If I don’t send money home it means they won’t eat.’ She added: ‘The elections are coming up next year; things are going to get worse there. The South African government must give us at least two years so we can plan to go back home.’ (See: https://www.news24.com/news24/SouthAfrica/Hold/it-takes-me-back-to-forced-removals-under-apartheid-activists-zim-exemption-permit-fears-20220614.)

 

Sylvia Dobi is not alone in fearing next year’s elections. The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association says the 2023 polls are the leading cause of distress among Zimbabweans as political tension heightens. A survey showed people feared violence and intimidation and many believed the outcome would not reflect the will of the people.

 

The organising executive director Andrew  Makoni said the fear was likely to cause voter apathy at the polls. ‘Political party leaders and the relevant electoral stakeholders should urgently put in place mitigation measures to guarantee violence-free polls. Political parties that will contest in the elections should go into a pre-election pact committing to a non-violent election and free and fair elections to restore public confidence,’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/06/zimbos-dreading-2023-elections/.)

 

Someone else who has forebodings about the elections is Lovemore Sibanda, an historian who now teaches at a US university, from where he keeps a close eye on what is going on at home. He fears the worst and predicts the opposition is heading for another disappointment.

 

Sibanda says that ‘participating in the 2023 harmonised elections without electoral reforms will be suicidal. As long as the electoral landscape is uneven and tilted in favour of the ruling party, the CCC has no chance in winning 2023. The talk of guarding the vote is cheap and mere talk. We know that Zimbabwe is not Zambia. How do you guard your vote in Zimbabwe where the electoral landscape is unfavourable to opposition parties?

 

‘Banking on a protest vote, and the notion that Zanu PF is weak, and ED unpopular is stupidity at its best. Zanu PF must never be under-estimated.  Underestimating and under-rating your enemy in politics is disastrous and unacceptable. Zanu PF has nine lives like a cat. Undoubtedly the party is facing a plethora of problems, but we know that we have been here before. Winning an election is determined and predicated on what the opposition offer and do, not entirely on the prevailing political and economic conditions and the state of the ruling party. This was the mistake in 2018. Unfortunately, history has a tendency to repeat itself.’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/06/the-2023-election-the-battle-of-titans/.)

 

Other points

  • The Vigil met outside the Embassy today. For the moment we are meeting on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month. There will be a virtual Vigil on the other Saturdays. It was impossible to get the car to the Vigil because of huge crowds and road closures for the Gay Pride parade. Thanks to the valiant few who came today and carried the Vigil paraphernalia over the Thames to and from the Royal Festival Hall: Ephraim Tapa, Jonathan Kariwo, Philip Maponga, Kudzai Chikowore and Tapiwa Muskwe. Also attending were Miriam Gasho and Rose Benton. For photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720300257917.
  • 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 16th July 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 3rd August at 11 am.
  • 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

 
‘Peace, love and harmony’? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 25th June 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 26 June 2022 12:10

 

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When Mugabe stormed out of the Commonwealth nearly 20 years ago the Vigil thought both sides would be happy: Mugabe would have finally escaped British ‘oppression’ and the Commonwealth would be free of a maverick dictator. So it comes as something of a surprise to us that President Mnangagwa is eager to rejoin the organisation, especially since his guides in China and Russia are opposed to the West of which the Commonwealth is a pillar.

 

NewZimbabwe reports a strong Zimbabwean presence for the Commonwealth’s Heads of Government meeting in Rwanda. It says Zimbabwean ministers, business leaders, students and members of civil society have flocked to Rwanda’s capital Kigali for the meeting. The Zimbabwean Ambassador to Rwanda Charity Manyeruke said the government welcomed as a ‘positive development’ the invitation to attend the meeting. ‘Zimbabwe is excited to be participating in Commonwealth forums as this presents opportunities to network with the international community taking into account the government of Zimbabwe’s policy of engagement and reengagement,’ Manyeruke said.

 

For his part, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade David Musabayana said: ‘We are humbled to be invited to attend as observers. We have been engaged on various forums where we are networking. There is a lot of interest in Zimbabwe from Commonwealth member countries who are keen to do business and invest in Zimbabwe.’ He said Zimbabwe’s bid to be readmitted to the Commonwealth was going well.

 

Before being readmitted Zimbabwe must demonstrate that it complies with the fundamental values set out in the Commonwealth charter, including democracy and rule of law plus protection of human rights such as freedom of expression. The Vigil believes that Zimbabwe falls far short of complying with these values and urges the Commonwealth to take no further moves until after next year’s election, which will no doubt be rigged and hopefully exposed by foreign observers present for the voting (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/stong-zimbabwe-presence-in-rwanda-as-harare-eyes-commonwealth-re-admission/).

 

Mnangagwa appears to be already preparing the ground for further repressive action against the opposition. His latest move has been to accuse the Citizens’ Coalition for Change of stage-managing countrywide acts of political violence. Speaking about the clashes between CCC activists and Zanu PF supporters after the recent murder of opposition member Moreblessing Ali, he said: ‘The nation is now familiar with these shenanigans and incidences of staged violence, which are designed to tarnish the image of Zimbabwe, especially ahead of major international meetings. This time, the destabilising and violent theatrics by opposition elements are being done ahead of the CHOGM meeting in Rwanda. Shame on you if you are the leader of a political party that thrives on violence and the insecurity of our people.’

 

He went on: ‘The levels and intensity of falsehoods being peddled by some opposition political parties to whip their supporters into orgies of violence, hate and disharmony, is now extremely worrisome and my administration will not stand by and watch. Violence has no place in the Zimbabwe we are building. We want peace, love and harmony.’ (See: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-220549.html.)

 

Mnangagwa did not comment on Zimbabwean nurses being beaten by riot police for joining a nationwide strike by health workers demanding a living wage and complaining of poor working conditions. The Zimbabwe Nurses Association president Enoch Dongo condemned the police action as barbaric and deplorable but national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he was unaware of the incident.

 

The nurses were apparently angry over remarks by the Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube that there was no crisis in the country and that everything is well – so well that annual inflation rate this month rose to 191.6% (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/06/police-beat-up-striking-nurses/).

 

Other points

 

Events and Notices:

  • Next ROHR Meeting. Saturday 2nd July at 11 am.
  • Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe  Embassy. Saturday 2nd July 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.
  • 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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Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights of 2010
Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights of 2009
Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights of 2008
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