‘Taken over by monkeys and baboons’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 22nd February 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 23 February 2020 14:03

It is not surprising that runaway former minister Saviour Kasukuwere should use Friday’s absurd Mugabe Day to attack the regime which overthrew the former president. Predictably defending Mugabe, Kasukuwere said Zimbabwe’s situation was worse under Mnangagwa who, he said, was protecting corrupt criminal cartels who were raping the nation, bleeding it of billions of dollars (see: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-179741.html),

 

Many Zimbabweans appear ambivalent about the change of regime. They include youths who are meant to be inspired by a public holiday on Mugabe’s birthday. Cathy Buckle in her latest Letter from Zimbabwe says ‘it’s hard to see what our youth have got to celebrate. Unemployment around 90%, inflation over 500%, queues for money, food and fuel and not even electricity today. Hopes of getting a job are extremely slim; manufacturing capacity predicted at 27% this year and a guarantee of tear gas, police truncheons and brutality if you dare to demonstrate.’

 

Buckle’s comment about a clampdown on dissent is confirmed by a news report of a wave of arrests of people taking part in anti-government protests against the worsening political and economic crisis (see: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-179751.html).

 

In her letter, Cathy Buckle looks at how food aid supposed to feed the hungry is being diverted to the black market by corrupt officials in Zimbabwe and sold in neighbouring countries: ‘A Parliamentary Portfolio Committee heard that abuse of the subsidised maize facility was rife. Senior executives in the government’s GMB (Grain Marketing Board) were implicated: allocating subsidised maize to millers far in excess of their capacity. The millers were in turn diverting the maize to the black market and selling it to neighbouring countries, making huge profits in the process. There were accounts of trucks from the DR Congo offloading copper in South Africa and on their return journey through Zimbabwe filling their empty trucks with our subsidised maize. The corruption extends to border officials who stamp documents with false declarations as to the source of the cargo on trucks which proceed to exit Zimbabwe loaded with our cheap maize.’

 

She goes on to note that 20 years ago this week the farm invasions began: ‘twenty years later Zimbabwe as a whole continues to pay the price of the destruction of commercial agriculture’ (see: http://cathybuckle.co.zw/looting-cheap-food-from-hungry-zimbabweans/).

 

Buckle’s comments are backed up by a coruscating news report: ‘Factories grind to a halt as Zimbabwe’s economy implodes’. The article notes: Zisco’s once-imposing steelworks are a series of derelict buildings, rusting pipes and sheets of corrugated iron. As the natural bush encroaches, the buildings are increasingly home to ever-opportunistic monkeys and baboons.’  (See:  https://finance.yahoo.com/news/factories-grind-halt-zimbabwe-economy-050000822.html),

 

Other points

  • February has been a turbulent time in the UK weatherwise with gales and endless rain causing widespread flooding. Nevertheless someone came down to join us today all the way from Scotland.
  • Thanks to those who braved the foul weather to help set up the Vigil today: Delice Gavazah, Jonathan Kariwo, Godfrey Katerere, Esther Munyira, Mary Muteyerwa, Qiniso Sibanda, Ephraim Tapa and Kevin Wheeldon. Thanks to Esther for looking after the front table, to Kevin for handing out flyers, to Mary and Delice for drumming and to Jonathan for photos. Thanks also for a further contribution to the ROHR’s Valentine fundraising dinner From Delice Gavazah.
  • 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: ­­­10 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR fundraising dinner dance. Saturday 29th February from 6 pm till late. Postponed from 15th February because of bad weather. Venue: 38 Marcon Place, London E8 1LP. The event is in aid of women living with HIV/AIDS in rural Zimbabwe. Tickets £30. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058107, Molly Ngavaimbe 07415443973, Patricia Masamba 07708116625 or Margaret Munenge 07384300283
  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 14th March from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058107.
  • 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.
  • World Day of Prayer for Zimbabwe. Friday 6th March. This year the focus is on Zimbabwe and the service has been prepared by Christian women in Zimbabwe. The theme is ‘Rise! Take you mat and walk’. Christians all round the world will be praying for Zimbabwe. Try to get your own church involved. For more information check: https://www.wwdp.org.uk/.
  • Living on the Edge. Tuesday 10th March from 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6 pm). Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. The event is organised by the Mike Campbell Foundation. Among the speakers are Chief Felix Ndiweni and Beatrice Mtetwa. For full details of the event check: https://media.wix.com/ugd/02876c_5b68a136280c42ebbf39f8ebbb722299.pdf.
  • 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
 
‘Reduced to slavery’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 15th February 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 16 February 2020 20:34

The Mnangagwa regime has reduced workers to slaves by paying them money that is valueless, says the President of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Peter Mutasa.

 

He said his members were facing challenges accessing healthcare, accommodation and basic services because most of these were being pegged to the US dollar while they were earning the fast-depreciating local currency. He said the ZCTU wanted the immediate introduction of the rand as official legal tender.

 

Pressure to abandon the Zimbabwe dollar is also coming from business. The President of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers, Denford Mutashu, said the appetite for the US dollar was very high because the local currency was too unstable for sustainable planning. One trader in Mbare said a bucket of maize was selling for US$3 or Zim$120.

 

MDC Vice-President Tendai Biti said the market had already re-dollarised and the government must recognize this instead of resisting the obvious. He pointed out that the government was itself charging for services in US dollars even though it is threatening to penalize businesses who do the same.

 

‘You can’t criminalise rational behaviour. Just like, right now, 90% of Zimbabweans are buying the US dollar on the streets. There is no amount of teargas, no amount of gun, there is no amount of tank that is going to stop that because a human being behaves rationally. He will protect himself,’ Biti said (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2020/02/market-rejects-zimdollar/).

 

Biti, a former finance minister, accused Mnangagwa of being ’the godfather’ of Zimbabwe’s high level of government corruption. He said Mnangagwa’s ally, business mogul Kuda Tagwirei, had ‘captured’ the finance ministry. ‘I never thought that we could get to a situation as ordinary Zimbabweans in which we could say Mugabe was actually better. But, Zimbabweans are saying so because the level of looting under Emmerson Mnangagwa is unprecedented.’ Biti said Zimbabweans must take to the streets to demonstrate peacefully against the cartels to express their anger. (See: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-178981.html).

 

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa also called for action in the fight against corruption. He said the allegations by Prosecutor--General Kumbira Hodzi that corrupt cartels controlled the justice delivery system had confirmed state capture. ‘The anti-corruption rhetoric is a mere facade designed to hoodwink Zimbabweans and the world. Over the past two years the level of corruption and state capture has escalated to obscene levels. There can not be sustainable prosperity when national wealth is in the hands of a few,’ said Chamisa (see: https://allafrica.com/stories/202002130439.html).

 

Other points

  • The Vigil is not surprised by reports that Mnangagwa is not taking calls from former South African President Mbeki who has offered to mediate in Zimbabwe. He appears to be happy with the situation in which he is in control, whatever the cost.
  • Thanks to all those who braved the foul weather to help set up the Vigil today: Patricia Masamba, Margaret Munenge, Esther Munyira, Sithokozile Sikhosana, Ephraim Tapa and Kevin Wheeldon. Thanks to Patricia and Margaret for looking after the front table, to Esther and Kevin for handing out flyers, to Sithokozile for drumming and to Patricia for photos.
  • Thanks to those who have contributed to the ROHR’s Valentine fundraising dinner: Beaulah Gore, Jane Kaphuwa, Patricia Masamba and Cephas Maswoswa. Thanks also to Patricia Masamba for her contribution to the ROHR Mtoko irrigation project.
  • 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: ­­­8 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR fundraising dinner dance. Saturday 29th February from 6 pm till late. Postponed from 15th February because of bad weather. Venue: 38 Marcon Place, London E8 1LP. The event is in aid of women living with HIV/AIDS in rural Zimbabwe. Tickets £30. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058107, Molly Ngavaimbe 07415443973, Patricia Masamba 07708116625 and Margaret Munenge 07384300283
  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 14th March from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058107.
  • 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.
  • World Day of Prayer for Zimbabwe. Friday 6th March. This year the focus is on Zimbabwe and the service has been prepared by Christian women in Zimbabwe. The theme is ‘Rise! Take you mat and walk’. Christians all round the world will be praying for Zimbabwe. Try to get your own church involved. For more information check: https://www.wwdp.org.uk/.
  • Living on the Edge. Tuesday 10th March from 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6 pm). Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. The event is organised by the Mike Campbell Foundation. Among the speakers are Chief Felix Ndiweni and Beatrice Mtetwa. For full details of the event check: https://media.wix.com/ugd/02876c_5b68a136280c42ebbf39f8ebbb722299.pdf.
  • 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
 
Wheels coming off – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 8th February 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 09 February 2020 14:10

Reports from Zimbabwe suggest that security chiefs are becoming increasingly anxious that discontent may lead to unrest. They are said to have deployed large numbers of intelligence officers in civilian clothes around the country. They are also said to fear mutiny by disgruntled soldiers (see: https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2020/02/07/panicky-army-chiefs-deploy-special-forces/).

 

While there is widespread hunger as food prices rise and the Zimbabwe dollar withers, vegetables in urban markets are rotting because people can’t afford to buy them (see: https://reliefweb.int/report/zimbabwe/vegetables-rot-food-markets-across-zimbabwe-while-half-population-faces-food).

 

Women are bearing the main share of the burden. A survey by Transparency International Zimbabwe said more than 57% of women had been forced to offer sexual favours in exchange for jobs, medical care and even seeking placements at schools for their children. The organisation said in its report: ‘sex is a currency in many corrupt deals in Zimbabwe’. (see: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/feb/08/more-than-half-of-women-in-zimbabwe-have-faced-sextortion-finds-survey).

 

Discord within the ruling party is further destabilizing the country. Three Zanu PF youth leaders have been suspended by the Politburo after calling a news conference to accuse some of Mnangagwa’s close allies of corruption. Secretary for Youth Affairs Pupurai Togarepi was stripped of his position and Youth Political Commissar Godfrey Tsenengamu and Deputy Secretary for Youth Affairs Lewis Matutu were demoted and ordered to go for ‘political orientation’ at the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology.

 

President Mnangagwa was particularly critical of Togarepi because, he said, he had appointed him to his post even though he was not qualified being 56 years old. For his part, Matutu said afterwards that he would continue fighting corruption. He declared that he would ‘rather die for something than live for nothing’ and added that 2020 would be the beginning of a decade of action by youths.

 

Tsenengamu said he would not attend the six-month course at the Ideology school. Those who had ordered it should be the ones going there. ‘I do not care what will happen next. I am part of society, live in society and know what corruption is doing to the livelihoods of ordinary people.’

 

The youth leaders accused three controversial business tycoons, Kuda Tagwirei, Billy Rautenbach (the Green Fuels boss) and Tafadzwa Musarara (Chair of the Grain Millers’ Association) of corruptly grabbing all government tenders.

 

Matutu said “Let me talk about Tagwirei. I really want to know why he is the one who supplies everything to government — fuel. If we go to Command Agriculture, it’s him at the helm. There was an attempt to investigate him, but he evaded. He has tentacles everywhere, including the money on the black market, he controls that.’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2020/02/zanu-pf-youths-finger-ed-allies/ and https://zwnews.com/unfazed-matutu-says-fight-continues-declares-decade-of-action-as-zanu-pf-implodes/).

 

Other points

  • Many starving people must be amazed by the Zanu PF-connected businessman Genius Ginimbi’s court battles as he faces a new charge of fraud in connection with importing another Bentley. He recently shared on his Instagram account a video of himself buying a 2-seater Ferrari 488 Spider for US$350,000 to join his collection of super cars at his mansion in Dombashawa which includes 2 Rolls-Royces and 3 Bentleys among many other top range cars (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2020/02/socialite-ginimbi-arrested-for-fraud/).
  • The Zimbabwe government is to waste US$4.5million on sending tame members of the government-appointed Political Actors’ Dialogue (POLAD) on foreign trips to promote government policiies, POLAD has been boycotted by MDC leader Chamisa (see: http://www.newsdzezimbabwe.co.uk/2020/02/polad-foreign-trips-to-gobble-us45m.html).
  • Zimbabweans who have complacently regarded themselves as somehow better than Malawians may have to rethink following the Malawian court ruling that their country’s election last year was rigged – a shock to the system in Zimbabwe where this would be impossible because our rigging is so superior.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up the front table and put up the banners: Daizy Fabian, Deborah Harry, Jonathan Kariwo, Netsayi Makarichi, Chido Makawa, Rosemary Maponga, Benjamin Molife, Esther Munyira, Molly Ngavaimbe, Tsitsi Nyirongo, Qiniso Sibanda, Bigboy Sibanda, Ephraim Tapa, Kevin Wheeldon and Nattalie Zvoma. Thanks to Rosemary for looking after the front table, to Chido, Benjamin, Tsitsi, Bigboy, Kevin and Nattalie for handing out flyers, to Chido for drumming, to Deborah, Chido and Jonathan for photos, to Molly for the opening prayer, to Tsitsi for donating a rattle and to Rosemary for bringing tea, coffee and cakes.
  • Thanks to those who have contributed to the ROHR’s Valentine fundraising dinner: Pamela Chirimuta, Ragarirai Chivaviro, Simbarashe Jingo, Netsayi Makarichi, Chido Makawa, Garikai Mananje, Benjamin Molife, Washington Mugari, Margaret Munenge, Molly Ngavaimbe and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks also to Happy Chazuza for his contribution to the ROHR Mtoko irrigation project
  • 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: ­­­18 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Valentine’s fundraising dinner dance. Saturday 15th February from 6 pm till late. Venue: 38 Marcon Place, London E8 1LP. The event is in aid of women living with HIV/AIDS in rural Zimbabwe. Tickets £30. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058107, Molly Ngavaimbe 07415443973, Patricia Masamba 07708116625 and Margaret Munenge 07384300283.
  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 14th March from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058107.
  • 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.
  • World Day of Prayer for Zimbabwe. Friday 6th March. This year the focus is on Zimbabwe and the service has been prepared by Christian women in Zimbabwe. The theme is ‘Rise! Take you mat and walk’. Christians all round the world will be praying for Zimbabwe. Try to get your own church involved. For more information check: https://www.wwdp.org.uk/.
  • Living on the Edge. Tuesday 10th March from 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6 pm). Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. The event is organised by the Mike Campbell Foundation. Among the speakers are Chief Felix Ndiweni and Beatrice Mtetwa. For full details: https://media.wix.com/ugd/02876c_5b68a136280c42ebbf39f8ebbb722299.pdf.
  • 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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