Zanu PF on war footing – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 18th June 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 19 June 2022 12:07

 

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President Mnangagwa has made it clear that only his Zanu PF will rule Zimbabwe. Speaking at a meeting in Kwekwe, he said: ‘Zanu PF liberated the country and therefore it is the only party which must govern.’ (See: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-local-byo-220151.html.)

 

The message could not have been clearer and its implications quickly became apparent with a renewed crackdown on opposition supporters, prompting Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Chair Peter Mutasa to say: ‘There is need for the Southern African Development Community to intervene in the Zimbabwean crisis before it goes out of hand.’ (See: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-opinion-sc-columnist-byo-220285.html.)

 

The brutal murder of an opposition CCC supporter Moreblessing Ali has received wide coverage. Her dismembered body was found in a well several weeks after she was abducted. Zanu PF supporters are said to have ran amok at Moreblessing’s funeral wake, ccahasing relatives away (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/breaking-drama-as-zanu-pf-thugs-abduct-20-chamisa-supporters-at-moreblessing-ali-funeral-chase-relatives-away/).

 

The CCC leader Nelson Chamisa said: ‘This is a very bad indication for the elections in 2023. The dark clouds of violence are gathering.’ (See: https://apnews.com/article/politics-africa-zimbabwe-southern-harare-ea0055f52f6b27a6649751a3d2a76ce9.) Police have arrested the alleged killer, identified as Pius Jamba.

 

They say they have not found any political link in the killing and the Zanu PF political commissar Mike Bimha said the murder suspect was not part of his party’s structures. He accused CCC of staging acts of violence to court international attention (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/06/moreblessing-ali-murder-suspect-not-in-our-structures-zanu-pf/).

 

This murky affair has still to be resolved but Lucia Masuka of Amnesty International Zimbabwe said: ‘“Abductions are being fuelled by impunity of perpetrators. Authorities must do more to ensure Zimbabwe breaks this cycle of killings and abductions and impunity associated with it. Authorities must ensure access to justice and effective remedies for victims and their families.’ (See: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2022/06/zimbabwe-authorities-must-do-more-to-stop-culture-of-abductions/.)

 

On the international front, the conviction of the New York Times freelance reporter Geoffrey Moyo for breaking Zimbabwe’s immigration laws, has been given wide coverage. Angela Quintal, Africa coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, said in a statement that the conviction is ‘a monumental travesty of justice and shows how far press freedom has deteriorated in Zimbabwe.’ (See: https://www.thezimbabwean.co/2022/06/cpj-condemns-conviction-of-new-york-times-freelance-journalist-jeffrey-moyo-in-zimbabwe/.)

 

Moyo was accused of obtaining false credentials for two Times journalists who visited Zimbabwe last year. He was fined Zim$200,000 (about US$615) and given a two-year suspended jail sentence. This could be enforced if he is convicted of a similar offence in the next five years. Moyo said he had ‘only followed the lawful procedure in trying to get accreditation for my colleagues’. He obtained press cards for the journalists from the state regulated Zimbabwe Media Commission but three days later an immigration officer cancelled them, claiming the accreditation was fraudulent and the journalists were ordered to leave the country. Moyo was arrested along with the official who issued the cards.

 

If President Mnangagwa really hopes to be accepted by the West he should consider the effect of the New York Times account of this judicial travesty. The paper’s publisher,  A G Sulzberger said: ‘We are deeply troubled that Jeffrey Moyo, a respected Zimbabwean journalist, was convicted of a crime for his routine work on behalf of The New York Times. Based on the lack of evidence in this case, we believe clearly it was brought to interfere with our reporting.’

 

The paper noted: ‘Mr. Mnangagwa promised a “new Zimbabwe” when he came to power after the coup that ousted Mr. Mugabe. Promising a break from years of crushing authoritarian rule and spiralling economic decline, he vowed to create jobs, introduce democratic reforms and reverse the government’s dismal human rights record. Five years on, many Zimbabweans say the situation has only gotten worse. Millions are unemployed, inflation is running at 132 percent, and the currency is collapsing. Fuel stations and some shops demand payment in United States dollars. Experts fear a return to the hyperinflation that ravaged Zimbabwe in the late 2000s.’ See: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/14/world/africa/zimbabwe-trial-reporter-new-york-times.html.)

 

Other points

  • Thanks to the valiant ROHR members who walked 13 miles from Leytonstone station to the Vigil at the Zimbabwe Embassy. The aim was 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. The walkers were: Enniah Dube, Patrick Hale, Simbarashe Jingo, Charles Mararirakwenda, Patricia Masamba, Locadia Meda, Margaret Munenge, Esther  Munyira, Tapiwanashe Muti and Ephraim Tapa. Walkers report that the walk went very well and they felt really encouraged by the solidarity given by a Chinese lady and another of Nigerian origin who walked with them the full distance. They expressed a unique passion for human rights whilst showing great interest in Zimbabwe. Along the way, motorists and bus drivers hooted in support whilst pedestrians would stop to ask questions or voice their support. Overall, the walk brought a lot of attention to the Zimbabwe situation as well as rekindling interest. All participants felt that this was a noble cause that needed doing as often as could be to awaken the world to the very difficult human rights and political situation in Zimbabwe. For now, they all felt satisfied that a lot had been achieved and that Zimbabwe deserved better. Thanks to Esther who contributed £20 for refreshments. For contributions to the fundraising: https://www.gofundme.com/f/free-fair-and-credible-election-in-zimbabwe?utm_campaign=p_lico+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer. For photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720299887947.
  • 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. Thanks to those who came today: Enniah Dube, Patrick Hale, Simbarashe Jingo, Charles Mararirakwenda, Patricia Masamba, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Locadia Meda, Margaret Munenge, Esther Munyira, Tapiwanashe Muti, Ephraim Tapa, Kevin Wheeldon and Rose Benton. For photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720299909027.
  • 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 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

 
The wrong direction – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 11th June 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 12 June 2022 14:33

 

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Almost three-quarters of Zimbabweans believe the country is going in the wrong direction: 94% of people in Harare and 82% in the Bulawayo area say they are not happy with the country’s continually deteriorating economic situation.

 

The figures come from AfroBarometer, an African research organisation, and the work on the ground was carried out by Zimbabwe’s Mass Public Opinion Institute over the last 5 years. According to the survey, nearly half of citizens report that they were sometimes without food during the previous year. A majority have gone without enough clean water at times.

 

By large majorities Zimbabweans say the government is performing ‘fairly badly’ or ‘very badly’ on key economic issues, including keeping prices stable (87%), creating jobs (86%) and narrowing the gap between rich and poor (79%). (See: https://cite.org.zw/zim-headed-in-the-wrong-direction-survey/.)

 

Despite these negative findings,51% of the population as a whole apparently still trust President Mnangagwa! But the Vigil doubts that any political leader would be happy going into an election with a margin so narrow – and built on the 64% of the respondents with only primary or no formal education (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/06/51-zimbos-still-trust-ed-afro-barometer/).

 

Especially when all signs are that things will get worse, given the war against Ukraine launched by President Mnangagwa’s Russian patron President Putin. Many people in the third world are suffering from this. Russia has stolen what it can of Ukrainian grain but millions of tons in one of the world’s greatest grain producers will rot while this mindless war continues, Africans, as usual, are the worst victims.

 

Take for instance, the case of Zimbabwe’s teachers who say their monthly salary can now only buy them 20 loaves of bread. The Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union President Obert Masaraure said teachers are starving and can’t even afford education for their own children, let alone healthcare and accommodation (see: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-219920.html).

 

The social justice activist Tendai Ruben Mbofana commented that continued belief in the broken promises of the Zanu PF regime is akin to madness. In a coruscating article in the Zimbabwean, he says: ‘Were we not assured of free health and education for all by the 2000? After having dismally failed on this, has the so-called “new dispensation” not repeatedly regurgitated the same “free education next year” drivel since the coup d’état of November 2017 – when fierce Zanu PF factional infighting ended up roping in the military? How many times have civil servants been reassured that their salaries would be “increased” to their pre-October 2018 levels of around US$540 a month – with both the finance and public service ministers having the audacity of even proffering dates – yet, these phenomenal employees’ earnings remain stagnant at nearly a third of their contractually-obligated remuneration, if not worse.

 

‘Can anyone remember the countless times Zimbabweans have been promised a higher standard of living – through, numerous economic revival programmes, whose number I have understandably lost count, with all manner of weird and wonderful names, such as ESAP, ZIMASSET, ZIMPREST, and now NDS1 – but, not even one of these lofty programs coming anywhere near fulfilling even a quarter of the expected outcomes? Oh yes, and the houses – what so ever happened to the 1.5 million homes promised to be built between 2018 and 2023 – with only a few months to go? Can anyone, please, show me just a thousand of these! How many times have inflation targets not been met – certainly not by the acceptable margins of error, but by huge discrepancies which showed that these were nothing more than brazen lies?’ (See: https://www.thezimbabwean.co/2022/06/isnt-continued-belief-and-celebration-of-zanu-pf-regime-promises-akin-to-madness/.)

 

Other points

  • Reports from Zimbabwe say the body of a senior member of the Citizens’ Coalition for Change, MoreBlessing Ali, a single mother, has been recovered from a well in Beatrice. The body was said to have been cut into two. She disappeared on 24th May amid allegations that she was abducted by Zanu PF activists. The police say they are investigating the matter. Our condolences go to her UK-based brother Washington Ali who was a founder member of the Vigil. (See: https://nehandaradio.com/2022/06/12/they-have-killed-moreblessing-ali/ and  https://www.voazimbabwe.com/a/6613503.html.)
  • Information and Publicity Deputy Minister Kindness Paradza has threatened to seize resettled farmers’ land if they associate with the opposition and fail to attend Zanu PF meetings. He said: ‘“A lot of farmers think it was because of their cleverness that they secured the farms they have. Those who think that way are misguided. You got that farm because the ruling Zanu PF party allocated it to you.’ Paradza added that Zanu PF would introduce an attendance register at its meetings (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/06/axe-hangs-over-resettled-farmers/).
  • Our virtual Vigil activists today were Charles Mararirakwenda, Joyce Mbairatsunga and Henry Makovere  who all kindly contributed to Vigil funds. See: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720299712509 for today’s photos.
  • 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:

  • ROHR Fundraising Walk for a Free, Fair and Credible Election in Zimbabwe. Saturday 18th June. ROHR UK chapter will embark on a 13-mile sponsored walk, starting at Leytonstone at 9 am and ending at the Vigil, to raise funds for voter registration mobilisation and education to ensure all eligible citizens exercise their right to vote without fear or manipulation.
  • Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe  Embassy. Saturday 18th June 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 2nd July 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
 
Mystery of the missing toes – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 4th June 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 05 June 2022 12:56

 

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A rumour about Zimbabweans allegedly selling their toes because of poverty has gone viral in Nigeria and a number of other African countries. People are said to get as much as US$40,000 for a big toe, US$25,000 for a middle one and US$10,00 for a small toe.

 

The BBC says a tongue-in-cheek Zimbabwean blog suggested the trade was happening at the Ximex shopping mall in Harare. Zimbabwean tabloid H-Metro posted an interview with black market currency traders at the mall who said the issue had been blown out of proportion after a few of them shared it as a joke. While Zimbabweans are mostly amused by the story it has gained a toehold in Nigeria, particularly. There has already been an upsurge there in money rituals – a belief that using body parts can bring riches. In January three people were arrested in Nigeria for killing a teenage girl for ritual purposes (see: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-61650455).

 

The president of the Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers’ Association, George Kandiero, said they were disturbed by reports of people selling toes for ritual purposes. He said it tarnished the image of traditional practitioners, adding ‘if you hear of the amounts being spoken about, I don't think there's a single traditional healer to pay for toes at that amount.’

 

The police in Zimbabwe have taken the matter seriously. National Police spokesman Paul Nyathi said they were investigating possible trafficking in human body parts as this was illegal in Zimbabwe. Anybody found soliciting, selling or buying human body parts would be arrested (see: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-219696.html).

 

We in the diaspora comb the media for any news of Zimbabwe. Most of it is negative. This week we came across a blog post by Michelle Gavin on the website of the Council of Foreign Relations, an American thinktank, in which she says conditions in Zimbabwe continue to go from bad to worse. ‘Triple digit inflation shows no signs of slowing.  Over half of the country lives in poverty.  Its corrupt government lurches from disinterest in the population’s pain to rosy projections for growth based on pure fantasy to clumsy interventions like the recent short-lived edict banning banks from lending. 

 

‘Politically, the merger of the ruling party and senior military leadership has long been complete, and they have become inextricable from the state itself. But because Zimbabweans, in the form of independent journalists, opposition politicians, and local activists, refuse to give up on their efforts to hold government accountable for its actions, state-sponsored campaigns of repression and political violence continue. In an effort to give the intimidation a veneer of legality, the country’s leaders are now working to dismantle civil society, pursuing draconian legislation aimed at private, voluntary organizations (PVOs) that would, in the words of a network of mostly African human rights defenders, provide government with “unrestricted power to deregister, target, and harass PVOs deemed critical of the government.’

 

The article concludes that ‘there will be nothing remotely resembling a level playing field as the 2023 elections draw near.’ (See: https://www.cfr.org/blog/trouble-ahead-zimbabwe.)

 

The opposition leader Nelson Chamisa is more optimistic, saying the army is fed up with President Mnangagwa and is ready to ditch him in next year’s elections. Chamisa said: ‘Everywhere we are going in the country, people are speaking about change. Change is on the horizon and the country is ready for change. Civil servants are saying I must take the reins of power. The students, ordinary citizens, and the army are saying the same.’ (See: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-local-byo-219710.html.)

 

Other points

  • Zimbabwean musician Thomas Mapfumo has accepted an offer of land by Chief Livhuwani Matsila of Matsila village in Limpopo. Mapfumo is regarded as a hero of the liberation struggle and went on to oppose the Zanu PF government (see: https://www.sabcnews.com/sabcnews/zimbabwean-musician-mapfumo-to-relocate-to-sa/).
  • It was good to be joined by Deborah Jandles of Twoco Woja, Women of Justice Arise. They are campaigning for opposition activist More Blessing Ali who has been missing since 24th May when she was bundled into a car by a Zanu PF mob and for Marry Chiwenga, the wife of Vice-President Constantine Chiwenga, who has been abused by her husband during their divorce case.
  • 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. Thanks to those who came today: Charles Mararirakwenda, Deborah Jandles, Ephraim Tapa, Henry Makovere, Jonathan Kariwo, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Kevin Wheeldon, Mary Muteyerwa and Rose Benton. Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720299542037.
  • 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:

  • ROHR Fundraising Walk for a Free, Fair and Credible Election in Zimbabwe. Saturday 18th June. ROHR UK chapter will embark on a 13-mile sponsored walk, starting at Leytonstone at 9 am and ending at the Vigil, to raise funds for voter registration mobilisation and education to ensure all eligible citizens exercise their right to vote without fear or manipulation.
  • Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe  Embassy. Saturday 18th June 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 2nd July 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

 
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Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights of 2010
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