Good news for Africa? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 21st August 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 22 August 2021 12:34

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The peaceful change of government in Zambia has come as a shock. The Times newspaper in the UK hails it as ‘good news for sub-Saharan Africa’. (See: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1161-the-times-view-on-hakainde-hichilemas-election-zambian-democracy.)

 

It is certainly good news for Zambia to get rid of the disastrous President Lungu who drove the country into bankruptcy crippled by unsustainable debt to China.

 

But for Zimbabwe the consequence is rather different. The lesson Zanu PF will take from the successful democratic election in Zambia is that Lungu was stupid in not guaranteeing the result beforehand or, if necessary, changing it afterwards.

 

Zanu PF, backed by those models of democracy China and Russia has no doubt already hired the usual professional election-riggers to ensure their own re-election in 2023. As usual, the freeloading international election monitors, wined and dined by Mnangagwa, will endorse the outcome, supported by gullible academics, all too ready to accept the unbelievable.

 

The Vigil pays tribute to former President Lungu for accepting the will of the people. We wish the new President Hakainde Hichilema every success in his efforts to turn around the economy and create jobs for the young – a key problem in Africa from Morocco to South Africa. According to the Times many unemployed graduates wore their academic gowns to the polling stations to drive home this point (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1162-hakainde-hichilema-ill-recharge-economy-says-new-zambian-leader).

 

Perhaps their counterparts in Zimbabwe should do the same in 2023. But this discounts Zanu PF’s capacity to smother any opposition ahead of elections – combined with its control of the judiciary, the electoral commission, the armed forces and the state media.

Zambian youth activist Joseph Kalimbwe has urged Zimbabwean youths not to leave polling stations after voting but to stay until results have been announced to counter rigging (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/guard-your-votes-top-zambian-activist-tells-zim-youths/).

 

For his part, opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has said his turn is coming. He congratulated Zambia’s new president and said his victory ‘inspired us all’. Zimbabwe’s Information Ministry spokesman, Nick Mangwana, was quick to mock this, commenting ‘there is always this bridesmaid who is never destined to marry’. (See: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/chamisa-speaks-on-zambia-election-zimbabwes-turn-is-coming/.)

 

Mnangagwa’s spokesman, George Charamba, added in a tweet: ‘Mnangagwa and his generation did not go to war so they could hand over the country to Chamisa on a silver platter (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/08/military-wont-hand-over-power/).

 

Other Points:

  • Zanu PF is getting excited by the prospect of Mnangagwa visiting the UK. If he does the Vigil hopes to find an opportunity to confront him but we have seen no concrete information on a visit and we advise Zanu PF to spend their energy explaining why Mnangagwa’s son was seen taking delivery of a US$500,000 Rolls-Royce (see: https://www.thezimbabwean.co/2021/08/mnangagwas-twin-son-takes-delivery-of-us500k-rolls-royce/).
  • Perhaps it’s things like this that persuaded the UK to now designate Zimbabwe as a risky investment destination because of high-level corruption (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/08/uk-flags-zim-as-risky/).
  • Today is a virtual Vigil and we didn’t physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. For the moment we are meeting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy every other week and our next gathering will be on 28th August 2021. On the other Saturdays we will continue with the virtual Vigil where 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/72157719764688060. Our virtual Vigil activists today were Babula Gwatiringa, Jane Kaphuwa, Rosemary Maponga, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Margaret Munenge, Grace Munyanyi and Casper Nyamakura who all kindly contributed to Vigil funds.
  • For all Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Events and Notices:

  • The next Vigil. Saturday 28th August from 2 – 5 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London.
  • Vigil and ROHR picnic in Richmond Park. Saturday 4th September. Vigil and ROHR activists are organising this event. More information as plans develop.
  • 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
 
Black capitalists and new colonisers – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 14th August 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 21 August 2021 11:12

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The promises of liberation have not been met and polls show persistent discontent with the Mnangagwa government.

 

The Secretary-General of the Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers’ Union, Justice Chinhema, said white capitalists have been replaced by black ones and China has become the new coloniser. In a statement to mark Heroes Day, he said the country’s national heroes had fought for nothing; mining communities throughout the country were struggling while mineral resources were being looted.

 

‘A mine worker today is faced with a plethora of challenges. These challenges range from the pandemic of COVID-19 which has ravaged the globe, poor working conditions, poor remuneration and general poor welfare in our mines,’ Chinhema said.

 

‘Today a mine worker is faced with another existential threat of a new coloniser in the form of Chinese miners in the name of investors supported by corrupt indigenous people in our space.’

 

‘Investment must bring personal improvement, community and national development. However, that is not the case with the Chinese as well as black capitalists who are corrupt to the core. Looters and criminals are enslaving us and today we are worse off. We need each other to overcome the challenges that we face as mine workers. This is a time we must speak with one voice as a sector and backbone of our economy. The middle income country by 2030 will not be successful if workers are not united towards our own liberation from the slave wages that we are earning today,’ read the ZDAMWU statement (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/08/china-is-our-new-coloniser-zdamwu/).

 

The president of the pro-democracy movement Transform Zimbabwe, Jacob Ngarivhume, says he will demonstrate on Monday outside the Constitutional Court. ‘I will be starting a series of protests for political and electoral reforms, and against flagrant corruption by Mnangagwa’ he said.

 

‘We need to let the government know that we have had enough of their rubbish, POLAD, Drax, gold smuggling, election rigging, all of it. Fellow Zimbabweans for how long are we going to suffer? Mnangagwa and his family have amassed great wealth but they are not satisfied, they want to drain this country until there is nothing left.’ (See: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/fresh-anti-gvt-protests-loom/.)

 

To add to Zimbabwe’s problems, the British newspaper the Guardian says the recent surge in Covid fatalities nationwide in Zimbabwe has ‘overwhelmed undertakers resulting in delayed burials’. The Cape Town based News 24 adds that vaccination sites across Zimbabwe are struggling to meet demand.

 

According to the latest tracking by Oxford University only about 13% of Zimbabwe’s population have received one vaccine, with less that 7% fully vaccinated (see: https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/world-news/953776/zimbabwe-covid-cases-surge-hospitals-are-full).

 

We remember reporting a few months ago that the Zimbabwean government had spurned an offer of free Johnson and Johnson vaccines. Perhaps they thought the British Prime Minister owned the company? Instead Zimbabwe has been relying on Chinese vaccines which have been shown to be less effective than Western ones.

 

Other Points:

  • Following the recent unrest in South Africa there has been a resurgence of xenophobia there. A target is the newly elected executive mayor of Johannesburg, Jolidee Matongo, son of a Zimbabwean immigrant and a South African woman. One critic, Advocate Ike Khumalo, already facing charges of inciting public violence, said foreigners must go back and build their own countries (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/fears-of-xenophobic-attacks-mount-south-africans-launch-campaign-to-depose-zim-joburg-mayoro/).
  • Ten people gathered for our second Vigil outside the Embassy since the Covid-19 restrictions on public gatherings were lifted. They were welcomed by the sight of the annual naked cyclists ride through central London. For the moment we are meeting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy every other week and our next gathering will be on 28th August 2021. On the other Saturdays we will continue with the virtual Vigil. Thanks to those who came: Babula Gwatiringa, Dennis Benton, Ephraim Tapa, Jane Kaphuwa, Jonathan Kariwo, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Kevin Wheeldon, Philip Maponga, Rose Benton and Rosemary Maponga.
  • It is with sadness we report the passing away of Tendai Chigariro. Our condolences go to her family and friends. She was a Vigil and ROHR activist and also  active with MDC Youth in the UK.
  • For all Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Notices:

  • The next Vigil. Saturday 28th August from 2 – 5 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London.
  • 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

 
Dancing to the tune of Zanu PF – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 7th August 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 08 August 2021 21:15

The government-run Political Actors’ Dialogue (POLAD), set up to represent the opposition, has shown how in tune it is with Zanu PF thinking by demanding more from the public purse.

 

The government recently gave POLAD 19 new vehicles but they are not satisfied. The leader of the minor party the National Constitutional Assembly, Professor Lovemore Madhuku, said POLAD leaders needed at least three vehicles each. ‘We accept that hospitals need to be rehabilitated but that should not hinder us from getting the vehicles’, he said (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/one-vehicle-isnt-enough-for-polad-we-need-3-each-madhuku/).

 

The Anti-corruption Commission (ZACC) says corruption is rife in government parastatals and other entities, with those in charge of their oversight ‘sleeping on duty’. ZACC’s chair, Justice Loice Matamba-Moyo, said: ‘the government needs to urgently review powers of ministries over state enterprises and parastatals under their purview to stem this culture of looting’.

 

She said: ‘It is not a secret that corruption in Zimbabwe is rampant in all sectors of our economy.’ (See: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/graft-rife-in-govt-zacc/.)

 

Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti noted recently that corruption had become entrenched and deep-rooted affecting every sphere of life in Zimbabwe. He said US$1.5 billion worth of gold was smuggled out of the country every year, US$3 billion in cigarettes, US$5 billion in illicit financial flows as well as ‘millions and millions of carats of diamonds’.

 

Biti spoke of a ‘pandemic of corruption’ saying Zimbabwe had become a criminal enterprise. ‘Zimbabwe’s roving bandits leave nothing for the ordinary person, they leave nothing for Zimbabwe . . . Zimbabwe is extremely poor yet it is generating billions of dollars and it is only them and their children who are eating’. (See: https://www.biznews.com/africa/2021/08/02/zimbabwe-corruption.)

 

The prominent journalist Hopewell Chin’ono observed despondently that Zimbabweans enjoyed being oppressed. Chin’ono is outraged by the popularity of a song praising President Mnangagwa by Congolese musician Koffi Olomide who recently visited Zimbabwe.

 

Chin’ono said Zimbabweans’ ‘stupidity is shown by their desire to dance to music produced by a musician hired using looted public funds to praise the looters’. (See: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/chinono-zimbabweans-enjoy-being-oppressed/.)

 

Other Points:

·       For all Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Notices:

·       The next Vigil. Saturday 14th August from 2 – 5 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London.

·       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 Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 17.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.

 
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