‘A better Zimbabwe tomorrow’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 29th April 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 30 April 2017 16:29

Mugabe is said to have thwarted a coup attempt by supporters of Vice-President Mnangagwa. This comment came from the political analyst Ibbo Mandaza in an interview by the journalist Violet Gonda.

Dr Mandaza said Mugabe had been forced to step in and save beleaguered Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere whose G40 Group is openly battling Mnangagwa’s Lacoste faction. 

The President had apparently been warned by security agents that a Lacoste coup was in the making after soldiers had been bussed in civilian clothing from Harare to Bindura, where Kasukuwere was at a party meeting fighting for his political life.

Dr Mandaza said those such as the British government who were supporting Mnangagwa as a progressive alternative in Zanu PF were stupid. ‘It’s self-serving nonsense’, he added. ‘Those who have been making loud noises about Emmerson Mnangagwa being the reformer have got egg on their face.’ Mnangagwa, he maintained, was part of the architecture of the pathological state.

‘If the succession takes the route that these merchants of stability are proposing, it would be a worse nightmare, I can tell you that.’ Dr Mandaza poured scorn on Professor Stephen Chan of London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies and on the London Chatham House think tank, which he said were misguided.

Like the Vigil, Dr Mandaza supports the idea of a national transitional authority to take over in Zimbabwe and introduce reforms to prepare for free and fair elections. He said the opposition parties were opposed to this because they were primarily interested in getting ‘back into office, back into salaries and state cars’. However, some Zanu PF elements had been more responsive to the idea because they saw their party was mortally wounded.

Dr Mandaza said he did not expect next year’s elections to actually take place as scheduled. ‘We are a torn country. We are in crisis.’ To have elections next year would simply ensure more of the same.

He said a conference was planned at the end of June on Zimbabwe transition, reform and reconstruction, which he hoped would mobilise the region and the global community to begin planning for ‘a better Zimbabwe tomorrow’ (see: http://www.violetgonda.com/2017/04/hot-seat-mugabe-thwarts-coup-attempt-says-political-scientist-ibbo-mandaza/).

Other points

  • Zimbabweans are among the poorest people in the world according to a report this week by Afrasia Bank. It puts Zimbabwean wealth per person last year at US$200. By comparison, wealth per capita in South Africa was US$11,300, Namibia US$10,800, Botswana US$6,700, Angola US$3,600, Zambia US$1,200, Mozambique US$800 and the DRC US$400. (The index didn’t include Malawi, Lesotho and Swaziland.) The report said: ‘Notably, back in 2000, Zimbabwe was one of the wealthiest countries in Sub Saharan Africa on a wealth per capita basis, ranked ahead of the likes of Nigeria, Kenya, Angola, Zambia and Ghana. However, now it is ranked well behind these countries.’ The report continued that contributing factors to Zimbabwe’s poor performance included the erosion of ownership rights which, it said, were key to facilitating wealth creation. ‘Business owners are unsure as to whether their businesses or property will still belong to them a year down the line, which creates a situation where no one will take the chance of investing in the country.’ The report went on to speak of political intimidation, election fixing and the banning of independent media which made it impossible for investors to tell what was happening, and pointed to a brain drain caused by 20% of the population fleeing the country (see: http://www.afrasiabank.com/en/afrasia-bank-africa-wealth-report).
  • A British academic Hazel Cameron, says the UK attempted to cover up the Gukurahundi massacre in the 1980s. She has published a report in the International History Review which she says is based on previously unpublished diplomatic communications from the British High Commission in Harare (see: http://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/zim-massacre-a-british-cover-up-claims-academic-8808460). ‘Cameron found a gold mine, mainly from the US’, says Professor David Moore of the University of Johannesburg.
  • The Vigil knows that the Herald is hardly a reliable source. But we were interested to note its report that national vendors’ chairman Stendrick Zvorwadza is allegedly facing 40 counts of fraud involving the sale of residential stands. The Vigil knows to its own financial cost the dangers of any involvement with this charlatan, who spuriously claims to be head of our sister organisation ROHR (see: http://www.herald.co.zw/zvorwadza-faces-over-40-counts-of-fraud/ and the third bullet point in ‘Other points’ on our diary of 6th August 2016: http://zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/810-vigil-petitions-un-for-transitional-authority--zimbabwe-vigil-diary-6th-august-2016).
  • Our condolences go to Cephas Maswoswa and his family on the loss of his 22-year-old son. While Cephas was with us at the Vigil yesterday he told us his son had been admitted into intensive care at a Johannesburg hospital. We were all hopeful for his recovery so the news of his passing came as a great shock. We will take a collection at next week’s Vigil.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Joseph Chivayo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Chido Makawa, Cephas Maswoswa, Edna Mdoka, Alfredy Mukuvare, Charles Mupawose, Faith Ndhlovu, Sibusiso Ngwenya and Pearl Shambare. Thanks to Pearl, Faith and Cathrine Musa for looking after the front table, to Chido, Isaac Chawasarira, Faith and Cathrine for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Phillip, Alfredy and Joseph for putting up the banners. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 28 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 6th May from 11 am. Venue:  The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
  • 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.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 6th May from 6.30 pm. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. We will move to the RFH at the end of the Vigil at 6 pm.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 13th May from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2016 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/843-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2016. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2016 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages: 
 
Bitter fruits – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 22nd April 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 23 April 2017 20:06

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/34203611685/sizes/m/ 

‘37 years of Zimbabwe Independence’ read one poster. ’37 years of Mugabe slavery’ read another. Exiles in the UK marked Zimbabwe’s national day with a mixture of anticipation and fear – the bitter fruits of ‘liberation’.

The fear was that – despite news of reconciliation between Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube – the opposition was facing an insurmountable obstacle posed by Zanu PF’s control of the election process. ‘The 2018 election results are already declared’, said former Finance Minister Tendai Biti at a meeting in Parliament in London. He said he could not support Tsvangirai and was in favour of a transitional authority to rescue the wreckage of Zimbabwe and prepare for real elections. He insisted that Mnangagwa – the favourite of the West – could play no prominent role in Zimbabwe’s future because of his bloodstained record.

The Vigil has already petitioned the UN to prepare for this to prevent chaos when Mugabe goes. But, as we expected, the UN has not responded. It seems gangster regimes can last forever. It is clear that until international television crews show emaciated bodies lying in the streets or slaughtered opposition members, the UN is content with how the Mugabe mafia is running the country. Indeed, they are prepared to prop it up with aid.

A snapshot of the situation in Zimbabwe was messaged to the Vigil today: ‘Special Appeal Zimbabweans in the Diaspora. Just arrived back from Zim a day ago from attending a family funeral and wld like to let u know that the Cash situation home is really bad. Pliz if u can remember your families back home - it's heartbreaking. Most Banks are giving only $20 a day as and when it's available. Everyone is encouraged to swipe their cards to pay for goods or fuel but there are instances when one needs cash where cards are not acceptable.  Most people spend hours or days going back & forth to the bank and only to get nothing at the end of the day. I broke down in tears whilst doing last minute shopping in one Big Supermarket to bring back and at every corner or aisle within the shop pple were begging for money / cash to just catch a kombi to go home or to travel back to the rural areas. These were well suited working class Pple but reduced to be Beggars - No cash. I am sure every little u can send to your beloved wld help. Surprise someone and God will also surprise u with answers to your cries!! Try Western Union coz it still gives cash to its customers.’

The Vigil’s good news was the success of the Zimpap launch in Mashonaland East in which our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe took a leading role.  ROHR in the UK, which raised funds for the launch, received the following message from Zimbabwe: ‘Today ROHR Zimbabwe and Mash East province made history in Zimbabwe and Africa at large by recruiting more than 500 civilian peace keepers in Mashonaland East (Goromonzi West). The ceremony was attended by hundreds of people across the political divide, including village heads, headman, councillors, business people, CBOs, pastors and soccer players. It was a colourful event and a unique program to Zimbabwe. We are launching ZimPAP in all the 10 provinces, and we are ready to see ROHR roaring in communities. Mashonaland East and ROHR Zimbabwe Chapter will forever be thankful. Thank you, maita tatenda, siyabonga. Zvirambe zvakadaro in all provinces, Together we can. ROHR for peace justice and freedom.’ For stories about the launch, see: http://pamushana.co.zw/zimbabwe-peace-actors-platforms-launch-mash-east-rohr-zimbabwe-international/#sthash.OlmpN751.dpbs and http://www.zimmetro.com/headman-vows-to-end-political-violence/. For photos, see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157679462919964.

Other points

  • The Vigil was pleased that Tendai Biti, at the meeting in Parliament, wore the Vigil cap  which was given to him by Vigil co-ordinator Fungayi Mabhunu.
  • It was good to welcome back Netsayi Makarichi who was released from detention.
  • Particular thanks to Roseline Mukucha who, with others, stepped up, in the absence of one of the Vigil co-ordinators and to Daizy Fabian for making posters for our event to mark Zimbabwe’s 37th ‘non-independence’ day.
  •  Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Mercy Bayipayi, Zodwa Bhebhe, Abigail Chidavayenzi, Daizy Fabian, Deborah Harry, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Alice Majola, Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Margaret Munenge, Patience Muyeye, Lydia Muzvidziwa, Nontokozo Ncube, Sipho Ndlovu, Tsitsi Ndoro, Rumbidzayi Sambana, Maxmus Savanhu, Ephraim Tapa and Portiah Tobaiwa. Thanks to Roseline, Patience and Cathrine Musa for looking after the front table, to Abigal and Nontokozo for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Phillip, Alfredy, Zodwa and Maxmus for putting up the banners. Thanks also to Deborah and Mercy Bayipayi for bringing sadza to raise funds for the Zimpap Project.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 37 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

 
London protest at Zanu PF misrule – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 15th April 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 16 April 2017 15:49

The Vigil is to mark the 37th anniversary of Zimbabwe’s independence by a demonstration outside the Embassy in London next Saturday in protest at Zanu PF’s misrule.

At the same time, Zanu PF in the UK has invited people to join anniversary celebrations they are holding in the small town of Aylesbury some 50 miles from London. They seem to have plenty of money as they are offering ‘free entry, free food, free parking, free entertainment’. Noticeably, they describe themselves as ‘UK based Zimbabweans’; it is only hidden away in small print that the hosts are Zanu PF UK.

Zanu PF have become increasingly emboldened in the UK by the recognition they have been given by the British government, which has allowed blood-stained Zanu PF leaders from Zimbabwe to visit Britain while turning away opposition activists. The reason it gives is that activists don’t have much money and might not return home. Zanu PF ministers, on the other hand, can travel with the resources of the state behind them.

The Vigil is hoping to be joined by South Africans in London, who last week held a big protest against President Zuma outside their Embassy, around the corner from the Vigil.

South Africans are increasingly finding themselves in the same position as Zimbabweans – victims of rapacious and corrupt political elites subverting democracy. We often get South Africans dropping by at the Vigil and look forward to working together with them to deal with our common problems.

It gives us no satisfaction to point out that the Vigil has spent years warning South Africa that if they did not help resolve the Zimbabwean crisis, the problem would increasingly affect them too. If they wish to see their future they need only look to Zimbabwe.

Other points

  • Our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) wants to make it clear that it is not involved with a UK group calling itself Zimbabwe Human Rights Organisation which has hijacked the ROHR name and says it is to demonstrate outside the Zimbabwe Embassy on 18th April. The real ROHR will be joining the Vigil on Saturday.
  • ROHR in Zimbabwe is taking a leading role in a new initiative, a ‘peace bandwagon’, to prevent violence and make space for democracy – the Zimbabwe Peace Actors’ Platform (ZimPAP). The initiative has moved on considerably since it was started in December last year. ZimPAP will be launched in Mashonaland East province on 17th April with a peace soccer tournament and registration of volunteer civilian friends for peace. Here in the UK, ROHR has been actively fundraising for ZimPAP, notably ROHR Reading and ROHR Central London branches.
  • One of the comments we received about last week’s diary was from a Muslim in Zimbabwe who shared our scepticism about plans for Muslim schools announced by Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Lazarus Dokora. The message said: ‘My friends among the small Muslim community here in Mbare must be  bemused  by Dokora's antics. The first time I joined them for the prayers at the opening of Ramadan, I arrived early and found myself in a waiting room with a few young men watching TV until they were ready for prayers. One of them worked for the Nigerian embassy and was collecting funds to help victims of Boko Haram. Another Muslim friend, untrained imam of a small community in Hurungwe / Tengwe, has been trying for years to raise funds to build a mosque. When he was invited to meet Saudi donors in Chinhoyi, he called on me as soon as he got back to say they'd offered him the money. I started congratulating him; he replied "but I refused it. I didn’t like the abusive way they spoke about other believers." Dokora's agenda is, of course, his attempt to prop up Mugabe and Mnangagwa. Fundamentalist Islam is even less hospitable to critical thinking than are the profit ministries. One of our local zany leaders claims to be the biggest local drug supplier; the more intelligent of his colleagues are developing a market for "Broncho for the spirit" which Marx called "opium of the people" and Lenin "a cheap kind of spiritual vodka".’
  • We were interested to see a story on the Zimeye website about the plight of Zimbabweans in the diaspora trying to satisfy the demands made on them by people at home. Much of the story is nonsense but we can confirm from London that many exiled Zimbabweans are feeling this pressure. It has resulted in marriage breakups and even suicides as people try to show they have ‘made it’ here and are asked to provide not only basic needs but even luxuries. The Vigil thinks that Zimbabweans are developing a culture of dependency which stops them trying to solve themselves the problems they are facing.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Abigail Chidavayenzi, Mavis Chisvo, Zondiwe Gumede, Fungayi Mabhunu, Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa, Barnie Mandimika, Nyarai Masvosva, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Margaret Munenge, Virginia Mutyambizi, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Sipho Ndlovu, Rumbidzayi Sambana and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Roseline, Mavis and Daizy Fabian for looking after the front table, to Abigail and Nyarai for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Mduduzi, Alfredy, Barnie, Heather and Chido. for putting up the banners. Thanks also to Abigail for bringing cakes and Lucia Mudzimu for bringing snacks.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 28 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 22nd April rom 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: 4th floor, Blue Side, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. Contact: Daisy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • 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.
  • Protest at Zanu PF misrule. Saturday 22nd April outside the Zimbabwe Embassy London from 2 - 6 pm.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 29th April from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 6th May from 11 am. Venue:  The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2016 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/843-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2016. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2016 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
 
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