Time running out – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 7th December 2019 Print
Sunday, 08 December 2019 20:14

Two years after the ousting of Mugabe and the ushering in of the Mnangagwa regime, nothing has changed for the better in Zimbabwe. If anything, things have got worse.

The economy has collapsed as hyperinflation again takes hold, blamed on ‘an unsustainable import bill, corruption, externalization of money, coupled with the printing of electronic money’ (see: https://www.fin24.com/Economy/Africa/its-official-hyperinflation-has-returned-to-zimbabwe-20191012).

For all his talk of a new dispensation, Mnangagwa has followed the same reckless path as Mugabe. While Zimbabweans starve or die from the failure of the health system, Mnangagwa has wasted millions on extravagant travel expenses, hiring a plane at US$30,000 a n hour to fly him to more than 40 destinations in the first eight months of the year, often taking large parties with him on lavish expenses (see: https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2019/12/06/mnangagwa-gobbles-over-us114m-on-foreign-trips/).

The pretext is that he is touting for foreign investment but only gangster regimes would invest in the corrupt Zimbabwe that Zanu PF has created. Even the Chinese now hesitate to risk more of their money. Of course we have the full support of Africa, but it seems they are not tempted to put their money where their mouth is. South African companies are instead pulling out.

Businessman and former MDC MP Eddie Cross says the situation simply cannot go on like this. He called on the government to get corruption and all forms of human rights abuse under control to set Zimbabwe on the road to recovery and growth.

For its part, the European Union said escalating human rights violations were at the top of the agenda at a recent meeting with government in Harare. EU Ambassador Timo Olkkonen said Zimbabwe was urged to expedite political reforms (see: https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2019/12/06/eu-takes-zim-govt-on-over-rights-abuses/).

Other points

  • Despite the cold weather our faithful English supporter, the blind journalist, David Wilkins, spent the afternoon at the Vigil and went on afterwards to a fundraising dinner dance organised by our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe to raise funds for a Zimbabwe peace-building initiative.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up the front table and put up the banners: Charles Mararirakwenda, Lucia Mudzimu, Farai Mutumburi, Hazvinei Saili, Ephraim Tapa and Kevin Wheeldon. Thanks to Hazvinei, Farai and David Wilkins for looking after the front table, to Lucia for handing out flyers and to Yvonne Makombe and Molly Ngavaimbe for drumming. A special thank you to Pamela Chirimuta for buying burgers, fries, wraps and drinks for our cold, hungry activists.
  • 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: 14 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 14th December from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058109.
  • 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.
  • 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