Zanu PF on war footing – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 18th June 2022 Print
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