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Damning indictment of Mnangagwa – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 27th February 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 28 February 2021 13:51

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/50986305762/sizes/m/

 

One of Zimbabwe’s most venerated musicians, Thomas Mapfumo, has appealed to the international community to act immediately to stop what he called an ‘ever-rising crisis’ in Zimbabwe.

 

Mapfumo, an icon of the liberation struggle, now based in the United States, said Zimbabweans had been ‘sold a dummy’ when Mnangagwa took over after the military coup ousted Mugabe.

 

Mapfumo said Mnangagwa had promised to end corruption within one hundred days, rebuild the economy and promote democracy. Instead his real interest was to acquire power and wealth. ‘His family members and close friends, including Cabinet members, are at the front of most of the corruption scandals that are milking the national coffers.’

 

He continued: ‘Daily, the headlines are about catch and release. This is a scheme to release all fraudsters, using government power. National assets like minerals are now being parcelled among the President, his close friends and family as they divide the wealth with China.’ But, while the US, the EU and the UK were supporting Zimbabweans with aid funds, China was doing ‘very little’.

 

Mapfumo said the police had become corrupt and the judiciary had been captured and were now issuing partisan judgements in favour of Zanu PF. ‘It has also become clear that President Mnangagwa plans to have a one party state in Zimbabwe. He has invested into a number of mechanisms to harass members of the opposition, to infiltrate them using state resources and to disempower and intimidate them.’

 

‘Free speech is now out of reach as many live in fear of being followed or abducted in the open. It is a very dangerous environment now if one tries to belong or to identify with the opposition.’

 

Mapfumo called for the international community to supervise free and fair elections. The appeal came in the form of a letter addressed to international organisations such as the United Nations, the African Union, SADC and the European Union as well as to organisations such as the ANC and the US Congressional Black Caucus (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/mapfumo-calls-for-un-intervention-to-stop-zimbabwes-growing-crisis/).

 

Mapfumo’s intervention comes as the political opposition is being increasingly weakened by internal squabbles and defections to Zanu PF (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/cockpit-conflict-ravages-alliance-as-an-insider-says-we-are-now-a-twitter-party/).

 

Other Points:

  • Zimbabwean refugees in Botswana have petitioned the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to prevent their deportation back ‘to hell’. Some of the hundreds of refugees are army deserters who fled during the Zanu PF political violence in 2008. A statement said the refugees were ‘true enemies’ Zanu PF and would face persecution on their return home (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/zim-army-deserters-fight-deportation-from-botswana/).
  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. 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/72157718459806117. Our virtual Vigil activist today was Margaret Munenge who kindly contributed to Vigil funds.

 

Notices:

  • 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

 
Different worlds – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 20th February 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 21 February 2021 13:41

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/50965510762/sizes/m/

 

Despite the pandemic, Zimbabwe is poised for economic growth this year according to President Mnangagwa. He told the Politburo that the country was progressing from strength to strength.

 

Comrade Mnangagwa said the economy was expected to grow by 7.4%, driven by strong recovery in agriculture, mining, electricity generation, construction, transport and communications as well as finance and insurance.

 

He claimed the government had entrenched the rule of law and constitutionalism, and was attracting more supporters through its ‘consistent culture of hard honest work, transparency, accountability and stronger national institutions’. (See: https://www.herald.co.zw/zim-on-growth-path-president/.)

 

A rather different view of the situation in Zimbabwe was expressed by the European Union’s High Representative who said the country’s multi-faceted and prolonged crisis had further deepened in the past year. ‘The lack of substantial reforms has allowed the continued deterioration of the humanitarian, economic and social situation. Violations of human rights and limitations on the democratic space are also persisting.’

 

The diplomat continued: ‘The EU is especially concerned about a proliferation of arrests and prosecutions of journalists, opposition actors and individuals expressing dissenting views, and the use by high-level officials of speech that could be interpreted as incitement to violence.’

 

A statement added that the EU had decided to renew its arms embargo and maintain a targeted assets freeze against Zimbabwe Defence Industries. This did not affect the people and the EU would continue its development and humanitarian aid. The EU would closely follow developments, with particular attention to the human rights situation (see: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2021/02/19/zimbabwe-declaration-by-the-high-representative-on-behalf-of-the-european-union/).

 

No doubt the wide differences between the contrasting views of the government and the EU will provide further ammunition to the satirists who are becoming increasingly popular in Zimbabwe.

 

Rashweat Mukundu, a media researcher for an NGO, said: ‘Art and comedy have taken a centre stage in political commentary in Zimbabwe. This is mostly due to the repression of the mainstream media. So, people resort to satire to express their frustrations and concerns in a way that makes it difficult for authorities to target them.’ (See: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/comedians-standing-up-to-repression-in-zimbabwe/2149424.)

 

Other Points:

  • MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has urged the international community to stop rubberstamping illegitimate election outcomes. In an article published in the influential UK paper the Guardian, he said that to recognise the outcome of unfair elections such as the one in Uganda last month serves only to entrench authoritarian regimes like the one in Zimbabwe (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/the-international-community-must-stop-legitimising-despots-regimes-in-africa/).
  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. 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/72157718373994703 . Our virtual Vigil activists today were Deborah Harry and Shylette Chipangura who both kindly contributed to Vigil funds.

 

Notices:

  • 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
 
‘State capture on steroids’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 13th February 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 14 February 2021 13:08

A detailed report published by South Africa’s online publication Maverick Citizen examines the extent of the corruption which has reduced Zimbabweans to poverty and despair.

 

The paper speaks of a network of cartels plundering the country. It defines cartels as arrangements ‘characterised by collusion between the private sector and influential politicians to attain monopolistic positions, fix prices and stifle competition’.

 

The activities of cartels involved ‘abuse of power by office holders as a means to generate ill-gotten profits for themselves and their cronies’. As if to highlight this, we learnt this week that known crook Henrietta Rushwaya has been reinstated as president of the Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (see: https://www.zimlive.com/2021/02/09/zimbabwe-miners-federation-re-instates-henrietta-rushwaya-as-president/).

 

Rushwaya, who is close to the Mnangagwa family, was sacked after being arrested at Harare airport trying to smuggle gold to Dubai. She said she had picked up the heavy bag loaded with gold ingots by mistake instead of the light bag with her knickers in. An easy mistake to make! She was released on bail unlike opposition activists who rot in prison awaiting court hearings on trumped-up charges.

 

The massive scale of what is described as ‘state capture on steroids’ is documented in the lengthy report, which names President Mnangagwa as one of the bosses who run lucrative cartels in a wide range of commodities.

 

The report says Zimbabwe may be losing up to half its GDP (the annual value of goods and services produced ) through corrupt economic activity, including US$3 billion in gold and diamonds smuggled out of the country every year.

 

It cites an illicit payment of Zim$3.3 billion made in 2019 to Sekunda, a fuel company owned by Kudakwashe Tagwirei, an ally of Mnangagwa. Sekunda was supposed to receive only Zim$330 million and the shortfall was met by the central bank printing money, causing a massive overnight devaluation of the Zimbabwean dollar. (see: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-02-09-how-cartels-operate-and-their-impact-on-the-people-of-zimbabwe/).

 

The Maverick Citizen editor says the report ‘provides a post mortem on the cancer that killed the Zimbabwean dream of freedom and independence’.

 

Jim Risch, a senior member of the US Senate foreign relations committee, said it ‘exposes the destructive effects that elite cartels play in robbing the country’s future . . . the Zimbabwean people deserve better’.

 

Peter Hain, a former British cabinet minister, describes the report as ‘explosive’ while the MDC Alliance senator David Coltart tweeted: ‘if you are puzzled why such a wealthy country, with such intelligent, well-educated people can be so poor then read this report’. (See: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-02-10-daily-maverick-report-on-zimbabwe-state-capture-gains-international-attention/.)

 

Other Points:

  • A convicted criminal has been appointed the new foreign minister in replacement for General Sibusiso Moyo who died recently of Covid 19. The new minister is Frederick Shava who as a government minister in the 1980s was jailed for involvement in the notorious Willowvale car scandal. Mugabe ordered his release after he spent one night in jail (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/zimbabweans-fume-as-fraud-accused-shava-is-appointed-foreign-minister/).
  • The Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono has been named joint winner of an African journalism prize following his exposures of government corruption in the procurement of Covid 19 medical equipment (see: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/zimbabwe-journalist-wins-award-for-exposing-corruption/2142796).
  • The UN Human Rights Office says it is concerned about reports that the Zimbabwean government is using the pandemic as a pretext to clamp down on freedom of expression (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/un-concerned-as-zim-uses-covid-19-as-excuse-to-stifle-dissent/).
  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. 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.

 

Notices:

  • 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

 
Talks on way forward – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 6th February 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 07 February 2021 16:41

A meeting of church leaders is expected to take place in the coming week aimed at preparing the ground for possible talks between the government, the opposition and other stakeholders on ways of resolving the political crisis in Zimbabwe.

 

The meeting involves representatives of the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD) which includes the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches and the Evangelical Fellowship.

 

ZHOCD’s executive secretary Kenneth Mtata said: ‘The challenges facing the country can only be resolved through a broad-based national dialogue.’ He added that the possibility of engaging SADC would be high on the agenda.

 

 University of Zimbabwe political scientist Eldred Masunungure said: ‘We only hope that Zanu PF and the two MDCs are not speaking in forked tongues and have a genuine appetite for the talks.’

 

Professor Stephen Chan of London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies said it would be a good thing if formal talks were preceded by an informal meeting between Mnangagwa, Chamisa and Mwonzora.

 

The very early talks to end apartheid in South Africa were exactly of this sort of informal, ice-breaking and confidential nature’, he said.’ No one says anything in public afterwards, except to announce that a formal process of dialogue will begin. And, yes, there is no reason why the Church should not act as hosts.’ (See: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/clerics-move-to-kick-start-talksas-national-dialogue-momentum-gathers-steam/.)

 

The Vigil welcomes these efforts to get a dialogue underway but doubt that Mnangagwa and the Zanu PF elite will easily agree to relinquish any power. We believe that Mnangagwa is basically Mugabe the Second and his own interests will come first and last.

 

But there appears to be increasing unease about the situation in Zimbabwe among South African leaders and the UK is applying new pressure for change, imposing sanctions on four more Zimbabwean officials for human rights abuses (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-announces-sanctions-against-zimbabwe-security-chiefs).

 

The UK insists that these targeted sanctions will not affect investment in Zimbabwe and that its aid programme will continue. But Minister for Africa James Duddridge said many investors were shunning Zimbabwe because of concerns over property rights and a compromised judiciary.

 

The UK is committed to supporting Zimbabwe’s long term success. But the onus is on the Zimbabwean government to show it is willing to take steps to make the critical political and economic reforms the country needs. Until then we will not shy away from defending human rights,’ he said (see: https://www.zimlive.com/2021/02/04/uk-investors-shunning-zimbabwe-over-property-rights-says-minister/).

Other Points:

 

Notices:

  • 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

 
Send in the clowns – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 30th January 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 02 February 2021 12:02

When the Titanic was sinking and the lifeboats were being launched the ship’s captain sought first to protect the most vulnerable people: ‘women and children first’, he ordered.

 

When the UK began its Covid-19 vaccine inoculations two months ago it had already worked out its priority cases. People in care homes and those over 80 years old were top of the list along with front-line health workers most exposed to infection, to be followed by people over 70 and so on.

 

Some may ask: what use is someone taking up space in a care home or, for that matter, anyone over 80? Surely we should give the vaccine to important people? Well that is the choice made by President Mnangagwa’s regime: government ministers are to be vaccinated first, followed by MPs, top government officials and the military then front-line health workers.

 

Among the priority cases presumably is the Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri who has embarrassed  the government by accusing our all-weather friend China of being responsible for the outbreak. She is a notorious loudmouth; last year she welcomed the spread of the virus in the US saying it was God’s punishment for imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe. (See: https://www.voanews.com/africa/zimbabwe-minister-accuses-china-manufacturing-covid-19.)

 

Muchinguri, who is also head of the cabinet taskforce on Covid-19, has however said she herself will not take any vaccine that is not developed in Zimbabwe. She may have a bit of wait as laboratories in Zimbabwe seem to be preoccupied with issuing fake Covid-19 test results bought by hopeful travellers. (See: https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/africa/2021-01-28-probe-into-fake-covid-19-test-result-claims-launched-in-zimbabwe/.)

 

Another priority case is the government’s information chief Nick Mangwana, who recently described doctors as ‘medical assassins’ – perhaps unwise if he is to bare his naked arm to one of them . . .

 

MDC Alliance Treasurer David Coltart said he was not surprised by the government’s priorities: ‘Cabinet ministers will get the Covid-19 vaccine first in Zimbabwe. No mention of the elderly or vulnerable. No mention of teachers so that children can get back to school. If true it doesn’t surprise me. Zanu PF are only interested in self-preservation.’ (See: https://www.thezimbabwean.co/2021/01/anger-over-govt-plan-to-only-give-vaccine-to-ministers-soldiers-mps-and-top-officials/.)

 

But the main question is when the third world will actually get vaccines in any quantity. The European Union is already freaking out over its failure to vaccinate enough of its own population because of a shortage of supplies.

 

The next few months will be a rocky time on the pandemic front but new vaccines are being approved and production is being rapidly scaled up. The Zimbabwean government will not get all supplies for nothing. It will have to find the money to buy some. Perhaps it should follow the advice of the former American state department official, Todd Moss, who says Zimbabwe should stop spending millions of dollars hiring public relations firms and lobbyists to try to change US policy. ‘It’s a complete waste of money and so I don’t expect to see those approaches bearing any fruits under the Biden administration.’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/01/us-sanctions-to-stay/.)

 

Other Points:

  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. 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.

 

Notices:

  • 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
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