Step up Ramaphosa – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 16th February 2019 Print
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Sunday, 17 February 2019 16:07

Mnangagwa’s nickname was never complimentary. Crocodiles are feared not admired. There is certainly much to fear in the hooded eyes of Mnangagwa – and nothing to admire in the bare-faced lies he told French television when he was interviewed at the AU summit in Addis Ababa.

The recent unrest was basically part of the West’s regime-change agenda, he said, engineered by NGOs and the MDC alliance and funded from abroad. The security forces had been the target of co-ordinated violent attacks ‘in every single town’.

As for the women who claimed to have been raped: ‘let them be paraded so we can see them . . . What we are doing is good for our people, good for Zimbabwe’, he declared (see: https://www.france24.com/en/f24-interview/20190210-emmerson-mnagagwa-zimbabwe-protests-interview-mugabe-regime-change-operation).

Well, of course it was good enough for the AU – but the bar there is so low a crocodile can easily slither over it and slurp down another bottle of comfort with his cronies.

Like the AU, SADAC showed no interest in the unrest in Zimbabwe, merely blaming sanctions. As UK-based law lecturer Alex Magaisa observed ‘SADC grabs and elevates Zanu PF's cheap propaganda. No word on the egregious human rights abuses by the security services and Zanu PF sponsored youths, even as they confess. Villains cast as victims, victims as villains. And they expect the world to take them seriously?’ (See: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-156036.html).

But Mnangagwa hasn’t persuaded the West. The EU parliament has now recommended tougher sanctions against Zimbabwe. For its part the United States has called on all sides to come together in a national dialogue. It said: ‘in order for such a dialogue to succeed, the Government of Zimbabwe should end its excessive violence and intimidation, immediately release the civil society activists who have been arbitrarily detained, and hold security force members responsible for human rights violations and abuses accountable’.

It said the dialogue should be mediated by a neutral third party but who could that be? The Vigil thinks its time for Cyril Ramaphosa to take on the burden of Zimbabwe. The future of Zimbabwe and South Africa is inextricably linked and, despite his reluctance, the South African President must try and succeed where Thabo Mbeki failed. 

Other points

  • It was good to have with us Nomusa Dube and others who were protesting against the sale of baby elephants to China by the Zimbabwean government. They said these sales are helping to fund the security forces who so viciously and randomly attacked the citizens of Zimbabwe.
  • Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) has had a letter published in the British Guardian newspaper calling for an independent investigation into the violent repression of Zimbabwean protesters. The letter was signed by Peter Hain, a prominent member of ACTSA’s predecessor the Anti-Apartheid Movement. Among the signatories were the three Vigil co-ordinators (see: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/15/call-for-zimbabwe-to-halt-repression).
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up the table and put up the banners: Josephine Jombe, Rosemary Maponga, Bianca Mpawaenda, Tapiwa Muskwe, Pearl Shambare, Bigboy Sibanda and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Bianca, Josephine, Rosemary and Pearl for looking after the front table, to Bigboy, Tapiwa, Gertrude Mudede, Agnes Mukumba, Kelvin Beja and Farai Mutumburi for handing out flyers and to Jonatha Kariwo for taking photographs.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 22 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 9th March from 11 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625.
  • 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 for £10. 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.
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