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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 2nd May 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 03 May 2009 15:02
A warm, sunny day – a promise of summer – cheered us up despite the frustrating news: no money for Zimbabwe and no real prospect of any while Mugabe remains in charge. Big surprise! 

Three months into the ‘unity’ government and there is still no agreement on crucial matters which should have been resolved at the beginning. People at the Vigil say SADC must intervene and ensure compliance with the global political agreement. 

Finance Minister Tendai Biti says the IMF estimates it will take 45 billion US dollars and five years to restore Zimbabwe to its position in 1995! Unless an immediate start is made even this target could be beyond hope.  

The Vigil believes SADC is responsible for allowing this situation to develop and must now follow up on its guarantee of the agreement. We accept Southern African countries do not have the financial resources to rescue Zimbabwe but recent comments by Zambia’s President Banda suggest they don’t have the understanding either.  Still, let’s see what Zuma will do before we lose all hope. 

Other points:
1.       The Vigil is encouraged that more organizations are taking up the humanitarian question of Zimbabwean jails. We salute Roy Bennett, Deputy Agriculture Minister-designate for calling for an amnesty for minor offenders to relieve congestion. We are also heartened to hear that the Red Cross is going in to Zimbabwean prisons to report on conditions.
2.       A British woman of Caribbean descent expressed amazement when she saw our photographs of conditions in Zimbabwe. She said ‘Mugabe must be mad’ – a further indication that support for Mugabe is fading.
3.       Vigil management member Patson Muzuwa reminded supporters of the ‘Strangers into Citizens’ rally on bank holiday Monday – see for your diary below for details. 
4.       Another reminder to supporters of the Mbira concert at SOAS next week – see below for details.
5.      
We have been contacted by the International Organisation for Migration in London about a programme to help bring back on a short-term basis Zimbabwean health professionals and lecturers to support health institutions and the University Of Zimbabwe College Of Health Sciences. For more information check: http://www.iomlondon.org/zim/zim.html. 

For latest Vigil pictures checkour pictures page.

FOR THE RECORD: 272 signed the register. 

FOR YOUR DIARY:
·         Central London Zimbabwe
Forum. Monday 4th May. No forum because it’s a public holiday.
·         Strangers into Citizens’ Rally. Bank Holiday Monday 4th May at 12 noon in Trafalgar Square.  Meet in Tothill Street SW1 at 11.30 for walk to Trafalgar Square. The event is preceded by services in several churches including Westminster Cathedral, St Margaret’s, Parliament Square, and Central Hall, Westminster. For more information: www.strangersintocitizens.org.uk.
·         Mbira Seminar and Concert: Friday and Saturday 8th and 9th May. Seminar on Friday from 3-6 pm in the Khalili Lecture Theatre. Concert on Saturday at 7 pm in the Brunei Gallery. Entrance free. Address: School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG. Features Professor Paul Berliner (Duke University) and Zimbabwean mbira dzaVadimu master Cosmas Magaya.
·         ROHR Derby launch meeting. Saturday 9th May from 1 – 6 pm. Venue: The Community Block, Pear Tree Community Junior School, Pear Tree Street, Derby DE23 8PN. Free parking. Contact: Tsitsi Razawe 07853508681, Chipo Nhandara 07767335586 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·         ROHR Cambridge general meeting. Saturday 16th May from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Arbury Community centre, Campkin Road, Cambridge CB4 2LD. Substantive committee to be elected. The ROHR President and his executive and a well known lawyer will be present. Get advice and learn more about your rights. Contact: Josephart Hapazari 07782398725, Maggie Jenkins 07894064600, A Mubaiwa 07846170094 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·         ROHR Milton Keynes launch meeting. Saturday 23rd May. Venue: The Old Bath House, 205 Stratford Road, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5RL. Contact Martha Jiya  07727016098, Josephine Sibongile Phiri 07853572982 / 07930276126, P Mandere 07946717754 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·         First Zimbabwe Vigil Forum. Saturday 23rd May at 6.30 pm. Upstairs at the Theodore Bullfrog, John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.
·         Service of solidarity with the torture survivors of Zimbabwe.  Friday 26th June from 7 – 8 pm. Venue: Southwark Cathedral. This is the 8th year the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum has marked UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. For more information, visit: http://www.hrforumzim.com.
·         Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays). 

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