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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 18th July 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 19 July 2009 11:23

We were pleased to learn that several Vigil supporters have recently been given their papers to remain in the UK – despite the confusion caused by Morgan Tsvangirai’s remarks at Southwark Cathedral during his London visit. 

Vigil management team member Patson Muzuwa told us he had attended three asylum tribunal hearings in which the judges had pointed to Mr Tsvangirai’s appeal to people to return home and also to the fact that the MDC UK Representative Hebson Makuvise (Mr Tsvangirai’s uncle), who had been given refugee status here, had returned home safely. Ironically, Patson was able to provide the tribunals with evidence from the MDC itself that human rights abuses were continuing and the judges expressed horror at the situation.   

We are also told that the Home Office has been asking asylum seekers whether they ‘bought’ support letters from the Vigil. One lady said she had been able to assure the authorities that the Vigil did not ‘sell’ letters and explained our position as laid out in our diary of 27th June. We charge a small fee to cover our administration expenses (paper, printer cartridges, phone calls, postage, expenses involved in keeping a computer record of attendance etc) as we are entirely self-funding. We published full details because we wanted our policy to be known widely to counteract malicious allegations by some (including supposedly MDC) people here. They appear to be panicking because our partner organisation, Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe, is rapidly growing in popularity.  On one recent Saturday there were 6 ROHR meetings in various parts of the UK and the recent launch of the ROHR Hatfield branch drew 80 people.  It seems our critics will stop at nothing to try and damage us. They appear to have learnt quite a lot from Zanu-PF.  

Apart from our usual banners and posters calling for Mugabe to go, supporter Brian Sibanda brought a new one which everyone thought was apposite given the fuss over Mr Tsvangirai’s London speech. It said simply ’booing is also freedom of expression’. 

On his 91st birthday, Vigil supporters sent their congratulations to Nelson Mandela. He asked people to spend 67 minutes (representing the 67 years he has spent serving humanity) doing something for their community to mark the occasion.  Well, we spent 240 minutes on the streets of London doing our bit for the people of Zimbabwe, as we have for the last seven years. 

On a lovely warm day we were pleased to be joined by Sue, now recovered after her successful eye operation. She said how pleased she was to be back. We were doubly lucky because, no sooner had we packed up, than it started to rain. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/ 

FOR THE RECORD:  153 signed the register.

 FOR YOUR DIARY:
·         Zimbabwe Vigil Forum. Saturday 25th July at 6.30 pm. Upstairs at the Theodore Bullfrog, John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.
·         ROHR Brighton general meeting. Saturday, 25th July from 2.00 – 4.00 pm. Venue: The Community Base, Queens Road, Brighton. Contact Sinikiwe Dube 07824668763, Sehlaphi Mpofu 07786164808, Wellington Mamvura 07956870547 or Phylis Chibanguza 07908406069.
·         ROHR Derby general meeting. Saturday, 25th July from 1.30 – 5.30 pm.Venue: The Community Block, Pear Tree Community Junior School, Pear Tree Street, Derby DE23 8PN. Free Parking. Contact: Tsitsi Razawe 07773649330, Wonder Katurura 07858699224, Phenias Tutayi 07825524519.
·        
ROHR Stoke-On-Trent general meeting. Saturday 1st August 2009 2 00 – 5 00 pm. Venue: Mandela Club Restaurant, 66-68 Piccadilly Street, Hanley, Stoke-On-Trent ST1 1HX. Contact: Pauline Mutema 07850462301, Joana Zhira 07845896347and Farirai Muchibwa 07746628397.
·         ROHR Hayes and Northolt launch meeting. Saturday 8th August from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Brookside Community Centre, Hayes UB4 0PL. ROHR President and a well known lawyer present. Contact Snodia Chihowa 07852921523, Juliet Musandiriri 07551319522, Rodah Kuhlengisa 07958205544 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·         ROHR Milton Keynes general meeting.  Saturday 15th August from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Old Bath House Community Centre, 205 Stratford Road, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5RL (near Tesco and 2 mins away from Wolverton train station). Contact Punish Mandere 07883071990, Martha Jiya 07727016098, Josephine S Phiri 07853572982, Diana Satumba 07737879653.
·         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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