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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 26th September 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 27 September 2009 18:10

A triumphant cheer with exuberant ululating greeted two members of the Vigil management team, Dumi Tutani and Luka Phiri, when they arrived at the Vigil after completing a 55-mile sponsored walk from Brighton on the south coast. Despite their exhaustion, they immediately joined in the celebratory dancing.   

They had set off just before 5 am and covered the distance (twice the length of a marathon) in thirteen and a half hours including two short breaks.   “I really enjoyed it” said Dumi, wearing a Vigil tshirt. “People were very supportive as we passed by”. Luka, whose idea it was, could not suppress a huge grin. 

The walk was to raise funds to help a Zimbabwean girl with a severe facial tumour who is coming to the UK for urgent medical treatment. The girl, Taremeredzwa Nomatter Mapungwana, is supported by the Zimbabwean charity Girl Child Network (http://girlchildnetworkworldwide.org/). Tare is to have an operation soon at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London 

Dumi and Luka were greeted at the Vigil by Betty Makoni, founder of Girl Child Network, who was warm in her praise. “Because of your walk people here have now heard of our work”. 

Betty addressed the Vigil about her experience as an activist on women’s issues. She said she had been forced to flee Zimbabwe because of her role in helping women victims of political violence.  She said one woman she had helped had been traumatized by being raped by 18 soldiers. Another, who was pregnant when she was raped, had been so badly injured that the doctor she was taken to in Botswana had cried. A recent appeal for help had been from a woman on her deathbed as a result of injuries sustained in June last year.  She added that women that had been raped didn’t find it easy to share their stories. 

Betty said rape had been used as a weapon of war since 2002 and women and their families were still being harassed and intimidated. Husbands would be taunted by the perpetrators, who believed they could act with impunity While Betty spoke to the Vigil about the situation in Zimbabwe a different picture was being painted at a conference elsewhere in London addressed by representatives of the Zimbabwe government trying to get the diaspora to invest back home – despite the clear absence of the rule of law displayed so eloquently by Mugabe’s xenophonic ranting at the UN.  

We had a good attendance despite many Restoration of Human Rights supporters attending a ROHR fundraising party in Birmingham. 

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

FOR THE RECORD:  170 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·         ROHR Bournemouth general meeting. Saturday 3rd October from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: East Cliff Reformed Church, Holdenhurst Road, BH8 8AW. Contact: Mike Mhene 07774521837, Abigail Nzimba 07917458873, Gift Pfupa 07909831158, Sekai Mujeyi
07765244138 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070
·         ROHR Surrey & Hants general meeting. Saturday 3rd October from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: 10 Elmdene Court, Constitution Hill, Woking, Surrey, GU22 7SA. Contact: Isacc Mudzamiri 07774044873, Thoko Hlokama 07886203113, Thandi Mabodoko 01483600201, 01483826764 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070. Feedback from the Chair's meeting held in Coventry
 
·         Zimbabwe Vigil – 7th Anniversary. Saturday 10th October at 6.30 pm.  The Vigil started on 12th October 2002 and we are marking this anniversary on the nearest Saturday to that date.  There will be a social gathering after the Vigil, downstairs at the Bell and Compass, 9-11 Villiers Street, London WC2N 6NA, next to Charing Cross Station at the corner of Villiers Street and John Adam Street
.
·         ROHR West Bromwich general meeting. Saturday 31st October from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall
Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF. ROHR Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo 07817096594 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 0793221607
·         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).
·         From Liberator to Dictator by Mike Auret. This is a personal account of the unravelling of Zimbabwe, written by an insider who was prepared to keep faith with Robert Mugabe until it was almost too late. Michael Auret served for many years on Zimbabwe's respected Catholic Commission of Justice and Peace, which worked tirelessly to defend human rights in that country. In this memoir, he traces his involvement in the politics of his country, from his days as an opposition MP in Ian Smith's Rhodesia
to his involvement with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and his election as MP for Harare Central in the brutal election of 2000. http://www.newafricabooks.co.za/books_detail.asp?ID=499. 
·         Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. More information: http://www.citizensforsanctuary.org.uk/pages/Strategic.html or contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  

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