Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 17th October 2009 Print
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Sunday, 18 October 2009 16:45

Prompted by the vindictive persecution of Roy Bennett – who was one of the people who first suggested the Vigil – we have launched a new petition calling for a more robust approach to Mugabe. It reads: “Petition to the Zimbabwean Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai. We urge you to refuse to co-operate with President Mugabe until he respects the rule of law and complies fully with the agreement under which the Zimbabwean coalition government was formed in February.”

We know Tsvangirai has already adopted this attitude but unfortunately he has a record of flip-flopping and we have worded the petition this way in case he changes his mind next week.
But we were pleased that he has at last taken the gloves off. People who discussed the matter at the Vigil thought that Tsvangirai has nothing to lose. Donor countries have clearly not bought his previous line that things were going well with the inclusive government and he was rapidly losing credibility. So we were relieved when Morgan stood his ground and challenged Mugabe over the jailing of Bennett. Mugabe blinked first and Bennett was released. The Vigil believes that Mugabe must be confronted on every front with the prospect of the interim government collapsing if he does not meet the MDC’s legitimate expectations. 

Vigil supporters were encouraged by Botswana President Ian Khama’s comment that he would not recognise Mugabe as President if Zanu-PF was left to rule alone. He said Mugabe was not elected President. We believe that if the interim government collapses it would present SADC and the AU with a problem they could no longer duck.  

It was another boisterous Vigil as we embarked on our 8th year. An Australian came by and signed our petitions and said he was an adviser to the Australian Prime Minister and would tell him about our demands. 

Last week’s Mugabe shopping expedition at Harrods was widely followed on the internet. There were three times the normal amount of hits on our photo website – which means people all over the world found the shopping expedition entertaining. Or it might just be the CIO . . . .

Going through the register we see that lots of people came down from Liverpool last week. We are pleased to announce that RORH Liverpool are to have regular fortnightly demonstrations there. The first one is next Saturday, 24th October.  Please check ‘Events and Notices’ for time and venue.

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

FOR THE RECORD:  188 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Liverpool Branch First Demonstration. Saturday 24th October from 2 – 4 pm. Venue: Liverpool City Centre outside Primark.  Demonstrations will be held fortnightly. ROHR Leicester relaunch meeting. Saturday 24th October. Venue: Bishop Street Methodist Church,10 Bishop Street, Leicester, LE 1 6AF. NB. No parking at the venue; please use NCP / Dover / Haymarket / City Council parking spaces. ROHR President and UK Executive present. Speakers to include: Rev Jill Marsh (Methodist Church), Celia Fisher (Leicester Aids Support Services). Contact: Dennis Sibanda 07901742649, Dr N Masamvi 07825525834, L Maposa 07837788807, F Mzemba 07932449899, G Mutimukulu 07508029001, N Maziso 07732545514, A Mutambira 07768610423 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
  • Southern Africa: Democracy and Development. Saturday 31st October at 2 pm.Venue: Unite, 128 Theobald’s Road, London WC1X 8TN. Will Zimbabwe's unity government collapse? When will the world wake up to the situation in Swaziland?  ACTSA's Annual Conference will feature leading southern African trade unionists who will discuss key issues from the region, especially on democracy and development in Zimbabwe and Swaziland. Confirmed speakers include: Vimbai Mushongera, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, and Vincent Dlamini, Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions. A British Government minister has also been invited.  For more information please visit: http://www.actsa.org/page-1421-Annual_General_Meeting.html
  • 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
  • ROHR Liverpool general meeting. Saturday 7th November from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: 80 Aspen Grove, Toxteth, Liverpool, L7 0ST. T-shirts available for only £10.00. NEW MEMBERS ARE VERY WELCOME. Contact: Desire Chimuka 07917733711, Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Patrick Kushonga 07900857605, Trywell Migeri 07956083758.
  • ROHR North London launch meeting. Saturday 7th November from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, Tottenham, London N17 6QN, Nearest Tube Station: Seven Sisters, then buses towards Tottenham, 3rd Bus Stop from 7 Sisters Station. Routes: 123, 149, 259,279, 349, 476, 341 243. Contact: Gladys Mapanda 07877670522, Collin Chitekwe  07957712691,  Valerie Chengaose 07956586377, Bekithemba Nyahwa 07534905348, P Mapfumo 07915926323 or Phyllis Chibanguza 07908406069
  • 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).
  • 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. For 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
  • Vote for Betty Makoni of Girl Child Network as one of CNN’s top ten heroes of 2009 via this link: http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cnn.heroes/
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