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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 23rd January 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 24 January 2010 16:24

Given all the attention paid in Zimbabwe to the recent comments by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, Vigil supporters were surprised that commentators only seem to have noticed his rather obvious remarks about sanctions. What was much more interesting to us was his praise of President Zuma’s Zimbabwe policy.  Answering questions in Parliament, Mr Miliband said ‘President Zuma is playing a careful hand, and he is playing it rather skilfully’.  

What does he mean?  We know Mr Zuma has said he wants elections to resolve the Zimbabwe situation next year. No more dilly-dallying: ‘park’ disagreements. South Africans have always had a reputation for ‘making a plan’ and we hope that President Zuma will soon explain what he has in his ‘careful hand’.  

In particular, the Vigil wants to know how he will ensure that the Zimbabwe elections are free and fair given the refusal of Zanu-PF to relinquish power and its readiness to use violence. When we know this we can assess how ‘skillfully’ he is playing his hand.  The Vigil would like to welcome President Zuma as a friend when he visits London in March. This is on the understanding that by then he will have answered satisfactorily our question: ‘What is your plan?’ 

In the coming week Vigil supporters will be attending a meeting in Parliament of the committee looking into aid to Zimbabwe (see below for details). The Vigil has already pointed out to the committee our view that there should be no relaxation of pressure on Zanu PF to honour what they have already agreed in the GPA.   

We were happy that we have been able to help the launch of a Swazi Vigil in London. They are to protest outside the Swazi High Commission (see below for details) every Saturday in support of freedom. We are sure Zimbabweans will support a struggle against an autocratic ruler (and friend of Mugabe) who would starve his people to pay for a Boeing for his wives.  

Good news this week is that a consignment of sports equipment and stationery from the Vigil has arrived in Zimbabwe.  This is thanks to a class at the Dolphin School, Battersea, and their teacher Steve Garvey.  Through their fundraising efforts they collected around £900. Thanks especially to Fungayi Mabhunu who sourced and purchased all the goods, helped by Arnold Kuwewa.  Thanks also to Chipo Chaya and Moses Kandiyawo who helped Fungayi dispatch the goods.  Four schools have been selected by Vigil team members to receive the equipment and we will keep you informed of deliveries to the schools.  We are hoping that penpal friendships will result between pupils at these schools and the pupils of the Dolphin School. 

Some other points:
1.       ‘Don’t worry you are going to win’ – that was the cryptic message given by a passer-by to one of our regulars, Francesca Toft.
2.       Vigil supporters are planning to go to Chatham House on 3rd February to hear Sekai Holland talking about national healing.  Josephine Zhuga of the Vigil will be there to ask if she can have back her house stolen by a Zimbabwean policeman.
3.       Thanks to Loveness Chikwanje who was with us at the start, helped throughout and packed up at the end.   

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

FOR THE RECORD: 160 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·           Parliamentary Committee on DFID’s assistance to Zimbabwe.  Tuesday 26th January at 10.30 am. Venue: Committee Room 5, House of Commons. Access via St Stephen’s Gate – leave enough time to clear security. See: http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/international_development/future_meetings.cfm. You can watch the committee proceedings on: www.parliamentlive.tv. Nearest station: Westminster.
·           Launch of Swazi Vigil. Saturday 30th January from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.  Please support our Swazi friends. They intend to hold weekly Vigils on Saturdays– same time and venue. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. http://www.swazilandvigil.co.uk/
·           ROHR Swansea general meeting. Saturday 30th January from 1 – 4 pm. Venue: tba. Contact: Kudzai Ruzvidzo 07824967317 or Phillip Mpukutsa 07999615868. Future meeting on Saturday 27th February.
·           ROHR West Bromwich general meeting. Saturday 30th January from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF.  Contact: Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo 07817096594 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·           ROHR Brighton general meeting.  Saturday 30th January from 1 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Community Base, 113 Queens Road, Brighton BN13XG. ROHR Executive representative present. Contact: Sinikiwe Dube 07824668763, Wellington Mamvura 07949595506 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070. Future meetings to be held on Saturdays 27th February and 27th March – same time and venue. 
·           ROHR Liverpool Demonstration. Saturday 6th February from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark) Liverpool City Centre. Next demonstration on Saturday 20th February. Same venue and time.  For Details contact: Desire Chimuka 07917733711, Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Patrick Kushonga 07900857605, Trywell Migeri 07956083758.
·           ROHR Stoke-On-Trent general meeting. Saturday 13th February from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Children and Young People Service, West Team, Shelton Centre, Crowther Street, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 2ER. Substantive committee to be elected. Executive members present on the day.  Contact: Pauline Mutema on 07850462301, Agnes Chivhimbo 07908447037, Joana Zhira 07845896347, Farirai Muchibwa 07746628397
·           ROHR Hayes fundraising party. Saturday 27th February from 3 pm till late. Venue: Coronation Hall, Stoke Road, Water Eaton, Bletchley, Milton Keynes MK2 3AB. Admission £7.50 including food (lots of traditional food: Mazondo, Maguru mubhoora and all). Fashion show. Zim Music. Raffle: tickets £5. Prizes include: computer, printer, mobile handset, DVD player. To be drawn at 10.30 pm. Nearest station: Bletchley. Bus number 5 from central Milton Keynes or Bletchley. For more info contact Rodah Kuhlengisa 07958205544, Charity Nyamuzuwe 07898765091, Snodia Chihowa 07852921523, Martha Jiya 07727016098 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·           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 .
·           For Motherland ENT’s videos of the Vigil on 26/12/2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdPsBsief0s and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX6sv2T9gwk).  

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