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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 6th February 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 07 February 2010 16:14
Every week another petition. It must seem so if you read last week’s diary. We spend long cold hours outside Zimbabwe House telling the passing world what is going on in Zimbabwe and normally run two petitions at a time. Sometimes we have a lively debate about them with passers-by; people from all over the world are concerned.

Last week the Vigil announced the launch of a new petition demanding elections in Zimbabwe as soon as possible because of Mugabe’s failure to honour the Global Political Agreement. This week we sent Morgan Tsvangirai a petition we have been running for several months urging the MDC to stop co-operating with Mugabe. The petition 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.’

Here is what we said in our letter to Mr Tsvangirai:  ‘Enclosed is a petition signed by hundreds of people passing by the Zimbabwe Vigil outside Zimbabwe House in London.  We note that the MDC’s partial withdrawal from government late last year prompted new moves by the Southern African Development Community and we urge you to do the same again in the hope that SADC will again intervene to ensure either that Zanu-PF complies with the GPA or that elections are called soon under international supervision.’

It will give Mr Tsvangirai something to read given that all ZANU PF ministers have been told not to report to the Prime Minister in future. He might like to consider his position  in the light of the AU summit’s backing of Mugabe  and the election of Mugabe’s client, President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi (absentee owner of a  Zimbabwean farm), as the organisation’s new Chair. It was ironic but predictable that Zimbabwe was elected to the AU’s ‘Peace and Security Council’ – a resounding vote of confidence in Zanu PF’s gangster regime.

The Vigil noted the demise of NEPAD at the AU summit. It was said that ‘it couldn't deliver a single project during the last decade.’ Remember NEPAD (New Economic Partnership for African Development)? It was a brainchild of South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki and promised good governance in Africa in return for aid. Remember Mbeki? He is the man responsible for keeping the Mugabe regime in power, with the help of it seems of Rwandan genocidaires. 

For us at the Vigil things fell into place when we saw a report from the Rwandan New Times (http://allafrica.com/stories/201002030876.html) that a top genocide suspect is working for Mugabe along with several thousand compatriots from Rwanda. They apparently live in fear of being sent home so will do anything to keep him in power, plumbing new depths of bestiality. We noted during the last elections that torture victims spoke of being abused by people who could not speak English or the Zimbabwean vernacular languages. We assumed at the time that they were Angolans.

We doubt the British parliamentary team considering aid for Zimbabwe had an opportunity to meet these Rwandan killers during the team’s brief visit to Zimbabwe. But they may have learnt something of the looting of the Marange diamonds and the power it has given to the Zanu PF mafia. They might also have noticed the publicity about the Zimbabwe Presidential scholarships. These are supposed to be paid for by Mugabe but in fact come from aid money and go to the children of top Zanu-PF people so that they can study abroad.  Zimbabwean student leaders are angry that the money is not at least spent to prop up the decrepit Zimbabwean education system.

It was lovely to have some sunshine even though it got bitterly cold when the sun set. 

Some other points:
  • The new Swazi Vigil was grateful to Sue Toft of our management team who bought four Swazi flags for them to display to compensate for the Swazi High Commission lowering their flag last week at the launch of their Vigil. The Swazi Vigil was joined by a family who spoke about how they had suffered under King Mswati’s autocratic rule and how a relative had been murdered.
  • We were pleased to be visited by Bahar Milani and Armin HZ from Iran Solidarity UK – especially in view of the closer relations between Zimbabwe and Iran. They have asked for our support for a demonstration outside the Iranian Embassy in London (see Events and Notices section for details). Bahar tells us they have prepared a poster showing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shaking Mugabe’s hand.
  • It was good to welcome the Reverend Bonnet Moyo and Pastor Lucky Siyafa of the Southend Brethren in Christ Church who prayed with Vigil supporters for the deliverance of Zimbabwe.
  • Another visitor was Dr Tim of ZBN News who has launched ZimVigil TV from footage he took at the Vigil today, Check: http://www.zbnnews.com/home/index=108. ZBN News have been tireless in filming human rights events and activists in the UK to help publicise the plight of Zimbabwe.
  • Mathias Makozhombwe of Motherland ENT has produced another video of the Vigil. This was filmed last week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeI4veVo0H0. 

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

FOR THE RECORD:  204 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
  • 'Truth be Told? Debating the Human Rights Record of the Exiled Liberation Movements of Southern Africa'. Wednesday 10th February at 5pm. Venue: Keynes Lecture Theatre, King’s College, Cambridge. The seminar is chaired by Martin Plaut, Africa Editor, BBC World Service News and participants include Professors Jocelyn Alexander (Oxford), Saul Dubow (Sussex), and Stephen Ellis (African Studies Centre, Leiden & Free University Amsterdam) with Paul Trewhela, author of ‘Inside Quatro: Uncovering the Exile History of the ANC and SWAPO’
  • Iran Solidarity Protest. Thursday 11th February from 4 – 8 pm.  Venue: opposite the Iranian Embassy, 16 Prince’s Gate London SW7 1PT. (Between Knightsbridge and High Street Kensington Tube Stations.) Iranians are demonstrating for human rights and freedom on the day the Islamic Republic of Iran celebrates its ‘Islamic Revolution’s Victory Day’. For more information, contact: 07507978745, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   or check: http://iransolidarity.blogspot.com/.
  • ROHR Stoke-On-Trent general meeting. Saturday 13th February from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Shelton Centre, Crowther Street, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 2ER. Substantive committee to be elected. Executive members present. Contact: Pauline Mutema on 07850462301, Agnes Chivhimbo 07908447037, Joana Zhira 07845896347, Farirai Muchibwa 07746628397.
  • ROHR North London general meeting. Saturday 13th February from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, Tottenham, London N17 6QN. Closest Station: Seven Sisters. From Seven Sisters towards Tottenham three stops on Buses 123, 149, 256, 349, 341 and 476. Contact:  Gladys Mapanda 07877670522, Valarie Chengaose 07956586377, Nobuhle Ndlovu 07949588597 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
  • ROHR Liverpool demonstration. Saturday 20th February from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark) Liverpool City Centre. For details please contact: Desire Chimuka 07917733711, Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Patrick Kushonga 07900857605, Trywell Migeri 07956083758.
  • ROHR Luton (Bedfordshire) launch meeting. Saturday 20th February from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Bury Park Community Resource Centre, 161 Dunstable Road, Luton LU1 1BW. Milton Keynes Branch in support. ROHR Executive members present and a chance to buy raffle tickets for Hayes fundraising do on 27th February. Contact Edson Kureva on 07767773949, Martha Jiya 07727016098 or P Mapfumo 0791596323 / 07932216070. The car park at the back of the community centre in Avondale Road is available.
  • ROHR Leeds general meeting. Saturday 20th February from 1.30 – 4 pm. Venue: Dock Green Inn, Leeds LS9 7AB. Contact: Wonder M Mubaiwa 07958758568, Donna Mugoni (Chair Wakefield), 07748828913, Prosper Mudamvanji 07846621050, Beauty Sikosana 07940181761, David Munemo 07963708923 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
  • 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 £10. 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.
  • ROHR Stevenage & Hatfield (Hertfordshire) general meeting. Saturday 6th March from 1.30 – 6 pm. Venue: Poplars Bandley Hill Community Centre, Magpie Crescent, Stevenage SG2 9RZ. ROHR executive present and respected guests. Contact: Kennedy Mashonganyika 079623838720, Jemtiasi Mare 07909338769, Bertha Mwatse 07404112684, Clarkson Shumbanhete 07958550506 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
  • ROHR Sheffield launch meeting. Saturday 13th March. Venue: Ruby Lounge, 35 Carver Street, Sheffield S1 4FS. Come and share ideas on how we can tackle the human rights abuses of our fellow countrymen. ROHR President & Executive present together with some VIPs. Contact: Prosper Mudamvanji 07846621050, Raymond B Jonga 07729472879 or P Mapfumo 7915926323 / 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 30/01/2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeI4veVo0H0 and 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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