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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 27th February 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 28 February 2010 17:29

Vigil supporters discussed President Zuma’s state visit to the UK. We were surprised that, on the eve of his visit, he called for the lifting of EU targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his cronies.  

We at the Vigil thought perhaps he hadn’t realised that the measures had recently been extended for another year. It gradually dawned on us: Zuma is just another Mugabe appeaser . . . give Mugabe what he wants and he will play ball (fat chance!).  

So it’s no change then in South Africa’s foreign policy, which has seen consistent championing of anti-democratic regimes from Burma to Iran. South Africa’s voting history at the UN spells it out.  

The Vigil has learnt that Zuma is to call at the South African High Commission in London on Friday 5th March and we will be there to greet him with our new banners: ‘Zuma Save Zimbabwe’ and ‘Elections in Zimbabwe Now’.  

Here’s an extract from a letter the Vigil sent on 24th February to the South African High Commissioner: 

“Dear Dr Skweyiya 

Exiled Zimbabweans are hopeful that President Zuma will help resolve the impasse in Zimbabwe so that we can go home.   

The MDC’s chief negotiator in the SADC-mediated negotiations, Tendai Biti, said last week: ‘We are going nowhere on the dialogue and therefore it is very important for President Zuma and South Africa to step in and step in quickly. We as negotiators have reached our ceiling. It should be taken out of our hands. Continuing to let us negotiate we are wasting time because we have tried. We have been negotiating since the 14th of May 2007. I think we have reached where our human capabilities can take us as negotiators. Therefore we need a bigger brain - that of President Zuma and more wisdom - that of SADC.’ 

The Zimbabwe Vigil, which has been protesting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London since 2002, would like to present President Zuma with the following petition during his visit to London from 3rd – 5th March:  

Petition to President Zuma of South Africa
We call on President Zuma to arrange free and fair elections in Zimbabwe in his capacity as the mediator appointed by the Southern African Development Community to sort out the Zimbabwean impasse.” 

The petition, signed by hundreds of people who have passed by the Vigil will be accompanied by the following letter to President Zuma:  

“The Zimbabwe Vigil is pleased that you are supporting elections in Zimbabwe in 2011, as envisaged in the Global Political Agreement. We are aware that politicians in Zimbabwe don’t want new elections until they have had their fill at the trough but we believe that the situation can only worsen until there is a democratically elected government in place. 

What Zimbabweans want to know from you is how SADC can ensure that the elections are free and fair, given that Zanu (PF) has already reactivated militia bases and refuses to implement the GPA.” 

Do come and join us outside the South African High Commission in Trafalgar Square on Friday 5th March from 11.30 am to make our protest to President Zuma.  

At our usual social gathering after the Vigil a wide-ranging discussion ensued in which it was suggested that people should bring banners to the protest saying:
·       ZUMA GET RID OF MUGABE
·       ZUMA YOU ARE THE GPA GUARANTOR – RESULT?
·       ZUMA ARE YOU MUGABE’S HOUSEBOY?
·       NO RULE OF LAW IS THE PROBLEM – NOT EU SANCTIONS
·       MUGABE LIFT ‘ILLEGAL’ SANCTIONS ON ZIMBABWEANS     

Our link to ZimVigil TV / ZBN News is now live (see menu at the top of the home page of our website). We were interested to hear from Dr Tim of ZBN News that his coverage of last week’s Mugabe Birthday demo had unprecedented response from all round the world especially, of course, Zimbabwe and South Africa.  He was surprised at how widespread the interest was. Thanks to David McAllister for sorting out the link. 

Other points:
·       The reaction of people passing the Vigil shows deep concern for the suffering in Zimbabwe. A disable man pushing a lady in a wheelchair stopped to put £10 in our donation box.
·       One of our supporters, Josephine Zhuga, has been invited to speak at City and Islington College’s International Women’s Day event on Wednesday 3rd March. She will be talking about the situation of women in Zimbabwe and her personal story. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check the link at the top of the home page of our website.  For earlier ZimVigil TV programmes check: www.zbnnews.com 

FOR THE RECORD: 154 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       The Role of the Media in Zimbabwe's Transition. Thursday 4th March from 6-8 pm. Venue: Royal Commonwealth Society, 25 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5AP. Chair: Xan Smiley, Middle East and Africa Editor, Economist. Speakers: Tabani Moyo, Advocacy Officer, MISA, Zimbabwe, Sue Lloyd Roberts, BBC  journalist, Innocent Chofamba Sithole, Zimbabwean political journalist, Richard Bourne, Associate Fellow, Commonwealth Foundation.
·       Demonstration to greet President Zuma. Friday 5th March. Meet at 11.30 am to be ready for Zuma’s arrival between 12 and 12.30.  Venue: South African High Commission, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DP. Nearest station: Charing Cross.
·       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 Brighton general meeting.  Saturday 6th March from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Community Base, 113 Queens Road, Brighton BN13XG.  Contact: Sinikiwe Dube 07824668763, Wellington Mamvura 07949595506 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·       ROHR Chelmsford general meeting. Saturday 6th March from 1.30 – 5 pm. Venue: Springfield Parish Centre, St Augustine’s Way, Chelmsford CM1 6GX. Contact: B Machekano 07765459538, Martha A Magwaza 07748644911 or R Mafigo 07944815190.
·       ROHR Liverpool Demonstration. Saturday 6th March from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark) Liverpool City Centre. For details please contact: Desire Chimuka 07917733711, Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758. Future demonstrations all on Saturdays: 20th March, 3rd and 17th April, 8th and 22nd May. Same venue and time. 
·       Iran Solidarity International Women’s Day March: Sunday 7th March at 12 Noon. Meet at the Iran Embassy, 16 Princes Gate, London SW7 to support our Iranian friends in their struggle against the anti-women Islamic regime of Iran.
·       Kings College London Project Zimbabwe – International Women’s Day Open Mic Night. Friday 12th March from 8 pm – 1 am. Venue: Roebuck Pub, 50 Great Dover Street, London SE1 4YG. Features guests (musicians, poets and comedians) from Zimbabwe’s Book Café in the UK. Tickets at the door: £5 NUS / £8. All proceeds will go towards Project Zimbabwe's support of healthcare, education and training in Zimbabwe. For more information check: www.kclprojectzimbabwe.blogspot.com.
·       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.
·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturdays from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.  Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. For more information check: www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.
·       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&feature=related).  

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