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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 10th April 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 11 April 2010 15:53

Vigil supporters discussed plans to mark Zimbabwe’s 30th Independence Day. It was felt that Zimbabweans as such are not independent at all and won’t be until South Africa forces Mugabe to keep his word. So we plan to stage a ‘lights for freedom’ demonstration at the South African High Commission at next week’s Vigil, the day before Independence Day.  

We intend that small groups of Vigil supporters will at intervals carry tealights around the corner from the Zimbabwe Embassy to the South African High Commission in Trafalgar Square to illustrate our hope that President Zuma will give us a true anniversary present and break the logjam which will otherwise continue until the MDC is completely absorbed by Zanu PF.  

We hope the demonstration will be joined by Lovemore Matombo – President of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Irene Petras – Executive Director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, and Gabriel Shumba – Executive Director of Zimbabwe Exiles Forum, who will be attending a conference ‘Zimbabwe 30 years on: Rights, challenges and opportunities’ in London that day organised by Action for Southern Africa, the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement. 

One of our founders Ephraim Tapa spoke at the Vigil and said the MDC had forgotten it had won the 2008 elections. There was no freedom or justice in Zimbabwe. Ephraim, who is President of our partner organisation in Zimbabwe, Restoration of Human Rights, said ROHR had made some important progress. It looked to the Vigil to continue to raise awareness in the international community. The struggle must continue until there were free and fair elections which were internationally monitored. Ephraim was sceptical about the recently appointed human rights commission. He described it as a non-event given the quality of some of its members. He was equally scathing about Morgan Tsvangirai’s apparent decision to lead a delegation to Brussels this month to once again appeal for an end to targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his cronies.  Another founder member Patson Muzuwa said attempts to deport Vigil supporter Charles Ndelemani o

n the grounds that he entered the UK on a Malawian passport had been suspended following a petition to the Home Office. Patson said Charles was clearly a Zimbabwean and no Zimbabwean should be sent back until there was a legitimate government.  

Hundreds of oddly-dressed cyclists rode past us along the Strand.  This was the annual ‘Tweedrun’ at which “proper attire is expected: tweed suits, plus fours, bowties, cycling capes and jaunty flat caps are all encouraged – no beastly denim”. It made quite a sight as they passed by on a sunny warm spring day. 

Other points
·       At a Vigil management team meeting before the Vigil the 2009 financial statement was approved and we were briefed on the progress of ROHR in Zimbabwe among other matters.
·       Thanks to Sue for bringing another batch of ‘Mugabe must go’ wristbands. She is such a good customer (in fact the only one for these wristbands) that they gave her 40 for free.
·       It was good to welcome back founder member Bonny now recovered from being kicked by a cow. Bonny, who’s a farmer, was bitten by a pig the previous year.  Thank goodness we don’t have lions here.  

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:  http://www.zbnnews.com/home/firingline. 

FOR THE RECORD: 177 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       Workshop on Transitional Outreach to the Diaspora. Thursday 15th April from 11 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Royal London House, 22-25 Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1DX. Organised by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum. Facilitators: Gabriel Shumba – Executive Director of Zimbabwe Exiles Forum, and Brian Penduka – Programme Co-ordinator of Zimbabwe HR NGO Forum. To book a place email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone Wiz or Ebba on 020 7065 0945. For more information, check: http://www.hrforumzim.com/transitional-justice-workshop.pdf.
·       ‘Lights for Freedom’: Zimbabwe Independence – 30th Anniversary. Saturday 17th April.  Vigil supporters to place candles on the steps of the South African High Commission.
·       ‘Zimbabwe 30 years on: Rights, challenges and opportunities.’ ACTSA Independence Day Conference. Saturday 17th April at 11.15 am. Venue: Unite, 128 Theobald’s Road, London WC1X 8TN. Speakers: Lovemore Matombo – President of Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Irene Petras – Executive Director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, and Gabriel Shumba – Executive Director of Zimbabwe Exiles Forum. The conference will examine the challenges and opportunities for the future from a diaspora, trade union and human rights perspective. For more information check: http://www.actsa.org/Pictures/UpImages/Conference%20flyer.pdf.
·       ROHR Liverpool Demonstration. Saturday 17th April 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 on Saturdays: 8th and 22nd May. Same venue and time.
·       ROHR South East London general meeting. Saturday 24th April from 1 – 3 pm. Venue: 16 Sydenham Road, Sydenham, London SE24 5QW. Contact P Chitsinde 07897000075, C Chiromo 07894586005 or 07838153217.
·       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 .

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