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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 15th May 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 16 May 2010 15:22

Vigil supporters were surprised and pleased that Roy Bennett (who inspired us to start the Vigil) was acquitted this week.  However we were not surprised when it became apparent that Zanu PF is not giving up on their harassment of Roy.  His passport has gone missing and the prosecution team have filed an application for ‘leave to appeal’ his acquittal. More delaying tactics to prevent him taking part in the government of Zimbabwe. What are they afraid of? 

The Vigil was glad to hear recently from Ben Freeth in support of our petition to the UN Security Council: ‘We call on the Security Council to ensure that the next elections in Zimbabwe are free and fair. We look to the United Nations to supervise the electoral process and the handover of power to a new government and believe peace-keeping troops will need to be in place before, during and after the polling.’ Ben is one of the farmers who featured in ‘Mugabe and the White African’ (for those who have not seen it yet it is to be shown on MORE 4 Channel (Sky 138) at 10 pm on Tuesday 18 May). Ben’s email reads: ‘Well done in your call to the UN Security Council.  This is an excellent rally point and something we need to get all pro democracy and human rights groups as well as churches and influential leaders in SADC calling for.  Without peace keepers and international supervision, dictatorship will continue on in Zimbabwe and the violence perpetrated against the rural population particularly will be brutally severe come the next election. Keep up the good work!’  

The Vigil is particularly pleased at this support because we feel the only way forward for Zimbabwe is to have elections as soon as possible.  We find it hard to understand those who say Zimbabwe is not ready for an election. Do they really think things are going to improve - what are they waiting for? 
·       A new constitution? This is a futile and time-wasting exercise. Any government voted in after a free
and fair election will rewrite it.
·       A creditable electoral roll? In recent internationally monitored elections in Afghanistan and Iraq there were no voters’ rolls.  The elections were carried out via adult suffrage and indelibly ink-stained fingers.
·       A non-violent environment? This is why we are saying it is essential for the United Nations to provide international troops. 

Vigil supporters who attended the memorial in London for Tonderai Ndira reported that it was a warm-hearted occasion as they remembered the horrors meted out to Tonderai two years ago. It was reported at the time that he had been shot in the heart, with multiple stab wounds, his eyes gouged, his tongue cut out, and his neck, skull, jaw and knuckles broken. The organisers were pleased that money was raised and has been sent to support Tonderai’s suffering family. 

Today the Vigil started a new occasional feature – asking committed Vigil supporters what the Vigil means to them. We spoke to Josephine Zhuga who said ‘Sue Toft, myself, Caroline Witts and Francesca Toft are the first point of contact at the Vigil as we man the front table and engage with the passing public on the plight of Zimbabwe. I am in the group of many people who come week after week, come rain, snow or sunshine. Activists come from all over the country, from as far North as Scotland and as far West as Exeter. I feel privileged in welcoming new supporters and informing them of the risk they are putting themselves and their families at by their activities at the Vigil as we are closely monitored by elements of the regime. Zimbabweans in the diaspora are victims of the brutal regime of Robert Mugabe. This is expressed by many sad stories of rape, torture, displacement and imprisonment. Our grieving for a better Zimbabwe is reflected in our singing revolutionary songs, religious songs, beating drums and prayers. We have two tables and work hand in hand with Jonathan Kariwoh, Godfrey Madzunga, Chipo Chaya, Arnold Kuwewa and Gladys Mapanda under the leadership of our Vigil co-ordinators and management team. The Zimbabwe Vigil marks important events on the Zimbabwean calendar by demonstrations which are covered by local and foreign media. We are the largest peaceful group of activists who have continued to protest for the past 8 years. I am proud to be part of such a strong, dedicated and well-represented human rights group.’ 

Other points
·       A special treat today was the wonderful singing of Patricia Nyamadzi. She was filmed by ZBN News for ZimVigil TV and you will be able to watch and listen to her when this week’s TV is uploaded.
·      
A collection was made for the family of a Zimbabwean lady, Senzeni Moyo, who was tragically killed in the Libyan air crash.
·       It was good to see Alice Ruzario again who comes all the way from Sheffield to be with us.
·       We were puzzled to see a lone crutch at the end of the Vigil. We thought perhaps our prayers had wrought a miracle and the owner had found they no longer needed it. The mystery was solved when one of the homeless people who gather at the Vigil hopped across to us – he had given his crutch to the Vigil children to play with! 

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: 180 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       Mugabe and the White African will be shown on Tuesday 18th May at 10 pm on MORE 4 (Sky 138).
·       ROHR Cambridge fundraising event. Saturday 22nd May from 4 – 10 pm. Venue: Arbury Community Centre, Campkin Road, Cambridge CB4 2LD. African music, food and drinks hobho. Entrance fee £10 including food. Contact: Jospheth Hapazari 07782398725, Locadia Mugari 07501304116, Sibusisiwe Bafana 07765268622, Percy Marimba 07894670271 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·       R0HR North London General Meeting. Saturday 22nd May from 1:30-5:30. Venue: Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road London N17 6QN. Closest Tube -Seven Sisters. From Seven Sisters towards Tottenham three stops on buses 123,149,256,349,341 and 476, ROHR Executive and Guest Speakers in attendance. Fundraising raffle and draw. Contact Bekithemba Nyahwa 07534905348, Nobuhle Ndlovu 07949588597, Wellington Chinombe 07529290157, Chipo Denenga 07960761122, P Mapfumo 07915926323.
·       OTIENO by Trevor Michael Georges. A contemporary reworking of Shakespeare's Othello, set against the continuing deprivation of present-day Zimbabwe. From Tuesday 25th May – Saturday 12th June at 7.30 pm, matinees 3 pm. Venue: Southwark Playhouse, Shipwright Yard (Corner of Tooley St. & Bermondsey St.), London SE1 2TF. For tickets ring 020 7407 0234 or book online here.
·       ROHR West Bromwich Branch fundraising event. Saturday 29th May from 1 – 11pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Rd, West Bromwich B70 0HF. Admission £8.00 including food and drink. Contact: Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo  07817096594, Godwin Kativu 07576994816 or P Chibanguza  07908406069
·       ROHR Northampton General Meeting. Saturday 5th June at 2 pm. Venue:  Carey Memorial Baptist Church, King Street, Kettering, Northants, NN16 8QL.  ROHR Executive members present and Guest Speakers. Contact: Marshall Rusike 07833787775,Wadzanayi Mpandawana 07717795574, Gladys Milanzi  07846 448 711, Norian Chindowa 07954379426, Sherry Ngaseke 07869295544 Or P Mapfumo 07915 926 323 / 07932 216 070.
·       ROHR Bristol Launch meeting. Saturday  5th June 2010 from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Joseph's Presbytery, 232 Forest Road, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 3QT. Come along and hear what's happening back home and see if we can do something to help. ROHR President, National Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact Bridget Mubaiwa 07789084534, Cecilia Ndhlovu 07545118593, Emelia Sydney 07789991197, P Chibanguza 07908406069, P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·       ROHR South East London general meeting. Saturday 12th June 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 .
·        For Motherland ENT’s videos of the Vigil on 24/04/2009, check: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvwikOhO3Fk and http://www.youtube.com/watchv=u7qqXJ7jfVY.
 

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