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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 12th June 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 13 June 2010 19:35

With his eye ever open for a propaganda opportunity Mugabe popped up at the Vigil to demand that the next World Cup should be held in Zimbabwe to celebrate his 90th birthday. We have no idea how he managed to evade the illegal sanctions that have reduced Zimbabwe to penury – perhaps he was smuggled through in the diplomatic bag along with other illegal substances. Vigil supporters gave him (in the form of Patrick Nyamwanza in our Mugabe mask) the same kind of reception he got from spectators at the Brazil / Zimbabwe match (see New York Times Blog: http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/11/zimbabwe-watches-the-cup-next-door/ ‘They jeered loudly as President Mugabe, who was limping heavily, walked into the stadium’.) The Vigil sported England flags and placards wishing the England football team good luck in the competition. We are also running a World Cup draw for Vigil supporters. 

With us for the fun were two prominent human rights activists from Zimbabwe: Irene Petras of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Roselyn Hanzi the Project Manager for both the Human Rights Defenders Unit and the Constitutional Reform and Policy Formulation Unit. They are in London for a month’s study. Irene said they had been looking forward all week to coming to join us. Addressing the Vigil, she said Zimbabweans in the diaspora should hesitate to go home until the rule of law was restored and human rights were respected. We were pleased to meet them and hear their views. One subject we raised was the bewildering comments made by the co-Minister of Home Affairs Giles Mutsekwa. He said in an interview with Violet Gondo of SW Radio Africa that ‘there will never be bannings of any freedom of expression in Zimbabwe, especially by this inclusive government’. Irene said she was equally puzzled. See: http://www.swradioafrica.com/pages/hotseat28052010.htm 

Some other points:
·       Sister Beverley Mutandiro spoke to Vigil supporters about the church service on 26th June for Zimbabwean victims of torture.  She is in charge of the music and leading the choir. She asked those interested in singing in the choir to let her know and stressed that it was important to be at the church at 11.30 to prepare for the start of the service at  noon (See Events and Notices section for details).
·      
Vigil supporters were interested to see that Mines Minister Obert Mpofu has been challenged over the smuggling of Marange diamonds. The Zimbabwe Independent (http://www.theindependent.co.zw/local/26877-ministers-fight-over-diamonds.html) says he had to go to the lavatory five times during his interrogation by Cabinet colleagues including Tendai Biti. By all accounts Mpofu has dirty hands.
·       During the week a number of Vigil supporters attended a House of Lords debate on Zimbabwe. Management team Member Patson Muzuwa said that afterwards a number of peers who took part in the debate said they were very disappointed at the failure of South Africa to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis.
·       Vigil supporters attended two events to launch ‘Zimbabwe – Years of Hope and Despair’ a book by Philip Barclay a diplomat who was based at the British Embassy in Harare from 2006 – 2009.  Vigil people walked out of the first meeting, hosted by the MDC Central London Forum, when a Mugabe apologist was given a platform to spout Zanu PF propaganda at length. One Vigil supporter said she was not prepared to listen to someone who supported murderers, rapists and torturers. At the official book launch later in the week Mr Barclay said he had been interested to see this division in the Zimbabwean diaspora in London. 
·       A Dutchman came by today and gave us £10. He had heard about our protest in Holland and was very supportive.
·       Congratulations to farmer Ben Freeth. In the Queen’s birthday honours list he has been awarded the MBE for services to the farming community in Zimbabwe.
·       A reminder; the register closes at 5 pm though the Vigil continues till 6 pm.  We don’t want people coming in the last hour just to sign on.
·       Thanks to Ian Pocock who has set up and is maintaining facebook and myspace pages for the Vigil. Check the Events and Notices section for the web links.
·       We recommend you read Cathy Buckle’s latest letter from Zimbabwe http://www.cathybuckle.com/june2010.shtml.
·       Zimbabweans around the world rely heavily on the Zimbabwe Situation daily news website compiled by Barbara in Australia and were sorry to hear of her recent accident which prevented publication for a few days.   

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: 163 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       ROHR Liverpool demonstration. Saturday 19th June from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark) Liverpool City Centre. For details please contact: Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161 Next Demonstration: Saturday 26th June from 2 – 5 pm at Paradise Street, Liverpool City Centre.  Future demonstrations: Saturdays from 2 – 5 pm at Church Street (Outside Primark), Liverpool City Centre. Dates: 24th and 31st July, 7th and 21st August, 4th September.
·       Church Service in Support of Zimbabwean Victims of Torture. Saturday 26th June from 12 – 1.30 pm. Venue: Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8EP. Speakers: Rev Useni Sibanda (National Director of Zimbabwe Christian Alliance), Maureen Kademaunga (Human Rights Activist) and Father Nigel Johnson SJ (Station Manager: Radio Dialogue).This is an annual event organised by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum on the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The Zim HR Forum has asked the Vigil to provide a choir – this will be led by Sister Beverley Mutandiro.  After the service there will be a procession to the Vigil.
·       Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum Workshop on Transitional Justice Outreach to the Diaspora. Thursday 1st July from 11 am – 4 pm. Venue Development House, Meeting Room 2b, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT. Nearest tube: Old Street. Facilitators: Rev Useni Sibanda (National Director of Zimbabwe Christian Alliance), Father Nigel Johnson SJ (Station Manager: Radio Dialogue) and Gabriel Shumba (Director of Zimbabwe Exiles Forum). Places are limited. To register email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone Wiz / Ebba on 020 7065 0945.
·       ROHR Peterborough launch meeting. Saturday 3rd July from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: 37-38 Copeland, Bretton, Peterborough PA3 6YJ.  Present will be the Founder of ROHR and National Executive plus a well known lawyer. Contact: Alista Mabiya 07724540506, Nyarai Maziso 07732545514, P Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·       Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts
·       Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil
·       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/watch?v=u7qqXJ7jfVY.

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