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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 3rd July 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 04 July 2010 15:38

The Zimbabwean Deputy Prime Minister, Thokozani Khupe, has spurned opportunities to meet the Vigil during her week long visit to London beginning on Sunday 4th July. This does not surprise us. We suspect we are seen as a noisy embarrassment by the MDC leadership as they burrow deeper into the fertile ground of Zimbabwean government corruption.  

We couldn’t fail to notice that the first thing that Tsvangirai’s new Minister for Home Affairs, Theresa Makone, did on taking office was to rush to the police to intercede on behalf of a Zanu PF thug, the son of genocidal maniac Mutasa: http://www.swradioafrica.com/news020710/mutasa020710.htm. This was in sharp contrast to the MDC’s inaction on other matters. 

Vigil supporters were disappointed and angered that Ms Khupe was unwilling to visit us next Saturday and that she had chosen instead to attend a fundraiser on a farm in Buckinghamshire on that day. We sent the following email to the organisers of Ms Khupe’s trip: ‘We are pleased that you have pencilled in a one hour meeting (now cancelled) on Tuesday but are surprised that Ms Khupe is going to a farm in Bucks owned by Zimbabwean Nyasha Gwatidzo for a fundraiser instead of coming to meet true activists at the Vigil. We draw about 200 people every Saturday from all over the UK (from as far afield as Scotland and Wales) to protest outside the Embassy against human rights abuses, corruption, the absence of the rule of law and for democracy. These people will not be able to attend a weekday meeting in London. Wouldn't it be worth encouraging true activists? Our Saturday protests are what we are - vibrant, full of energy, caring for each other as a big family. But perhaps by visiting the farm Ms Khupe is making a subtle point about the racist nature of the farm seizures at home. (Or is she carrying an offer letter!)’ 

We want to make it clear that we have got nothing against Zimbabwean farmers in the UK. Our email was expressing our surprise that Ms Khupe is not choosing to visit the largest group of Zimbabwean activists in the UK who have been campaigning for eight years for the suffering people of Zimbabwe. We were told that the reason for her jaunt was to consult the diaspora. Well, the Vigil of all groups represents the diaspora in the UK. We have a mailing list of 7000 people who have attended the Vigil and signed our register. 

Anyway here are some of the questions Vigil supporters would have liked to put to the Deputy Prime Minster:
1.       What is the outcome of the enquiry into corruption in the MDC UK? We were promised a statement some months ago. Have they decided it is all too embarrassing?
2.       What is the MDC doing to get a vote for the diaspora? When South Africa achieved real independence the diaspora was allowed to vote. A quarter of our population is now disenfranchised.
3.       Why is the MDC leadership so ready to campaign for Mugabe but so reluctant to question the abuses by Zanu PF? Have their pockets been stuffed with diamonds? 

We drew the attention of Zimbabwean farmer Ben Freeth to the irony of having a black Zimbabwean farmer in the UK and received the following message: “It seems like the MDC has divorced itself from trying to deal with any lawlessness in the rural areas in Zimbabwe. People are all saying that since they came into government it has given time for ZANU to regroup in the rural areas because MDC is doing nothing to try to protect the people or protest regarding what is happening out there.  Just in the last month in Chipinge area state led invasions of farms particularly has led to thousands of farm workers being left with no jobs or livelihoods.  High court orders and the SADC tribunal judgments continue to be disregarded by police almost without exception.  JOC has sent out the army to the rural areas and in many cases they are the same soldiers who instilled fear into the rural people in 2008 and masterminded the violence.  Compulsory ZANU meetings are being called by these army personnel and threats are issued to keep the fear levels high. It seems amazing that there is no official protest from MDC regarding all this and that there is no concerted call for peace keepers by the MDC so that the people are protected from the violence that is coming.  With the Deputy Prime Minister Ms Khupe not wanting to visit the Vigil in London, it sends out a message that the MDC doesn't want to deal with the cause of Zimbabwe's problems but rather wants to treat symptoms which will retain the status quo. MDC need to rethink strategy because if they continue to be silent in their protest at what continues to happen in the rural areas, the people will start to think that they are becoming complicit with it.”        

Other points:
·       One of our supporters Nyakallo Dube got on the coach at 2.45 am in Cardiff to get to the Vigil today. No doubt he would have been happy to come and listen to Ms Khupe had she deigned to come to the Vigil next week.
·       We were anxious when Sue and her daughter Francesca from the front desk were called home to Kent when Sue’s father (91) collapsed and knocked his head and had to be rushed to hospital. Fortunately it was not serious so Francesca made her way back.
·       The Leicester minibus arrived in good time this week – good to have such a large and enthusiastic crowd. Glad they didn’t have to wait for hours on the motorway today!
·       Caroline Witts made her regular trip from Exeter to help at the front table.  She was startled when a passer-by thrust five £50 notes in her hand and said he knew of our work.  This was very welcome as we have a specific human rights issue in Zimbabwe which is proving expensive. For the security of those involved we cannot give details of this at the moment.
·       It was good to see Adrian and Joyce Smale who came to talk to us about Adrian’s 85 mile cycle ride on 24th July from Salisbury to the Vigil to raise money for Zimbabwean orphans.  If you want to sponsor him contact him on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or tel: 07946 128204.
·       Today was the annual Gay Pride march. As always there were huge crowds and some extraordinary performers. Many of them came past the Vigil and were very supportive. Here is a BBC link to some of the festivities for Mr Mugabe’s benefit. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8134651.stm. 

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: 134 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe.
·       Another opportunity to meet Philip Barclay, a diplomat stationed at the British Embassy in Harare from 2006 – 2009. He will be discussing his book ‘Years of Hope and Despair’. He asks why the world stood by and watched as Zimbabwe burned and questions whether power-sharing offers the way forward. Tuesday 6th July at 6.30 pm. Venue: Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT.
·       Thokozani Khupe meeting with representatives and members of ZDFG a coalition of some Zimbabwean organisations in the UK. Tuesday 6th July from 10.30 – 12 noon. Venue: Royal London House, 22-25 Finsbury Square, London, EC211DX. Book your place by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . This is the only free meeting for Zimbabweans who want to meet Ms. Khupe. There are limited spaces so good luck with booking.
·       Evening discussion and dinner with Thokozani Khupe. Wednesday 7th July from 7.15 – 9 pm. Venue: The Commonwealth Club, 25 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5AP £25 for non members and £20 for members. Lounge suits and cocktail dresses. To book call Chi Kavindele on 02077669210.
·       Discussion with Mark Canning, British Ambassador to Zimbabwe. Friday 9th July from 11 am to 12.15pm. Venue: Lancaster House, Stable Yard, St James, London, SW1A 1BB. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office invites you to a discussion with Mr Canning on “The politics and situation in Zimbabwe and the UK Government Response”. Names must be submitted in advance to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (tel: 020 7008 4871) by 2pm on Thursday 8 July. Photographic ID required. Closest tube station: Green Park
·       ROHR North London general meeting. Saturday 10th July from 2 – 5.30 pm Venue: Tottenham Chances, 339 High Road, London N17 6QN, Closest Tube - Seven Sisters, from Seven Sisters towards Tottenham three stops on buses 123, 149, 256, 349, 341, 476. ROHR Executive and Guest Speakers present. Contact Gladys Mapanda 07576941003, Bekthemba Nyahwa 0754905348, Nobuhle Ndlovu 07949588597 or Collin Chitekwe 0795771291.
·       ROHR London South-East Branch general meeting. Saturday 10th July 2010 at 1 pm. Venue: 16 Sydenham Road, London SE26 5QW. Contact Wellington Rupere 07799702750; Priscilla Chitsinde 07804696328, Courage Chiromo 07894586005 or C Chitekwe 07957712691.
·       ROHR Liverpool Vigil. Saturday 24th July 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. Future demonstrations: 31st July, 7th and 21st August, 4th September. Same time and venue.
·       ROHR Coventry general meeting. Saturday 24th July from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: 90a Paynes Lane, Coventry CV1 5JH. ROHR National Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact V.J Mujeye 07534034594, Nash Sibanda 07886660392, Pauline Makuwere 07575265710, P. Mapfumo 07932216070/07915926323 or P Chibanguza 07908406069.
·        ROHR West Bromwich general meeting.  Saturday 31st July 2010 from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West  Bromwich  B70 0HF. Contact: Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Peter Nkomo 07817096594, Diana Mtendereki 07837682108, P Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323.·       It was good to see Adrian and Joyce Smale who came to talk to us about the Adrian’s 85 mile cycle ride from Salisbury to the Vigil to raise money for Zimbabwean orphans on 24th July.  If you want to sponsor him contact him on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or tel: 07946 128204.
·       ROHR Hayes general meeting. Saturday 31st July from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: Brookside Community Centre, Hayes, UB4 0PE. The raffle for the computer, DVD player, printer and Samsung mobile phone will be drawn – tickets are still on sale. ROHR Executive present. Contact Roda Kulhengisa 07958205544, Snodia Chihowa 07852921523, Charity Nyamuzuwe 07898765091 or P Mapfumo 0791592623 / 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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