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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 24th July 2010 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 25 July 2010 17:01

Senator David Coltart, the Zimbabwean Minister for Education, was given a friendly reception when he came to the Vigil at the end of his visit to London – a welcome that turned to cheers when he put on our bracelet ‘Mugabe Must Go’.  

Surrounded by Vigil supporters, he said ‘I know that many of you are very sceptical about this inclusive government. But I want to let you know that there is a group working very hard to make it work.  Don’t write it off. But you do need to continue the Vigil because things are by no means right yet.  We are all looking for the same thing: a democratic Zimbabwe where everyone can hold their heads up high.’  

We were pleased that Senator Coltart took the trouble to join us – even though many of us don’t share his optimism. Some Vigil supporters went to hear him during the week when he spoke at a meeting in Parliament about the dire situation in the Zimbabwean education system. Who could be against giving money towards education in Zimbabwe – even if Zanu PF gangsters are looting the country’s own resources that should be paying for it?  

Senator Coltart was only one of a horde of MDC leaders descending like locusts on London with their begging bowls.  It’s all very well giving money to education but the two other MDC ministers and the Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara were shaking the can for investment. They seem to have difficulty grasping that people are reluctant to invest in a country with no rule of law.  

A large contingent of our supporters went to hear Mutambara speak at a London meeting after the Vigil.  Apart from telling us about his massive intellect and brilliant education, he urged people with skills and capital to go home, brushing aside questions of violence and good governance, though he admitted a lot of work still had to be done. 

An unexpected addition to the ranks of the Pollyannas who see nothing wrong with Zimbabwe is the new Director of the British Council in Harare Jill Coates. She said “Zimbabwe is such a beautiful and peaceful country and not at all hostile like what is perceived in the UK media.” The columnist Muckraker in the Zimbabwean newspaper the Independent said ‘What do we call these remarks? Naïve or downright stupid?’ See: http://www.theindependent.co.zw/opinion/
27365-zanu-pf-retraces-steps-to-failure.html
. The British Council no doubt keeps the British Sunday Times in its library. She will see in its latest edition new revelations about the scandal of the Marange diamonds. 
 

Apart from the visit by Senator Coltart, another highlight of the Vigil was the arrival of the valiant Smale father and son team (Adrian and Michael) who had cycled 85 miles from Salisbury to the Vigil in aid of charity. They set off at 6.30 am and were with us before 5 pm. They looked fit as fiddles when they arrived.  Vigil activist Josephine Zhuga organised a collection and presented the money to them. Their charity is Children Alone Trust which cares for orphans in Zimbabwe. They would welcome further donations – contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 07946 128 204.

Other points
·       Norman Mhunduru was pleased to hear he was the overall winner of our World Cup draw and was at the Vigil to receive his winnings of £50.
·       A Vigil member said how amazed she was when she encountered at the Vigil a friend from primary school who she hadn’t seen for 40 years.  She went on to say that she had also recently come across someone in a shop in London who had rented a room from her in Harare 27 years ago.
·       It is difficult to accept the assurances of the Zanu-MDC government that all is well in Zimbabwe when one of our activists was arrested and beaten up recently just for being in the country. We can’t give any further details to protect the security of people back home. If anyone wants to tell us all is well perhaps they will refund us the money we spent on getting our supporter out of the country (see our diary of 3rd July).           

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: 185 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.
·       ROHR Liverpool Vigil. Saturday 31st 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: 7th and 21st August, 4th September. Same time and venue.
·       ROHR Bournemouth get-together and executive election. Saturday 31st July from 2 – 10 pm. Venue: East Cliff United Reformed Church opposite ASDA Store, Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth, BH8 8AW. Contact: Abi Nzimba 07780831455 or Sekai Mujeyi 07772211220 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070. Food, drink, music, Everyone welcome.
·      
ROHR West Bromwich general meeting.  Saturday 31st July 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.
·       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.
·       ROHR Stoke-On-Trent general meeting. Saturday 7th August from 2 – 5 pm.  Venue: YMCA Edinburgh House. Harding Road, Stoke-On-Trent ST1 3AE. Substantive committee to be elected. Executive members present. Contact: Pauline Mutema on 07850462301, David Mugwira 07866873493, Maxwell Dube 07533349840, P Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·       ROHR Woking general meeting. Saturday 7th August. Venue: 61 Sunbury Lane, Walton-on-Thames, KT12 2JA, Surrey. Contact: Isaac Mudzamiri 07774044873, Sithokozile Hlokana 07886203113 or P Mapfumo on 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·       Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts
·       Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil 
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