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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 28th August 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 29 August 2010 15:44

Halfway through the 30 day period given by SADC to the interim government to resolve their differences there has been no discernible movement and the Vigil doubts there will be. So we are preparing to hold a demonstration on 18th September to mark the failure of the latest SADC initiative and the second anniversary of the misconceived agreement under which the MDC submitted to Mugabe.   

Vigil members will wear black armbands to mark the occasion in what we intend to be a rebuke to the MDC leadership for their abject betrayal of their faithful supporters. Certainly, as far as the UK is concerned, MDC members have been left bewildered by the failure of Harare to resolve the problem of the dissolved UK and Ireland leadership.  Now we hear stories that Tsvangirai signed up to a crazy proposal to link the appointment of governors to the lifting of targeted sanctions.  

Vigil supporters have heard denials of this but on the other hand we have always been puzzled why the MDC agreed two years ago to sign up to the GPA which committed them to call for an end to sanctions and broadcasts by SW Radio Africa and Voice of America. Vigil supporters clearly remember a meeting in London at which we were shown the agreement with this crazy provision. Tsvangirai signed up to it so we can well believe that he will give in to other Zanu PF demands. 

Further anxiety about the prospects for democracy in Zimbabwe were prompted by an ominous interview given to Violet Gonda of SW Radio Africa by the departing Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe Sten Rylander. See: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/aug27_2010.html#Z18.   

The Vigil responded to an invitation to comment on the interview and here is what we said: “The Vigil is disappointed by Ambassador Rylander’s wimpish remarks. Despite all the evidence of unrelenting abuse of the GPA by Zanu PF, he says he is leaving on 'a note of optimism', that Zimbabwe is 'on the right track', 'space is opening up', the constitution-making process is 'going better than expected', the three parties are 'coming together' and there is 'no stalemate'. Where has Rylander been for the past few years? He is complacent about the stolen elections and blind to the realities.  Mr Rylander says elections next year would be too early. The Vigil's view is that there will always be reasons to postpone elections if Zanu PF abuses are not curbed. On this logic will there ever be elections again? He calls for 'out of the box' thinking - our guess is that this is code for caving into Mugabe. We fear that a similar delusional message has been coming from the British Ambassador.” 

It’s a pity My Rylander hasn’t had a word with MDC Senator Mishek Marave who said recently: "Since we joined the Inclusive Government, not a single day has gone by without the police harassing, intimidating and persecuting MDC officials and supporters. The same police force treat us with contempt, disrespect and scorn while showing favouritism and granting special privileges to Zanu PF and its supporters. . . They (Zanu PF) have a free pass to do as they please and are never held accountable. They are simply untouchable." 

What depressed Zimbabwe Vigil supporters is that Mr Rylander’s line is remarkably similar to one we have been getting from the British government: “things in Zimbabwe are not perfect but they are getting better, the opposition is part of the government, things are moving forward . . . In other words all you exiles should obey Mr Tsvangirai’s summons and go home and get out of our hair”. As one Vigil supporter said “Thinking outside the box means things are not working in the box”. So we can expect a favourable response to a new appeal by Mr Tsvangirai to lift targeted sanctions before they are renewed next February. But by then Mugabe will probably be in his own box and it will be a different ballgame . . .

Other points
·       Vigil Co-ordinator Dumi Tutani was on a panel at a screening of ‘Mugabe and the White African’ in London on Thursday.  Director Lucy Bailey was very pleased to have a black Zimbabwean’s views.  Dumi stressed that the problems in Zimbabwe were not caused by the white farmers and the land issue but by a corrupt government determined to stay in power at all costs. He received a round of applause at the end of the event.
·       We are grateful to an unidentified passer-by who gave use £20 to support our work.  He does this regularly and doesn’t wait for thanks.
·       Despite our apprehension about possible change in the British government’s policy on returning failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe, several Vigil supporters have recently been successful in their applications to remain in the UK.
·       We were glad to be joined today by two long-term members of the Vigil, Gugu Tutani and Agnes Zengeya, both of whom have babies due in October.  We are opening a book on who’s first. 

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: 153 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.
·       Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children. This documentary will be shown again on BBC 2 on Tuesday 31st August at 9 pm. 
·       ROHR Liverpool Vigil. Saturday 4th September 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. 
·       ROHR Harlow general meeting. Saturday 4th September from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: St James and St Lukes Church, Perry Road, Harlow CM18 7NP. Contact: Clement 07879123783, Bothwell 07725208657, llyod  07883695970, Paradzai Mapfumo  07915926323.
·       ROHR Woking general meeting. Saturday 4th September from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Ravens Wood Court, Hillview Road, Woking GU22 7NR. Contact: Isaac Mudzamiri 07774044873, Sithokozile Hlokana 07886203113 or P Mapfumo on 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·       ROHR Manchester general meeting. Saturday 11th September from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: The Salvation Army Citadel, 71 Grosvenor Road, Manchester, M13 9UB. ROHR Founder, National Chairperson and executive members present. Contact Fenny Nyatsanza 07886310005, P A Karimanzira 07538534375, Charter Madzivanyika 07747141835 or A Mungoyo on 07939913688
·       Ministering to the Diaspora: a case study of Zimbabweans in Britain. Wednesday 15th September from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm. Venue: Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, SS Philip & James Church, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HR. A conference to help identify unique needs, the services Christian organizations are offering and can offer (but are not), identifying what more needs to be done and how this might be achieved, and drawing up a co-ordinated action plan. For more information, contact: Clayton Peel, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone 01865 882 421.
·       IOM Live Video Conference with Returnees in Zimbabwe. Wednesday 22nd September from 9.30 am to 1.30 pm. Venue: International Organisation for Migration, 21 Westminster Palace Gardens, Artillery Row, London SW1P 1RR. Attendance is free, but registration is required. To confirm your attendance or for more information about the event, please call 020 7808 1083 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Lunch will be provided.
·       Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts
·       Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil
·       Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk). Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you are interested in taking part.

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