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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 11th December 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 12 December 2010 18:10

Father Christmas brought the Vigil several early presents. Perhaps the most welcome was a break in the freezing weather. Suddenly the icy wind was gone and the temperature soared to 7 degrees. We know you back home will not be impressed by this. But after our sub zero temperatures and snow and slush it lifted our spirits immensely.  

Our thanks to Father Christmas – but expressing this to him proved a problem as we were overwhelmed by hundreds of them and couldn’t thank them all. They were on their way to a Father Christmas rally in Trafalgar Square. It’s our 9th winter outside the Embassy and no one could recall a more bountiful year for Father Christmases – and out so early too.  

The day began well when we received a large box of money. Always welcome. The box came from an anonymous donor with the message: ‘We heard your protest vigil needed some money – enjoy’. The message continued ‘proudly printed in Zimbabwe and smuggled out to you by some brave friends’. It seems that Mugabe’s personal bonker has started a new bank, the Reverse Bank.  We now have a pile of new billion, trillion and zillion dollar notes all with pictures of Gono and Grace.  On the back are cartoons such as Mugabe on the phone in bed surrounded by cows dropping cowpats on his floor with the caption ‘. . . and another thing Gideon, tell Grace I have taken back my lobola.’ This is one of the few notes suitable for a family audience. 

We were also cheered by a group of students: Hana, Seb, Katie and Tom from Colfe’s School in Lewisham who showed great interest in our protest and were keen to do a charity fundraiser for us.  They will speak to their teachers and get back to us if they can go ahead with their plan.  From our point of view just raising awareness of the plight of Zimbabwe is a wonderful thing to do.  

We get our message over in many different ways.  One of our supporters who is in prison tells us in one of his precious letters that he was given an opportunity to speak to inmates about the situation in Zimbabwe. He said many of them were from the Caribbean and they expressed surprise about what he had to say about the Mugabe regime. The Vigil sends him the Zimbabwean newspaper so he can keep up to date.  

Vigil supporters also took part in an event at City and Islington College on Friday to mark Human Rights Day. We are much sought after for events like this – for our singing and dancing apart from anything else. Thanks to Dumi Tutani, Patrick Nyamwanza, Wendy Ziyambi and Farai Marema for participating. Those at the event would have been unaware that Farai is a noted musician who has performed with Thomas Mapfumo. 

Spreading the message about what is going on in Zimbabwe is what the Vigil is about so we were a bit puzzled that some people have expressed fears that Mugabe may capitalize on American diplomats’ reports on Zimbabwe published in Wikileaks (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/dec11a_2010.html#Z15). These reports have not contained any real surprises. Zanu PF may well bleat about them but we don’t believe it is necessary to propitiate tyranny. It’s like the argument over targeted sanctions: this is just a Zanu PF excuse for not observing their obligations. Remove sanctions and they will find another excuse.  

 

Another point: Vigil Co-ordinator Dumi expressed the alarm of the Vigil that South African former President Mbeki has been sent to try and resolve the differences after the disputed Ivory Coast election (See: http://www.swradioafrica.com/news081210/sadc081210.htm). Dumi said it would be a disaster if Mbeki imposed his Zimbabwe solution on Ivory Coast.

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 THE RECORD:  102 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 branch Christmas fundraising party. Saturday 18th December from 2 – 10 pm. Venue: Kensington Methodist Church, 294 Kensington, Liverpool L7 2RN. Traditional food available and Zimbabwean sounds and lots more. Contact: Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758, Sheilla Mironga 07578541227, Patience Karimanzira  07832712074.
·       ROHR Bournemouth general meeting. Saturday 18th December from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: East Cliff United Reformed Church opposite ASDA Store, Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth BH8 8AW. Contact Sekai Mujeyi 07772211220, Sledge Bova 07788850146, Tarisai Mashawi 07843614091, A Nzimba 0778083455 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·       Christmas Virtual Vigil. Saturday 25th December.  We will not be meeting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy because there will be no public transport and central London will be deserted.  Please hold a virtual Vigil by praying for Zimbabwe and singing the national anthem at 6 pm.
·       ROHR Newcastle general meeting. Saturday 22nd January from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Warwick Court, Warwick Street, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE8 1EY. Three mins walk from the Gateshead Interchange opposite Gateshead Civic Centre and Gateshead Police Station. Free parking available. For directions please contact Susan Ndlovu 07767024586, Allen Chamboko 07500246416, Kuda Derera 07411337933, Rugare Chifungo (Coordinator) 07795070609 or P Chibanguza (Coordinator) 07908406069.
·       Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
·       Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
·       ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and 0send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe.
·       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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The Zimbabwe Vigil exists entirely on donations from the public and well wishers. You can help us by donating via a deposit into our account Thank you.