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Mugabe wheeled in to Vigil: Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 9th April 2011 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 10 April 2011 16:30

Vigil supporters were encouraged by indications of a change of attitude to Mugabe by SADC leaders meeting in Zambia. It seems to have suddenly dawned on them that he represents the past and not the future.  

Have they been given the jitters by what is happening in North and West Africa – or (more far-fetched) by the Vigil’s renewed campaign for penalties against SADC leaders supporting Mugabe? 

Mugabe’s arrival by ‘golf cart’ at the Livingstone meeting with a huge entourage of 60 (including a large medical team) clearly exposed both his increasing frailty and the big-man arrogance of Zanu PF. (Zuma was accompanied by only 12 people.)   

The Vigil welcomes signs that President Zuma is now taking seriously SADC’s commitment to ensure free and fair elections in Zimbabwe – and that regional leaders are alive to the danger of the Zanu PF thugocracy spreading its recidivist poison throughout southern Africa.    

We believe they are right to be fearful of a violent, corrupt, unrepresentative and paranoid regime, which is looting Zimbabwe’s potential for sustainable economic growth by selling out to China.  

Now that SADC leaders have been subjected to the vitriol spewing out of the Harare cesspit we hope they will be prepared for the next stage – how to confront Zanu PF’s delaying tactics and arbitrary moves. As the Vigil has repeatedly warned, Zanu PF never changes: it always resorts to the same primitive but successful strategies of violence and vote rigging. As we gathered outside the Embassy to laugh at the two million people anti-sanctions petition, we wondered when SADC would have to apply their own sanctions against Zanu PF . . .  

The Vigil management team met before the Vigil to review our position. It was agreed there was a need to stress that the Vigil and ZBN news are separate organisations (see our explanation below in ‘Events and Notices’). Among other matters, we revamped the Vigil management team and agreed to invite Josephine Zhuga to join.  We are happy to say she agreed. She spends every week on the front desk interacting with passers-by. 

Other points
·         We have been invited by Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) to join them outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in a ‘Stop the Violence in Zimbabwe’ Vigil on Zimbabwean Independence Day, Monday 18th April. We are encouraging everyone to come. ACTSA will be handing in an anniversary card (which will include the Vigil’s logo) to the Zimbabwe Ambassador. The card reads “Today, on the 31st anniversary of Zimbabwe’s independence, we pay tribute to those who fought, suffered and sacrificed for the liberation of the country. That struggle was for democracy, rights and justice. This is why we are here today; to support democracy, rights and justice for Zimbabwe. We condemn the violence and harassment perpetrated against the people of Zimbabwe, including political and civil society activists, trade unionists and especially women by the institutions of the state, militias and those in and linked to Zanu PF. We urge you to pass on our calls for an immediate end to the violence, adherence to the SADC principles for free and fair elections and for democracy, justice and rights for the people of Zimbabwe now.”  Please see ‘Events and Notices’ for more details.
·         A Zimbabwean reported that he had attempted to visit the Zimbabwe Embassy on normal business on Friday only to find it again closed. He wonders if it is ever open to anyone but the CIO. One Vigil supporter commented that it was just the CIO dormitory.
·         Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu for playing the role of Mugabe arriving at the Vigil on a municipal bicycle propped up by Godfrey Madzunga and Ronald Nxumalo. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check http://www.zimvigiltv.com/.    

FOR THE RECORD: 146 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.
·           ZBN News. The Zimbabwe Vigil management team wish to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to Dr Tim Rusike. 
·           The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit website: www.imusicafrica.com.
·           ROHR Manchester meetings. Saturday 16th April: (committee meeting from 11 am – 1 pm, general meeting from 2 – 5 pm). Venue: The Salvation Army Citadel, 71 Grosvenor Road, Manchester M13 9UB. Contact: Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353, Charles Nenguke 07925146757, P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070 or P Chibanguza 07908406069. Future meeting: 14th May. Same times and venue.
·            ROHR Liverpool general meeting.  Saturday 16th April from 2.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Kensington Methodist Church, 294 Kensington, Liverpool L7 2RN. ROHR President, national executive members present. A well-known immigration lawyer available to talk about the new country guidance ruling. Contact Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Netsai Karota 07767483180, Sheilla Mironga 07578541227 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·           ‘Stop the Violence in Zimbabwe’ Vigil. Monday 18th April outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand WC2. The protest, on Zimbabwean Independence Day, has been organized by Action for Southern African (ACTSA) who has invited the Vigil to join them. ACTSA will be protesting from 1 – 2 pm but the Vigil will be there from 12 noon – 3 pm. Check: http://www.actsa.org/page-1028-Events.html for more details.
·           ROHR Newcastle general meeting. Saturday 23rd April from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Warwick Court, Warwick Street, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE8 1EY. 3 mins walk from the Gateshead Interchange opposite Gateshead Civic Centre and Gateshead Police Station. Free parking available. Contact Susan Ndlovu 07767024586, Allen Chamboko 07500246416, Kuda Derera 07411337933, Rugare Chifungo (Coordinator) 07795070609
·           ROHR Manchester Vigil. Saturday 30th April from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Cathedral Gardens, Manchester City Centre (subject to change to Piccadilly Gardens). Contact: Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi  07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353, Charles Nenguke 07925146757, P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070 or P Chibanguza 07908406069. Future demonstration: 28th May. Same time and venue.
·           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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