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Zimbabwe Vigil’s 9th Anniversary: 8th October 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 09 October 2011 18:11

The Vigil is glad to tell you that Vigil supporter Shamiso Kofi was not deported to Zimbabwe as planned on Tuesday night. After a harrowing experience, Shamiso was taken off the Kenyan Airways flight from Heathrow with her three escorts and returned to Yarl’s Wood detention centre.            

Shamiso has given us full details of what happened but, for her sake, we are withholding further information at the moment while she takes legal advice. There are some serious issues involved. When we last spoke to her she was due to see a doctor.  

Shamiso was grateful for the support she has received from the Vigil and others. Kenyan Airways eventually put the phone down on protests. We also contacted the Home Office and MPs.  

We say again, as we observed our ninth anniversary protesting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, that we do not believe the time is opportune to return failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers. Every day brings more reports of violence in Zimbabwe and the continuing refusal of the authorities to respect the rule of law. We suggest that the Home Office takes a look at what the Foreign Office is saying in their travel advisory about Zimbabwe . . . 

We marked our anniversary with Vigil management team member Fungayi Mabhunu, wearing our Mugabe mask, standing at the front desk with wife Grace (played by Josephine Zhuga). Mugabe was holding the following petition: 

Petition to the Unfair World
The oppressed people of Zimbabwe demand an end to the illegal and unfair sanctions against me and my Zanu PF cronies.
·         We have redistributed farms to deserving nearest and dearest
·         We have transferred businesses to indigenous ministers
·         Our security forces make sure there are no London-type riots
·         We have cleared slums by pulling down houses
·         We have liberated our diamonds
·         We have nationalized the Anglican Church
NO TO ZIMVIGIL LIES – YES TO MUGABE’S REVOLUTIONARY TRUTH 

Mugabe had managed to get signatures from Gaddafi (Libya), Gbagbo (Ivory Coast), Mubarak (Egypt), Ben Ali (Tunisia), Assad (Syria), Saleh (Yemen) and Mutharika (Malawi). 

Mugabe also promenaded around the Vigil with the following placards:
·         Mugabe (estimated wealth $1 billion) supports the right of excommunicated Bishop Kunonga to seize Anglican churches
·         Mugabe says no to Western human rights: yes to murder, rape and torture
·         Mugabe scorns British aid: says starvation a product of neo-colonialism
·         Mugabe (16 farms) supports the right of West London nurse Irene Zhanda to seize a farm in Zimbabwe 

On the question of Irene Zhanda (see: Beatrice farmer & 84 workers threatened with eviction - http://www.swradioafrica.com/news031011/beatrice031011.htm), the Vigil received the following email on Friday from Wayne Greaves, the owner of the farm involved: ‘Myself and 84 permanent farm workers and their families totaling 400 people, last week were given a 7 day eviction from our farm.  One of the people that have evicted us is Irene Zhanda who is working as a nurse in a hospital somewhere around Wimbledon UK. John Worswick advised me to contact you to see if you could locate Irene Zhanda and maybe ask her why she has displaced so many people. We were all evicted yesterday by the Sheriff of Court. Please could you try and help us locate Irene and to put pressure on her.’ We have replied that we will try and track down nurse Zhanda and try and get her kicked out of the UK so that she can concentrate on farming!  We appealed for help on this from people attending the Vigil. If anyone has information about this monstrous woman please contact us.  

Other points
·         Thanks to people who have sent us messages of support on our ninth anniversary, particularly to Judith Todd who said:  Congratulations on your 9th anniversary and thank you all for your vision and selfless tenacity’.
·         A typically blunt assessment of the situation in Zimbabwe was given by Roy Bennett, one of the people who inspired the Vigil, in an address the other day to Duke University in the United States (see: http://www.swradioafrica.com/pages/bennett061011.htm).
·         We were joined by a team from Voice of America who came to film the ZimVigil Band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani). VOA also interviewed Vigil Co-ordinator Rose and Vigil management team member Fungayi and others.
·         Thanks to Vigil regular Louisa Musaerenge who brought some tasty snacks for Vigil supporters on our anniversary.
·         It was good to have Zimbabwe We Can office bearers with us today: Ephraim Tapa (President), Everisto Kamera (Secretary General), Isaiah Bizabani (Info and Publicity Secretary), Arnold Magwanyata (Organising Secretary), Givemore Chandawi (National Chair) and David Kadzutu (International Relations).  They are planning two public meetings as part of their ‘Meet the People’ Campaign: Woking – 29th October and Wolverhampton – 5th November (more details as we receive them). They are also encouraging people to meet at the Vigil every Saturday.
·         A Dickensian-attired street theatre group passed by and were photographed with Batson and Fungayi (check photos).  For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.  

FOR THE RECORD: 98 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. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.
·         ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes 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 ZBN News.
·         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: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://ourvigil.notlong.com. To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: http://Shungurudza.notlong.com and http://blooddiamonds.notlong.com.
·         ROHR Manchester Vigil. Saturday 29th October 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. Future demonstrations: 26th November, 31st December. Same time and venue.
·         Zimbabwe We Can Public Meeting. Saturday 29th October in Woking (more details as we receive them).
·         Zimbabwe We Can Public Meeting. Saturday 5th November in Wolverhampton (more details as we receive them).
·         ROHR Manchester Meetings. Saturday 12th November (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. Future meetings:  10th December. Same times / 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 send 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.

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