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Deportations to put pressure on Mugabe? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 15th October 2011 PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 17 October 2011 20:29

A new attempt is to be made on Thursday to deport Vigil supporter Shamiso Kofi despite the violent failure of the first attempt earlier this month. There is speculation that the UK and South Africa are making a concerted attempt to deport Zimbabweans to put pressure on the Mugabe regime.  

Shamiso is one of the first Zimbabweans to be targeted for forcible return since the UK ended its moratorium on sending back failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers. It comes amid reports from South Africa that hundreds of Zimbabweans are being sent back. 

Shamiso, who was returned to Yarl’s Wood detention centre, told us she went through hell during the abortive attempt to deport her and feels like dying at the thought of another attempt to forcibly remove her. She had to receive medical attention after violence on the plane at Heathrow Airport prompted the captain to order her to be taken off.  

Shamiso was accompanied by no less than three UK Border Agency security guards and said she was abused when she refused to co-operate in her deportation. One of the guards, who was from the Democratic Republic of Congo, expressed support for Mugabe. (Another of the guards was a Jamaican woman.) 

That attempt to deport Shamiso was on a Kenyan Airlines plane. The new attempt will be on a Virgin Atlantic Airways flight to Nairobi. The Vigil has appealed to the Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson not to co-operate with the deportation to Zimbabwe since he is on public record as being opposed to Mugabe (see: http://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/branson-plotted-to-oust-mugabe-1.1158037 - Branson plotted to oust Mugabe). 

 The Vigil is urging supporters to phone Virgin Atlantic Airways to protest. See: http://www.freemovement.org.uk/Media7-2011/ShamisoKofi.html and http://shamiso2.notlong.com for what you can do to help.  

Other points
·         On the Vigil front table we displayed a copy of a UK Times report about the Archbishop of Canterbury’s visit to Zimbabwe headlined ‘Archbishop speaks out against Mugabe’s greed and violence’. We believe that the visit, as well as encouraging Anglicans in Zimbabwe, has helped draw the attention of the wider world to the thugocracy in Harare (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/oct15_2011.html#Z14 – Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Condemns "Thuggery" against Zimbabwean Church). The Vigil is glad that Dr Williams disregarded the cowardly advice of Royal African Society Director Richard Dowden that a meeting with Mugabe would be foolish. Well, Mugabe was handed a dossier detailing the abuse of Anglicans so he can’t say he knows nothing about it. A foolish meeting . . . ?
·         The Vigil is dismayed by Tsvangirai’s short-sighted betrayal of yet another principle by filling in the Deputy Agriculture Minister vacancy created by Mugabe’s illegal refusal to swear in Roy Bennett.  Tsvangirai says MDC supporters are suffering because they are not represented in the Agriculture Ministry. But what are any deputy ministers in Zanu PF-controlled ministries achieving?
·         We note that, oddly, South Africa’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe has had a meeting with the Prime Minister to protest against the seizure of South African owned farms. Perhaps Tsvangirai could ask his new Deputy Minister to intervene (see: SA Ambassador to Zimbabwe criticises lawless farm invasions - http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/oct15_2011.html#Z2)?
·         The Vigil was pleased that South Africa didn’t give its routine support to Zimbabwe’s litany of lies at the UN’s human rights meeting in Geneva. While the usual suspects, from Iran and Cuba to Syria and Venezuela, supported Zimbabwe’s claim to be a beacon of human rights, South Africa called for an investigation into the killings during the last elections (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/oct15a_2011.html#Z20 – Stop human rights abuses).
·         As we embarked on our tenth year outside the Embassy, we were joined by two couples visiting London from Zimbabwe. They took part in the dancing and bought our knitted hats in Zimbabwean colours.
·         A group from the Vigil are to sing, dance and drum at an event to celebrate Black History at City and Islington College.  The Vigil is also providing a speaker – David Kadzutu, International Relations Secretary of the newly-formed ‘Zimbabwe We Can’ movement, will speak of his experiences as a human rights activist.  

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: 78 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.
·         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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