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Gaddafi gone – next Mugabe: Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 22nd October 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 23 October 2011 15:59

The Vigil was cheered by two developments – the death of Gaddafi and the failure of a second attempt to deport our supporter Shamiso Kofi.  

We were not ashamed to celebrate the end of the deranged farting psychopath who has cast his evil spell for decades. Unfortunately, we are not referring to Mugabe here – though his exit cannot long be delayed.  

Zimbabwe joined a brotherhood of repugnant regimes mourning Gaddafi. Mugabe’s friend Hugo Chavez of Venezuela said, ‘They assassinated him. It is another outrage. We shall remember Gaddafi our whole lives as a great fighter, a revolutionary and a martyr’. Indeed another Mugabe! 

On a matter closer to us, the latest failure in the attempt to deport Shamiso  raises serious questions about the UK Border Agency. We believe they are a disgrace and call on Parliament to review its activities. For one thing, it will bankrupt the country by its incompetence.  

In brief, Shamiso’s new lawyer, Mark Taylor of the Taylor Partnership, succeeded in stopping the second attempt to deport Shamiso and is working on securing her release from Yarl’s Wood detention centre.  

Mr Taylor criticizes the ‘culture’ in the UKBA and says ‘I was instructed very late in the day and called to introduce myself. The officer wanted to speak with a colleague and asked to put me on hold. She forgot to press the mute button and I heard her say that my client had “instructed yet another dodgy representative”. This is without even seeing the nature of the evidence I had to produce. It was clear that whatever I was to produce was not going to receive a fair hearing.’ You can see his full account on: http://forcibleremovals-vigil.notlong.com. 

The Vigil agrees with Mr Taylor that the Border Agency’s job is a tough one and that ‘it is only right that those people who should not be in the UK, and can safely return to their home country, should do so’. But in the case of Shamiso our argument is that she could be in danger if returned to Zimbabwe. And anyway there must be a better way of handling enforced removals.  

We are now at liberty to give details of what happened during the first attempt to deport Shamiso on Tuesday 4th October. She was put in handcuffs and put on the plane by four security guards working for the UKBA – including a man from the DRC and a woman from Jamaica. At one stage security guards were half sitting on her to try to keep her still. She demanded to go to the toilet on the plane where she stripped to try to prevent her departure. The security guards wrapped her in airline blankets and the DRC man put his hands around her neck to stop her struggles. He asked her why she was saying bad things about Mugabe because he was a good man who had sent soldiers to the DRC. The pilot eventually ordered her to be removed from the plane. She was taken back to Yarl’s Wood badly bruised and in pain and was only seen by a doctor two days afterwards. 

Cathy Buckle has some interesting observations about the UK immigration in her latest newsletter (see: http://www.cathybuckle.com/index.php?id=57).  

Disturbing information about a Zimbabwean recently deported from the UK has been given to the Vigil. We were told that Agnes Nyamakonde who arrived in this country on a Malawian passport was forcibly removed to Malawi on Kenyan Airways on Tuesday 18th October. She is now in a Malawian prison on charges of falsely using a Malawian passport.  

Other points
·         We hear Tsvangirai has been in the UK on a clandestine visit. Why so secretive? One report says he encouraged MDC UK leaders to return to Zimbabwe and little enthusiasm was shown. It is not surprising that people aren’t keen to go home since Zimbabwe was ranked 51st out of 53 African countries in a comprehensive assessment of governance performance in Africa. The annual Ibrahim Index of African Governance ranked Zimbabwe's business environment with a particularly low score of 9 out of a possible 100. The Index can be found on: http://www.moibrahimfoundation.org/en/media/get/20111009_2011-Southern-Africa.pdf.
·         The Vigil was pleased to be given prominent billing at a Black History Celebration at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, City and Islington College, Finsbury Park. Vigil supporter David Kadzutu (who is also the International Relations Secretary of the Zimbabwe We Can Movement) spoke of his human rights activism on behalf of Zimbabwe. He said that, after colonization, Africans were now fighting oppression by their own people. A troupe from the Vigil danced, sang and drummed. Vigil co-ordinator Dumi Tutani led the Vigil group consisting of Mercy Muranganwa, Louisa Musaerenge, Mary Muteyerwa and Maxmore Mukwasi. Their performance was much appreciated by the students at the college. There was lively interaction between us and other dance groups from Eritrea and the DRC.
·         The Zimbabwe theatre production ‘The Rain that Washes’ is being performed in Luton on Thursday and Friday. A Vigil group attended a performance in London and we thoroughly recommend it. For details see ‘Events and Notices’.
·         Supporters have drawn our attention to a planned march in Perth, Australia, to draw attention to the situation in Zimbabwe at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. The march is at 10 am on Friday 28th October starting at Forrest Place. Our Australian readers can get more information by contacting: Paul Kaplan, Convenor, Zimbabwe Information Centre (Western Australian Branch), 0438949898. 

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: 92 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.
·         ‘The Rain That Washes’ – Zimbabwean theatre production by Dave Carey with Christopher Maphosa. Thursday 27th and Friday 28th October at 7.30 pm. Venue: The Hat Factory, Bute Street, Luton LU1 2EY.  Winner of the 2011 off West End Theatre Award. Age recommendation: 12+. Tickets: £9 / £7 concs / £2 a ticket for group bookings of 10+. Running time: 1hr. To book call 01582 878100 or book online at www.thehatfactory.org.
·         Zimbabwe We Can Movement Public Meeting. Saturday 29th October from 11 am – 6 pm. Venue: Owen House, Heathside Crescent, Woking, GU22 7AG. All Zimbabweans welcome.
·         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 Movement Public Meeting. Saturday 5th November in Wolverhampton (time and venue to be advised).
·         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. Vigil co-ordinatorsThe Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.

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