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CIO at Vigil – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 12th November 2011 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 13 November 2011 21:29

Only days after police in Harare made threats against a member of the Vigil management team, three obvious CIO operatives were photographed at the Vigil.  

The three men were spotted emerging from the side door of the Embassy. They passed by the Vigil before coming back to the front table, where they asked questions and requested a flyer which explains what we are about. They read our petitions: one of them signed but the other two declined. They then crossed the road when they noticed we were taking pictures of them (see captioned photos on our flickr website: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/). Two of the men were later photographed entering the Embassy.   

Ironically, the photos were taken by Fungayi Mabhunu, who only this week received a chilling message from a contact in Harare, a musician who had gone to the police band at Morris Depot (next to State House) to get his alto sax tuned. He happened to ask them whether they knew Fungayi (a former member of the police band) and they said: ‘Yes, he’s the one who was on TV denouncing the head of state. We will get him.’  

Fungayi, who has indefinite leave to remain in the UK, believes the reference was to his appearance on a BBC World television programme after the last elections. The message he got from our contact was ‘don’t come back’. Here is the Shona text of the email: ‘Fungai haubatsire nekureba kwaNyazika nhunu vese vangaziva panaKenny here. At least daiwandiudza nechapapi coner nani, pakati here kana pamucheto. Iyo body yakauya here? Mafe akoeku polica band ndakatosvika pabasapavo ndichidaku chinusa Alto yangu, ndikanzi na Mudhara Knox Dhauya, Fungai ndomuziva mupfana wekumbare uyu akazenge obuda paTV achitaura zvisinabasa uyu. Akangouya kuno anomama tichadhila naye. Ndikati wakamakwa, ukadzoka kuno vanokusata. handinakuzombo taura kuti ndinokuzivirepi. 

Fungayi’s response to this threat is ‘I’ll never stop. I’m glad they are getting the message. We must continue exposing what the police are doing’. 

The incident comes amid widespread criticism of the police. The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights condemned them this week for their arbitrary actions in harassing officials from the Oxfam humanitarian organisation: ‘The contemptuous conduct of the police and the Department of Immigration officials portrays a government that is suffering from persecutory delusional disorder, which is typical of paranoid states,’ ZLHR said in a statement. It goes on to say: ‘ZLHR is extremely concerned at the unmistakable and extreme collusion between the police from the ZRP Law and Order Section and the Department of Immigration officials and their uncivilised conduct in harassing bona fide visitors, whose organisation’s interventions have sustained livelihoods, health and the less privileged people of Zimbabwe, which shows an unacceptable disregard for the rule of law in our country.’  (See: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/nov12_2011.html#Z10 – Zim officials criticised over Oxfam detentions). 

Other points
·         We were glad to be joined by Shamiso Kofi, who was recently released from detention in the UK after two unsuccessful attempts to send her back to Zimbabwe as a failed asylum seeker. Shamiso, who used to be a star dancer at the Vigil, was limping heavily. As we have previously reported she says she was violently treated when she resisted deportation and injuries sustained at that time are still causing problems. She gave an impassioned account of what she had experienced and was listened to with rapt attention.
·         Many British war veterans in London for Remembrance Day and the Lord Mayor’s Show dropped by the Vigil and signed our petitions. Caroline Witts a supporter from Devon, who was at the front table, said one of the veterans recalled he had been on HMS Tiger when efforts were made in 1966 to end the Smith rebellion against the British government’s insistence on majority rule before independence (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Smith).
·         Voice of America came to the Vigil recently and did a great piece on the Vigil band (see: http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Zimbabwean-Musicians-Protest-Through-Song-Dance-133248353.html and video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKD5QFlT3nY). The band have released the Vigil song ‘Vigil Yedu’ which we thinks is miles better than Mugabe’s new vocal offering….
·         It was good to meet up again with Tor-Hugne Olsen of the Zimbabwe Europe Network (ZEN).  ZEN wants to mark UN Human Rights Day on Saturday 10th December at the Vigil. ZEN will be providing some high profile civil society activists. We will be providing more information on this as it becomes available.
·         Thanks to Sekai Viola Zinyau who, for the past few weeks, has been coming to the Vigil at 2 pm to set up, standing  at the front table throughout the Vigil, and helping to pack up the Vigil at 6 pm.
·         We enjoyed reading in the Daily News about life as a Zanu PF chef (see: Chombo brags about riches – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/nov11_2011.html#Z16). 

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: 82 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.
·         STAR (Student Action for Refugees) Conference on Torture. Saturday 19th November, Venue: 111 Isledon Road, London N7 7JW – nearest underground: Finsbury Park. Vigil management team member Luka Phiri has been invited to be a keynote speaker at this conference. He will be speaking at 2.30 pm.
·         
ROHR Bournemouth meeting. Saturday 26th November at 3pm. Venue: The Bourne Spring Centre, St Marys Road, Springbourne, Bournemouth BH1 4QP. Contact: Sledge Bova (Vice Chairman) 07788850146, Arthur Chagadama (Secretary) 07951269667, Memory Dzepasi (Information & Publicity Sec) 075585907566 and Dennis Muringai (Organising Secretary) 07917426201
·         ROHR Manchester Vigil. Saturday 26th November 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 demonstration: 31st December. Same time and venue.
·         ROHR Manchester Meetings. Saturday 10th December (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.
·         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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