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Dictatorial Grief – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 24th December 2011 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 25 December 2011 01:46

Inspired by videos on youtube showing North Koreans apparently weeping hysterically at the death of Kim Jong-il (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKggTZIs43k&feature=related and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSWN6Qj98Iw), the Vigil spent Christmas Eve outside the Zimbabwe Embassy practising public grieving for Mugabe. After all, we don’t want to be found wanting when mourning comes.  

With notices explaining ‘Zimbabweans practising weeping hysterically for the forthcoming death of Mugabe’, Vigil supporters beat their breasts, pounded their heads against the nearest soft object (after all it was just a practice), wept controllably, heaved their shoulders and generally looked bereft at the sight of a prostate Mugabe (played by Fungayi Mabhunu in our Mugabe mask) lying wrapped in a shroud.  

To add a seasonal touch, Mugabe wore a Father Christmas hat (we don’t expect Mugabe to wear one when he really passes on – though of course nothing is certain at this stage).  

The general wailing and gnashing of teeth helped keep us warm on a mid-winter day. The truth is we were laughing with real tears at the comment by Didymus Mutasa, Mugabe’s groveling footman: North Korea’s blood-soaked dictator was ‘a lovely man’ he said ‘we worked together well’. 

We were further cheered by the vociferous support for us shown by Congolese demonstrators as they passed the Vigil on their way to Whitehall to express their outrage at the stolen presidential election in the DRC. One demonstrator broke away from the tightly-policed procession to hurl water in the face of Mugabe depicted on one of our banners ‘Mugabe wanted for murder’. Mugabe was the only head of state who attended the disputed swearing-in of Kabila as President. The Vigil was presented with two Congolese opposition flags.  

Anyway, a happy Christmas to all our supporters wherever you are. It’s our 10th outside the Embassy and we hope it’s our last. 

Other points
·         Vigil founder member Ephraim Tapa, who is also President of ROHR and the newly formed Zimbabwe We Can Movement, addressed the Vigil. He said the solution to the Zimbabwe crisis wouldn’t come from within Zimbabwe but from the diaspora, where people lived in freedom. There was an enthusiastic response when Ephraim said Zimbabwe We Can was planning a joint forum after the Vigil once a month.
·         We meet as usual next week although it is New Year’s Eve. Time to celebrate is when Zanu-PF is history.
·         Our sympathy to people trapped at Gatwick by Air Zimbabwe’s Christmas fiasco, which even saw a Zimbabwean corpse being bundled out of a hotel for non-payment of bills. The screws are tightening. The light has even now dawned on the Chinese and the Iranians that Zimbabwe never pays its bills.
·         Vigil management team member Patson Muzuwa featured in a BBC World Service Radio ‘Heart and Soul’ programme (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00m48z0) on the role of the stepfather in light of the position of Joseph.
·         Our thanks to Beverley Mutandiro who, despite being unable to join us because of toothache, sent a beautiful cake with ‘Happy Xmas Vigil’ iced on it.  Thanks also to Jonathan Kariwoh who brought biscuits and chocolates for us all to share.
·         We draw attention to an academic paper by Dr Godfrey Tawodzera which has just been published. It is titled ‘Vulnerability in Crisis: Urban Household Food Insecurity in Epworth, Harare, Zimbabwe’. Dr Tawodzera, a former lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, concludes that poverty and food insecurity are no longer the preserve of rural areas (http://www.springerlink.com/content/626153p42gp4564h/fulltext.html).  

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: 35 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 31st December 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.
·         ROHR Leicester monthly meeting. Saturday 7th January from  1:30 – 4:30 pm. Venue: New Walk Museum Café, 53 New Walk, Leicester LE1 7EA. Contact Rachael Munda 07989093661, Enniah Dube 07403439707 or Lorraine Manenji 07854801250
·         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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