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Busy Independence Saturday – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 14th April 2012 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 15 April 2012 16:55

As Mugabe reaches 32 years in power, the Vigil is preparing to mark Independence Day by presenting our petition to 10 Downing Street in an attempt to ensure that the elections threatened this year are supervised by the UN. 

 

A letter accompanying the petition thanks Prime Minister David Cameron for his recent promise to Tsvangirai to help Zimbabwe hold free and fair elections and asks the UK to pass on the petition, which has been signed in the past two years by more than 12,000 people from all over the world who have passed by the Vigil.

 

The petition reads: ‘We call on the Security Council to ensure that the next elections in Zimbabwe are free and fair. We look to the United Nations to supervise the electoral process and the handover of power to a new government and believe peace-keeping troops will need to be in place before, during and after the polling.’

 

It will be handed over at the Prime Minister’s official residence at 4.15 pm on Saturday 21st April by six representatives of the Vigil.

 

Some people have asked us (1) why we have approached the UK government and (2) why we are petitioning the UN. The answers are (1) because we are in the UK which is a permanent member of the Security Council and (2) because the UN has ultimate authority and we have already petitioned SADC and the AU with no result.

 

SADC promised last year to send three delegates to help overcome problems in the implementation of the GPA. None has yet arrived. We have been told for months that President Zuma is to visit Harare to bang heads together. A date has still to be set . . . Meanwhile, Mugabe continues to insist there will be elections this year whether or not reforms have been made or the MDC agrees.

 

The Vigil fears a scenario in which Zanu PF, in desperation because of Mugabe’s failing health,  collapses the GNU, calls elections and again bludgeons its way to a victory which is accepted again by SADC and the UN. We fully realise the UN is less interested in Zimbabwe than if there was a violent uprising there. But we hope our petition will help persuade it not to recognise the gangster regime on the horizon.

 

The visit to Downing Street coincides with the latest demonstration outside South Africa House  called by the MDC in the diaspora to put pressure on President Zuma to make sure the GPA is implemented by Mugabe. Vigil supporters will be there as usual. See Events and Notices for timings.

 

Other points

·        The Vigil was disgusted by the MDC’s hypocritical statement on the death of President Mutharika, speaking of his ‘wise council and remarkable efforts in finding solutions to the Zimbabwe political crisis’ (see: Resolutions of the MDC National Council – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/apr14_2012.html#Z17).

·        The Vigil got the following text message ‘Breaking news!!!! Message from Mugabe’s doctor in Singapore. We did all we could but UNFORTUNATELY he’s still ALIVE’.

·        Even more macabre was the announcement from the organisers of the Zimbabwe Paralympic Games that the opening and closing ceremonies would be combined into one (Lack of planning and delays cripple Zim’s Paralympic Games – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/apr14_2012.html#Z14).

·        Our friends of the Swaziland Vigil said the demonstration in Mbabane they spoke to us about last week had been broken up by the Swazi authorities. They are worried about the fate of their informant who they had been unable to contact since the demonstration.

 

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: 45 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·        Zimbabwe@32: Reflections: Wednesday 18th April from 2.30 – 5 pm As part of the new Zimbabwe Unwound Project you are invited to Oxford House, Derbyshire St, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG for an open discussion on what independence means to you. RSVP: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it as space is limited.

·        Fourth 21st Movement Free Zimbabwe Global Protest organized by the MDC diaspora. Saturday 21st April. We meet at the Vigil at 2 pm and move to the South African High Commission at 3 pm. On this day the Vigil will also mark Zimbabwe’s 32nd Independence anniversary by presenting our petition asking the UN to monitor the next Zimbabwean elections to 10 Downing Street at 4.15 pm. We will move from South Africa House at 3.45 pm.

·        Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 21st April from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.  Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.

·        Taking Transitional Justice to the Diaspora. Monday 30th April from 5 – 6 pm. Venue: Chatham House, 10 St James’s Square, London SW1Y 4LE. Participants: Moses Mzila Ndlovu, Co-Chair of the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration, and Primrose Matambanadzo, Chair of Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (http://www.chathamhouse.org/events/view/182736).

·        Zimbabwe Action Forum. Saturday 5th May from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. Directions: The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent.  Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

·        Two Gentlemen of Verona Shona Production at the Globe Theatre, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT. Dates / Times: Wednesday 9 May, 2.30pm. Thursday 10 May, 7.30pm. Tickets £5 - £35 (700 £5 tickets available) from 020 7401 9919 and www.shakespearesglobe.com. A two-man Zimbabwean riot of love, friendship and betrayal. From Verona to Milan, via Harare and Bulawayo, two great friends, Valentine and Proteus, vie for the love of the same woman. In a triumphantly energetic ‘township’ style, Denton Chikura and Tonderai Munyevu slip into all of the play’s fifteen characters – from amorous suitors to sullen daughters, depressed servants and even a dog – in this new, specially commissioned translation.

·        Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2011 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/363-vigil-highlights-2011.  Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2011 Highlights page.

·        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.

·        Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.

·        Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.

 

How can you help?

The Zimbabwe Vigil exists entirely on donations from the public and well wishers. You can help us by donating via a deposit into our account Thank you.