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Stop da Circus – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 15th September 2012 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 16 September 2012 15:24

The Vigil didn’t know whether Tsvangirai’s latest wedding was on or off when we gathered outside the Embassy. We were confused by the court proceedings. But we were determined to celebrate either way – not because of the nuptials but because Mugabe has at last solved a perennial problem for us.

 

Mugabe’s intolerant comments about Jamaican Rastafarians (as our poster put it ‘Mugabe’s message to Jamaica: stop da ganja man and da strong drink and cut the hair’) opened the eyes of Caribbeans to his true character. We have had endless discussions with our brothers in the British Caribbean community over the past 10 years but they have been firmly fixed on an unreal picture of Mugabe as a warrior for African liberation.  Now they have been kicked in the groin by their hero’s feet of clay.

 

A dreadlocked Mugabe puffing a giant spliff featured prominently at the Vigil, where he welcomed the arrival of Tsvangirai’s rival brides by rickshaw. Mugabe then handed them to a kneeling Tsvangirai with a placard reading ‘Morgan’s Zanu PF brides’. Fortunately we had plenty of people to keep the two brides apart. They then tucked into the marriage feast including a cake emblazoned with ‘Congratulations on your wedding MDC-T & Zanu PF’.

 

Thanks to ROHR for inspiring the event, including providing the wedding feast. Thanks particularly to Lindiwe Bare (bride Elizabeth), Philip Maponga (Morgan), Mary Ndoro (aspiring bride Locardia), Fungayi Mabhunu (Mugabe) and Georgina Makaza (bridesmaid).

 

As the Vigil’s contribution to the Zimbabwe Diaspora 21st Movement’s Global Protests, we will be taking letters to the Tanzanian and Botswanan High Commissions in London next Saturday. Here are the letters:

 

‘To President Kikwete of Tanzania

On behalf of the millions of Zimbabweans driven into the diaspora by the collapse of our country’s economy and the breakdown of the rule of law, we appeal to you as the new head of the SADC security troika to act speedily so that the ground can be prepared for free and fair elections.

 

We recall that it was your predecessor, Julius Nyerere, who told Mugabe that he was inheriting the jewel of Africa. At that time Zimbabwe had the second most advanced economy in sub-Saharan Africa. Now after 32 years of Mugabe’s misrule it is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries.

 

Mugabe is seeking to delay progress to elections so that there are no essential reforms, such as a new voters’ roll. It was confirmed this month that the current roll contains the names of 16,800 people born on 1st January 1901 – no doubt all Zanu PF members.

 

We draw your attention to remarks by President Khama of Botswana at a recent banquet in Gaberone for President Zuma: ‘nothing less than free and fair elections in Zimbabwe should be acceptable to the international community. SADC, as the guarantor of the GPA, must ensure transparency not only of the elections but also of the process leading to the polls’. President Khama also stressed the need for SADC monitors as well as the wider international community to participate in observing the process before, during and even after the elections. Reports that torture bases are again surfacing in some constituencies lend added urgency to this.’

 

‘To President Khama of Botswana

Exiled Zimbabweans wish to express our gratitude for your support for the people of Zimbabwe. In particular we applaud your comments at a recent banquet in Gaberone for President Zuma that ‘nothing less than free and fair elections in Zimbabwe should be acceptable to the international community. SADC, as the guarantor of the GPA, must ensure transparency not only of the elections but also of the process leading to the polls’.

 

We are particularly appreciative of your understanding of the need for international monitoring of the elections.

 

We enclose a copy of a letter to President Kikwete of Tanzania which we have delivered today as part of the Zimbabwe Diaspora 21st Movement’s Global Protests.’

 

For details of the event check our ‘Events and Notices’ section.

 

Other points

·        The body of our good friend Bernard Hukwa has been repatriated to Zimbabwe. Vigil supporters contributed £500 to this. We are continuing to make collections to support his family.

·        For those who are thinking of going home on a visit, be warned. A Zimbabwean who has lived in London for a long time and wanted to go home on holiday had a salutary experience. After travelling around South Africa and Swaziland, he went to book his coach to Zimbabwe. He was strongly warned not to cross into Zimbabwe through a land border using a British passport because he would have to pay exorbitant bribes and if he could not afford these his passport might be cut up by the authorities. He decided not to go home.

·        We noted with interest the economic philosophy of former Gutu South MP Shuvai Mahofa, one of the Zanu PF officials gifted with the Save Conservancy. She said “In fact I am realising that farming is a waste of time, there is a lot of money to be made in hunting . . . You just sit and wait for whites to come and pay for hunting and make money.” (See: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/sep10_2012.html#Z9Mzembi playing politics while I am making dollars – Mahofa).

·        Thanks to Anne Chikumba for bringing cupcakes which she sold on behalf of the Vigil.

 

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: 68 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·      The Rain that Washes showing at the Lounge, Leicester Square Theatre, from Monday 17th September – Saturday 6th October at 7 pm. Check: http://leicestersquaretheatre.ticketsolve.com/
shows/126523428/events
or phone the booking line: 08448733433 for specific dates and to book tickets, ‘Instantly plunged into a young man’s compelling story of growing up in turbulent Zimbabwe, we live and breathe his extraordinary journey from innocence to escape, finally returning to his homeland to witness the greatest betrayal of all . . . Inspired by a series of interviews between Zimbabwean Christopher Maphosa and writer Dave Carey, The Rain That Washes is a true story that is poignant, political and most of all, personal’.

·        Ninth 21st Movement Free Zimbabwe Global Protest. Saturday 22nd September. Meet at the Vigil at 2 pm. Once the Vigil is set up a group will go by public transport to the Tanzanian and Botswanan High Commissions in Stratford Place, London W1C 1AS (1AY). Nearest station: Bond Street. Reasons for the demonstration are detailed in the letters above.

·        Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 22nd September 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.

·      ROHR Bournemouth elections and fundraising. Saturday 22nd September from 2 pm. Venue: Bourne Spring Centre, St Mary's Road, Bournemouth BH1 4QP.  Good food and entertainment. Founder and President Ephraim Tapa and the UK Executive will be in attendance. Contact: Memory Dzapasi 07585907566, Urther Chagadama 07951269667, Dennis Muringai 07917426201, Nancy M 07404159038.

·        ROHR Leicester general meeting. Saturday 22nd September from 11 am – 1:30 pm. Venue: Bishop Street Methodist Church, 10a Bishop Street, Town Hall Square, Leicester LE1 6AF. Contacts: Rachael Munda 07989 093661, Enniah Dube 07403439707.

·        ROHR Cambridge Branch Relaunch: Saturday 29th September from 1 – 4 pm. Contact: Memory Simbi 07584759284, Deon Matora 077866674066, Richard Zvinoira 07810592390. Venue: To be advised.

·        10th Anniversary of the Zimbabwe Vigil / Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 13th October 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. Future special ZAF meeting: Saturday 10th November when our special guest will be Ben Freeth.  This meeting will take the place of the regular ZAF meeting in November at 6.30 pm at Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see above.

·        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.

·        To sponsor the Mike Campbell Foundation expedition ‘Sailing across the Makgadikgadi Pans’ which will raise money for the work of the Foundation, go to www.justgiving.com/Mike-Campbell-Foundation.

·        Useful websites: www.zanupfcrime.com which reports on Zanu PF abuses and www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.

 

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.