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What a party – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 6th October 2012 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 07 October 2012 14:07

This week sees the 10th anniversary of the Vigil, which was launched on 12th October 2002. Since then we have met every Saturday (except when it fell on Christmas day, when there is no one around in central London to demonstrate to). The Observer newspaper described us as the largest regular demonstration in London.

 

Not that we were very large today as some of our supporters were drawn to other functions, principally the MDC’s 13th anniversary social in Slough, west London. Fraternal greetings to the MDC but our own view of their achievements is summed up by the latest article by the Botswana-exiled Zimbabwean journalist and SW Radio Africa commentator Tanonoka Joseph Whande. He says ‘What's there to celebrate? To make matters worse, Tsvangirai promised the people free and fair elections. Who is he kidding? Where does he get the powers to stage such when Mugabe refuses to clean up the voters' roll on which Ian Smith still appears? When ZANU-PF vigilante groups are sprouting in every town?’ (see: http://www.swradioafrica.com/2012/10/04/tanonoka-joseph-whande-mdc-t-is-taking-people-too-much-for-granted/ – Tanonoka Joseph Whande - MDC-T Is Taking People Too Much for Granted).

 

While the MDC celebrated in Slough, we kept the Vigil going outside the Embassy. Why? Tanonoka spells it out well but so does Nevanji Madanhire who asks, in the Standard, if the current looting continues ‘what will be left of the country for our children?’ (See: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/oct2_2012.html#Z21 – Editor’s Desk: Immediate gain behind plunder).

 

 For a graphic picture of the problem one only has to read a description of corruption, theft and abuse of power by Zimbabwe’s police in an account posted by Sokwanele (see: “Is your battery secured?” – http://www.sokwanele.com/thisiszimbabwe/archives/8106).

 

‘But what have you achieved?’ many people ask us. Well, we see our job as keeping up awareness of the crisis in Zimbabwe. And, thanks to the BBC and others picking up our Bulawayo lavatory ‘scoop’ (see: diary of 22nd September 2012 - http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/442-mummy-daddy-politics-zimbabwe-vigil-diary-22nd-september-2012), we have helped launch the prospective Olympic sport of ‘synchronised toilet flushing’ (see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19704766  – Synchronised toilet flush held in Zimbabwe’s Bulawayo).

 

On the basis of our intimate acquaintance with Zimbabwean crap, we can mention a few other emerging sports: sychronised looting, certainly. Sychronised wives as well, and what about sychronised being ‘unavailable’ when something needs to be synchronized; like receiving the SADC delegates in JOMIC?

 

Unlike the MDC celebrating their optimism we will be gathering after next week’s Vigil to mourn the need for our continued existence and reflect on the way forward in what we see as a very long struggle before there is freedom in Zimbabwe (for details see ‘Events and Notices’ below).

 

Other points

·        Our thanks to Sheron Makhosi Bhebhe and Elijah Bhebhe who were there at the start to help set up the Vigil. Thanks also to Sheron and to Mary Muteyerwa who stepped in to take care of the Vigil front table in the absence of Vigil regulars.

·        We were pleased to be able to send $90 to Bernard Hukwa’s widow. This was money left over from donations from Vigil supporters after the repatriation of Bernard’s body had been paid for.

·        A video of our demonstrations on 22nd September outside the Tanzania and Botswana High Commissions can be seen on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxLsfsI4v5M.

·        There seemed to be a more than the usual number of groups in London in fancy dress. We were visited by some very colourful parrots and a group in orange boiler suits with ‘LBS Psycho Ward’ on their backs who joined in the dancing..

 

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: 37 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·        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.