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‘Take Back Zimbabwe’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 20th October 2012 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 21 October 2012 14:46

On the eve of the 2nd Stakeholders’ Meeting on the new constitution, Zimbabweans exiled in the UK gathered outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London to underline our fears that this ludicrous process would again be hijacked by Zanu PF.

 

The gathering was part of the 10th round of monthly demonstrations by the Free Zimbabwe Global Diaspora 21st Movement. Previous protests were directed at SADC, regional players and the UN. The theme this month was ‘Operation Take Back Zimbabwe’ targeting Zimbabwe embassies (See: 21st Movement press release –
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1empt9LlblvSr8H1tsxgXrlUdppW1LoTTR3jhgbAYjSQ/edit).

 

The following petition was drawn up on the spot and signed by participants, including many MDC members as well as Vigil and ROHR supporters, before being slipped under the Embassy’s front door. Petition to Zimbabwe Embassy, London. Zimbabweans exiled in the United Kingdom have gathered outside the Embassy today (Saturday 20th October 2012) to demand that the 2nd Stakeholders’ Meeting on the new constitution should be allowed to take place without sabotage by Zanu PF. We deplore the upsurge in political violence and the arbitrary arrests of opposition members and warn you that we will continue our campaign until there are free and fair elections. This demonstration is part of a global diaspora project ‘Operation Take Back Zimbabwe’ in which we are joined by brothers and sisters in the United States, South Africa and others round the world.’

 

Against a background of exuberant singing and dancing, we displayed the following posters: Independent Monitors for Copac Conference; No violence, No Arbitrary Arrests; Free Fair Peaceful Referendum; Free, Fair, Credible and Indisputable Elections; SADC JOMIC Monitors Where Are You?; UN, AU, Independent Monitors For Referendum; UN, AU, Independent Monitors For Elections; We Want A Clean Voters' Roll; No Repeat of 2008 Ever Again; Fair Justice, Independent Judges Now; People's Parliament Not Mugabe's, Open It Now; Diamond Money For The People; and Chinamasa & Gumbo stop your nonsense.


Other points

·        Following the Vigil’s 10th anniversary last week we were pleased to receive further messages of support:

-       Congratulations on your 10 years. Sorry I wasn’t able to be there as I am in South Africa. I did however post this on our facebook page: ZEN is congratulating the Zimbabwe Vigil on their 10th Anniversary. Hopefully it will not be necessary for another ten years of protest outside the Zimbabwean Embassy! – Tor-Hugne Olsen, Co-ordinator, Zimbabwe Europe Network.

-       Forgot to say happy 10th birthday/anniversary to the ZImbabwe Vigil Coalition. www.zimvigil.co.uk on the 13th of October. We should surely celebrate and thank God for stalwarts . . . Well done guys you are always in our prayers – Yvonne Gwashawanhu (Zimbabwean lawyer and human rights activist in the UK).

-       So proud that the Vigil is 10, it's amazing!!  I keep up with your weekly diary and cheer you on. Hope it all goes well and please send love to everyone and keep on the keeping on – Wiz Bishop. Zimbabwe  HR NGO Forum.

-       Makorakoto – well done, keep it up until the people have won – Eddie Cross MP.

·        We urge people to read Eddie Cross’s latest thoughts on the situation in Zimbabwe in which he discusses Zanu PF’s strategy to steal next year’s elections (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/oct16_2012.html#Z21 - The Zanu PF Battle Plan).

·        The African philanthropist Mo Ibrahim, whose foundation promotes African leadership, has some stinging comments to make about Zimbabwe this week. Ibrahim said: "Zimbabwe should have been a success story. It is a wonderful country with wonderful resources but unfortunately is at a political impasse. That is really a problem. We really hope the Zimbabwean people will somehow come together to resolve this impasse and enable the country to move forward. It's unfortunate to have this kind of stagnation in the political scene which is affecting the performance of the country. The Zimbabwean people are among some of the best-educated Africans and very enterprising. So let's hope that they get their act together and somehow we see Zimbabwe rising again." (see: Mugabe holding Zimbabwe back: Ibrahim – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/oct17_2012.html#Z8). Zimbabwe was ranked 47 out of 52 African countries in the 2012 Ibrahim Index. At the same time the influential Economist magazine rated Harare as the 4th worst capital city in the world to live in.

·        The Vigil has been asked to campaign for the diaspora vote by Derek Sparrow (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/448-diaspora-vote-campaign for text of his request and our reply).

·        The Vigil has been asked to draw attention to the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum’s children’s competition as part of UN human rights day. They are inviting Zimbabwean children anywhere in the world to submit a story or a picture on the theme of 'The Portrait of a Great Zimbabwe'. For full details check: http://www.swradioafrica.com/Documents/CHILDREN%20STORY%20AND%20DRAWING%20COMPETITION-3.pdf.

·        Thanks once again to the ladies from ROHR Slough branch (Josephine Zhuga, Grace Nyaumwe and Iline Manhunzi) who brought sadza and nyama and mealies which they sold for ROHR funds. They were joined by Thandiwe Gwarumba and Anne Chikumba of the ROHR Birmingham branch who also contributed to ROHR funds by selling snacks.

 

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: 77 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·        Launch of ROHR Central London Branch. Saturday 27th October from 6 – 9 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The meeting will take place straight after the Vigil. 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.

·        ROHR Cambridge Branch Meeting. Saturday 27th October from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: St Andrews Hall, Chesterton, Cambridge, CB4 1DH. Contact: Andrew Mlambo 07826626579; Deon Matola 07786674066, or Elijah Mandaza 07446251197

·        ROHR Bournemouth Branch Meeting. Saturday 3rd November from 3 – 5 pm. Venue: 71 Stewart Road, Bournemouth BH8 8NZ. Contact: Memory Dzepasi 07585907566, Arthur Chagadama 07951 269667, Dennis Muringai 07787486839 or Collin Chitekwe  07957712691

·        Special Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 10th November from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Our special guest will be Ben Freeth. 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.

·        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.