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Zuma save Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 16th February 2013 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 17 February 2013 15:26

As the Mugabe regime intensifies its onslaught on civic society organisations, the Vigil is to appeal to President Zuma to insist on the implementation of the GPA reforms ahead of the elections.

 

We plan to deliver a petition to President Zuma via the South African High Commission in London during our Vigil  next Saturday marking Mugabe’s 89th birthday when we will alert the world to the old man’s determination to steal yet another election. The demonstration is part of the 21st Global Free Zimbabwe movement which has protested every month since January 2012. The letter to President Zuma reads:

 

‘Dear President Zuma

 

The Zimbabwe Vigil is disturbed at indications that you are prepared to allow elections to go ahead in Zimbabwe without the implementation of reforms provided for in the Global Political Agreement.

 

Lindiwe Zulu, spokesperson for the SADC  facilitation team, is quoted by the Financial Gazette in Zimbabwe as saying that as long as the GPA partners make sure there will be no repeat of the mayhem of 2008 elections could go ahead (see: Zimbabwe: Mugabe Softens Zumahttp://allafrica.com/stories/201302071271.html).

 

The Vigil believes the following reforms must be implemented before elections:

·         Non-partisan security forces

·         Honest voters’  roll

·         Impartial electoral commission

·         Foreign observers

·         Open airwaves

·         No hate speech

 

We think that, without reforms guaranteeing a level playing field, there is no hope of free and fair elections and urge you, as facilitator, to insist on these reforms.

 

The Zimbabwe Vigil has been protesting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London every Saturday for the past eleven years in support of human rights and free and fair elections.’

 

Our fears of a rigged election were supported by comments by President Khama of Botswana who said those responsible for the ‘brutality and intimidation’ of the last elections remain in place and ready to act. ‘I have not seen any evidence that they have changed their attitude towards trying to ensure that Zanu (PF) will emerge victorious’,
he said, adding: ‘I think that they (Mugabe supporters) are still capable of trying to engage in intimidation, deploying the security services to bring that about . . . telling the people in the security services how they should vote. The potential for that is still there.’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/feb16_2013.html#Z5 – Khama sceptical about Mugabe peace calls).

 

The MDC T says voting is already being rigged, with soldiers and their wives being registered to vote while other people are being turned away (See: http://www.mdc.co.zw/index.php/news/42-rokstories/2212-zanu-pf-embarks-on-a-massive-rigging-exercise.html - Zanu PF embarks on a massive rigging exercise Friday, 15 February 2013 10:16). At the same time Zanu PF’s grip on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is being tightened, with the departure of the new chairman Mutambanengwe – apparently forced out by Zanu PF. It leaves the organisation with the same officials who were in charge during the last rigged elections (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/feb16a_2013.html#Z20 – Zec integrity still doubtful).

 

Other points

·         Vigil supporter Wilbert Mukori has been urging us to campaign against the constitution but we felt our energies should be devoted to what is really important: free and fair elections. Indeed, we have been dismayed that so much time and money has been devoted to the ludicrous constitution at the expense of more vital things. The Vigil has been copied into correspondence about this matter involving Dale Dore, Ben Freeth and Eddie Cross which you can see on our campaigns page (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/474-a-necessary-compromise-too-far. The dialogue is also covered on this link: JAG open letter forum - No. 827- Dated 14 February 2013 – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/feb16_2013.html#Z25).

·         The Vigil met earlier than usual today to support an Amnesty International protest on behalf of WOZA. The Vigil displayed a poster protesting at the brutal treatment of WOZA at their Valentine Day’s demonstrations in Harare and Bulawayo. Roses were laid on the doorstep of the Embassy.

·         Vigil supporters discussed staging a protest outside the Belgian Embassy because of Belgium’s insistence on watering down EU sanctions to benefit the Antwerp diamond trade. People were shocked that Belgium was still ruthlessly pursuing its own interests after its abominable colonial behaviour in Africa.

·         We were saddened to learn from Arnold Magwanyata of Zimbabwe We Can about the death of his two grand-daughters (14 and 10) of malaria --another tragedy caused by the looting of Zimbabwe’s resources resulting in the failure of health services.

·         The ROHR / Vigil dance troupe had their first practice today and they enjoyed our new drum which boomed down the Strand.

·         We have been asked if anyone wants an almost full set of copies of The Zimbabwean dating back to 2003. Please contact the Vigil if you are interested: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

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: 56 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·         Round 14 of the Free Zimbabwe Global Campaign (FZGC). Saturday 23rd February. Meet at the Zimbabwe Embassy at 2 pm. Move to the South African High Commission at 3 pm. We have reliable information that President Mugabe will be with us to mark his 89th birthday.

·         Launch of the ROHR Southampton Branch. Saturday 23rd February at 2 pm. Venue: Swaythling Neighbourhood Centre, off Broadlands Road, Southampton, SO16 3AY. This special event will provide a platform to discuss the upcoming constitutional referendum and elections. Traditional Zimbabwe food will be available. The President, Mr Ephraim Tapa and the UK Executive will be there. Contact: Taylor Madondo 07456405678, Manfred Mambo 07774538359 and Natalia Chiurunge 07812663656.

·         Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 23rd February 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 Central London Branch meeting. Saturday 2nd March from 12 noon to 1.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see entry below. Contact: Fungayi Mabhunu 07746 552 597, Cynthia Mutede 07548 609 683.

·         Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 2nd March from 6.30 – 9.30 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.

·         Mike Campbell Foundation: Hope in a Desert. Thursday 7th March at 7 pm. Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. Speakers are Ben Freeth, Dr Craig Richardson and Gillian Higgins. The event will be chaired by Kate Hoey MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe. Tickets: £15. Check: http://www.mikecampbellfoundation.com/images/rgs2013flyer.pdf for more information.

·         Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2012 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/467-vigil-highlights-2012.  Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2012 Highlights page.

·         The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization 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.

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

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

·         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.