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Talks or Chaos – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 12th July 2014 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 13 July 2014 13:48

The Vigil is heartened by signs that people are beginning to accept that an all-embracing national dialogue is the only way forward to prevent chaos in Zimbabwe.

 

A year after the rigged elections, the emptiness of Mugabe’s promises has been laid bare as the economy spirals inexorably downwards. But as the rival parties fracture there is growing recognition from elements in Zanu PF that they need help from the West - and particularly from the diaspora – if Zimbabwe is to be turned around. Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo told the Daily News: ‘The economic transformation that we want to achieve requires the voice of everyone, including the opposition and civic society’.

 

Gumbo insisted that Tsvangirai would first have to accept the legitimacy of last July’s elections. The Vigil believes that this condition is for party rhetorical purposes and  the door to talks is obviously ajar (see: Zanu PF says its ready to talk to Tsvangirai…but – http://nehandaradio.com/2014/07/09/zanu-pf-says-ready-talk-tsvangirai/, Let's talk: Zanu PF – http://www.dailynews.co.zw/articles/2014/07/09/let-s-talk-zanu-pf).

 

For our part, we want to reach out to everyone and were happy to be invited to take part in a demonstration in Birmingham today organised by MDC T in the UK to draw attention to the Zimbabwe crisis. Here is what we replied: ‘As you know we are tied up on Saturdays with our weekly protest which is now approaching its twelfth anniversary outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. But we would have liked to be with you and have alerted supporters in the Birmingham area to your demonstration which we support whole-heartedly. Like you, the Vigil believes last year’s elections were rigged and we cannot accept this but we are happy to work with all groups seeking a way out of the political impasse in Zimbabwe. Hope the protest gets a lot of attention.’

 

Thoughtful people in Zanu PF know that the party cannot manage on its own. At the same time, the opposition knows that Zanu PF will not let go. The Vigil thinks there is a narrow gap that must be widened and explored.

 

In our view the EU is not helping by dropping all its objections to the lack of reforms and rushing to embrace Mugabe. If anything, their supine policy will provide the Mugabe regime with a lifeline at a time when its back is against the wall – much as the Government of National Unity saved Mugabe after his electoral loss in 2008. We believe the US has taken a more principled and sensible position by refusing to accept the rigged elections while still holding out a friendly hand to Zimbabwe (see: http://www.herald.co.zw/us-thumbs-nose-at-africa-over-indaba/ – US thumbs nose at Africa over Indaba). 

 

But if the EU really wants to pump more money into Zimbabwe they could start with Chitungwiza where more than 10% of the Zimbabwean population live in abject squalor (see: http://www.swradioafrica.com/2014/07/09/chitungwiza-engulfed-by-waste-and-filth/ – Chitungwiza engulfed by waste and filth). For their information, it’s not far from Harare so can be visited between cocktail parties.

 

Other points

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 19th July from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. 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 sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and Pizza Express. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

  • ROHR Central London general meeting. Saturday 19th July from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 26th July at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 26th July from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • ROHR Executive Committee meeting. Saturday 2nd August from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.

  • ROHR Reading Branch Fundraiser. Saturday 9th August from 5 – 11 pm. Venue: Pakistani Community Centre, Park Hall, London Road, Reading RG1 2PA. Tickets: £6.50 or £10 for two. Drinks, BBQ, Disco. Contact: Eric 07532 021 348. For flyer, check: https://www.flickr.com/photos/90023465@N03/sets/72157645522190494/.

  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2013 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/560-vigil-highlights-2013. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2013 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.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.

  • The Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets twice a month after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy

  • For the Zimbabwean Diary check: http://www.thezimbabwean.co/entertainment/film-and-theatre/71964/welcome-to-whats-on.html.

  • Facebook pages:

 

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