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‘Tax’ the Mafia – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 6th September 2014 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 07 September 2014 20:23

President Mugabe – having failed to sell Zimbabwe in Beijing – is now turning to other salesmen to bail out his bankrupt regime. Street vendors in Chitungwiza are being told they must register to pay tax to the Zimbabwe Revenue authority, although most of them only manage to scrape up a few dollars a day to feed their families  (see: Zimra descends on vendors – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-zimra-descends-on-vendors-the-zimbabwean/).

 

Although Mugabe came home from China with the prospect of various development projects, it is clear there will be no cash injection to pay the government’s running costs. Finance Minister Chinamasa said plaintively: ‘China doesn’t supply budgetary support’ – for all the world as if this is a law of economics instead of a brush-off. Or perhaps he didn’t want to acknowledge that only the reviled West provides budgetary support for rocky African economies, such as for instance our cousins in Malawi. The upshot is that the Zimbabwe treasury is now, as they put it, about to run out of the readies.

 

Zimbabweans know all too well what happens when you run out of money: you have to cut your spending, sell your goods, borrow, beg . . . or steal. Mugabe has exhausted this list. Zanu PF can’t cut spending because most of it is on salaries – and where would that leave their supporters? It can’t sell anything because all parastatals are broke. It can’t borrow because its credit rating is zero. The failed trip to Beijing shows it can’t even beg successfully. That leaves only stealing: so it’s off to Chitungwiza to fleece the poor.

 

The Vigil believes, however, that there is still an untapped source of funding available: how about cropping the Zanu PF bigwigs and their mysterious wealth? After all, there is a school of thought that argues that wealth not accounted for is necessarily illegitimate. Take, for instance, the case of Vice-President Mujuru. She appears to be ready for plucking: her brooding clucking certainly suggests as much – feathers flying in all directions. Publicly accused by a party stalwart of the premature cremation of her vastly wealthy husband, Mai Mujuru has been quick to come up with money to buy votes.

 

Perhaps the valiant helicopter downer could be asked to make a donation to the fiscus from some of the reported $9 billion loot left by the late incinerated General Mujuru. The Vigil is sure he would have wished for no less. And if her rich supporter Didymus Mutasa and other cronies could also be ‘persuaded’ to cough up a billion dollars or so, Zanu PF could look forward with confidence to a well-fed congress in December at which the President could hand over the baton safely to a new generation of Mugabes who could carry on the valiant fight against illegal progress.

 

Other points

  • Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu for donning our Mugabe mask for a tableau illustrating the financial desperation of the Zanu PF regime. He was shown with a bucket for donations from the passing public, flanked by posters reading: ‘Bankruptcy sale’, ‘Liquidation’, ‘Everything must go’ and ‘Country clearance’.

  • Zimbabwean food is becoming a popular feature at the Vigil to fundraise for ROHR branches. Today was Fungayi’s turn to bring food in support of Central London branch, He was helped by his wife Thobile Gwebu and Central London member Helen Rukambiro. Also on sale was a car boot full of Zimbabwean greens grown by a local Zimbabwean family. With all the vendors it felt as if we were in Chitungwiza. For a lively account of vendors’ lives in Chitungwiza we recommend: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_m_chitungwiza-vendors-bring-smiles-to-stressed-residents-dailynews-live/.

  • The singing and dancing at the Vigil drew an appreciative response from a big march in defence of the National Health Service which took 20 minutes to pass by.

  • Thanks to Brenda Chavundura, Epiphania Phiri, Cecilia Tandi, Kelvin Kamupira and Francesca Toft for arriving early to help set up.

  • Supporter Joseph Chivayo took part in a meeting held in the Houses of Parliament to discuss the situation of asylum seekers in the UK. He said the meeting was a success with more than 30 MPs attending.

     

    For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

     

    FOR THE RECORD: 31 signed the register.

     

    EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 13th September 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 Executive Committee meeting. Saturday 13th September from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.

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

  • ROHR Central London Branch general meeting. Saturday 20th September from 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • ROHR Southampton Branch at the 3rd Eastleigh Mardi Gras. Saturday 20th September from 10 am – 7 pm. Venue: Eastleigh Recreation Ground, Leigh Road, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO50 9DE. Well-wishers welcome to help raise funds for a charitable cause. Dancers, stalls, food,  games, workshops, music, talent show final, bands, kids competitions and Mardi Gras. Procession starts at 4:30 pm.

  • ROHR Middlesbrough Fundraising Event. Saturday 20th September 2014 from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Humanah CIC, Unit 5 BBC Broadcasting House, Brentnall Street, Middlesbrough TS1 5JA. Come and enjoy delicious food and amazing entertainment. All inclusive for £5. Raffle tickets with good prizes. For more information please contact: Masimba Musodza (Chairman) 07581887359, Ndumiso Ncube (Organizing Secretary) 07532080247, Xoliso Sithole (Treasurer) 07476558655, Helen Sibanda (Secretary) 07799574994 & Tapiwa Semwayo (North East Info & Pub Secretary) 07412236229.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 27th September at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • ROHR Reading Branch general meeting and outreach. Saturday 27th September from 10:30 am to 5 pm. Venue: RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. Contact: Information & Publicity Officer: 07532021348.

  • 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

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