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EU betrays Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 8th November 2014 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 09 November 2014 12:23

Zimbabweans exiled in the UK are to deliver a petition to the Prime Minister’s official residence at 10 Downing Street on 15th November following the EU’s lifting of sanctions against the Mugabe regime.

 

The petition has been signed by many thousands of people who have passed by the Vigil held outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London every Saturday. The petition reads:

 

A petition to the European Union: Millions of Zimbabweans have been forced into exile by the brutality, incompetence and corruption of the Zanu PF regime of Robert Mugabe. Despite the absence of any reforms, including the holding of free and fair elections, the EU is moving to normalise relations with the illegitimate Zimbabwean regime, promising hundreds of millions of dollars in aid direct to Mugabe’s party. We urge the EU to insist that the diaspora is guaranteed the vote in future elections, as ordered by the African Union, before re-engagement goes any further.

 

The EU’s sanctions were imposed 12 years ago because of the breakdown of the rule of law in Zimbabwe, human rights abuses and the rigging of elections.

 

Fungayi Mabhunu, a spokesman for the Vigil, said: ‘We are protesting at the EU’s spineless capitulation to Mugabe even though he has made no reforms whatsoever. All the conditions which led to the imposition of sanctions are still in place: there is no rule of law, human rights continue to be abused and all elections are rigged. Now we get EU people such as the new EU Ambassador going to Harare and saying how intelligent and sharp Mugabe is. The Ambassador said he ‘had a lovely chat with Mugabe’. It is sickening. Mugabe has turned the country into a death camp.’

 

The Vigil notes that only this week a peaceful demonstrator Itai Dzamara was viciously attacked by police for exercising his constitutional right to protest in Harare’s Unity Square (see: Police savagely beat protester Itai Dzamara –http://nehandaradio.com/2014/11/07/police-savagely-beat-protester-itai-dzamara/). We have been contacted by supporters of Mr Dzamara in the UK who are planning to join us next week to protest at the assault. 

 

In another incident, which no doubt the EU’s lovely Ambassador will ignore, riot police randomly beat up people in Marondera. One of the victims was a two-year-old child out shopping with her father. The attack came amid tensions in the town following the murder by police of a combi driver Mugove Manonge for his failure to pay a $10 bribe (see: Cops attack citizens in Marondera – http://www.thezimbabwean.co/news/zimbabwe-news/73955/cops-attack-citizens-in-marondera.html). Vigil supporters led by Martin Chinyanga laid flowers on the doorstep of the Embassy today to mourn his death.

 

Other points

  • During the week Vigil supporters turned up in force to sing and drum at the Royal Geographical Society in London. The occasion was an evening devoted to Zimbabwe organised by the Mike Campbell Foundation. Mr Campbell, a commercial farmer, died in 2011 as a result of injuries caused by his abduction and torture by Mugabe’s supporters. The meeting, under the title ‘Hope for Zimbabwe’ was addressed by Mr Campbell’s son-in-law Ben Freeth, who was himself savagely beaten. He said the EU’s re-engagement with mass-murderer Mugabe was very sad. Dictators only understood pressure. On the panel of speakers was Vigil founder member Ephraim Tapa, who told the large audience of his own torture at the hands of the Mugabe regime. He said re-engagement was depriving civil rights activists of support. Thanks to those who sang at the event: Brenda Chavundira, Cephas Moswoswa, David Kadzutu, Eric Eluwasi, Fungayi Mabhunu, Fungisai Mupandira, Grace Munyanyi, Helen Rukambiro, Kelvin Kamupira, Mary Eluwasi, Mary Muteyerwa, Mavis Chisvo, Patricia Masamba, Peter Sidindi, Rashiwe Bayisayi and Veli Mamba.

  • The Vigil was sorry not to be able to attend the gig by Zimbabwean comedian Walter Mzembi, arranged  by his supporters at Oxford University. But we recommend the BBC’s  Hard Talk interview with the Tourism Minister (see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04ndyyq/hardtalk-walter-mzembi-tourism-minister-zimbabwe). Amazing Mzembi, full of his ‘win-win’ and ‘low-hanging fruit’ clichés, says the West owes Zimbabwe £100 billion for the illegal sanctions and blamed Britain for the brain drain from Zimbabwe. No doubt he will soon be given a doctorate by Oxford.

  • At the beginning of our wettest Vigil for many months we were pleased to be greeted by Joseph Chivayo who got up at 4.30 am to catch the cheap coach in Derby to be with us today.  He won’t be able to be with us next week because he will be a speaker at the Sanctuary Summit in Birmingham, campaigning for asylum seekers (see: https://sanctuarysummit2014.wordpress.com/201-2/).

  • On the day of the Lord Mayor’s procession through London, others who were with Joseph at the start of the Vigil to help set up were Gladys Phiri, Eunice Mucherechedza, Veli Mamba, Fungayi Mabhunu and Grace Munyanyi. Thanks also to Eunice who brought pens and a new register book for the Vigil.

     

    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: 19 signed the register.

     

    EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Petition presentation to 10 Downing Street. Saturday 15th November at 4 pm. Leave Vigil at 3.15 pm to walk to Downing Street. Back at Vigil by 4.45 pm.

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 15th November 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.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 15th November at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 15th November from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • ROHR Reading Branch general meeting and outreach. Saturday 22nd November from 10:30 am to 5 pm. Venue: RISC 35-39 London St, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 4PS. For further enquiries contact: Information and Publicity Officer: 07532021348. 

  • ROHR Southampton general meeting. Saturday 29th November from 1.30 – 5 pm. Venue: Age Concern Building, 20 Romsey Road, Eastleigh S050 9AL.  Speakers include Ephraim Tapa, ROHR Founder and President and Tony Noyce, Mayor of Eastleigh. Contact: Sally Mutseyami (Chair) 07448730581, Wellington Mukucha (Vice-Chair), 07450264733, Sekayi Mwenye (Secretary) 07428570134, Chipo Mtetwa (Organising Secretary) 07403341214,

  • ROHR Executive Committee meeting. Saturday 6th December from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: RISC 35-39 London St, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 4PS.

  • 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 every month after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy

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