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Senile Mugabe not voice of Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 13th December 2014 PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 13 December 2014 23:15

The Vigil has delivered a letter to the Ghanaian High Commission in London apologising for the insulting remarks about Ghana made by Mugabe at the Zanu PF Congress. We are particularly concerned because senile Mugabe is the President-elect of the African Union and is bringing the whole of Africa not just Zimbabwe into world ridicule. The letter reads:

 

Dear High Commissioner

 

Zimbabweans exiled in the United Kingdom apologise to the people of Ghana for the ill-informed and gratuitously insulting comments about their country made by our illegitimate President Robert Mugabe.

 

Speaking at the ruling Zanu-PF’s recent Congress, Mugabe said: ‘I have been to Ghana, 1958 – 1960, and when you look at them now and compare their present situation to that which existed in the 1960s, no change. There might be more people yes. There may be one road from the airport that has been well done. That’s about all. No change.’

 

What makes these ignorant remarks so offensive to us as well is because of the high regard in Zimbabwe for Mugabe’s Ghanaian-born first wife Sally, who was betrayed by Mugabe on her deathbed in favour of his current wife Grace.

 

We commend former Ghanaian President John Kufuor for his restrained response to Mugabe’s senile drivelling. Mr Kafuor said Mugabe’s comments were his own ‘opinion’ but noted ‘Ghana has made some fantastic improvements since the 1960s’ (see:  http://www.newzimbabwe.com/news-19324-Ghana+ex-president+dismisses+Mugabe/news.aspx).

 

Mr Kafuor also pointed out that Ghana is a democracy which allows people to express themselves freely. We at the Zimbabwe Vigil represent some of the millions of people who have fled Zimbabwe where Mugabe has rigged successive elections to stay in power.

 

We would point out that Ghana is not the only country to have been insulted by Mugabe. Nigeria has also been traduced while Jamaicans – who used to be firm Mugabe followers – have been dismissed as ignorant drug addicts.

 

Yours sincerely, Zimbabwe Vigil

 

We in the UK look around in the streets of London, Luton, Leicester etc and find fellow Zimbabweans but a distinct absence of Ghanaians driven into exile by oppression and poverty. Perhaps, as Mugabe says, it’s the absence of roads in Ghana . . .

 

Speaking of Zimbabweans in the UK, the Vigil is alarmed that so many of them are Zanu PF supporters. Evidence of this came in recent photos in the Zimbabwean media here of a Zanu PF meeting in the UK which showed enthusiastic support for Mugabe. A Vigil supporter said that this was because they were promised farms or other favours if they returned to Zimbabwe. Confirmation of Zanu PF’s popularity in the UK came in a report in The Herald about corruption in the selling of Zanu PF membership cards. Zanu PF says about $400,000 can’t be accounted for and cites, as an example, that South Africa received 3,000 cards but 2,881 of them had yet to be accounted for. In contrast, ‘the United Kingdom received an equal number but sold all the 3,000 cards’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-400k-membership-cards-missing-the-herald/ - $400k membership cards missing).

 

Since Zimbabweans in the UK are, because of Britain’s legislative backlog, entitled to vote in next May’s knife-edge general election, even if they are not UK citizens, Zanu PF supporters here could consider forming a lobby group promoting Mugabe’s values. Given the anxiety about the number of immigrants coming to this country, the British might be attracted by the call for indigenisation! They should call on the veteran Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, who is on record for her praise of Mugabe’s inspirational policies.

 

 

Other points

  • The Vigil has been pressing the Home Office for a meeting to discuss Zanu PF activity in the UK and other questions of concern to Zimbabwean exiles here. To reinforce our request we plan to hold a demonstration outside the Home Office in the new year. Details are to be finalised at a meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum on 17th January.

  • January promises to be a busy time for the Vigil. We have been approached by a supporter of the brave Occupy Africa Unity Square activist Itai Dzamara to hold a protest in his support on 17th January. And on 19th January there will be a meeting to discuss Zimbabwe in a Parliamentary committee room arranged by Alok Sharma MP at the request of ROHR Reading Branch. We will give more details as plans develop.

  • We were interested in an article in the Financial Gazette raising questions about the visit to Zimbabwe by a British business delegation. The paper said that British companies operating in Zimbabwe had downplayed the effect of corruption in the face of ‘growing public concern that the scourge had become endemic in the country’. It noted that Zimbabwe was ranked 156 out of 175 countries on the corruption scale (see: Zimbabwe: British Firms Underplay Zim Corruption – http://allafrica.com/stories/201412120219.html). As the British press would put it: ‘All rather smelly’.

  • We hope the British Embassy in Harare, all too keen to cosy up to Zanu PF, has read the article in the British Daily Mail alleging that British businessman Nicholas van Hoogstraten is bankrolling Dr Grace in her power quest. It says, quoting leaked CIO documents: ‘Grace has spent £2m on shopping this year, including 62 pairs of Ferragamo shoes and 33 of Gucci, 12 diamond rings, a $115,000 Rolex and – most astonishingly – a $300,000 diamond-encrusted headboard. The papers also show she has spent £30,000 on lingerie . . .’ (see: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2870376/Nicholas-van-Hoogstraten-bankrolls-Grace-Mugabe-s-bid-power-Zimbabwe.html). Or the British Embassy could look at the revelations of Zanu PF corruption now disclosed by the sacked former Deputy Minister of Information Bright Matonga (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-matonga-exposes-corrupt-bigwigs/ – Matonga exposes corrupt bigwigs). And as far as the rule of law is concerned we hope the Embassy will alert prospective British investors to the ongoing saga of the illegal land seizure by Dr. Ray Ndhlukula, Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/634-attempted-takeover-of-boxwell-and-banovellum-farms-).

  • We draw your attention to a BBC programme on Zimbabwe’s economy broadcast on 9th December (see: Zimbabwe's Economy, More or Less – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02d20kx).

  • Grateful thanks to Epiphania Phiri for her continuing fundraising efforts. She deposited £46 into our bank account this week. This is a great help as we are entirely self-funding. Thanks also to Mary Muteyerwa, David Kadzutu, Eunice Mucherechedzo, Peter Sidindi, Nkosikana Tshabangu, Paul Fusire and Fungayi Mabhunu for coming early to help set up.

     

    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: 34 signed the register.

     

    EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 27th December from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • Demonstration in support of Africa Unity Square Protester Itai Dzamara. Saturday 17th January. Further details later.

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 17th January 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 Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.

  • Zimbabwe meeting in Parliament. Monday 19th January. Details to follow.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 31st January at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

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

  • 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 us.

  • 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.

 

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.