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Being counted – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 17th January 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 18 January 2015 14:27

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Zimbabweans came out in the cold in London in support of the protesters who have been campaigning in Africa Unity Square since last October. The Harare protesters, led by journalist Itai Dzamara, are demanding that Mugabe step down and allow an interim administration to prepare fresh elections to rescue the country as chaos threatens amid reports of mysterious deaths in the ruling circle.

 

On a biting mid-winter day, Vigil supporters were joined outside the Zimbabwe Embassy by UK members of the Occupy Africa Unity Square movement (OAUS).

 

In a message to the gathering, Itai Dzamara said that a new Zimbabwe was within reach. He told us: ‘As you brave the cold weather of London to stand up and be counted . . . your protest today is not in vain’. He added: ‘Colleagues in other parts of the world are also seriously committed and more protests will follow your sterling effort today in other countries.’ (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/646-a-message-from-itai-dzamara).

 

The message was read by Tendai Kwari, leader of OAUS-UK. He told Vigil supporters that he wanted to see more and more people joining the OAUS protests in Harare. ‘The regime is collapsing’, he said ‘They cannot kill us all’.

 

Tendai 2pushed a copy of an OAUS letter (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/647-protest-over-failure-of-government) to Mugabe under the Embassy door. Other copies are being posted to the Embassy and to Mugabe’s office.

 

Mr Dzamara has been beaten up and arrested during his demonstrations but is not deterred. The Vigil applauds his example and we agree with the comment by the former student leader Freeman Chari that if the 100 or so NGO and human rights organisations in Harare were each to supply just one member to join Itai Dzamara at the OAUS demonstrations Zimbabwe would be free (see: http://nehandaradio.com/2014/11/07/police-savagely-beat-protester-itai-dzamara/ – Police savagely beat protester Itai Dzamara). Who knows, they might even get donor funding and then they might be joined by the MDC . . .

 

Other points

·         A meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil encouraged people to attend a parliamentary meeting arranged by ROHR Reading Branch on Monday 19th January – details below. Also raised was the possibility of challenging through the UN Dr Grace’s illegal evictions to expand her empire.

·         Following the emergence in public of a white group of Mugabe followers, we were interested to note the following in the January newsletter from Ben Freeth’s organisation: ‘On the Colletts’ farm in West Nicholson invaders are trying to get them off their conservancy despite huge support from the local people, the chiefs and the war veterans in the area for them to stay . . . It appears that their neighbour Ken Drummond, a ZANU-PF supporter, wants to extend his empire and is giving the invaders his vehicles etc. to cause mayhem.’

·         Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Helen Rukambiro, Eunice Mucherechedzo, Mavis Chisvo, Rachel Mudzimba, Paul Fusire, Muchineripi Chigwedere, Fungayi Mabhunu, Tendai Kwari and David Mbinga.

 

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: 51 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Parliamentary Meeting to discuss the current situation in Zimbabwe. Monday 19th January from 4 – 6 pm. Venue: Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House. Bridge Street, London SW1A 2LW. Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/QxoRW. Nearest Station: Westminster.  The meeting has been arranged by Alok Sharma, MP for Reading West at the request of the Reading branch of the Zimbabwe Vigil’s sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHRZ). It is an open meeting for all Zimbabweans and a chance to discuss Zimbabwean issues with UK MPs. We suggest you arrive early (around 3.30 pm) so you can clear security by the start of the meeting. For information contact: Nicodimus Muganhu – 07877386792, Erick Eluwasi – 07532021348, Charles D Ndlovu – 07413879590, Sally Mutseyami – 07448730581, Shylette Chipangura – 07828929806, Tino Mashonganyika – 07463272078.

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 24th January from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • 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.

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 7th February 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.

  • 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 2014 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/642-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2014. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2014 Highlights page.

 

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