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We are Itai Dzamara – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 14th March 2015 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 15 March 2015 20:36

Photolinks

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Exiled Zimbabweans demonstrated outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London on Saturday about the abduction of the human rights activist Itai Dzamara whose brave Harare protest ‘Occupy Africa Unity Square’ (OAUS) has made him a beacon of freedom. There are mounting fears that Itai has been killed by state security agents because he was seen being bundled into an unmarked truck by 5 unidentified men – typical CIO behaviour.

 

At the suggestion of the writer Vince Musewe, Vigil supporters carried posters ‘I am Itai Dzamara’ to show solidarity with a man Musewe said had ‘a burning desire to do that which we must despite the personal cost’.

 

Musewe asked: ‘Where are our pastors and our bishops? Where are our churches, civic organisations, human rights activists and our NGOs, our prophets and prophetesses, our community leaders, our opposition political party leaders and all those amongst us and in the Diaspora who claim that they stand for our freedom? Where are you all now because words alone will not do?’ For Musewe’s message see: http://nehandaradio.com/2015/03/13/i-am-itai-dzamara/.

 

Among those at the Vigil was Tendai Kwari, leader of OAUS-UK, who said he feared for Itai’s life. He added that a citizen of Zimbabwe could not be allowed to just disappear. ‘We are all now living in fear’.

 

Ephraim Tapa, President of Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR). told the fired-up gathering that many people had disappeared after being abducted and tortured or from so-called accidents. ‘Enough is enough’ he said. ‘We must move the struggle to another level. The Zanu PF regime must be dismantled. People must demonstrate outside Zimbabwe’s embassies abroad and use social media to encourage people at home to join the protest.’

 

Itai Dzamara has been arrested, assaulted and tortured several times during his protest which was launched last October when he called on Mugabe to step down.

 

For a video showing the treatment that he might have received from the state, see: http://www.news24.com/Africa/Zimbabwe/Watch-Zimbabwe-police-brutality-20150313.

 

Some people at the Vigil have experienced this brutality at first hand. A collection was taken at the Vigil for Itai Dzamara’s wife Sheffa, who says her young children haven’t stopped crying for their father to come home.

 

People might like to sign an online petition to the European Union asking for their help to ensure the release of Itai Dzamara: https://www.change.org/p/council-of-the-european-union-call-for-the-release-of-occupy-zimbabwe-leader-itai-dzamara?recruiter=254630181&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

 

 

Other points

  • Swazi Vigil Meeting with Vincent Ncongwane. Wednesday 18th April from 6 – 8 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. Nearest station: Temple, next to Kings College London Mr Ncongwane is the Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress of Swaziland and will speak of the role the Swazi Vigil UK can play in supporting democratic reform.

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 21st March from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 21st March 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 Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco, a play by Zimbabwean writer Andrew Whaley showing at the Gate Theatre, 11 Pembridge Road, London W11 3HQ, until  21st March. For more information and to book, check: http://www.gatetheatre.co.uk/events/all-productions/the_rise_and_shine_of_comrade_fiasco.

  • Democrats. Two showings of this film about the constitution-making process in Zimbabwe in London on 20th March at 6.30 pm at the Barbican and 23rd March at 6.15 pm at the Ritzy, Brixton. Check: http://ff.hrw.org/film/democrats?city=4 for tickets. Both screenings are followed by discussion with filmmaker Camilla Nielsson and Dewa Mavhinga, Senior Researcher for Zimbabwe and Southern Africa, Africa Division, Human Rights Watch).

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 28th March 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 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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