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Culture of denial – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 12th March 2016 PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 14 March 2016 13:04

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Where is Mugabe? The government’s mouthpiece the Herald says he has gone to a cultural festival in India (accompanied by the Foreign Affairs Minister and a planeload of overpaid lackeys}. The fact that the obscure festival was not even attended by the Indian President didn’t matter: Action Man Mugabe must be seen to be doing something and he only feels at home on a plane.

 

The Vigil knows that this is probably all a cover for another trip to his doctors in Singapore. Why should this be kept a secret? Zimbabweans have a right to know who is in charge, who is taking the decisions – and, more importantly, why decisions are not being taken.

 

The International Monetary Fund has concluded its latest consultations in Harare leaving the door ajar to new loans to bankrupt Zanu PF. The IMF seems to think that promises of reform by the regime are bankable. The Vigil has a message for the IMF: read the report by the International Crisis Group in last week’s diary which expresses doubts that Zanu PF can ‘walk the talk’ of reform.

 

Zimbabwean ministers like Chinamasa can promise the moon but no one can deliver except Mugabe. And, as he has shown over civil servants bonuses, he will not make any decision which will imperil his hold on power.

 

So Chinamasa’s promise of massive cuts in the government payroll is simply undeliverable. So are promises of reform of the indigenisation policy or action against parastatal corruption. So are all the other Chinamasa promises, including the fantasy offer to compensate dispossessed farmers.

 

The culture of denial in Mugabe’s Zanu PF is shown by the party’s brazen hypocrisy over the abduction of human rights activist Itai Dzamara. We welcome the statement by the US Embassy in Harare on the anniversary of this outrage demanding justice. We urge the United States to take the advice of Bob Corker, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who called on President Obama to prevent new lending to Zimbabwe unless there is meaningful progress to restore the rule of law and improve human rights (see: https://www.foreign.senate.gov/press/chair/release/corker-no-new-lending-to-zimbabwe-without-meaningful-reform).

 

The Vigil believes that any financial help to prop up Mugabe’s odious regime will simply prolong the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe.

 

It was good to see old friends from the MDC UK who joined us to mark the Dzamara anniversary which was attended by around 100 people. For Vigil supporters it was the second Dzamara demonstration in a week following a protest outside the Embassy on 9th March. (see: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos/10153949189752836/).

 

Other points

·       The Vigil has received an acknowledgement from the Prime Minister’s Office following the delivery of our petition to 10 Downing Street calling for the revocation of the citizenship acquired by the Nottingham doctor Sylvester Nyatuso who has illegally seized a white-owned farm in Zimbabwe. The letter from No 10 says the letter has been handed to the Home Office which deals with citizenship issues.

·       We grieve with our Vigil friend Fungisai Mupandira whose 26-year-old sister died in childbirth in Zimbabwe. The baby also died. A collection was made for the family.

·       Vigil Co-ordinator Rose Benton was interviewed by two Kenyans from Diaspora Voice. They were very interested in our protest.

·       A number of people from the Vigil attended a meeting in London during the week addressed by Mary-Jane Ncube of Transparency International Zimbabwe. We were surprised that she had never heard of the Vigil.

·       The United Nations says it has only raised $78 million so far in its appeal to help feed Zimbabwe. Mugabe had asked for $1.6 billion. The UN said it had been reduced to asking Zimbabwe’s all-weather friends to contribute for the first time to such an appeal.

·       Thanks to the big group who were there to help at the start of the Vigil. Thanks to Cathrine Musa, Sharon Moyo and Esther Munyira for looking after the front table. Thanks also to ROHR Central London branch for the food cooked by Fungayi Mabhunu and Benjamin Chigamba and served by Rashiwe Bayisayi, Mavis Chisvo and Barbara Kachidza to raise funds for ROHR. Central London’s fundraising Lucky Dip was managed by Chipo Parirenyatwa and Isabell Gwatidzo. Thanks to those putting up the high banners: Cephas Maswoswa, Ben Chigamba, Nelson Dauramanzi and Piyo Choga.        

 

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: 87 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       ROHR Reading branch community outreach and general meeting. Saturday 19th March. Community outreach from 12 noon – 1.30 pm: Venue: Broad Street. Awareness campaign on deteriorating human rights in Zimbabwe. General meeting from 2 – 5 pm:  Venue: RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. For further enquiries contact: Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Charles Mararirakwenda 07964731721, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Shylette Chipangura 07828929806.

·       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.

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 19th March from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 9th April from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark thirteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 16th April from 11 am to 1.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 16th April 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 an optician. 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 Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.

·       Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2015 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/746-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2015. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.

·       Facebook pages:

Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515

ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835

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