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Can of maggots – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 9th April 2016 PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 11 April 2016 15:33

Zimbabweans in exile join in demanding a commission of inquiry into the involvement of Zimbabweans in offshore tax havens and believe it will open a can of maggots that have been sucking dry the carcase of our economy.

 

The leaking of millions of documents from the dodgy Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca has exposed the involvement of Zanu PF financiers Billy Rautenbach and Nicholas van Hoogstraten. This was predictable but it is also alleged that Mugabe himself has used the firm to hide his vast wealth in havens around the world.

 

The MDC T MP Eddie Cross says Mugabe’s personal wealth is estimated at over $3 billion gained from all sorts of activities in Zimbabwe and the region. He adds: ‘The disclosure by Mr. Mugabe that some $15 billion in revenues had somehow vanished from the Marange diamond fields over a six year period from 2008 to 2015 reveals the extent of these activities. He is known to own, directly or indirectly, luxury homes in South Africa (Sandton and Durban North), Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai as well as in Harare.’

 

The Japanese commentator Ken Yamamoto, who closely follows Zimbabwean affairs, describes Mugabe’s disclosure as: ‘the mother of all scandals’. He says: ‘With the stolen $15 billion, Zimbabwe could have provided its economy a huge bailout, funding refurbishment of railways infrastructure, construction of power plants, construction and expansion of national highways, a bailout to the sinking industrial sector, provided clean water in cities, funded alternative agriculture and processing industries and invested in clean energy.’

 

Yamamoto goes on: For a 92-year old man whose leadership has wasted an entire generation to laugh and crack jokes while talking about such grand theft under his watch is a vulgar insult to millions of jobless Zimbabweans and millions more who are presently being fed by donors.’

 

He concludes: ‘This kind of plunder must immediately make Zimbabwe pass a vote of no confidence in Mugabe and his government. If this theft does not cause Zimbabweans to demand that he resign, then nothing else will. In that case, going forward, Zimbabweans must just be left to their own devices and the donors currently feeding the population must just take their efforts to other countries. The country cannot be helped. And no more of this nonsense that Zimbabweans are the most literate people in Africa.’ (See: http://www.thezimbabwean.co/2016/03/yamamoto-president-bob-must-be-fired/).

 

War veteran and former Zanu PF insider Margaret Dongo also has no illusions about the greed and corruption in Zanu PF. In a recent interview with the Daily News she said: ‘I left Zanu PF in 1995, and watching from the terraces I am seeing people fighting for a dwindling gravy puddle. The party is a sinking ship and it’s all about who has power now to access more of the little loot left before the inevitable big bang.’

 

She went on to say: ‘The 90 per cent unemployment obtaining in the country, the starving masses that the government is unable to feed, the dilapidated infrastructure all-around, the serious shortage of drugs, deteriorating education standards, poor sanitary facilities are all a result of Zanu PF's misrule.’ (See: https://www.dailynews.co.zw/articles/2016/03/16/mugabe-zanu-pf-are-gone-dongo).

 

Other points

·       Many Vigil supporters attended a demonstration called by the London branch of the MDCT UK outside the Embassy on Thursday 7th April in protest at the looting of the Marange diamond fields.

·       The Vigil marked thirteen months since the abduction by intelligence agents of human rights activist Itai Dzamara on 9th March last year. The Zimbabwean authorities have refused to say what they did with him but it is assumed he was murdered like so many others. Nearly 6,000 have been abducted in the last 16 years (see: http://www.thezimbabwean.co/2016/03/abduction-2000-2016/).

·       ROHR Reading branch’s Saturday 19th March protest about the Mugabe regime has been reported in the local press (see: http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/reading-berkshire-news/reading-branch-zimbabwe-human-rights-11136904).

·       ROHR Central London branch is to protest outside the Embassy on Friday calling on Mugabe to go. For more information see ‘Events and Notices’. The Vigil will be marking Zimbabwe’s independence anniversary on Saturday 16th April.

·       Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Isaac Chawasarira, Kevin Gondo, Isabell Gwatidzo, Etines Kapiya, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Cephas Maswoswa, Roseline Mukucha, Esther Munyira, Chipo Parirenyatwa and Michael Sirewu. Thanks to Roseline, Isabell and Esther for looking after the front table, to Chipo for energetically selling the ‘Mugabe must go / has gone’ wristbands and to Phillip for taking charge of the team putting up the high banners and tarpaulin.

 

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: 36 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       ROHR Central London branch ‘Mugabe must go protest’. Friday 15th April outside the Zimbabwe Embassy from 11 am to 1 pm. Please come and join Central London to make a big statement on the Friday before the 36th anniversary of Zimbabwe’s Independence. 36 years of Mugabe – time to go!

·       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.

·       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 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.

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 16th April from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       ROHR Birmingham Branch Independence Ball. Saturday 30th April from 3 pm till late. Venue: Centrala, 4 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Birmingham B5 5RT. African cuisine, £20 a head, children free. For more information, contact: Gladys Muduve 07956 430115, JaneMary Mapfumo 07412 310429 and Tecla Bandawe 07450507650.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 7th May from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark fourteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·       Play: ‘After Independence’. 4th – 28th May at the Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL. The play is by May Sumbwanyambe and tackles the issues of independence and government in Zimbabwe. More information is available here: http://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/after-independence/2016-05-04/. The producer has contacted the Vigil for our input and plans to visit us to discuss this.

·       Nottingham demonstration against farm looting Zimbabwean doctor. Date to be advised. Venue: outside The Willows Medical Centre, Church Street, Carlton, Nottingham NG4 1RJ. The Vigil and ROHR are continuing the campaign to have Dr Nyatsuro’s British citizenship revoked. More information to follow.

·       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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