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36 years of destruction – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 16th April 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 17 April 2016 14:06

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/26443126756/sizes/m/

 

As we marked Zimbabwe’s 36th independence anniversary, exiles in the UK were joined by Mugabe himself at Saturday’s Vigil outside the London Embassy. His Excellency, in the form of Fungayi Mabhunu in our Mugabe mask and carrying a poster reading ’36 years of me. What else can I destroy?’, answered some of our questions.

 

The first was how he justified spending $20 million on foreign trips so far this year at a time when the economy is alleged not to be booming. ‘Well, this trip to London is costing nothing’, he said. ‘As you may know I have recently had to make one or three essential visits to the Far East so I have collected lots of air miles’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-mugabe-blows-20m-on-trips-dailynews-live/).

 

Our second question to his well-travelled Excellency was about  the 300 cattle that he announced he had donated to the African Union last year to reduce the AU’s dependence on Western aid. ‘It just struck me that no one had ever thought of a gift by way of cattle to the AU’, he said, brushing aside reports that none of the beasts had been sent . . . (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-mugabes-300-au-cow-gift-non-existent/).

 

Mugabe was then asked about Zanu PF’s rejection of genetically modified food  -  a move condemned by  Zimbabwean farmer Nyasha Mudukuti in an article in the Wall Street Journal:  So my country – a country that can’t feed itself – will refuse what millions around the world eat safely every day . . . we’re apparently better dead than fed’ (see: http://www.agweb.com/blog/the-truth-about-trade/zimbabwes-rejection-of-gmo-food-aid-is-a-humanitarian-outrage/).

 

The nonagarian  went on: ‘What some people don’t realise is the effect of illegal sanctions. As well as inflicting aids on  Africa and causing our drought the West is now determined to exterminate us with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) so that they can control us like they do the troublemakers who caused chaos in Harare on Thursday in an attempt at regime change’.

 

The Vigil is pleased to see that our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe was prominent among those who took part in the MDC T demonstration on Thursday. ROHR in the UK followed it up by gathering outside the Zimbabwe Embassy on Friday carrying posters such as ‘Old Clueless Mugabe must go’. As usual, the Embassy was closed. 38 people attended.

 

Other points

·       A meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil congratulated the British government on refusing to accept Mugabe’s proposed new ambassador to London. He recently stole a farm in Figtree. We wonder whether the British government’s  move follows the fuss we made over the Nottingham farm looting GP Dr Sylvester Nyatsuro.  We agreed to send our congratulations to the government and ask them what action they were taking to remove Nyatsuro’s British citizenship so that he can pursue his new found mission as a farmer in Zimbabwe.  It was agreed to have another protest outside Dr Nyatsuro’s clinic on Friday 13th May. See ‘Events and Notices’ for details.

·       The Forum decided to approach the Botswana High Commission in London to arrange a date to hand over our petition to be passed on to President Khama as Chair of Southern African Development Community. The petition calls on SADC to prepare to take action  to stop a meltdown in Zimbabwe.

·       It was good to welcome back Takunda Maravanyika who performed a piece of political theatre at one of our forums in January. For his PhD work he interviewed several people to get their reactions to  his performance. 

·       Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Humphrey Dube, Isabell Gwatidzo, Etines Kapiya, Traiphine Maguwu, Phillip Mahlahla, Jenniffer Maritsa, Cephas Maswoswa, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Marlon Nyamakanga, Chipo Parirenyatwa and Elector Zvorwadza. Thanks to Roseline, Etines and Eletha for looking after the front table and to Chipo and Isabell for supervising the lucky dip to raise funds for ROHR. Thanks also to Phillip, Humphrey and Cephas for putting up the high banners and tarpaulin and a final thank you to Chipo for her efficient selling of the “Mugabe must go / has gone’ wristbands.

 

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: 45 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       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.

·       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 30th April from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       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.

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 7th May 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 7th May 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.

·       Nottingham demonstration against farm looting Zimbabwean doctor. Friday 13th May from 12 noon – 3 pm. 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.

·       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.

·       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

 

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.