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West to rescue Mugabe? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 9th July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 10 July 2016 17:24
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The West seems hell-bent on saving the beleaguered Zanu PF regime – in spite of a Zanu PF minister accusing Western embassies of fomenting the mounting unrest. The West apparently believes that there will be regional chaos if the regime collapses.
 
Behind the re-engagement process between the West and Zimbabwe is the International Monetary Fund  which has been persuaded by Zimbabwe’s promises of economic reforms and says the country is capable of quick growth if it can only get some cash.
 
The word is that new loans will only come after reforms have been made but the Vigil can’t see how Zanu PF can undertake reforms. For instance, would this involve a 50% cut in the government wage bill as recommended? We do not believe this can be delivered  as it would undermine Zanu PF’s support base.
 
Many others are equally sceptical. The Zimbabwean economist Tony Hawkins says ‘the IMF is being taken for a ride’. An article in the latest edition of the UK’s Economist headlined ‘Bailing out bandits’ makes clear its view that a lifeline for Mugabe is ‘a bad idea’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-bailing-out-bandits/).
 
The West is pinning its hopes on those they see as ‘reformist’ elements in Zanu PF. Vice President Mnangagwa, despite his genocidal history, is seen as one of them, along with Finance Minister Chinamasa, who made a poor impression at a money-raising conference in London’s financial district on Tuesday.
 
The Zimbabwean academic Alex Magaisa was at the conference and says Mugabe and Zanu PF can’t believe their luck at the prospect of new loans. He says Western countries must not delude themselves into thinking that they are dealing with a different creature or that it is in the interests of ordinary Zimbabweans  (see: http://alexmagaisa.com/chinamasa-came-london/). Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who was also at the conference, accused Chinamasa of lying and said Zimbabwe needed a national transitional authority to stabilise the situation and arrange new elections.
 
The MDC T has called on the Southern African Development Community to intervene as it did after the violent 2008 elections. This echoes the call by the Vigil, which last month delivered a petition to Botswana, the current Chair of SADC.
 
Other points

  • Dr Magaisa said that as the conference was taking place the songs and chants by Vigi protestors outside could be heard, prompting laughter when Chinamasa claimed ‘political stability’.
  • For Vigil reports on the day as well as its protest against Chinamasa at a meeting at the Chatham House think tank on Monday (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/802-zimvigil-protests--4th-5th-6th-july-2016). You will also find a brief report on our demonstration on Wednesday in support of the ‘stay away’ in Zimbabwe,
  • Voice of America interviewed Vigil Co-ordinator Fungayi Mabhunu during the Tuesday protest, check: http://www.voazimbabwe.com/a/zimbabwe-politics-economy-chinamasa-zimbabwe-vigil/3405218.html.
  • Chinamasa did not give a good account of his case in an embarrassing interview on BBC’s Hardtalk programme, when he predictably blamed all Zimbabwe’s problems on non-existent sanctions. (see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07jht24/hardtalk-patrick-chinamasa-zimbabwean-minister-of-finance).    
  • Today we marked sixteen months since human rights activist Itai Dzamara was abducted. We also expressed solidarity with other activists back home.
  • An Islamic group ‘Who is Hussain’ take over the Vigil’s our space outside the Embassy every Saturday at 6 pm to feed the homeless. Today they asked if they could put up decorations a little early for an Eid party at the end of Ramadan. Vigil supporter Phillip Mahlahla along with the Vigil ladder was most useful in helping to put up their decorations. We were all invited to the party.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Benjamin Chigamba, Mavis Chisvo, Busie Dlamini, Philile Dlamini, Percy Dube, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Michelle Makoni, Nancy Makurira, Cephas Maswoswa, Praisego Moyo, Sharon Moyo, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Esther Munyira, Euliter Mutami, Vusumuzi Ncube, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Nomcebo Ngwenya, Emilia Nyamhandu, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Zanele Shongwe, Sihle Sibanda and Zenzo Siziba. Thanks to Roseline, Sharon and Esther for looking after the front table and to Phillip, Alfredy, Cephas, Mduduzi, Benjamin and Vusimuzi for putting up the banners. Thanks to Chipo P for selling our wristbands and to Zenzo for bringing scones and crisps for the Vigil.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. For videos of Vigils and other events, check the ROHR facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos?fref=photo.
 
FOR THE RECORD: 47 signed the register.
 
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 16th July from 11 am – 1 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 16th July from 1 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
  • ROHR Slough fundraiser. Saturday 16th July from 6 pm till late. Venue: Sharks Bar, Wexham Road, Slough SL2 5HS. Tickets £15. Money raised will go to books, food and school fees for Zimbabwean children in rural areas. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Fungisai Mupandira (07721383165 and Iline Manhunzi 07824886092.
  • 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 July 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 a shop. 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 23rd July from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR Reading branch summer national fundraiser. Saturday 30th July from 2 pm till late. Venue: Pakistani Community Hall, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA. Contact: Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Charles Mararirakwenda 07964731721, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Shylette Chipangura 07828929806, Deborah Harrry 07578894896, Sihle Sibanda 07985712749.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest. Saturday 6th August from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark seventeen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Vigil and ROHR Brighton to London Walk. Friday 12th August to Saturday 13th August. The theme of our fundraising walk is ‘Mourning the death of democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe’. The walk will end around 3 pm at the Vigil. If you wish to participate or sponsor the walkers contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . More information to be provided as plans develop.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds 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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