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Veneer peels – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 23rd July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 26 July 2016 13:56

As the Zanu PF regime crumbles its veneer of constitutionalism is rapidly peeling off. Any opposition to Mugabe is now seen as treason.

Even the regime’s storm troops – the war veterans – have now been accused of being traitors for questioning Mugabe. The accusation came from the top civil servant in the veterans’ ministry, retired Brigadier-General Asher Tapfunaneyi. 

He was responding to a statement by the War Veterans’ Association after a 7-hour leadership meeting. The statement accused Mugabe of entrenching dictatorial tendencies, egocentrism and misrule and said it would not support his re-election campaign (see: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-zimbabwe-protests-idUSKCN1030GVZimbabwe threatens "traitorous" war veterans after Mugabe attack and http://www.voazimbabwe.com/a/war-veterans-dump-mugabe-back-zimbabwe-protesters/3429995.html\). 

The war veterans criticised the oppressive attitude shown towards peaceful protesters. This highhanded unconstitutional behaviour is shown by its treatment of Linda Masarire of the Vigil’s sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe who was arrested on 6th July during the peaceful shutdown protest and has since been detained in Chikurubi prison. 

Linda came to public attention as a member of the Occupy Africa Unity Square Protest when she memorably said ‘We are sick and tired of being sick and tired’. 

She appeared in Mbare Magistrate’s Court on Friday and was remanded in custody until Tuesday 26th July although her lawyer pointed out that her constitutional rights had already been violated by the prosecution’s delay in bringing her to court. ROHR Zimbabwe has called on supporters to rally at the court on Tuesday. 

Other points

  • A very big crowd at the start of the Vigil. Regulars were joined by people from a protest against injustice and brutality in Zimbabwe outside 10 Downing Street. It was organised by a group from the north of England. It was good to have with us once again the dedicated human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell
  • MDC UK protested outside the Embassy on Monday. They got into the Embassy and the police were called to evict them.
  • A big thank you to Patricia Masamba for bringing the Vigil paraphernalia (banners, posters, tables etc) to the Vigil. Her journey was not without incident. Unable to get out of the Strand to park her car outside the Embassy she contacted Vigil co-ordinator Fungayi Mabhunu who happened to be in a bus also in the Strand. He leapt out and ran down the middle of the road looking for her car. Fortunately they were united and safely arrived for the start of the Vigil.
  • A special thank you to Roseline Mukucha who took charge of the merchandise and the Vigil table helped by Etines Kapiya and Chipo Parirenyatwa. Roseline brought a new supply of Zimbabwe flags which are in great demand. Thanks to Emmaculate Tshuma for looking after the register and ensuring people signed and to Isabell Gwatidzo for selling raffle tickets for the ROHR Reading fundraiser. Thanks also the Phillip Mahlahla, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Kevin Gondo and Michael Sirewu for putting up the banners. Many people were there at the start to help – too many to mention individually. 

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: over 100 signed the register.

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