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Final looting spree? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 20th August 2016 PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 22 August 2016 11:09

It looks like the Mugabe regime is preparing for a final looting spree to mop up the dollars remaining in the economy. Despite earlier denials the Reserve Bank Governor, John Mangudya, has now admitted that the bond notes piling up at the bank will be used to pay wages (see: http://allafrica.com/stories/201608191099.html). 

The bond notes are expected to hit the streets in October when we will see the truth of the old adage ‘bad money drives out good’, leading once again to massive inflation and economic chaos.

It will be a windfall for the Mugabe cronies. But they should note the experience of the last Reserve Bank governor, Gideon Gono, who presided over the money-printing orgy until the Zim dollar became worthless. His Greystone Park house is to be auctioned on Friday over the non-payment of a $1.3 million debt.

Whether Mugabe himself really knows what is happening is doubtful. His physical condition is now so poor he has had to pull out of a trip to Ghana where he was to receive a Lifetime Africa Achievement Award – testament only to the ignorance of those who awarded it.

Probably Mugabe still believes in the fantasy world of the Herald, which said this week Zimbabwe is poised for an economic take-off – reminiscent of the Zambian space ship of a few years ago which ended up in the branches of the nearest tree.

The regime faces its biggest challenge so far if a massive protest in Harare planned by the combined opposition parties goes ahead on Friday. The riot police showed on Wednesday that they mean business when a demonstration in Harare against the introduction of bond notes ended with blood on the streets. 

Pastor Evan Mawarire of ThisFlag movement saw the brutal face of the regime himself and fled the country. He said he had been warned to leave or be killed. His wife had been threatened with rape and its clear his children were also in danger.

Mawarire supporter, the prominent businessman and publisher Trevor Ncube says he also fears for his life after mysterious visits to his Harare home by suspected members of military intelligence (see: http://www.biznews.com/africa/2016/08/17/thisflag-pastor-hits-back-feared-life-self-imposed-us-exile/).

We at the Vigil have some information of our own about the police reign of terror. Here’s a redacted recent What’sapp message from a member of our sister organisation in Zimbabwe, Restoration of Human Rights. ’Hi guys. Thanx so much for the caring messages I got during my dice with state security over a nothing.  They tried to frame me on very silly allegations that I was inciting violence and causing public disorder. They authored very derogatory papers with my name, phone number and address at the bottom and threw them around at night. They were shockingly pasted on walls at ZANU PF offices and buildings around the offices. Was called to a CID office where there were CIOs as well. Was heavily abused verbally and threatened when they were profiling me. No charges were laid against me but was warned that they will come back for me when they are finalising their paperwork. Though a bit disturbed psychologically, that's what they wanted, I am fine physically and unsafely at home and unmoved. The guys are cunning and very good at intimidating and threatening. Your messages and calls really raised my spirits and got me to realise that there is a bigger family out there.’

Other points

  •  The Vigil is to hold a demonstration outside the Embassy from 12 noon – 2 pm on Thursday 25th August to support ROHR member Lynda Masarira who is to make another appearance in court. Lynda is facing trumped-up charges in connection with demonstrations and has been refused bail although she has health problems and small children. She has been in custody for more than six weeks and this will be her fourth court appearance. The authorities are acting with great spite in an obvious attempt to intimidate protesters.
  • ‘Mugabe’s 36-year reign has set new standards in vanity, mismanagement, corruption, outright theft, oppression, and organized violence against opponents’, says Kate Hoey MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe. Ms Hoey is alarmed by news that former Labour cabinet minister Lord Mandelson had quietly visited Harare in February and had talks with Finance Minister Chinamasa, facilitated by the British Embassy (see: http://heatst.com/world/kate-hoey-boris-must-put-a-stop-to-peter-mandelsons-meddling/).
  • Wilf and Trish Mbanga who produce The Zimbabwean tell us that a movie titled ‘A United Kingdom’ about the love story between Seretse and Ruth Khama is to be released in the UK towards the end of this year before going worldwide. The Mbangas’ book ‘Seretse & Ruth’ sold out some time ago but is now available again. They sent us the following message: ‘We’re delighted to announce a number of exciting developments concerning one of the world’s greatest love stories – Seretse and Ruth Khama. Cross-cultural marriage today is so common-place it’s hard to believe that just 60 years ago it was almost unheard of. The Khama colour-blind love story in particular caused seismic upheavals of international proportions. Many people have been battling to get hold of  copy of our version of their amazing story – Seretse & Ruth – which sold out some time ago.  Here’s the good news!
    1. The book is now available online: Seretse&Ruth and the hard copy is available from www.merlinpress.co.uk.
    2. Pathe has made a movie entitled A United Kingdom, to be released in the UK towards the end of this year and worldwide shortly thereafter (see: http://www.patheinternational.com/en/fiche.php?id_film=821).
    3. Andrew Lloyd Webber has publicly announced that he is fascinated by the story and is thinking of turning it into a stage production.
    Love triumphs!  Please pass on this good news and encourage everyone to download a copy of the book, buy a hard copy, give it away for Christmas and generally spread the love!!’  
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Mavis Chisvo, Farai Chiza. Percy Dube, Isabell Gwatidzo, Lilian Kanyasa, Etines Kapiya, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Tafadzwa Madzivadondo, Phillip Mahlahla, Marian Mangani, Rosemary Maponga, Eunice Mucherechedzo, Roseline Mukucha, Tracy Mupeti, Tanyaradzwa Mutandiro, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Anna Pfende, Eva Sanyahokwe, Benjamin Semwayo, Nathan Tanyanyiwa and Fadzai Tembo. Thanks to Roseline, Eunice and Sandra Kudenga for looking after the front table and to Phillip, Mduduzi, Percy and Jonathan for battling to put up the banners and tarpaulin in the strong wind. Thanks to Chipo P and Isabell for reviving the lucky dip and fundraising for ROHR Central London branch and to Etines for sorting out the lucky dip items.

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: 39 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Protest to support Lynda Masarira: Thursday 25th August from 12 noon – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. 
  • ROHR South Yorkshire branch meeting. Monday 29th August from 1.30 – 3.30 pm. Venue: Christ Church, Ridge Road, Armley, Leeds LS12 3LE. For more information please contact: Sipilien Birani 07783149999, Patricia Nyawo 07443897919, Rosemary Mupunga 07446380110.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 3rd September from 12 noon. 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 3rd September 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 3rd September from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 10th September From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark eighteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • 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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