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The final nail – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 26th November 2016 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 27 November 2016 14:58

Despite the government’s last minute hesitation, the Reserve Bank has announced that it is to release its monopoly money on Monday – widely seen as the final nail in the coffin of the Zimbabwean economy. 

Human rights lawyer Irene Petras said that the authorities have ‘illegally, immorally and inhumanely set about destroying Zimbabwean lives for a second time’ – a reference to the hyperinflation era which ended with the abandonment of the Zimbabwean currency in 2009. 

The Reserve Bank says $10 million of bond notes in denominations of $2 and $5 are to be issued, along with $2 million worth of $1 dollar bond coins. But few believe it will stop there. The currency is said to be backed by the African Import and Export Bank, which has not itself confirmed this. 

Because Zimbabweans have lived through this asset stripping before, they know exactly what to expect. Savings will be wiped out by rapidly depreciating Mickey Mouse money for the benefit of the elite which will externalise all remaining US dollars in the country. 

The move is likely to be badly received by the army. Reuters news agency says it has seen a report by the Central Intelligence Organisation warning Mugabe that introduction of bond notes would cause his downfall (see: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-zimbabwe-mugabe-insight-idUSKBN13K1J2). 

There has been widespread unrest at the move although the promised ‘mother of all demonstrations’ against bond notes last week failed to gain support amid allegations that money collected for the Harare protest was misappropriated. It is reported that this prompted Tajamuka to pull out of the demonstration at the last moment. 

Zimbabwe People First spokesman Jealousy Mawarire said as much as $100,000 may have been involved. He said: ‘As long as the struggle is commercialised we will always have these solo sporadic selfie moments disguised as demos’ (http://www.myzimbabwe.co.zw/news/9337-why-tajamuka-pulled-out-on-the-demo.html). Others talk of activists ‘milking donor funds’ and ‘living large’. 

The accusations come as no surprise to us. We ourselves refuse to have anything to do with one of the protest leaders because of our own experience working with him. This person certainly fits the bill of being a ‘selfie activist’: always in the photograph, in the news, known to all the journalists, ready with a quote. 

We at the Vigil marvel at how he seems to have a ‘get out if jail free’ card. With no visible means of support, he nevertheless pops up regularly in the UK, always impeccably dressed, hustling for money. The social media protest movements need to beware the bad apple effect. 

Other points

  • We were joined by the MDC for a candlelit vigil to honour people who had lost their lives or been abused in the struggle against the Mugabe regime. It was part of our programme of prayer vigils held on the last Saturday of the month. Thanks to Beverly Murandiro for leading the prayers and to Simba Mutero and Sharon Moyo of the MDC for organising the candlelit vigil.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help: Mavis Chisvo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Honest Madondo, Phillip Mahlahla, Gladys Meck, Zimazile Mguni, Sharon Moyo, Roseline Mukucha and Virginia Mutyambizi. Thanks to Roseline, Sharon and Gladys for looking after the front table, to Simbarashe Mutero and Maxmus Savanhu for handing out flyers and selling ‘Mugabe must go / has gone’ wristbands and to Phillip, Mavis and Virginia for putting up the banners. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO Zimbabwean HR Charity. Please be advised that any posting on this page are not posted by ROHR. 

FOR THE RECORD: 46 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 10th December. From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The protest is to mark twenty-one months since Itai’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 10th December from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Monthly Prayer Vigil. Saturday 31st December from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. Contact Beverley Mutandiro (07412053415) with names of Zimbabwean pastors and prayer groups who might want to participate.
  • 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) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • 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:
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