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Demonstration in support of ROHR member Linda Masarire facing trumped up charges in Harare – Thursday 11th August PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 11 August 2016 20:46
About 20 people gathered outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London from 11 am – 2 pm singing and drumming. During the demonstration the protesters were angered to hear that Linda had been further remanded in custody until 25th August, unable to get home to her children. For pictures see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157669256855493.
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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 10th January 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 10 August 2016 21:03

A freezing Vigil – one of the coldest we can recall in the six years or so we have been protesting outside the Embassy.  It was one of those days when it seemed too cold for snow, though there were fine flakes.  Some passers-by came and joined in the dancing to keep warm.  We were also joined for a while by a Zimbabwean farmer who was beaten up and driven off his land six years ago. He still lives in Zimbabwe and, given the weather here, is probably looking forward to going home . . .  

 

Supporters were interested to learn from SW Radio Africa that the Mujurus’ daughter, Nyasha, is apparently heavily involved in dealing in Africa’s ‘blood’ gold on behalf of the ‘family firm’. She lives in Spain with her Spanish husband . . . for the moment!  It cheered us to have some of the murky dealings between our kleptocratic leaders coming out into the open.  The Vigil has long suspected that the alliances between some SADC leaders are based on corrupt financial dealings principally involving the exploitation of the benighted DRC
(see: http://www.swradioafrica.com/pages/hotseat090109.htm). 
 

 

The Vigil has supported the campaign to allow failed asylum seekers in the UK the right to work.  A demonstration is to be held outside 10 Downing Street on Tuesday 13th January.  For more information check: ‘For your Diary’ below. 

 

A few points from today:
·        
With the cold weather, some people at the Vigil were not very well but nevertheless spent the whole time with us. We salute them.
·         The Reverend Bill Crews from Australia, who has been very helpful to Sekai Holland, stopped by and outlined plans to help Zimbabwe
once there is a new government.  It was good to have him with us.
·        
A Zimbabwean couple came past who were marking their golden wedding anniversary. They were staying at a local hotel where they had spent their honeymoon.
·        
We were delighted to hear that Vigil team member Arnold Kuwewa’s papers have finally come through.  
·         Word from the front table: we actually had a South African who was prepared to sign our petition calling on FIFA to move the World Cup from South Africa next year.   

 

As mentioned last week we are publishing information about the activities last year of Restoration of Human Rights Zimbabwe.  ROHR was founded in 2007 out of the Vigil’s need for a presence on the ground in Zimbabwe to create a democratic space where people can act without fear. This week we are covering their activities in Zimbabwe for the first six months of 2008. (Next week we will report on the second half of the year). We also report on ROHR activities in the UK and South Africa last year.   

 

ROHR in Zimbabwe
25th January
200 ROHR activists led by Stendrick Zvorwardza demonstrated in Harare carrying banners demanding peace, justice and freedom. They were beaten up by police and Sten and others, including ROHR Chairman Tichanzii Gandanga, were arrested. (23 were seriously injured including 2 ladies with broken arms. Sten was released on Monday, 28/01.) 

10th February – Sten detained again. Text message from him to the VigilI have been brutalized by soldiers and arrested for saying Zanu PF is causing the suffering of Zimbabweans. I am in police custody and am in pain. Have been denied treatment. Despite all this, my spirit for fighting for our rights is getting stronger by the day.” (Sten was released a few days later but was being closely watched.) 

26th April Ephraim Tapa, President of ROHR, reported that ROHR official Tichanzii Gandanga had been abducted on Tuesday (22/04) and found in the bush 80 miles east of Harare on Thursday very badly injured.  Apparently he was forced to lie down on the road and then his abductors drove over his legs four times.   

3rd May – ROHR activists were at the Vigil in force to express their abhorrence at the violence being inflicted on opposition supporters.  Stendrick briefed the Vigil on ROHR’s plans for actions in Zimbabwe.   

18th MayROHR activists Godfrey Kauzani and Cain Nyeve, who were abducted last week by state security agents, have been found dead in Goromonzi. Cain Nyeve's eyes were missing, suggesting that he was tortured. 

21st MayROHR has learnt with shock of the murder of Tonderai Ndira (33), one of its members, who was abducted from his Mabvuku home on Wednesday 14th May by 9 heavily armed police. Ndira was also the Provincial Secretary for Security in MDC-T.  

21st May – At the burial of Cain Nyeve and Godfrey Kauzani a mob of more than 100 Zanu PF thugs drove away mourners with stones and sticks leaving behind the two coffins in uncovered graves.  

22nd JuneOver 300 people gathered at the Grace Ablaze Ministries International church to join ROHR in commemorating the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. ROHR pledged 30 blankets and groceries for the victims of violence who were present at the event. 

 

ROHR in the UK
Ephraim Tapa, President, and Paradzai Mapfumo, UK Co-ordinator, have worked hard to build UK support structures for ROHR in Zimbabwe. They have travelled the length and breadth of the UK and launched the following branches: Bradford – 17th August, Birmingham – 13th September, Ashford -  14th September, Liverpool – 21st September, Stoke-on-Trent – 27th September, Brighton – 4th October, South West London – 19th October, Wolverhampton – 25th October, Manchester – 1st November, Newcastle-upon-Tyne – 2nd November, Coventry – 8th November, West Yorkshire – 15th November, Glasgow – 22nd November, Bournemouth – 30th November, Hatfield – 6th December, Reading – 7th December, Leicester – 13th December. 

In addition ROHR held a protest outside the Catholic Cathedral in Birmingham on 4th May and had an audience with Archbishop Nichols, who expressed his support. The new ROHR website was launched on 1st November – thanks to David McAllister for his hard work on this.  ROHR Liverpool’s weekly protests started on 15th November. 

 

 

ROHR in South Africa
MayEphraim Tapa, ROHR President and Vigil founder member, visited Johannesburg at the invitation of South African activists who wanted to join up with the ROHR project.  On 17th May he reported to the Vigil on his visit.  He said he had made contact with many Zimbabwean exiles and told us of the difficulties of their lives there.  People without papers were constantly stopped by the authorities and money demanded. In the case of women who had no money they were often raped. He said that for Zimbabwean women the formula was: no papers + no money = rape. Zimbabweans in South Africa were very keen to start a ROHR protest group.  

10th December – ROHR Zimbabwe SA Chapter was joined by comrades from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to mark World Human Rights Day. They protested against the rising spate of abductions, torture, arbitrary arrests and abuse of civic leaders, members of the opposition and ordinary Zimbabweans. They also protested against the SADC resolution on both Zimbabwe and the DRC, arguing that the regional leaders had chosen to stand in solidarity with dictatorships against defenceless citizens. About 700 activists were at the Union Building gardens to hand over a petition to SADC chairman and SA President Kgalema Motlanthe.  

 

 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/ 

 

FOR THE RECORD: 190 signed the register. 

 

FOR YOUR DIARY:
·         Citizens for Sanctuary Campaign for Zimbabweans to be allowed to work.  On Tuesday 13th January  they will be handing over Zimbabwean CVs to 10 Downing Street.  10.30 meet in the chapel at Methodist Central Hall (Storey's Gate, London, SW1H 9NH) for a briefing. 12 noon assemble in Richmond Terrace opposite 10 Downing Street. Photocall at 12.30 and at 12:45 a delegation of six Zimbabweans will enter Downing Street and deliver a dossier of CVs collected from Zimbabweans in the UK who have skills that are going to waste and want to work.  For more info contact Jonathan Cox, Lead Organiser, Citizens for Sanctuary Campaign: 07919 484 066 and
Chipo Chaya of the Zimbabwe Vigil: 07904 395 496.
·         ROHR Launch Meeting in Northampton. Saturday 17 January  at Alliston Gardens Community Centre, 2 Adelaide Street, Northampton NN2 6AR
from 1330-1730hrs. Contact Anthony Chimimba 07799855806, Shenete Vushe 07818661362, Angeline Nehanda 07915085123. N
·         Next Glasgow Vigil. Saturday 17th January, 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Argyle Street Precinct. For more information contact: Patrick Dzimba, 07990 724 137
, Tafadzwa Musemwa 07954 344 123 and Roggers Fatiya 07769 632 687
·         ROHR Newcastle General Meeting. Saturday 24 January at 61 Bishops Benwell NE15 6RY Newcastle
from 1400 - 1730 hrs. Contact: Linda Chingwinyiso 07894142263, Joseph Madziva 07905850073 or Fadzai Mudekwa 07727221873.
·         Unite Zimnite. Saturday 24th January at 7 pm. King’s College London’s student-led charity Project Zimbabwe is holding a fundraiser for Zimbabwe. The event is an African themed open mic night with over 8 acts coming to perform.  Money raised will go towards their MedYouth Project, a life skills programme being taught to school children in Bulawayo next summer. Venue: Function Room, Walkabout, Temple. Cost: £10/£5NUS. For more information, check:
http://www.kclprojectzimbabwe.blogspot.com/
·         ‘The Agony of Zimbabwe, What Chance for Change?’ Monday 9th February, 6.45 – 8.45 pm.  Talk by Christina Lamb Foreign Affairs Correspondent for the Sunday Times. Hosted by Friends of Le Monde diplomatique. Venue: the Gallery, 70/77 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ (near Farringdon Tube station).  For more information
check:
http://monde-diplo-friends.org.uk/calendar.htm.
·         Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays).

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Vigil petitions UN for transitional authority – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 6th August 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 07 August 2016 15:12

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/28525004020/sizes/m/

Exiled Zimbabweans are to appeal to the United Nations to prepare to intervene in Zimbabwe as the bankrupt regime teeters on the verge of violent unrest.

The Vigil today launched the following petition to the UN Secretary-General: With mounting unrest in Zimbabwe, we urge you to appoint a Special Representative to prepare the ground for a UN Transitional Authority to take over from the failed Mugabe regime. We look to the Special Representative to initiate comprehensive negotiations so that the UN Transitional Authority can assume control of Zimbabwe’s administrative structures – foreign affairs, defence, security, finance and communications – to ensure a level playing field conducive for credible national elections.

The petition is the fruit of the late Vigil supporter Clifford Mashiri, an academic and former diplomat whose funeral took place in London on Tuesday.

Clifford said ‘Arguably, governance would change in Zimbabwe by virtue of a UN Security Council resolution giving mandate to the UN Transitional Authority in Zimbabwe (UNTAZ) which will only withdraw after free and fair elections have been conducted.’

Clifford said the proposed Transitional Authority would be similar to that created in Cambodia. Acknowledging the wide range of political opinions in Zimbabwe, Clifford argued that, in order to wiggle out of the current economic crisis, Zimbabwe must eat humble pie.

In recent months there have been proposals from various quarters in Zimbabwe for some kind of transitional authority and – in the absence of any initiative by the Southern African Development Community – the Vigil believes Clifford’s ideas offer a way forward (see: http://nehandaradio.com/2016/07/30/former-diplomat-mugabe-critic-clifford-mashiri-dies/).

Other points

  • The Vigil marked seventeen months since the abduction of human rights activist Itai Dzamara by government agents in Harare. It also expressed support for Linda Masarire of our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe, who has been behind bars for the past month awaiting trial on trumped up charges. We received the following message today: ‘I went to visit Linda at Chikurubi prison. She said to me that she wants to go home to her children and that she especially misses the youngest of them who is only two years old. She smiled and chatted away happily despite it all. But still I was so heartbroken.’
  • Linda’s next court hearing is on Thursday when we will hold a special Vigil outside the Embassy from 11 am – 2 pm. There will be surprise visitors to wish good luck to ROHR and Vigil walkers who are to set off from Brighton on Friday on a fundraising walk to end at the Vigil on Saturday. Thanks to John Burke and Rashiwe Bayisayi who have walked 100 miles to plan the best routes for the walkers.
  • Supporters might have seen an article on the dodgy Zimeye website in which the Vigil was criticised for not allowing Stendrick Zvorwadza to address us last week (see: http://www.zimeye.net/zvorwadza-flies-to-uk-blocked-by-rose-benton/). Our refusal to give a hearing to this charlatan was because he still pretends to be the leader of ROHR and has yet to account for £2,000 we entrusted to him in 2008 to hand over to an orphanage we were supporting in Zimbabwe, as well as computers, phones and cameras for the ROHR office in Harare.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Isabell Gwatidzo, Etines Kapiya, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Nancy Makurira, Marian Mangani, Rosemary Maponga, Bianca Mpawaenda, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Esther Munyira, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Salom Nkiwane, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Eva Sanyahokwe and Sihle Sibanda. Thanks to Roseline, Esther and Etines for looking after the front table and to Phillip, Alfredy, Mduduzi and Cephas for putting up the banners. Chipo P was once again very effective in getting donations for ROHR Leicester’s joint project with ROHR in Hangwe to provide food and school fees for the children there.
  • Martin Chinyanga made a video at the Vigil last week, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK7AnHxh-q8.
  • For video and photos of the protest in Harare on Wednesday, see http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/08/zimbabwe-police-violently-break-anti-mugabe-protests-160803135758077.html and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-36968995.

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: 54 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

 
‘Charming’ psychopath – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 30th July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 31 July 2016 15:46

The ‘charming’ side of Mugabe was not in evidence when he addressed a splinter group of ‘war veterans’, padded out with bussed-in youths, at a hurriedly-arranged rally to denounce war veteran leaders who last week issued a statement condemning his regime. 

‘Charming’ was the word used by a former British ambassador, Deborah Bronnert, some years back, after presenting her credentials to Mugabe see: (http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/346-eu-undermines-hope-of-democratic-change-zimbabwe-vigil-diary-5th-november-2011). She is not alone in being taken in by the psychopathic megalomaniac. The Vigil tired of hearing MDC ministers in the bogus coalition spouting the same deluded line. 

‘Charming’ Mugabe certainly was not when he outlined the punishment he had in mind for the ‘treasonous’ war veteran leaders being rounded up by security agents. 

‘We will punish them in a very big way’, he said, going on to recall how holes had been dug for enemies during the liberation struggle. ‘We kept them underground like rats . . . it is the same thing we are going to do here in Independent Zimbabwe’.

Mugabe added that the police belonged to Zanu PF and would be used to crush any protests by his enemies,especially church leaders dabbling in politics. ‘The police are ours and they shall see to it that these small party protesters are thrown in jail so they can taste the food there . . .’ (See: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-mugabe-in-brutal-crackdown-threat/.)

It appears that many police share this view. A contingent of police recruits said Mugabe was ‘the real angel Gabriel sent by God to deliver Zimbabwe and Africa’. They pledged their support for Mugabe at a passing out parade after a year of indoctrination at Morris Depot in Harare. ‘Like Jesus Christ, who was crucified by a people whom He saved, you have innocently grappled with all forms of persecution’, they declared. ‘Because of you, Zimbabwe is a land of peace and tranquillity, equity, equality, freedom, fairness, honesty and the dignity of hard work. You have been attacked for championing the cause of the people, justice and equality, for denouncing racial segregation, immorality, corruption, human rights abuse and violence’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-mugabe-is-like-jesus-police/).

As war veteran leaders joined protesters in jail and ThisFlag pastor Evan Mawarire fled into exile, the Vigil believes Mugabe now has little chance of securing British support in his desperate attempt to persuade the International Monetary Fund to bail out his regime.

The British Ambassador Catriona Laing says the Zimbabwean authorities must honour their undertakings to uphold the rule of law and human rights. ‘In recent weeks we have seen the emergence of concerning videos of police brutality, and attacks by the government on apparently peaceful social media based movements. Whencombined with the ongoing failure of the police to enforce court orders around illegal land invasions, this paints a worrying picture’ (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/world-location-news/a-statement-on-united-kingdoms-support-to-the-people-of-zimbabwe).

The Vigil believes the ‘charm’ of the psychopathic megalomaniac has now faded like the allure of his idols Kim Jong-Il, Chairman Mao, Stalin and Hitler.

Other points

  • ROHR and Vigil protesters demonstrated outside the London Embassy on Tuesday in support of the ROHR activist Lynda Masarire who was appearing in court in Mbare on trumped up charges. She was further remanded in custody until 11th August. The demonstrators rang the bell and slipped in posters to the surprised doorman. The Ambassador’s car ZIM 1 was parked outside with a window slightly open. The protesters pushed the remaining posters into the car before they left. Thanks to those who responded to the last minute call to protest: Rose Maponga, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Rashiwe Bayisayi and John Burke. We will be holding another protest outside the Embassy on 11th August in support of Lynda. For photos of the London protest, see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157671529481966.
  • The Vigil was saddened to hear of the death two weeks ago of our dear friend Clifford Mashiri. A self-effacing. modest man, he was an academic and former diplomat and frequently attended the Vigil and our forums. He was doing a doctorate on activism in the UK diaspora and interviewed several of us for his thesis. He is to be buried on Tuesday 2nd August. The Vigil started a collection for his family which will be continued next week. More information can be found here: http://nehandaradio.com/2016/07/30/former-diplomat-mugabe-critic-clifford-mashiri-dies/.
  • It was good to have with us founder Vigil member Bernita Siyadanga (formerly Magaya). Her 12-year-old daughter Tinotenda Muzuwa was with her. She was our first Vigil baby.
  • London was flooded with cyclists today for the RideLondon 2016 event. Part of the route was along the Strand so the Vigil had a grandstand view of the races.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Maud Bvumbe, Benjamin Chigamba, Martin Chinyanga, Peter Gonera, Rosemary Guveya, Barbara Kachidza, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Sharon Moyo, Bianca Mpawaenda, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Mduduzi Ndlovu and Salom Nkiwane. Thanks to Roseline, Sharon and Rosemary for looking after the front table and to Gift Moyo for handing out ROHR leaflets. Thanks also to Phillip, Alfredy, Mduduzi and Benjamin for putting up  and taking down 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. 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: 38 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

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Veneer peels – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 23rd July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
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.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

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