Banner
ZimVigil Diary Entries
Service in support of Zimbabwean victims of torture – 26th June 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 28 June 2011 14:41

The London chapel of John Wesley – one of the founders of the Methodist Church – resounded to the sound of drums and African singing and dancing as exiled Zimbabweans and supporters gathered on 26th June to mark the UN international day in support of victims of torture.  

The Vigil supplied the choir and drummers, who were energized by management team member, Patson Muzuwa, himself a survivor of torture.   

The service was organised by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and our host at the Methodist world’s ’cathedral’ was the Reverend Jennifer Potter who has ministered in Botswana and Zambia and is Methodist ‘companion’ for Zimbabwe, visiting there every year. Jennifer prayed for a new dawn in Zimbabwe and reached out to Anglican friends in Zimbabwe who, she said, seemed to be particularly persecuted.  

The service was addressed by two visitors from Zimbabwe: Irene Petras, Director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Kudakwashe Chitsike of the Research and Advocacy Unit (Zimbabwe). Kudakwashe said women were particularly affected by violence in Zimbabwe – especially during elections and in rural areas. Nevertheless a recent survey had shown that they would prefer elections rather than continue with the current government. She added that the situation had corrupted people so much that 9% of respondents to the survey said that violence should be part of elections.  

For her part, Irene condemned the prevalence of torture in Zimbabwe despite the government’s agreement that it would be ended. The organ of national healing had failed and the rule of law had been so degraded that victims of crimes were arrested instead of the perpetrators. She said what was necessary was to bring in professionals to reform the police and the prosecuting authority. As it was, a whole generation had lost faith in justice. Zimbabweans must speak out about it or be complicit, and perpetrators must be brought to justice. 

The service ended with Husani Husani reading his poem ‘I stand accused’. 

I stand accused
For asking for my rights
For exercising my right to live
For choosing the party of my choice
For choosing which leader to lead my country
I stand accused 

I stand accused
For demanding proper health care
For demanding better education
For demanding freedom of speech
For demanding freedom of association
I stand accused

I stand accused
For belonging to a political party of my choice
For being ungrateful to war mongers posing as war veterans
For asking how a state minister becomes a millionaire overnight
For asking why some people are above the law
I stand accused  

Thanks to Josie Zhuga who led the choir and to the other choir members: Priscillah Chakanyuka, Melinda Chikanya, Handsen Chikowore, Fundai Chiname, Hasani Hasani, Epiphania Kamuruko, Jonathan Kariwoh, Shamiso Kofi, Fungayi Mabhunu, Petronilla Masango, Wilbert Matambanadzo, Gladys Hellen Meck, Nqobizitha Moyo, Alfred Moyo, Liona Moyo, Mercy Muranganwa, Penelope Musemburi, Sakhile Ncube, Pauline Nyikadzino, Luka Phiri, Elizabeth Puwai, Margret Tandi. 

For pictures of the event, check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/.

LAST_UPDATED2
 
Home Office a disgrace: objective evidence – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 25th June 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 26 June 2011 16:58

Four Iraqi women joined our demonstration today. After stopping briefly at the Vigil and moving on they returned and said they supported our cause and joined in the dancing. It was great to have them with us: they expressed such liberation! 

Iraqis – along with Zimbabweans – are among the largest groups of asylum seekers in the UK. The Vigil makes no claim to speak for Iraqis but we both have a problem with the British Home Office, the gateway to sanctuary in the UK.  Few Zimbabweans have much respect for the Home Office. In fact it is generally regarded – in the words of former Home Secretary Dr John Reid – as ‘not fit for purpose’.  

In the Vigil’s experience, the Home Office is worse than this.  Putting aside the corrupt activities of some of its staff (as occasionally exposed in the British courts) there is a seemingly institutional incompetence. Not a few of our supporters have had their papers ‘lost’ in this Kafkaesque nightmare (apart from the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants the Home Office  has mislaid).  

What prompts these remarks is a letter from a Home Office official to a lawyer acting for one of our supporters who is seeking political asylum. The official said this about a letter from the Vigil supporting the asylum claim: ‘Objective evidence from www.nehandaradio.com raised public awareness that the Zimbabwe vigil was exploiting asylum seekers in the UK and would on the payment of a fee issue a letter to state attendance at the vigil. Therefore, no weight is attached to the production of this letter’.   

Our supporter’s lawyer asked for our comment on this ‘objective evidence’. Here is the response of one of our Vigil Co-ordinators. 

I attach a doc with the history of why Nehanda Radio wrote the article decampaigning the Vigil (2 articles from Nehanda Radio and 2 of our diary items). As you will see on 20th June 2009 Morgan Tsvangirai addressed the Zimbabwean diaspora in the UK and was booed off. The Vigil was accused of orchestrating this (totally untrue) and we wrote this riposte in our diary of 27th June "But Vigil supporters were too fired up about another matter – the silly allegations on some loud-mouthed Zimbabwean exile websites that the Vigil and ROHR were behind the booing of Morgan Tsvangirai when he spoke to the UK diaspora in Southwark Cathedral last week. Anyone looking at videos of the occasion will see that the angry response was prompted by Mr Tsvangirai’s remarks and was spontaneous and could not possibly have been planned."  You will see that we also outline our policy on asylum letters in this particular diary - and our policy is still the same now. 

Nehanda Radio's article of 30th June 'ROHR & ZimVigil exploiting asylum seekers' is in retaliation for this. Even though we didn't mention them by name they recognised themselves.  The article is 2 years old. 

The Internet is full of low quality Zimbabwe media websites set up by people with no particular authority and their own agendas, ie they are not neutral and unbiased. I find it astonishing that the Home Office / UKBA gives such credibility to this sort of trash.  Unfortunately a lot of the people working at the HO / UKBA seem to be quite low calibre . . .   

We are not an organisation set up to help asylum seekers: we campaign against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and all we can write about asylum claims by our supporters is their visibility as activists because they attend our protests – the more they come the more visible they are. We are entirely self-funding: the charge of £10 for our letters is for admin costs to cover paper, envelopes, print cartridges, phone calls, postage etc. Anyone who works for the Vigil does so voluntarily - nobody is paid.  For people who are good attenders the admin fee for letters is not charged.  

It strikes me that the Home Office is being disingenuous and deceitful in using this article to discredit the Vigil.  They seem to be clutching at any straw. Their policy on Zimbabwe anyway is bizarre. The Home Office must be particularly dim if they don't realise that if the Vigil was a money-making business we would certainly charge more than a measly £10 for all the trouble we go to. After all MDC leaders have been known to charge hundreds of pounds for the same thing. 

For our policy on administrative costs for letters, check: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/171-zimbabwe-vigil-diary-27th-june-2009. 

We are sending a copy of this diary to the Home Secretary Theresa May in the hope that she will make the Home Office fit for purpose (according to ‘objective evidence’). 

We were happy to be joined by Kudakwashe Chitsike of the Research and Advocacy Unit (Zimbabwe). She had just arrived by plane from Zimbabwe and was going on to introduce and take questions on the film ‘Hear Us’ about political violence against women in Zimbabwe.  Many of our supporters went on to the Frontline Club to watch the film. She was introduced at the Vigil by Wiz Bishop of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum. Wiz also spoke of the London service of solidarity with Zimbabwe’s torture victims on 26th June (UN international day in support of victims of torture) for which the Vigil was providing the choir. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check http://www.zimvigiltv.com/.    

FOR THE RECORD: 96 signed the register.  

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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.
·       ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News. 
·       The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QukqctWc3XE.
·       Stop the violence in Zimbabwe: Vigil for democracy and rights. Monday 27th June from 1 – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London WC2R 0JR. This protest marks the anniversary of the fateful 2008 presidential ‘run off’ election when Zanu PF ran a brutal campaign of violence including mass rape in a bid to retain power.  Zimbabwe may have elections within the year. We cannot let the violence happen again. The protest is organised by Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA), the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement. ACTSA will be presenting hundreds of stop the violence cards to the Embassy. (Because this is a human rights event the Vigil register will be taken.)
·       ROHR Woking general meeting. Saturday 2nd July from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Woking Homes, Oriental Road, Woking GU22 7BE. Contact: Sithokozile Hlokana 07886203113, Saziso Zulu 07861028280 or P.Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070
·       ROHR Liverpool general meeting.  Saturday 9th July from 1.30 – 4.30 pm. Venue: Kensington Methodist Church, 294 Kensington, Liverpool L7 2RN. ROHR national executive members present. A well-known immigration lawyer available to talk about the new country guidance ruling. Contact Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Netsai Karota 07767483180, Panyika Anselm Karimanzira 07538534375, Sheilla Mironga 07578541227 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·       Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
·       Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
·       ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe.
·       Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk). Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you are interested in taking part.

LAST_UPDATED2
 
The Three Alternatives – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 18th June 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 19 June 2011 14:44

The feeling of optimism we spoke about in last week’s diary seems to have been justified by the outcome of the SADC summit in Johannesburg. We could have hoped for no more: President Zuma has grasped the devil by the horns. It must have been wonderful to behold when, one by one, SADC leaders dozed off during Mugabe’s 45 minute rant as it became clear that the devil had been dehorned – clear if only because a senile Mugabe addressed Zuma as ‘Mandela’ and then, when apprised of his mistake, compounded it by assuming Mandela was dead. ‘God rest his soul’, he said. The Vigil wishes the same to Robert – as soon as possible.  

SADC leaders made it obvious in Sandton that they have had enough of Mugabe’s prevarications. They are impatient to move on. As the Botswana Vice President Mompati Merafhe said, the region was sick and tired of the Zimbabwe problem. But what is not yet obvious is whether SADC has the bottle to deal with the problem. After all, Mugabe may have lost his horns but there is still plenty of devil left.  

A quick opinion survey at the Vigil – in between short, sharp showers – produced three alternatives. We quickly ruled out the first: that Mugabe would comply with SADC’s demand that he honour his obligations under the GPA by the next SADC meeting in Luanda in August. (All Zimbabweans know this is out of the question, not least the GPA negotiators who rushed back to Harare and promptly decided to have a meeting . . . . next month.) 

There was more debate about the so-called nuclear option: would Chiwenga decide to reject SADC? The military is stupid, yes – but this stupid?  

But the third option, we decided as we dodged the showers, was the more likely – if only because it is what Zanu PF has always done: pretend to go along with the GPA while putting every obstacle in the way. So what can we expect? No-one can say that Zanu PF is not outrageous. They could, for instance, arrest Tsvangirai for murdering Police Inspector Petros Mutedza in Mbare. After all they have arrested loads of other MDC people for it. Anything to collapse the government so they can hold an ‘emergency election’ and – lo and behold – who will be pulled out of the hat blinking through his cataract eyes? Yes – that old devil! 

For a Zanu PF view of the SADC developments from one of their many people in the UK the Vigil refers you to Lloyd Msipa (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/jun15_2011.html#Z3 – SADC summit: Sanctions remain MDC's burden). According to the UK Telegraph on 4th December 2010 ‘Two years ago Lloyd Msipa, a Zimbabwe-born approved adviser, was given a suspended prison sentence after charging people hundreds of pounds for advice he was not entitled to provide, while working for a not-for-profit voluntary organisation.’ (See: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/8181415/Government-to-review-future-of-immigration-advisers.html.) 

Other points
·       As we mentioned in our diary of 11th June, a member of the Vigil management team, Ephraim Tapa, has been elected President of the new Zimbabwe ‘Yes We Can’ Movement. Ephraim is President of our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR). He attended a meeting of the Zimbabwe Vigil management team on Wednesday 15th June to explain the new movement. He said it was a grass roots global movement for REAL change with wide support in Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwean diaspora in the UK, the US and South Africa. Ephraim said there had unfortunately been some misinformation on the internet claiming that the movement was a political party. He said there was to be a meeting of the Zimbabwe ‘Yes We Can’ Movement on 25th June to agree a constitution and positions on issues. Ephraim said how the movement developed depended on the response of ordinary Zimbabweans and what they wanted from it. People must realise they can make a difference and have the courage and confidence to act for REAL change. The Vigil management team agreed to support the Zimbabwe 'Yes We Can' Movement.   Vigil Co-ordinator Dumi Tutani was chosen as Vigil representative to the movement.
·       We get nutters visiting the Vigil most weeks but they were extraordinarily prolific this week. For instance we had a very drunk man swigging from a bottle of whisky dancing with us. We were worried he might fall and break the bottle and injure himself. Another man was very angry and shouted at Vigil supporters while we were praying and yet another said he had a panacea for sorting out our problems (including the human rights abuses and lack of democracy in Zimbabwe) as long as we listened to him and did what he said – he talked about tolerance but got very angry when we tried to respond. (We are trying to get the three together.)
·       The Secretary-General of SADC, Tomaz Salomão of Mozambique, is to address a meeting in London on Tuesday (for details of the meeting see Events and Notices). Everyone will remember him for endorsing the last Zimbabwean elections as free and fair. If anyone goes to the meeting they might like to ask why the SADC secretariat has never replied to our communications which have included the submission of various petitions. Was this a policy of arrogant disregard of normal courtesies or just inefficiency, which is known to characterise the secretariat?
·       Thanks to Juliet Musandirire for providing soft drinks today.  Also to Caroline Witts who came from Exeter and took care of the front table in the absence of our regulars and to Mercy Muranganwa for looking after the back table with  4 children in tow (one a baby on her back).
·       The Zimbabwe Association has moved into new offices – check Refugee Information.  

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check http://www.zimvigiltv.com/.    

FOR THE RECORD: 87 signed the register.  

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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.
·       ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News. 
·       The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QukqctWc3XE.
·       Talk by the Secretary-General of SADC Tomaz Salomão. Tuesday 21st June from 4 – 5 pm. Venue: Chatham House, 10 St. James's Square, London SW1Y 4LE. A coffee reception will be held from 15:30 to 16:00. Everyone is welcome but you need to a book place through Tighisti Amare at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it stating your name and affiliation.
·       ROHR National Fundraising Event. Saturday 25th June from 12 noon till late. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF. Come and enjoy African dishes and music while donating to a good cause.  Admission fee £8 includes a plate of food and a soft drink. Raffle tickets on sale @ £1. Contact: Peter Nkomo 07817096594, V J Mujeyi 07403446696, Tsvakai Marambi 07915065171, Solomon L Matshoba 07733741065, P Chibanguza 07908406069, R Chifungo 07795070609 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070
·       Free film screening of 'Hear Us'. Saturday 25th June from 7 - 9 pm. Venue: The Frontline Club, 13, Norfolk Place, London, W2 1QJ. ‘Hear Us’ is a film from inside Zimbabwe about political violence against women. Kudakwashe Chitsike of the Research and Advocacy Unit will introduce the film and take your questions. For more information contact: the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, tel: +44 (0)20 7065 0945 or check: http://www.hrforumzim.com/hear-us-film.png
·       Service of Solidarity with Zimbabwe’s torture victims: Sunday 26th June from 2 – 4 pm. Venue: Wesley’s Chapel and Leysian Mission, 49 City Road, London EC1Y 1AU (nearest tube: Old Street). The event is organized by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (www.hrforumzim.com). Speakers are Irene Petras, Director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Kudakwashe Chitsike, Lawyer in the Women’s Department of the Research and Advocacy Unit (Zimbabwe). Vigil supporters will be providing the music in the form of Zimbabwean hymns. (Because this is a human rights event the Vigil register will be taken.)
·       Stop the violence in Zimbabwe: Vigil for democracy and rights. Monday 27th June from 1 – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London WC2R 0JR. This protest marks the anniversary of the fateful 2008 presidential ‘run off’ election when Zanu PF ran a brutal campaign of violence including mass rape in a bid to retain power.  Zimbabwe may have elections within the year. We cannot let the violence happen again. The protest is organised by Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA), the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement. ACTSA will be presenting hundreds of stop the violence cards to the Embassy. To get copies of the card or to let ACTSA know you’ll be attending, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . (Because this is a human rights event the Vigil register will be taken.)
·       ROHR Liverpool general meeting.  Saturday 9th July from 1.30 – 4.30 pm. Venue: Kensington Methodist Church, 294 Kensington, Liverpool L7 2RN. ROHR national executive members present. A well-known immigration lawyer available to talk about the new country guidance ruling. Contact Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Netsai Karota 07767483180, Panyika Anselm Karimanzira 07538534375, Sheilla Mironga 07578541227 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·       Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
·       Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
·       ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe.
·       Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk). Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you are interested in taking part.

LAST_UPDATED2
 
Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 11th June 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 13 June 2011 19:36

There was a buoyant mood at the Vigil as SADC met in Johannesburg to discuss the way forward for Zimbabwe. For us it was sunny despite the threatened rain – and there was a feeling of confidence that history was on our side after our long struggle.  

We were encouraged that so many Zimbabwean groups had worked so hard to produce incontrovertible proof for SADC of what we have suffered in Zimbabwe. If they reject this evidence they are blind indeed. 

President Zuma’s report to the SADC Troika’s Livingstone meeting suggested that the Zimbabwe problem was only of concern because the West was piqued. The inference was that the fate of Zimbabwe was of no real consequence: there was just a need to keep the West quiet. Whatever the South Africans may think, the reality is that Zimbabwe is important: it is not just another African basket case. One of the best economies in Africa has been reduced to one of the worst. Is this of no consequence – even a lesson to South Africa itself? (See Eddie Cross: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/jun11_2011.html#Z14 - Zimbabwe cursed by diamonds.) 

A more pressing reality was the bullyboy Zanu PF tactics in Sandton. And SADC must have been surprised by the presence as a member of the Zanu PF delegation of Tafataona Mahoso, Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Media Commission who also happens to be the Chairman of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe. That must have told them a lot . . .  

At the Vigil we felt a corner had been turned. We know that whatever deal is reached Mugabe will set out to outmanoeuvre it. But SADC has reached the point of no return and must curb him. Confirmation of this came from two Angolan diplomats who parked outside the Zimbabwe Embassy and happily told us they thought Mugabe was finished – too old. (We were too polite to ask them about President Dos Santos who has not faced elections since 1992!) Their comments confirmed reports from Luanda that Dos Santos has given up on his good pal Mugabe.  We are sure he is not alone. 

But we know we still have a long road ahead. We spoke by phone to management team member Fungayi’s sister in Mbare and asked what was happening on the ground there.  She said ‘Zanu PF are forcing us to go to their meetings. If we don’t go we are dead.’  

Other Points
·         We mentioned last week that a bird nesting in one of the trees at the Vigil had defecated on one of our petitions and got several messages back from Zimbabwe saying we should catch and roast the bird. Unfortunately we couldn’t find it today . . .
·         Vigil founder member Ephraim Tapa has been elected President of the new Zimbabwe ‘Yes we Can’ Movement. Ephraim is also President of our partner organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe. (For details check: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/jun8_2011.html#Z16Launch of the Zimbabwe 'Yes we can' Movement).
·         Vigil Co-ordinator Rose Benton was interviewed on Wednesday evening by Lance Guma of SW Radio Africa for his Question Time programme. It was a 15 minute interview discussing the Vigil.  To access the interview log into www.swradioafrica.com and click on Archives in the menu on the left side of the front page, choose either PC Archives or MacArchives, then click onto Question Time on Wednesday 08 June.  It will be accessible for another week or so.
·         It was good to have back with us regular supporter Gladys Mapanda of whom we haven’t seen as much recently because she moved to Wales. She was with us from the start and was a great help throughout. Thanks to Iline Manhunzi who brought a box of homemade buns for hungry Vigil supporters and was a great help on the front table. The buns were particularly appreciated by Memory Chatambudza who had made the long journey from Belfast without any breakfast. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check http://www.zimvigiltv.com/.    

FOR THE RECORD: 74 signed the register.  

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·         The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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.
·         ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News. 
·         The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QukqctWc3XE.
·         ROHR National Fundraising Event. Saturday 25th June from 12 noon till late. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF. Come and enjoy African dishes and music while donating to a good cause.  Admission fee £8 includes a plate of food and a soft drink. Raffle tickets on sale @ £1. Contact: Peter Nkomo 07817096594, V J Mujeyi 07403446696, Tsvakai Marambi 07915065171, Solomon L Matshoba 07733741065, P Chibanguza 07908406069, R Chifungo 07795070609 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070
·         Free film screening of 'Hear Us'. Saturday 25th June from 7 - 9 pm. Venue: The Frontline Club, 13, Norfolk Place, London, W2 1QJ. ‘Hear Us’ is a film from inside Zimbabwe about political violence against women. Kudakwashe Chitsike of the Research and Advocacy Unit will introduce the film and take your questions. For more information contact: the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, tel: +44 (0)20 7065 0945 or check: http://www.hrforumzim.com/hear-us-film.png
·         Service of Solidarity with Zimbabwe’s torture victims: Sunday 26th June from 2 – 4 pm. Venue: Wesley’s Chapel and Leysian Mission, 49 City Road, London EC1Y 1AU (nearest tube: Old Street). The event is organized by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (www.hrforumzim.com). Speakers are Irene Petras, Director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Kudakwashe Chitsike, Lawyer in the Women’s Department of the Research and Advocacy Unit (Zimbabwe). Vigil supporters will be providing the music in the form of Zimbabwean hymns. (Because this is a human rights event the Vigil register will be taken.)
·         Stop the violence in Zimbabwe: Vigil for democracy and rights. Monday 27th June from 1 – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London WC2R 0JR. This protest marks the anniversary of the fateful 2008 presidential ‘run off’ election when Zanu PF ran a brutal campaign of violence including mass rape in a bid to retain power.  Zimbabwe may have elections within the year. We cannot let the violence happen again. The protest is organised by Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA), the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement. ACTSA will be presenting hundreds of stop the violence cards to the Embassy. To get copies of the card or to let ACTSA know you’ll be attending, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . (Because this is a human rights event the Vigil register will be taken.)
·         Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
·         Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
·         ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe.
·         Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk). Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you are interested in taking part. 

LAST_UPDATED2
 
Vigil demands ‘no haven in UK for CIO torturer’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 28th May 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 30 May 2011 14:27
The revelation that Britain is harbouring a CIO torturer has caused outrage beyond the Vigil’s expectations when we reported on the scandal in last week’s diary. The press have been besieging Phillip Machemedze’s house in Wales (provided at public expense). Anger at the ridiculous decision to allow him to stay in the UK is unlikely to flag, given the gruesome possibility that it could further open the door to any torturer in the world to find haven in Britain under crazy human rights legislation which seems to support the perpetrator of abuses rather than the victim.

The Vigil cannot understand the decision of the immigration judge not to send Machemedze back to Zimbabwe ‘because he might face ill-treatment there’. To Zimbabweans who have fled to the UK to escape persecution from people like him, his very presence here among us is a threat. It reminds us of the swaggering presence of Zanu PF murderers at home enjoying immunity from prosecution.

We cannot understand why Machemedze cannot be tried here in Britain under international laws against human rights violators. After all, he has admitted committing atrocities ‘too gruesome to recount’. Otherwise he should be sent to the Hague for trial by the International Criminal Court. A third possibility is that any of his victims who may be in the UK should sue him in the British courts – though they will have to face the dispiriting prospect that he will have funds  from British taxpayers to support his case through interminable levels of appeals . . .

As it is, it appears that Machemedze has been breaking British law. Police are said to be investigating allegations that he illegally obtained work here by deception – appropriately enough as a ‘care worker’! It’s not clear whether he was equipped with the pliers he said he had used to pull out the teeth of an MDC supporter after he had broken his jaw (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/may29_2011.html#Z4).

What is galling to people at the Vigil who have been forced to leave our country is that someone like him should be allowed to live here when so many of us are facing deportation back to Zimbabwe. Who will be allowed in next to be plugged into the British welfare system – Robert Mugabe? For a view of this case from Zimbabwe read Cathy Buckle’s latest letter (http://www.cathybuckle.com/index.php?id=40).

On the subject of torture, the Vigil has again been invited to play a prominent part by providing the music for the annual service for Zimbabwean victims of torture organized by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum at 2 pm on Sunday, 26th June (the UN international day in support of victims of torture) at Wesley’s Chapel and Leysian Mission, 49 City Road, London. Speakers are Irene Petras of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Kudakwashe Chitsike of the Research and Advocacy Unit (Zimbabwe). For more details check ‘Events and Notices’.

The Vigil was glad to have many Spanish people signing our petitions. They were in London for the big football match between Barcelona and Manchester United at Wembley.  We were glad they were so supportive and wish them a speedy recovery from their hangovers!

 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check http://www.zimvigiltv.com/.  

FOR THE RECORD: 67 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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.
·       ZBN News. The Vigil management team wish to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News. 
·       The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QukqctWc3XE.
·       Lecture: A Shadow of Its Former Self: Robert Mugabe and Zimbabwe's Education System. Thursday 9th June 6 pm. Venue: Alumni Theatre, New Academic Building, Lower Ground Floor (LG.09), London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE. The speaker is Peter Godwin, award-winning foreign correspondent, author, documentary-maker and screen writer. Chaired by Baroness Bonham Carter. The event is organized by Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) and the LSE Africa Initiative. The lecture is followed by a reception (7.30pm - 9.00pm): NAB 8th Floor. RSVP: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Admission free but donations welcomed on the door towards CARA's work supporting Zimbabwean academics and the re-building of the country's higher education system.
·       ROHR National Fundraising Event. Saturday 25th June from 12 noon till late. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF. Come and enjoy African dishes and music while donating to a good cause.  Admission fee £8 includes a plate of food and a soft drink. Raffle tickets on sale @ £1. Contact: Peter Nkomo 07817096594, V J Mujeyi 07403446696, Tsvakai Marambi 07915065171, Solomon L Matshoba 07733741065, P Chibanguza 07908406069, R Chifungo 07795070609 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·       Service of Solidarity with Zimbabwe’s torture victims: Sunday 26th June from 2 – 4 pm. Venue: Wesley’s Chapel and Leysian Mission, 49 City Road, London EC1Y 1AU (nearest tube: Old Street). The event is organized by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (www.hrforumzim.com). Speakers are Irene Petras, Director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Kudakwashe Chitsike, Lawyer in the Women’s Department of the Research and Advocacy Unit (Zimbabwe). Vigil supporters will be providing the music in the form of Zimbabwean hymns.
·       Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
·       Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
·       ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe.
·       Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk). Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you are interested in taking part.

LAST_UPDATED2
 
<< Start < Prev 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 Next > End >>

JPAGE_CURRENT_OF_TOTAL

How can you help?

The Zimbabwe Vigil exists entirely on donations from the public and well wishers. You can help us by donating via a deposit into our account Thank you.