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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 10th July 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 11 July 2010 15:28

The immortal Dr Pangloss was a character in Voltaire’s novel Candide – immortal not least because he is now working for the British Foreign Office. Pangloss was super-optimistic. Amid the chaos of the Lisbon earthquake 250 years ago he could still maintain ‘All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds’.  

This appears to be the attitude of the Foreign Office towards the chaos in Zimbabwe. It sees steady progress (although at a ‘glacial speed’). There are good things happening, we are told. In fact we should jolly well think of going back to enjoy them. 

A different picture emerges from a former British diplomat in Harare, Philip Barclay, in his book ‘Years of Hope and Despair’. Barclay has been promoting his book in London and points to continuing disregard of the rule of law and the increasing acquiescence of the MDC within the unity government.  

Soundings at the Vigil suggest that Barclay’s take is closer to reality than the line now being peddled by the Foreign Office. The diaspora cannot accept progress at a ‘glacial’ pace. We’ll all be dead before we can go home. In that case why is the Home Office not told to let Zimbabwean failed asylum seekers work here?    

The Vigil does not believe that this is all that can be achieved. We think the British government should put renewed pressure on SADC countries to meet their obligations to Zimbabwe. In particular, we want to know what is being done to ensure free and fair elections. Britain should use its financial muscle. After all, it is British taxpayers’ generosity that is helping to prop up  these countries.  

The British government’s softly softly approach is more surprising given a damning report by international legal bodies on the state of law in Zimbabwe which was launched recently at a meeting in parliament The report was compiled by a mission which included representatives of the Bar Council, the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association and Avocats Sans Frontieres among others. It says the power sharing deal has failed to stop extra-judicial killings, kidnappings and torture. The report adds that human rights abuses continue to occur and go uninvestigated by the authorities. ‘Access to justice is virtually non-existent’ it says. (http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/assets/documents/7351_BHRC_Zimbabwe_Report.pdf and http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/news/latest/555.html).   

Other points
·       The blistering heat failed to subdue the exuberant dancing and singing at the Vigil.
·       Ephraim Tapa, President of ROHR, spoke to supporters about the constitutional outreach programme.  He said it was being disrupted by Zanu PF violence aimed at keeping Mugabe in power.
·      
The following piece appeared in the Londoner’s Diary of the London Evening Standard on Thursday, 8th July.
http://londonersdiary.standard.co.uk/2010/07/zimbabwean-deputy-pm-upsets-exiles.html

Zimbabwean deputy PM upsets exiles
What not to wear to the commonwealth Society . . . Zimbabwe’s Deputy Prime Minister Ms Thokozani Khupe, who was a popular anti-Robert Mugabe figure before she joined the government after the 2008 election is in London but has upset sometime supporters by demanding they put on their gladrags and pay up to get an audience with her.

Ms Khupe spoke at the Royal Commonwealth Society in Northumberland Avenue last night. Members of the Zimbabwe Vigil, who demonstrate against human rights abuses outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in The Strand every Saturday, had been surprised to be invited to meet her face to face at a dinner after the event.
The catch was the ticket price and the dress code. Leaders of the vigil find it offensive that, with Zimbabwe producing more asylum seekers than any other country, diners were expected to pay £25 for the dinner and to wear lounge suits or cocktail dresses.
“With 158,000 Zimbabweans seeking asylum from the coalition government in 2009, Khupe’s dinner is just one more sign of how unreal the Movement for Democratic Change elite are becoming,” writes Dennis Benton in the Zimbabwe Vigil Diary.
“Not many of the Zimbabwean asylum seekers in the UK have a lounge suit or a cocktail dress. Those Zimbabweans likely to go to this event are well-connected Zanu-PF people [Mugabe’s party] of whom there all too many in the UK.Benton notes that, as a close MDC associate of former opposition leader and now Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Khupe was once a popular figure. “We repeat our invitation to Ms Khupe to come to the vigil and talk to some of the ordinary Zimbabweans who can’t afford £25,” says Benton, a former BBC man. 

Unfortunately Ms Khupe did not attend the Vigil.  Security issues were mentioned…. As a representative of the Zimbabwe government she would have been perfectly safe outside her own Embassy and we are right next door to Charing Cross Police who would have policed the Vigil if we requested it. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check the link at the top of the home page of our website.  For earlier ZimVigil TV programmes check: http://www.zbnnews.com/home/firingline. 

FOR THE RECORD: 161 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.
·       ROHR Liverpool Vigil. Saturday 24th July from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark), Liverpool City Centre. For details please contact: Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161. Future demonstrations: 31st July, 7th and 21st August, 4th September. Same time and venue.
·       ROHR Coventry general meeting. Saturday 24th July from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: 90a Paynes Lane, Coventry CV1 5JH. ROHR National Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact V.J Mujeye 07534034594, Nash Sibanda 07886660392, Pauline Makuwere 07575265710, P. Mapfumo 07932216070/07915926323 or P Chibanguza 07908406069.
·       ROHR West Bromwich general meeting.  Saturday 31st July 2010 from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West Bromwich  B70 0HF. Contact: Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Peter Nkomo 07817096594, Diana Mtendereki 07837682108, P Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323.
·       Supporter Adrian Smale will be cycling 85 miles from Salisbury to the Vigil to raise money for Zimbabwean orphans on 24th July.  If you want to sponsor him contact him on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or tel: 07946 128204.
·       ROHR Hayes general meeting. Saturday 31st July from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: Brookside Community Centre, Hayes, UB4 0PE. The raffle for the computer, DVD player, printer and Samsung mobile phone will be drawn – tickets are still on sale. ROHR Executive present. Contact Roda Kulhengisa 07958205544, Snodia Chihowa 07852921523, Charity Nyamuzuwe 07898765091 or P Mapfumo 0791592623 / 07932216070.
·       ROHR Stoke-On-Trent general meeting. Saturday 7th August from 2 – 5 pm.  Venue: YMCA Edinburgh House. Harding Road  Stoke-On-Trent ST1 3AE. Substantive committee to be  elected. Executive members present. Contact: Pauline Mutema on 07850462301, David Mugwira 07866873493, Maxwell Dube 07533349840, P Chibanguza 07908406069 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
·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturdays from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.  Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. For more information check: www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.
·       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).
·       Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. For information: http://www.citizensforsanctuary.org.uk/pages/Strategic.html or contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
·       For Motherland ENT’s videos of the Vigil on 24/04/2009, check: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvwikOhO3Fk and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7qqXJ7jfVY.

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 3rd July 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 04 July 2010 15:38

The Zimbabwean Deputy Prime Minister, Thokozani Khupe, has spurned opportunities to meet the Vigil during her week long visit to London beginning on Sunday 4th July. This does not surprise us. We suspect we are seen as a noisy embarrassment by the MDC leadership as they burrow deeper into the fertile ground of Zimbabwean government corruption.  

We couldn’t fail to notice that the first thing that Tsvangirai’s new Minister for Home Affairs, Theresa Makone, did on taking office was to rush to the police to intercede on behalf of a Zanu PF thug, the son of genocidal maniac Mutasa: http://www.swradioafrica.com/news020710/mutasa020710.htm. This was in sharp contrast to the MDC’s inaction on other matters. 

Vigil supporters were disappointed and angered that Ms Khupe was unwilling to visit us next Saturday and that she had chosen instead to attend a fundraiser on a farm in Buckinghamshire on that day. We sent the following email to the organisers of Ms Khupe’s trip: ‘We are pleased that you have pencilled in a one hour meeting (now cancelled) on Tuesday but are surprised that Ms Khupe is going to a farm in Bucks owned by Zimbabwean Nyasha Gwatidzo for a fundraiser instead of coming to meet true activists at the Vigil. We draw about 200 people every Saturday from all over the UK (from as far afield as Scotland and Wales) to protest outside the Embassy against human rights abuses, corruption, the absence of the rule of law and for democracy. These people will not be able to attend a weekday meeting in London. Wouldn't it be worth encouraging true activists? Our Saturday protests are what we are - vibrant, full of energy, caring for each other as a big family. But perhaps by visiting the farm Ms Khupe is making a subtle point about the racist nature of the farm seizures at home. (Or is she carrying an offer letter!)’ 

We want to make it clear that we have got nothing against Zimbabwean farmers in the UK. Our email was expressing our surprise that Ms Khupe is not choosing to visit the largest group of Zimbabwean activists in the UK who have been campaigning for eight years for the suffering people of Zimbabwe. We were told that the reason for her jaunt was to consult the diaspora. Well, the Vigil of all groups represents the diaspora in the UK. We have a mailing list of 7000 people who have attended the Vigil and signed our register. 

Anyway here are some of the questions Vigil supporters would have liked to put to the Deputy Prime Minster:
1.       What is the outcome of the enquiry into corruption in the MDC UK? We were promised a statement some months ago. Have they decided it is all too embarrassing?
2.       What is the MDC doing to get a vote for the diaspora? When South Africa achieved real independence the diaspora was allowed to vote. A quarter of our population is now disenfranchised.
3.       Why is the MDC leadership so ready to campaign for Mugabe but so reluctant to question the abuses by Zanu PF? Have their pockets been stuffed with diamonds? 

We drew the attention of Zimbabwean farmer Ben Freeth to the irony of having a black Zimbabwean farmer in the UK and received the following message: “It seems like the MDC has divorced itself from trying to deal with any lawlessness in the rural areas in Zimbabwe. People are all saying that since they came into government it has given time for ZANU to regroup in the rural areas because MDC is doing nothing to try to protect the people or protest regarding what is happening out there.  Just in the last month in Chipinge area state led invasions of farms particularly has led to thousands of farm workers being left with no jobs or livelihoods.  High court orders and the SADC tribunal judgments continue to be disregarded by police almost without exception.  JOC has sent out the army to the rural areas and in many cases they are the same soldiers who instilled fear into the rural people in 2008 and masterminded the violence.  Compulsory ZANU meetings are being called by these army personnel and threats are issued to keep the fear levels high. It seems amazing that there is no official protest from MDC regarding all this and that there is no concerted call for peace keepers by the MDC so that the people are protected from the violence that is coming.  With the Deputy Prime Minister Ms Khupe not wanting to visit the Vigil in London, it sends out a message that the MDC doesn't want to deal with the cause of Zimbabwe's problems but rather wants to treat symptoms which will retain the status quo. MDC need to rethink strategy because if they continue to be silent in their protest at what continues to happen in the rural areas, the people will start to think that they are becoming complicit with it.”        

Other points:
·       One of our supporters Nyakallo Dube got on the coach at 2.45 am in Cardiff to get to the Vigil today. No doubt he would have been happy to come and listen to Ms Khupe had she deigned to come to the Vigil next week.
·       We were anxious when Sue and her daughter Francesca from the front desk were called home to Kent when Sue’s father (91) collapsed and knocked his head and had to be rushed to hospital. Fortunately it was not serious so Francesca made her way back.
·       The Leicester minibus arrived in good time this week – good to have such a large and enthusiastic crowd. Glad they didn’t have to wait for hours on the motorway today!
·       Caroline Witts made her regular trip from Exeter to help at the front table.  She was startled when a passer-by thrust five £50 notes in her hand and said he knew of our work.  This was very welcome as we have a specific human rights issue in Zimbabwe which is proving expensive. For the security of those involved we cannot give details of this at the moment.
·       It was good to see Adrian and Joyce Smale who came to talk to us about Adrian’s 85 mile cycle ride on 24th July from Salisbury to the Vigil to raise money for Zimbabwean orphans.  If you want to sponsor him contact him on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or tel: 07946 128204.
·       Today was the annual Gay Pride march. As always there were huge crowds and some extraordinary performers. Many of them came past the Vigil and were very supportive. Here is a BBC link to some of the festivities for Mr Mugabe’s benefit. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8134651.stm. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check the link at the top of the home page of our website.  For earlier ZimVigil TV programmes check: http://www.zbnnews.com/home/firingline. 

FOR THE RECORD: 134 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.
·       Another opportunity to meet Philip Barclay, a diplomat stationed at the British Embassy in Harare from 2006 – 2009. He will be discussing his book ‘Years of Hope and Despair’. He asks why the world stood by and watched as Zimbabwe burned and questions whether power-sharing offers the way forward. Tuesday 6th July at 6.30 pm. Venue: Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT.
·       Thokozani Khupe meeting with representatives and members of ZDFG a coalition of some Zimbabwean organisations in the UK. Tuesday 6th July from 10.30 – 12 noon. Venue: Royal London House, 22-25 Finsbury Square, London, EC211DX. Book your place by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . This is the only free meeting for Zimbabweans who want to meet Ms. Khupe. There are limited spaces so good luck with booking.
·       Evening discussion and dinner with Thokozani Khupe. Wednesday 7th July from 7.15 – 9 pm. Venue: The Commonwealth Club, 25 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5AP £25 for non members and £20 for members. Lounge suits and cocktail dresses. To book call Chi Kavindele on 02077669210.
·       Discussion with Mark Canning, British Ambassador to Zimbabwe. Friday 9th July from 11 am to 12.15pm. Venue: Lancaster House, Stable Yard, St James, London, SW1A 1BB. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office invites you to a discussion with Mr Canning on “The politics and situation in Zimbabwe and the UK Government Response”. Names must be submitted in advance to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (tel: 020 7008 4871) by 2pm on Thursday 8 July. Photographic ID required. Closest tube station: Green Park
·       ROHR North London general meeting. Saturday 10th July from 2 – 5.30 pm Venue: Tottenham Chances, 339 High Road, London N17 6QN, Closest Tube - Seven Sisters, from Seven Sisters towards Tottenham three stops on buses 123, 149, 256, 349, 341, 476. ROHR Executive and Guest Speakers present. Contact Gladys Mapanda 07576941003, Bekthemba Nyahwa 0754905348, Nobuhle Ndlovu 07949588597 or Collin Chitekwe 0795771291.
·       ROHR London South-East Branch general meeting. Saturday 10th July 2010 at 1 pm. Venue: 16 Sydenham Road, London SE26 5QW. Contact Wellington Rupere 07799702750; Priscilla Chitsinde 07804696328, Courage Chiromo 07894586005 or C Chitekwe 07957712691.
·       ROHR Liverpool Vigil. Saturday 24th July from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark), Liverpool City Centre. For details please contact: Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161. Future demonstrations: 31st July, 7th and 21st August, 4th September. Same time and venue.
·       ROHR Coventry general meeting. Saturday 24th July from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: 90a Paynes Lane, Coventry CV1 5JH. ROHR National Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact V.J Mujeye 07534034594, Nash Sibanda 07886660392, Pauline Makuwere 07575265710, P. Mapfumo 07932216070/07915926323 or P Chibanguza 07908406069.
·        ROHR West Bromwich general meeting.  Saturday 31st July 2010 from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West  Bromwich  B70 0HF. Contact: Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Peter Nkomo 07817096594, Diana Mtendereki 07837682108, P Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323.·       It was good to see Adrian and Joyce Smale who came to talk to us about the Adrian’s 85 mile cycle ride from Salisbury to the Vigil to raise money for Zimbabwean orphans on 24th July.  If you want to sponsor him contact him on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or tel: 07946 128204.
·       ROHR Hayes general meeting. Saturday 31st July from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: Brookside Community Centre, Hayes, UB4 0PE. The raffle for the computer, DVD player, printer and Samsung mobile phone will be drawn – tickets are still on sale. ROHR Executive present. Contact Roda Kulhengisa 07958205544, Snodia Chihowa 07852921523, Charity Nyamuzuwe 07898765091 or P Mapfumo 0791592623 / 07932216070
·       Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts
·      
Vigil Myspace page
: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil
·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturdays from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.  Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. For more information check: www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.
·       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).
·       Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. For information: http://www.citizensforsanctuary.org.uk/pages/Strategic.html or contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
·       For Motherland ENT’s videos of the Vigil on 24/04/2009, check: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvwikOhO3Fk and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7qqXJ7jfVY. 

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 26th June 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 27 June 2010 18:03

The healing process in Zimbabwe is a sham and reconciliation should be handled by an independent commission said the National Director of the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance, the Reverend Useni Sibanda. He was speaking at a church service in London to mark the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.  

Pastor Sibanda said the organ of national healing run by the coalition government was dysfunctional and wasting everyone’s time. He said it should be recognized that the diaspora were also victims of the regime and they should raise the matter with the Deputy Prime Minister, Ms Thokozani Khupe of the MDC, during her forthcoming visit to the UK. 

The service at the Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church was led by Father Nigel Johnson SJ from Bulawayo who said the perpetrators of abuses must acknowledge what they had done so that Zimbabweans could move forward. He quoted the Bible: ‘The truth will set you free’.  

Vigil supporters were well-represented at the Service and Pastor Sibanda paid tribute to the Vigil for carrying on the struggle for so long. The Vigil choir led by Sister Beverley Mutandiro was accompanied by exuberant dancing and drumming.  One observer said ‘The singing was fabulous’. The service was followed by a procession to the Vigil with posters proclaiming ‘26th June – International Day in Support of Victims of Torture – United Nations’, ‘The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum supports Zimbabwe Victims of Torture’ and ‘The Zimbabwe Vigil supports Zimbabwe Victims of Torture’. On a hot, sunny day they arrived at the Vigil singing and toyi-toying. 

Other points
·       The service was organised by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum who called on the Zimbabwean government  to ratify the convention against torture. In a statement they decried the culture of impunity.
·       A message was read from Geoffrey Van Orden, MEP, a resolute champion of Zimbabwe. He said ‘The Mugabe regime has grown fat off the land whilst Zimbabwe’s people have gone unfed. Those who would not go quietly have been tortured – or even killed – simply for having the audacity to challenge this terrible status quo.’
·       The Vigil was assailed by an English PR agent, Penny Hooper, of a company called Travel e-Sense. She is promoting the Zimbabwean tourist industry and said she was appalled to see the negative image that we were giving.  We pointed out that we were not against tourists going to Zimbabwe but we were against pretending that there was nothing wrong there. We explained that Zimbabwe had the worst torture record in the world and that last year Zimbabweans were world champions in the asylum stakes.
·       Passer-by Marie Henry (age 15) disagreed with Ms Hooper. She wrote: ‘These people have every right to protest against Mugabe. He is an evil man – he must be out of power!’
·       Our sympathies to our Leicester supporters who hired a mini-bus to come in force to the church service and Vigil.  Unfortunately they broke down on the motorway and spent five hours waiting for help. Despite their long delay they came on to the Vigil and spent the last hour with us. (Mitchell Meki, Elizabeth Mhara, Patson Muzuwa, Crispen Kulenji, Charles Ndelemani, Lizzway Jose, Patrick Musengwa, Debrah Chinogwenya, Diana Shambara, Portia Mudzudzu, Chrissie F Tsikirayi, Makaza Chizinga, Wadzanayi, Magondo, Christina Ndhlovu, Millicent Sabau, Mandiwengerei Zambeza, Vimbai Mangoma.)
·       Special thanks to Godfrey Madzunga who was at the church early and was a tremendous help throughout the day. Thanks also to Rashiwe Bayisayi and Patrick Nyamwanza who helped manage the register and merchandise.
·       Vigil supporter Adrian Smale is proposing to cycle from Salisbury to the Vigil (85 miles). He is raising money for Zimbabwean orphans. If you want to sponsor him contact him on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or tel: 07946 128204.
·       We have been contacted by Yvonne Marimo of the Zimbabwean Women’s Network who are involved in bringing Thokozani Khupe to the UK.  They are keen that she should meet Vigil supporters and Tuesday 6th July has been suggested subject to confirmation with Ms Khupe’s office.  We will let you know when plans firm up.
·       We were not surprised that the start of the constitutional outreach was marred by violence – see: http://www.cathybuckle.com/june2010.shtml 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check the link at the top of the home page of our website.  For earlier ZimVigil TV programmes check: http://www.zbnnews.com/home/firingline. 

FOR THE RECORD: 184 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.
·       Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum Workshop on Transitional Justice Outreach to the Diaspora. Thursday 1st July from 11 am – 4 pm. Venue Development House, Meeting Room 2b, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT. Nearest tube: Old Street. Facilitators: Rev Useni Sibanda (National Director of Zimbabwe Christian Alliance), Father Nigel Johnson SJ (Station Manager: Radio Dialogue) and Gabriel Shumba (Director of Zimbabwe Exiles Forum). Places are limited. To register email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone Wiz / Ebba on 020 7065 0945. Travel help for the unwaged – let the organizers know in advance.
·       ROHR Peterborough launch meeting. Saturday 3rd July from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: 37-38 Copeland, Bretton, Peterborough PA3 6YJ.  Present will be the Founder of ROHR and National Executive plus a well known lawyer. Contact: Alista Mabiya 07724540506, Nyarai Maziso 07732545514, P Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·       Another opportunity to meet Philip Barclay, a diplomat stationed at the British Embassy in Harare from 2006 – 2009. He will be discussing his book ‘Years of Hope and Despair’. He asks why the world stood by and watched as Zimbabwe burned and questions whether power-sharing offers the way forward. Tuesday 6th July at 6.30 pm. Venue: Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT.
·       Discussion with Mark Canning, British Ambassador to Zimbabwe. Friday 9th July from 11 am to 12.15pm. Venue: Lancaster House, Stable Yard, St James, London, SW1A 1BB. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office invites you to a discussion with Mr Canning on “The politics and situation in Zimbabwe and the UK Government Response”. Names must be submitted in advance to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (tel: 020 7008 4871) by 2pm on Thursday 8 July. Photographic ID required. Closest tube station: Green Park
·       ROHR North London general meeting. Saturday 10th July from 2 – 5.30 pm Venue: Tottenham Chances, 339 High Road, London N17 6QN, Closest Tube - Seven Sisters, from Seven Sisters towards Tottenham three stops on buses 123, 149, 256, 349, 341, 476. ROHR Executive and Guest Speakers present. Contact Gladys Mapanda 07576941003, Bekthemba Nyahwa 0754905348, Nobuhle Ndlovu 07949588597 or Collin Chitekwe 0795771291.
·       ROHR London South-East Branch general meeting. Saturday 10th July 2010 at 1 pm. Venue: 16 Sydenham Road, London SE26 5QW. Contact Wellington Rupere 07799702750; Priscilla Chitsinde 07804696328, Courage Chiromo 07894586005 or C Chitekwe 07957712691.
·       ROHR Liverpool Vigil. Saturday 24th July from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark), Liverpool City Centre. For details please contact: Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161. Future demonstrations: 31st July, 7th and 21st August, 4th September. Same time and venue.
·       ROHR Coventry general meeting. Saturday 24th July from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: 90a Paynes Lane, Coventry CV1 5JH. ROHR National Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact V.J Mujeye 07534034594, Nash Sibanda 07886660392, Pauline Makuwere 07575265710, P. Mapfumo 07932216070/07915926323 or P Chibanguza 07908406069.
·       ROHR Hayes general meeting. Saturday 31st July from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: Brookside Community Centre, Hayes, UB4 0PE. The raffle for the cmputer, DVD player, printer and Samsung mobile phone will be drawn and tickets are still on sale. ROHR Executive present. Contact Roda Kulhengisa 07958205544, Snodia Chihowa 07852921523, Charity Nyamuzuwe 07898765091 or P Mapfumo 0791592623 / 07932216070
·       Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts
·      
Vigil Myspace page
: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil
·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturdays from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.  Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. For more information check: www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.
·       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).
·       Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. For information: http://www.citizensforsanctuary.org.uk/pages/Strategic.html or contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
·       For Motherland ENT’s videos of the Vigil on 24/04/2009, check: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvwikOhO3Fk and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7qqXJ7jfVY.

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 19th June 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 20 June 2010 16:56

In a week when it was announced that last year Zimbabwe produced the most asylum seekers in the world (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/june18_2010.html#Z), Vigil members were surprised to get an invitation to hear Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe speak at the Royal Commonwealth Society in London – if they could stump up £25 to get in. ‘Lounge suit / cocktail dress’ required. With 158,000 Zimbabweans seeking asylum from the coalition government in 2009, Khupe’s dinner is just one more sign of how unreal the MDC elite are becoming. Not many of the Zimbabwean asylum seekers in the UK have a lounge suit or a cocktail dress. Most of us at the Vigil are struggling.  Those Zimbabweans likely to go to this event are well-connected Zanu-PF people of whom there are all too many in the UK.  We are tired of hearing their propaganda at meetings here. 

We repeat our invitation to Ms Khupe to come to the Vigil and talk to some of the ordinary Zimbabweans who can’t afford £25. We would like to hear from her why the MDC appears to have done nothing to end human rights abuses in the past sixteen months and, more particularly, why there has been no announcement of the outcome of the enquiry into corruption in the MDC in the UK. It appears that the MDC is being steadily contaminated by ZANU-PF (see A Letter from the Diaspora: http://www.swradioafrica.com/pages/outside180610.htm). We were not surprised that one senior member of the MDC Mutambara faction invited to the UK demanded to travel first class. 

A Zimbabwean journalist working in the UK for a South African newspaper asked the Vigil for comments on various developments in Zimbabwe. Here are our comments on the four issues she raised. 

1. The treatment of Farai Maguwu, who has been at the forefront of exposing human rights abuse in Chiadzwa
The Vigil is shocked by the behaviour of South African businessman Abbey Chikane in betraying the confidence of a brave human rights campaigner Farai Maguwu. Despite openly announcing that his own bags had been covertly ransacked by Zimbabwean intelligence agents, Chikane later went on to inform them that Maguwu had shown him ‘secret’ documents exposing the diamond smuggling racket at Chiadzwa. Chikane apparently said the documents were ‘illegal’. The Vigil remembers that his brother, the Reverend Frank Chikane, was an adviser to the disastrous Thabo Mbeki whose unswerving support for Mugabe has derailed democracy in Zimbabwe. 

2. Delays in implementing the Global Political Agreement
The Vigil’s view is that Mugabe has never had any intention of implementing the ludicrous Global Political Agreement which was forced on the MDC by South Africa. We believe that the MDC should have taken up a tacit invitation to form a government in exile in Botswana after Mugabe drenched the 2008 elections in bloodshed. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe then had only US $5 million and the regime would soon have collapsed. The so-called points of difference over the GPA are merely ducks in a shooting gallery: remove one and another one pops up. We believe the Zanu PF gangsters will never give up power in Zimbabwe until they are forced to. The region will regret allowing them to embed a culture of impunity (in particular the Vigil cannot see that it will be to the advantage of the region to allow blood diamonds from Chiadzwa, and other criminal activities, to spout forth like a BP oil leak).  

3. Fresh wave of farms invasions
The takeover of farms – not only white-owned ones – will go on while Zanu PF is still in charge and can continue to do anything it likes to ensure its survival. Next it will take over the mines, the banks, businesses and then houses and chickens – everything is at risk from a rapacious elite unchallenged by the outside world. The Vigil believes that courts in Zimbabwe are irrelevant as there is no rule of law. 

4. Call for elections
The Zimbabwe Vigil wants elections as soon as possible because we believe there is no advantage for Zimbabwe in delaying them. The coalition government is unworkable and its continuance will only drag the MDC further into corruption. Mutambara, of course, because of his disappearing support, will campaign for elections to be postponed. The real point is that any new elections will need to be supervised by the non-African world. South Africa and the Southern African Development Community and the African Union have all connived at denying democracy to Zimbabwe so we will need credible people to oversee any elections. While the Vigil believes in elections as soon as possible we also believe there should be international support to ensure that the violence that has characterised Zimbabwean elections is not allowed again to sway the result. Our current petition reads ‘Petition to the UN Security Council. We call on the Security Council to ensure that the next elections in Zimbabwe are free and fair. We look to the United Nations to supervise the electoral process and the handover of power to a new government and believe peace-keeping troops will need to be in place before, during and after the polling.’ 

Further Points
·       We were joined by a new asylum seeker who arrived in the UK last week.  He said the situation in Zimbabwe was as bad as ever. We are taking a collection to equip him with a lounge suit and £25 so that he can go to the Khupe fundraiser.
·       Vigil co-ordinator Rose Benton reminded supporters of the service in support of Zimbabwean victims of torture. Those who wanted to be in the choir should arrive by 11.30 am. See events section for details of the event.
·       The World Cup excitement was brought home to us when a passer-by joined us to play his vuvuzela.  

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check the link at the top of the home page of our website.  For earlier ZimVigil TV programmes check: http://www.zbnnews.com/home/firingline. 

FOR THE RECORD: 151 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       Church Service in Support of Zimbabwean Victims of Torture. Saturday 26th June from 12 – 1.30 pm. Venue: Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8EP. Speakers: Rev Useni Sibanda (National Director of Zimbabwe Christian Alliance), Maureen Kademaunga (Human Rights Activist) and Father Nigel Johnson SJ (Station Manager: Radio Dialogue).This is an annual event organised by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum on the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The Zim HR Forum has asked the Vigil to provide a choir – this will be led by Sister Beverley Mutandiro.  After the service there will be a procession to the Vigil.
·       Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum Workshop on Transitional Justice Outreach to the Diaspora. Thursday 1st July from 11 am – 4 pm. Venue Development House, Meeting Room 2b, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT. Nearest tube: Old Street. Facilitators: Rev Useni Sibanda (National Director of Zimbabwe Christian Alliance), Father Nigel Johnson SJ (Station Manager: Radio Dialogue) and Gabriel Shumba (Director of Zimbabwe Exiles Forum). Places are limited. To register email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone Wiz / Ebba on 020 7065 0945.
·       ROHR Peterborough launch meeting. Saturday 3rd July from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: 37-38 Copeland, Bretton, Peterborough PA3 6YJ.  Present will be the Founder of ROHR and National Executive plus a well known lawyer. Contact: Alista Mabiya 07724540506, Nyarai Maziso 07732545514, P Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·       ROHR North London general meeting. Saturday 10th July from 2 – 5.30 pm Venue: Tottenham Chances, 339 High Road, London N17 6QN, Closest Tube - Seven Sisters, from Seven Sisters towards Tottenham three stops on buses 123, 149, 256, 349, 341, 476. ROHR Executive and Guest Speakers present. Contact Gladys Mapanda 07576941003, Bekthemba Nyahwa 0754905348, Nobuhle Ndlovu 07949588597 or Collin Chitekwe 0795771291.
·       ROHR Coventry general meeting. Saturday 24th July from 1 0 5 pm. Venue: 90a Paynes Lane, Coventry CV1 5JH. ROHR National Executive and a well known Lawyer present. Ccontact V.J Mujeye 07534034594, Nash Sibanda 07886660392, Pauline Makuwere 07575265710, P. Mapfumo 07932216070/07915926323 or P Chibanguza 07908406069.
·       ROHR Hayes general meeting. Saturday 31st July from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: Brookside Community Centre, Hayes, UB4 0PE. The raffle for the cmputer, DVD player, printer and Samsung mobile phone will be drawn and tickets are still on sale. ROHR Executive present. Contact Roda Kulhengisa 07958205544, Snodia Chihowa 07852921523, Charity Nyamuzuwe 07898765091 or P Mapfumo 0791592623 / 07932216070
·       Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts
·      
Vigil Myspace page
: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil
·      
Swaziland Vigil. Saturdays from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.  Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. For more information check: www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.
·       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).
·       Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. For information: http://www.citizensforsanctuary.org.uk/pages/Strategic.html or contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
·       For Motherland ENT’s videos of the Vigil on 24/04/2009, check: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvwikOhO3Fk and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7qqXJ7jfVY.

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 12th June 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 13 June 2010 19:35

With his eye ever open for a propaganda opportunity Mugabe popped up at the Vigil to demand that the next World Cup should be held in Zimbabwe to celebrate his 90th birthday. We have no idea how he managed to evade the illegal sanctions that have reduced Zimbabwe to penury – perhaps he was smuggled through in the diplomatic bag along with other illegal substances. Vigil supporters gave him (in the form of Patrick Nyamwanza in our Mugabe mask) the same kind of reception he got from spectators at the Brazil / Zimbabwe match (see New York Times Blog: http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/11/zimbabwe-watches-the-cup-next-door/ ‘They jeered loudly as President Mugabe, who was limping heavily, walked into the stadium’.) The Vigil sported England flags and placards wishing the England football team good luck in the competition. We are also running a World Cup draw for Vigil supporters. 

With us for the fun were two prominent human rights activists from Zimbabwe: Irene Petras of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Roselyn Hanzi the Project Manager for both the Human Rights Defenders Unit and the Constitutional Reform and Policy Formulation Unit. They are in London for a month’s study. Irene said they had been looking forward all week to coming to join us. Addressing the Vigil, she said Zimbabweans in the diaspora should hesitate to go home until the rule of law was restored and human rights were respected. We were pleased to meet them and hear their views. One subject we raised was the bewildering comments made by the co-Minister of Home Affairs Giles Mutsekwa. He said in an interview with Violet Gondo of SW Radio Africa that ‘there will never be bannings of any freedom of expression in Zimbabwe, especially by this inclusive government’. Irene said she was equally puzzled. See: http://www.swradioafrica.com/pages/hotseat28052010.htm 

Some other points:
·       Sister Beverley Mutandiro spoke to Vigil supporters about the church service on 26th June for Zimbabwean victims of torture.  She is in charge of the music and leading the choir. She asked those interested in singing in the choir to let her know and stressed that it was important to be at the church at 11.30 to prepare for the start of the service at  noon (See Events and Notices section for details).
·      
Vigil supporters were interested to see that Mines Minister Obert Mpofu has been challenged over the smuggling of Marange diamonds. The Zimbabwe Independent (http://www.theindependent.co.zw/local/26877-ministers-fight-over-diamonds.html) says he had to go to the lavatory five times during his interrogation by Cabinet colleagues including Tendai Biti. By all accounts Mpofu has dirty hands.
·       During the week a number of Vigil supporters attended a House of Lords debate on Zimbabwe. Management team Member Patson Muzuwa said that afterwards a number of peers who took part in the debate said they were very disappointed at the failure of South Africa to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis.
·       Vigil supporters attended two events to launch ‘Zimbabwe – Years of Hope and Despair’ a book by Philip Barclay a diplomat who was based at the British Embassy in Harare from 2006 – 2009.  Vigil people walked out of the first meeting, hosted by the MDC Central London Forum, when a Mugabe apologist was given a platform to spout Zanu PF propaganda at length. One Vigil supporter said she was not prepared to listen to someone who supported murderers, rapists and torturers. At the official book launch later in the week Mr Barclay said he had been interested to see this division in the Zimbabwean diaspora in London. 
·       A Dutchman came by today and gave us £10. He had heard about our protest in Holland and was very supportive.
·       Congratulations to farmer Ben Freeth. In the Queen’s birthday honours list he has been awarded the MBE for services to the farming community in Zimbabwe.
·       A reminder; the register closes at 5 pm though the Vigil continues till 6 pm.  We don’t want people coming in the last hour just to sign on.
·       Thanks to Ian Pocock who has set up and is maintaining facebook and myspace pages for the Vigil. Check the Events and Notices section for the web links.
·       We recommend you read Cathy Buckle’s latest letter from Zimbabwe http://www.cathybuckle.com/june2010.shtml.
·       Zimbabweans around the world rely heavily on the Zimbabwe Situation daily news website compiled by Barbara in Australia and were sorry to hear of her recent accident which prevented publication for a few days.   

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check the link at the top of the home page of our website.  For earlier ZimVigil TV programmes check: http://www.zbnnews.com/home/firingline. 

FOR THE RECORD: 163 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       ROHR Liverpool demonstration. Saturday 19th June from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark) Liverpool City Centre. For details please contact: Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161 Next Demonstration: Saturday 26th June from 2 – 5 pm at Paradise Street, Liverpool City Centre.  Future demonstrations: Saturdays from 2 – 5 pm at Church Street (Outside Primark), Liverpool City Centre. Dates: 24th and 31st July, 7th and 21st August, 4th September.
·       Church Service in Support of Zimbabwean Victims of Torture. Saturday 26th June from 12 – 1.30 pm. Venue: Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8EP. Speakers: Rev Useni Sibanda (National Director of Zimbabwe Christian Alliance), Maureen Kademaunga (Human Rights Activist) and Father Nigel Johnson SJ (Station Manager: Radio Dialogue).This is an annual event organised by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum on the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The Zim HR Forum has asked the Vigil to provide a choir – this will be led by Sister Beverley Mutandiro.  After the service there will be a procession to the Vigil.
·       Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum Workshop on Transitional Justice Outreach to the Diaspora. Thursday 1st July from 11 am – 4 pm. Venue Development House, Meeting Room 2b, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT. Nearest tube: Old Street. Facilitators: Rev Useni Sibanda (National Director of Zimbabwe Christian Alliance), Father Nigel Johnson SJ (Station Manager: Radio Dialogue) and Gabriel Shumba (Director of Zimbabwe Exiles Forum). Places are limited. To register email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone Wiz / Ebba on 020 7065 0945.
·       ROHR Peterborough launch meeting. Saturday 3rd July from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: 37-38 Copeland, Bretton, Peterborough PA3 6YJ.  Present will be the Founder of ROHR and National Executive plus a well known lawyer. Contact: Alista Mabiya 07724540506, Nyarai Maziso 07732545514, P Chibanguza 07908406069 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
·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturdays from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.  Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. For more information check: www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.
·       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).
·       Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. For information: http://www.citizensforsanctuary.org.uk/pages/Strategic.html or contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
·       For Motherland ENT’s videos of the Vigil on 24/04/2009, check: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvwikOhO3Fk and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7qqXJ7jfVY.

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