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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 5th June 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 06 June 2010 15:38

Vigil supporters were encouraged by a call from Zimbabwean Christian leaders for new elections under international supervision. The Zimbabwe Council of Churches, Zimbabwe Christian Alliance and Christian Agencies, in consultation with civil society partners, insisted that the current administration is transitional and that SADC at its summit in Windhoek in August must ensure that elections are held next year with international observers deployed immediately.  

The statement (The Zimbabwean: http://bit.ly/9C3OEO) is the latest of a series of calls for new elections as impatience grows at the inertia of the ZANU-MDC coalition.  

The three principals seem to be engaged in a game of GPA talks avoidance. As we noted in last week’s diary a scheduled meeting of the principals was postponed because Tsvangirai was tired after his latest international posturing. The meeting was rescheduled and Vigil supporters were not surprised when this meeting also didn’t happen – this time because Mutambara was in Ghana for another non-event. Will Mugabe find a reason not to attend the next scheduled meeting? 

Mutambara, of course, will stop at nothing to sabotage any change whatsoever. He said “when you start talking about elections, you make people confrontational. It is distractive and unhelpful to the process of reforms.” (http://www.swradioafrica.com/news020610/threeprinc020610.htm).  

Well the Vigil rejects Dimwit Mutambara’s self-serving argument and also the demands that various conditions must be met before new elections are called. We believe that the only demand should be that Zanu PF is prevented from terrorizing the electorate. Any other conditions will be manipulated by the three principals to provide reasons to postpone elections.  

The Vigil gathers that the other Deputy Prime Minister, Thokozani Khupe, is planning a visit to the UK soon. We would be happy to meet her. She can talk to some of the large crowd who join us every week to demonstrate for change in Zimbabwe. We guarantee she will be given a courteous hearing but we do not expect to see her. It’s extraordinary that politicians from Zimbabwe seem afraid to come and see us.   

The Vigil took as a sign of the future the takeover of a block of flats in Bulawayo by Zanu PF youths on grounds of ‘indigenization’ (The Zimbabwean: http://bit.ly/9Yltv4.) We are waiting for houses in the middle class areas to be taken over. 

We were impressed by the initiative of the officer in charge of Harare Remand Prison, Chief Superintendent Chibaya, who closed the prison’s juvenile section and used the cells to house his chickens (leaving the juveniles at the risk of abuse by adult prisoners) – check: http://www.zimeye.org/?p=180300. At a meeting with his bosses who ordered him to move the chickens out, he in characteristic Zanu PF fashion said they should instead be hunting down the person who gave the information to the press.  

Other points
·       After a long spell of ill-health, it was good to have Geraldine Takwanda back with us looking well.
·      
We were joined by a lady who was silver from top to toe – make-up, hair dye and clothes – just part of the kaleidoscope of London life.
·       Supporters have been following with pride the progress of the act ‘A3’ comprising three Zimbabwean brothers who came third in their semi-final of the TV show ‘Britain’s got talent’. 

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: 146 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       Two opportunities 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. He will be speaking at The Central London Zimbabwe Forum. Monday 7th June from 7.30 – 9.30 pm.  Venue: Downstairs at the Bell & Compass Pub, 9 Villiers Street, London WC2N 6NA and at the Commonwealth Journalists Association (UK) Book Launch. Wednesday 9th June from 3 – 5 pm. Venue: Pitcher and Piano, 42 Kingsway, London WC2B 6EX. If you want to attend this event RSVP: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , tel: 08834-845240.
·       OTIENO by Trevor Michael Georges. A contemporary reworking of Shakespeare's Othello, set against the continuing deprivation of present-day Zimbabwe. Till Saturday 12th June at 7.30 pm, matinees 3 pm. Venue: Southwark Playhouse, Shipwright Yard (Corner of Tooley St. & Bermondsey St.), London SE1 2TF. For tickets ring 020 7407 0234 or book online here.
·       ROHR South East London general meeting. Saturday 12th June from 1 – 3 pm. Venue: 16 Sydenham Road, Sydenham, London SE24 5QW. Contact P Chitsinde 07897000075, C Chiromo 07894586005 or 07838153217.
·       ROHR Liverpool general meeting. Saturday 12th June from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Fairfield Police Club, Prescot Road, Fairfield, LiverpoolL7 0JD. T-shirts available for £10.00. NEW MEMBERS ARE VERY WELCOME. Contact: Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758. Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161
·       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. 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.
·       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
·       Campaign on behalf of Zimbabweans with disputed nationality. There is a possibility that the group known as London Citizens may launch a campaign on behalf of Zimbabweans with disputed nationality (such as arriving in the UK on a non-Zimbabwean – for instance Malawian – passport).  This campaign can only go ahead if there are sufficient numbers to warrant the expense.  If you are in this category please email your name to Vigil management team member Luka Phiri: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Your information will be treated in the strictest confidence and not passed on to anyone in authority.
·       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 – 29th May 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 30 May 2010 19:17

The Vigil has called on the new British government to support our demand for early elections in Zimbabwe. In a letter to Foreign Secretary William Hague we urge the UK government to ensure peacekeeping troops are sent to Zimbabwe  to prevent  Mugabe’s militias from stealing the elections. Here is our letter: 

“Dear Mr Hague 

“The Zimbabwe Vigil wishes to congratulate you on your appointment and express our best wishes.  We trust that we will continue to have the support of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Parties in our campaign for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. We pay tribute to Michael Ancram, among others, for his long-standing support for our cause and were pleased to be visited by Mr Clegg of the Liberal Democrats.   

“The Zimbabwe Vigil has been protesting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy every Saturday afternoon since October 2002 against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe and for internationally-monitored, free and fair elections. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk. 

“The Vigil is calling for new elections in Zimbabwe as soon as possible provided they can be overseen by an international peace-keeping force. We have been collecting signatures for the following petition: ‘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.’ 

“We urge the United Kingdom to insist that new elections in Zimbabwe are held under international supervision, including a military force to protect against violence already being planned by Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.  

“The view of the Zimbabwe Vigil is that the interim Zimbabwean government is a charade and that there is no alternative other than to have new elections as soon as possible as Mugabe has refused to honour his undertakings under the Global Political Agreement signed more than 18 months ago.  

“We take this opportunity to draw your attention to another petition being run by the Vigil: ‘A petition to the UK government. We welcome the UK’s humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe but call on the UK government to withhold development aid until it is confident that the money will benefit the people rather than the corrupt Mugabe regime.’ 

“As you will know, the Movement for Democratic Change has been coerced into calling for the removal of targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his cronies. A delegation from the Zimbabwean government is expected to have talks soon with the European Union at which this matter will no doubt be discussed. It will argue that progress towards implementing the Global Political Agreement depends on the lifting of these sanctions. The Zimbabwe Vigil hopes that the UK government will reject this implicit threat. The MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has learnt that giving in to Mugabe does not advance the cause of freedom.” 

Vigil co-ordinator Dumi Tutani explained to ZimVigil TV the reasoning behind the letter. He said it was important that the Vigil’s view was clearly presented  at a time when other Zimbabwean groups in the UK were seeking to engage with the British government. He said that we represented activists and shouldn’t be side-lined by others who spent their time talking instead of engaging the public and campaigning for change. 

The Vigil was glad to see an address by Jacob C Ngarivhume, Chair of the group Voice for Democracy, on the occasion of the International Day of UN Peace-keepers today. In it he refers to the UN principle ‘Responsibility to Protect’, which was endorsed by the Zimbabwean government five years ago. Mr Ngarivhume said ‘As there is nothing to suggest that the Zimbabwe government can or will protect its own people, the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ voters in the run-up to elections falls squarely on SADC, the AU and the international community.’ It is encouraging to see other groups working on the same lines as we are.  For the full address check:http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/may30_2010.html#Z1. 

With a meeting of the countries comprising the group Friends of Zimbabwe due to be held in Oslo in June, the Vigil urges them to put pressure on the unity government to take seriously the negotiations on implementing the Global Political Agreement. We are disturbed that the negotiations that President Zuma said last November should be over in weeks are still going on more than six months later. The latest meeting of the principals – delayed since early April – was due to take place on Friday but was postponed by Tsvangirai’s late return from his latest jaunt abroad. Perhaps he should be under the same travel sanctions as Mugabe to force him to stay at home and deal with the matter. 

The brilliant spring weather broke today and rain greeted the start of the Vigil. Thanks to Moses Kandiyawo of the Vigil management team who came early because he thought there would be problems setting up in the rain. He grabbed the tarpaulin and had it up in record time – within 15 minutes the tarpaulin, banners, posters and tables were all in place and we were ready to start. The Vigil wants ‘Vigil set-ups’ to be introduced as a sport in the Olympics in London in 2012. After all our practice we are confident of carrying off the gold.  

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: 127 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       OTIENO by Trevor Michael Georges. A contemporary reworking of Shakespeare's Othello, set against the continuing deprivation of present-day Zimbabwe. Till Saturday 12th June at 7.30 pm, matinees 3 pm. Venue: Southwark Playhouse, Shipwright Yard (Corner of Tooley St. & Bermondsey St.), London SE1 2TF. For tickets ring 020 7407 0234 or book online here.
·       ROHR Northampton general meeting. Saturday 5th June at 2 pm. Venue:  Carey Memorial Baptist Church, King Street, Kettering, Northants, NN16 8QL. ROHR Executive members present and Guest Speakers. Contact: Marshall Rusike 07833787775,Wadzanayi Mpandawana 07717795574, Gladys Milanzi  07846 448 711, Norian Chindowa 07954379426, Sherry Ngaseke 07869295544 Or P Mapfumo 07915 926 323 / 07932 216 070.
·       ROHR Bristol launch meeting. Saturday 5th June 2010 from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Joseph's Presbytery, 232 Forest Road, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 3QT. Come along and hear what's happening back home and see if we can do something to help. ROHR President, National Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact Bridget Mubaiwa 07789084534, Cecilia Ndhlovu 07545118593, Emelia Sydney 07789991197, P Chibanguza 07908406069, P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·       ROHR South East London general meeting. Saturday 12th June from 1 – 3 pm. Venue: 16 Sydenham Road, Sydenham, London SE24 5QW. Contact P Chitsinde 07897000075, C Chiromo 07894586005 or 07838153217.
·       ROHR Liverpool general meeting. Saturday 12th June from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Fairfield Police Club, Prescot Road, Fairfield, LiverpoolL7 0JD. T-shirts available for £10.00. NEW MEMBERS ARE VERY WELCOME. Contact: Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758. Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161
·       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. 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.  After the service there will be a procession to the Vigil.
·       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
·       Campaign on behalf of Zimbabweans with disputed nationality. There is a possibility that the group known as London Citizens may launch a campaign on behalf of Zimbabweans with disputed nationality (such as arriving in the UK on a non-Zimbabwean – for instance Malawian – passport).  This campaign can only go ahead if there are sufficient numbers to warrant the expense.  If you are in this category please email your name to Vigil management team member Luka Phiri: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Your information will be treated in the strictest confidence and not passed on to anyone in authority.
·       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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Concert featuring Vigil supporter Kudaushe Matimba – Friday 28th May 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 25 May 2010 19:46

Vigil supporter Kudaushe Matimba (formerly of the Bhundu Boys) and his group ‘Harare will be performing at a concert on Friday, 28th May from 7.30 to 10.30 pm.  Venue: St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace, 78 Bishopsgate. London EC2N 4AG. For more information check: http://stethelburgas.org/civicrm/event/info?id=170&reset=1

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 22nd May 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 23 May 2010 18:08

The Vigil was encouraged by visits from widely different groups on the British political spectrum.  On a glorious summer day, people from the Tent Village (comprised of anti-war demonstrators, climate change activists etc) who have set up camp outside Parliament came and signed our petitions.  They showed us a communication from the Greater London Authority advising them their presence was unauthorized and telling them to move. We were amused to see it was addressed to “Tent Occupant, Parliament Square”. Other visitors were from the English Defence League, a nationalist group who are vocal opponents of what they call Islamic hate-speech. They joined us after staging a protest in nearby Trafalgar Square. They were anxious to assure us they were not racist and indeed they joined in our dancing enthusiastically. 

We are, of course, anxious that our cause is taken up by the new coalition government. We are happy that Nicholas Clegg of the Liberal Democrats is now Deputy Prime Minister. He has visited the Vigil (26th November 2008) and expressed his support. The Vigil is preparing a letter to the new Foreign Secretary, William Hague of the Conservative Party, to explain our position. We have had consistent support from the Conservatives and have every reason to believe they will back our demand for early and internationally-supervised elections in Zimbabwe. 

We welcome the statement by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions calling for early elections. The acting secretary-general, Japhet Moyo, said “The GNU has been characterised by impasses, name calling and mistrust among the political parties while the majority of Zimbabweans continue to suffer". He went on "The envisaged constitutional making process has been fraught with anomalies and, as predicted by ZCTU, has failed to take off as a result of squabbling. While it would have been possible to have a new people driven constitution in place before elections, this is not currently possible." 

The Vigil believes that the ruling elite in Zimbabwe is disregarding the people’s will.  All three parties appear to be content with things as they are. For them, things have never been so good. As far as Zanu PF is concerned the future is full of diamonds and then the profits from indigenization and, still to be fully unveiled, the takeover of residential areas. And, of course, Mugabe now has Morgan Tsvangirai as his PR agent trotting around the globe saying how well things are going. Even for ‘dimwit’ Mutambara the advantages of the status quo are obvious: any new election would force him to look for a proper job.  

The Vigil notes that, after nearly two months, the three principals are apparently to meet at last to discuss the mediators’ report on the failure to honour the global political agreement. At the Vigil we are not holding our breath and urge President Zuma to call for a SADC summit to end the bickering and arrange new elections.  

If any further evidence was needed of the failure of the MDC leadership there were the remarks of the MDC co-Minister for Home Affairs, Giles Mutsekwa, announcing a ban on demonstrations during the World Cup. We are not convinced by his embarrassed disowning of these comments. It is clear that he has bought into ‘Dimwit’s empty rhetoric about “rebranding” of Zimbabwe: robbery is reassigning property, violence is keeping order etc etc. It is fatuous to hope that this type of rebranding will create a new Zimbabwe 

At the forefront of the campaign against Mugabe is the Zimbabwean newspaper, which the Vigil buys in bulk for our supporters who look to it to keep themselves in touch with Zimbabwe news. The newspaper plays an important role given the failure of the interim government to open media space in Zimbabwe as promised by the GPA. How much longer does the Zanu-MDC gang expect us to wait before there is a freedom of the media in Zimbabwe 

During the week, City and Islington College in London invited dancers from the Vigil to perform at their Adult Learners’ Week Family Fun Day.  Dumi Tutani, Josephine Zhuga, Moses Kandiyawo, Gladys Mapanda, Kelvin Kamupira and Simon Mwakipesile electrified the audience with their energetic dancing and rousing singing.  Regulars at the Vigil require no rehearsal and can just step up and perform at a moment’s notice. 

There is a possibility that the group known as London Citizens may launch a campaign on behalf of Zimbabweans with disputed nationality (such as arriving in the UK on a non-Zimbabwean – for instance Malawian – passport).  This campaign can only go ahead if there are sufficient numbers to warrant the expense.  If you fall in this category can you email your name to Vigil management team member Luka Phiri on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Your information will be treated in the strictest confidence and not passed on to anyone in authority.  

Some other points
·       We were pleased to welcome newcomer Brian Moyo who boarded a coach in Glasgow on Friday night to attend the Vigil.  He was returning home on Saturday night, spending a large part of his weekend traveling to and from the Vigil.
·       Vigil supporter Try Mahachi asked us to publicise the launch of a new Zimbabwean cultural group in Slough which aims to bring together the Zimbabwean community, help maintain cultural values and keep youths off the streets.   See ‘Events and Notices’ for details. 

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: 175 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES: ·       OTIENO by Trevor Michael Georges. A contemporary reworking of Shakespeare's Othello, set against the continuing deprivation of present-day Zimbabwe. From Tuesday 25th May – Saturday 12th June at 7.30 pm, matinees 3 pm. Venue: Southwark Playhouse, Shipwright Yard (Corner of Tooley St. & Bermondsey St.), London SE1 2TF. For tickets ring 020 7407 0234 or book online here.
·       ROHR West Bromwich Branch fundraising event. Saturday 29th May from 1 – 11pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Rd, West Bromwich B70 0HF. Admission £8.00 including food and drink. Contact: Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo  07817096594, Godwin Kativu 07576994816 or P Chibanguza  07908406069.
·       ROHR Brighton general meeting Saturday 29th May from 2 – 4 pm. Venue: The Community Base, 113 Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XG. Contact: Elizabeth Masoka 07545458436, Jane Mugwagwa 07833301145, Wellington Mamvura 07956870547, Patience Chiguta 07780667422 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·       Slough Zimbabwean Cultural Group Launch. Saturday 29th May from 1 – 6 pm. Venue: Weekes Drive Community Centre, Tamarisk Way, Slough SL1 2YN.  Slough MP Fiona Mactaggart is attending and is expected to deliver a speech. Cultural dances, gospel choir, fashion show of traditional costumes, Imbube, Isitshikitsha gumboot dance are planned. Proceeds to go towards helping members access training.
·       ROHR Northampton General Meeting. Saturday 5th June at 2 pm. Venue:  Carey Memorial Baptist Church, King Street, Kettering, Northants, NN16 8QL.  ROHR Executive members present and Guest Speakers. Contact: Marshall Rusike 07833787775,Wadzanayi Mpandawana 07717795574, Gladys Milanzi  07846 448 711, Norian Chindowa 07954379426, Sherry Ngaseke 07869295544 Or P Mapfumo 07915 926 323 / 07932 216 070.
·       ROHR Bristol Launch meeting. Saturday 5th June 2010 from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Joseph's Presbytery, 232 Forest Road, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 3QT. Come along and hear what's happening back home and see if we can do something to help. ROHR President, National Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact Bridget Mubaiwa 07789084534, Cecilia Ndhlovu 07545118593, Emelia Sydney 07789991197, P Chibanguza 07908406069, P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·       ROHR South East London general meeting. Saturday 12th June from 1 – 3 pm. Venue: 16 Sydenham Road, Sydenham, London SE24 5QW. Contact P Chitsinde 07897000075, C Chiromo 07894586005 or 07838153217.
·       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 – 15th May 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 16 May 2010 15:22

Vigil supporters were surprised and pleased that Roy Bennett (who inspired us to start the Vigil) was acquitted this week.  However we were not surprised when it became apparent that Zanu PF is not giving up on their harassment of Roy.  His passport has gone missing and the prosecution team have filed an application for ‘leave to appeal’ his acquittal. More delaying tactics to prevent him taking part in the government of Zimbabwe. What are they afraid of? 

The Vigil was glad to hear recently from Ben Freeth in support of our 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.’ Ben is one of the farmers who featured in ‘Mugabe and the White African’ (for those who have not seen it yet it is to be shown on MORE 4 Channel (Sky 138) at 10 pm on Tuesday 18 May). Ben’s email reads: ‘Well done in your call to the UN Security Council.  This is an excellent rally point and something we need to get all pro democracy and human rights groups as well as churches and influential leaders in SADC calling for.  Without peace keepers and international supervision, dictatorship will continue on in Zimbabwe and the violence perpetrated against the rural population particularly will be brutally severe come the next election. Keep up the good work!’  

The Vigil is particularly pleased at this support because we feel the only way forward for Zimbabwe is to have elections as soon as possible.  We find it hard to understand those who say Zimbabwe is not ready for an election. Do they really think things are going to improve - what are they waiting for? 
·       A new constitution? This is a futile and time-wasting exercise. Any government voted in after a free
and fair election will rewrite it.
·       A creditable electoral roll? In recent internationally monitored elections in Afghanistan and Iraq there were no voters’ rolls.  The elections were carried out via adult suffrage and indelibly ink-stained fingers.
·       A non-violent environment? This is why we are saying it is essential for the United Nations to provide international troops. 

Vigil supporters who attended the memorial in London for Tonderai Ndira reported that it was a warm-hearted occasion as they remembered the horrors meted out to Tonderai two years ago. It was reported at the time that he had been shot in the heart, with multiple stab wounds, his eyes gouged, his tongue cut out, and his neck, skull, jaw and knuckles broken. The organisers were pleased that money was raised and has been sent to support Tonderai’s suffering family. 

Today the Vigil started a new occasional feature – asking committed Vigil supporters what the Vigil means to them. We spoke to Josephine Zhuga who said ‘Sue Toft, myself, Caroline Witts and Francesca Toft are the first point of contact at the Vigil as we man the front table and engage with the passing public on the plight of Zimbabwe. I am in the group of many people who come week after week, come rain, snow or sunshine. Activists come from all over the country, from as far North as Scotland and as far West as Exeter. I feel privileged in welcoming new supporters and informing them of the risk they are putting themselves and their families at by their activities at the Vigil as we are closely monitored by elements of the regime. Zimbabweans in the diaspora are victims of the brutal regime of Robert Mugabe. This is expressed by many sad stories of rape, torture, displacement and imprisonment. Our grieving for a better Zimbabwe is reflected in our singing revolutionary songs, religious songs, beating drums and prayers. We have two tables and work hand in hand with Jonathan Kariwoh, Godfrey Madzunga, Chipo Chaya, Arnold Kuwewa and Gladys Mapanda under the leadership of our Vigil co-ordinators and management team. The Zimbabwe Vigil marks important events on the Zimbabwean calendar by demonstrations which are covered by local and foreign media. We are the largest peaceful group of activists who have continued to protest for the past 8 years. I am proud to be part of such a strong, dedicated and well-represented human rights group.’ 

Other points
·       A special treat today was the wonderful singing of Patricia Nyamadzi. She was filmed by ZBN News for ZimVigil TV and you will be able to watch and listen to her when this week’s TV is uploaded.
·      
A collection was made for the family of a Zimbabwean lady, Senzeni Moyo, who was tragically killed in the Libyan air crash.
·       It was good to see Alice Ruzario again who comes all the way from Sheffield to be with us.
·       We were puzzled to see a lone crutch at the end of the Vigil. We thought perhaps our prayers had wrought a miracle and the owner had found they no longer needed it. The mystery was solved when one of the homeless people who gather at the Vigil hopped across to us – he had given his crutch to the Vigil children to play with! 

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: 180 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       Mugabe and the White African will be shown on Tuesday 18th May at 10 pm on MORE 4 (Sky 138).
·       ROHR Cambridge fundraising event. Saturday 22nd May from 4 – 10 pm. Venue: Arbury Community Centre, Campkin Road, Cambridge CB4 2LD. African music, food and drinks hobho. Entrance fee £10 including food. Contact: Jospheth Hapazari 07782398725, Locadia Mugari 07501304116, Sibusisiwe Bafana 07765268622, Percy Marimba 07894670271 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·       R0HR North London General Meeting. Saturday 22nd May from 1:30-5:30. Venue: Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road London N17 6QN. Closest Tube -Seven Sisters. From Seven Sisters towards Tottenham three stops on buses 123,149,256,349,341 and 476, ROHR Executive and Guest Speakers in attendance. Fundraising raffle and draw. Contact Bekithemba Nyahwa 07534905348, Nobuhle Ndlovu 07949588597, Wellington Chinombe 07529290157, Chipo Denenga 07960761122, P Mapfumo 07915926323.
·       OTIENO by Trevor Michael Georges. A contemporary reworking of Shakespeare's Othello, set against the continuing deprivation of present-day Zimbabwe. From Tuesday 25th May – Saturday 12th June at 7.30 pm, matinees 3 pm. Venue: Southwark Playhouse, Shipwright Yard (Corner of Tooley St. & Bermondsey St.), London SE1 2TF. For tickets ring 020 7407 0234 or book online here.
·       ROHR West Bromwich Branch fundraising event. Saturday 29th May from 1 – 11pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Rd, West Bromwich B70 0HF. Admission £8.00 including food and drink. Contact: Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo  07817096594, Godwin Kativu 07576994816 or P Chibanguza  07908406069
·       ROHR Northampton General Meeting. Saturday 5th June at 2 pm. Venue:  Carey Memorial Baptist Church, King Street, Kettering, Northants, NN16 8QL.  ROHR Executive members present and Guest Speakers. Contact: Marshall Rusike 07833787775,Wadzanayi Mpandawana 07717795574, Gladys Milanzi  07846 448 711, Norian Chindowa 07954379426, Sherry Ngaseke 07869295544 Or P Mapfumo 07915 926 323 / 07932 216 070.
·       ROHR Bristol Launch meeting. Saturday  5th June 2010 from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Joseph's Presbytery, 232 Forest Road, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 3QT. Come along and hear what's happening back home and see if we can do something to help. ROHR President, National Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact Bridget Mubaiwa 07789084534, Cecilia Ndhlovu 07545118593, Emelia Sydney 07789991197, P Chibanguza 07908406069, P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·       ROHR South East London general meeting. Saturday 12th June from 1 – 3 pm. Venue: 16 Sydenham Road, Sydenham, London SE24 5QW. Contact P Chitsinde 07897000075, C Chiromo 07894586005 or 07838153217.
·       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/watchv=u7qqXJ7jfVY.
 

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