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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 13th March 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 14 March 2010 18:41

Following our appeal to President Zuma to arrange early elections in Zimbabwe, the Vigil is to launch a petition to the UN Security Council calling on it to ensure that the elections are not stolen again.   

The petition reads: ‘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.’ 

As we explained to President Zuma, Vigil supporters believe that the situation in Zimbabwe can only worsen the longer elections are delayed. Our argument is that:
1.       After a year of the interim unitary government it is clear that it is making no progress.  If anything it is going backwards. The Mugabe regime has shown that it is determined to cling to power and that it will block real change, such as a free media and independent judiciary, so new elections are the only way forward.
2.       The situation will steadily deteriorate as long as Mugabe and his gang remain in power. Finance Minister Tendai Biti has admitted his hoped-for foreign budgetary aid and external investment will not be realised and, on top of that, the national exchequer has seen zero benefit from the exploitation of the Chiadzwa diamond fields. 
3.       The Vigil rejects the argument that lifting or suspending targeted sanctions will make the Mugabe regime more conciliatory. On the contrary, we are convinced that appeasing the regime will only encourage it in its intransigence. We believe that the Mugabe gang fears that any change will lead to their prosecution for human rights and other abuses and that it is up to South Africa – as their supporter over the years – to make arrangements for the future of these criminals.
4.       In particular, Vigil supporters reject the notion that sanctions should be lifted because they are misrepresented by the Mugabe regime as sanctions against Zimbabweans in general. We believe the proper answer to Mugabe’s propaganda is to patiently convey the truth to Zimbabweans and deluded Mugabe sympathizers in Africa and elsewhere. The Allies in the Second World War did not defeat national socialism, Italian fascism and Japanese militarism by bowing to their odious propaganda.  

Some other points:
·           We were glad to be joined again after a long absence by Ben Buckland nam Cameron in full Scottish regalia, kilt and all, who played the bagpipes to accompany the national anthem.  Ben has a family connection with Zimbabwe.
·           City and Islington College in London has been very complimentary about a talk given by the Vigil’s Josie Zhuga to mark international women’s day. They said she gave ‘an informative and personal talk about life and human rights for women in Zimbabwe’. Check: http://www.candi.ac.uk/about_us/news/2009-10/mar_4_-_candi_celebrates.aspx
·           Vigil supporters were cynical about a video shown on the television in the Embassy window pontificating hypocritically about saving lions. We felt it was a pity they did not do more to save the lives of Zimbabweans – and end the rampant poaching which is wiping out wildlife.                                                                                          

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: 191signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·           ROHR Oxford Launch meeting. Saturday 20th March from 2 to 6 pm. Venue: Newroad Baptist Church, Bonn Square, Oxford OX1 1LQ. ROHR Founder members and ROHR UK Executive present. Contact: Wisher Mandava 07552813803, Lucia Takawira 07760315739, Lindiwe Maposa 07837788807, C Gomani 07960103752 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·           ROHR Liverpool Demonstration. Saturday 20th March from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark) Liverpool City Centre. Contact: Desire Chimuka 07917733711, Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758. Future demonstrations all on Saturdays: 3rd and 17th April, 8th and 22nd May. Same venue and time. 
·           ROHR Thurrock & Basildon launch meeting, Saturday 27th March from 1.30 – 6 pm. Venue: Grays Parish Hall, West Street, Grays RM17 6LL. Contact: Tobokwa Malikongwa 07533660621, Billy Machekano 07765459538,  Paradzai Mapfumo 07932216070 / 07915926323
·           Southwark Cathedral’s hymn singing in solidarity with worshippers in Harare. Sunday 4th April (Easter Day). Time tba. Venue: outside the Zimbabwe Embassy.  They are singing in solidarity with worshippers who are going to be locked out of the Anglican Cathedral in Harare on Easter Day. 
·          
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 30/01/2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeI4veVo0H0 and the Vigil on 26/12/2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdPsBsief0s and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX6sv2T9gwk&feature=related.                                                                                          

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 6th March 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 07 March 2010 14:29

A busy week for the Vigil combating pro-Mugabe propaganda but with the ironic outcome of being apparently on the same side as Mugabe as far as the timing of elections is concerned. Mugabe now seems to agree with us that Zimbabwe should have elections in the two-year timeframe envisaged in the GPA; the sooner the better as far as we are concerned – provided that the international community can ensure that the elections are free and fair. 

This was the message the Vigil put to President Zuma on Friday when we confronted him on his arrival at South Africa House at the end of his disastrous state visit to the UK.  His appeal for the lifting of targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his gang went down like a lead balloon. It made him seem out of touch with reality. Here’s what the Times said in a leading article on the day of our demonstration: ‘Jacob Zuma is hard to take seriously, but his support of Robert Mugabe is a disgrace’. Check: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/leading_article/article7050415.ece. 

Our stunts captured public attention, particularly Vigil management team member Fungayi Mabhunu in our Mugabe mask displaying various placards for the cameras: ‘Thank you Zuma’, ‘Bring me my machine gun’ and ‘Have another wife on me’ – in gratitude for Zuma’s support. We adorned our Mugabe with a row of shiny horse brasses for lack of suitable medals.  

But the real message to Zuma was in the spontaneous booing from more than 100 Zimbabweans and the chant of ‘Shame on you’ when he arrived. We were joined by some South Africans who shouted something like ‘Ag Ag Zuma is Kak’, whatever that means. 

Zuma could not go up the red carpet without acknowledging our protest and the High Commission undertook to pass on to him our petition which was delivered by Luka Phiri and Gugu Tutani of the Vigil management team: ‘Petition to President Zuma of South Africa: After a year of the Zimbabwean interim government it is clear that it is going nowhere so we call on President Zuma, as mediator for the Southern African Development Community,  to arrange free and fair elections in Zimbabwe as soon as possible’.  

It was accompanied by the following letter: ‘We appeal to you to arrange early elections in Zimbabwe. We are aware that politicians in Zimbabwe don’t want new elections until they have had their fill at the trough but we believe that the situation can only worsen until there is a democratically elected government in place. What Zimbabweans want to know from you is how SADC can ensure that the elections are free and fair, given that Zanu (PF) has already reactivated militia bases and refuses to implement the GPA.’ 

Communicating with the South African High Commission this week was a struggle.  When we finally spoke to someone they tried to dissuade us from holding our protest saying they were on our side and we shouldn’t embarrass President Zuma . . . 

Our demonstration was widely covered in the media.
·        Vigil co-ordinator Dumi Tutani was interviewed in English and Shona by Studio 7, Voice of America.
·        Luka gave interviews to the same broadcaster in Ndebele and English.
·        Fungayi was interviewed by SABC (who came late and missed everything so we had to restage our protest for them).
·        Vigil Co-ordinator Rose Benton spoke on SW Radio Africa’s Newsreel programme on 5th March. www.swradioafrica.com.
·        We were also on various other media including the BBC – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8552084.stm.
·        For the most comprehensive coverage be sure to see ZimVigil TV (link on our website) produced by ZBN News. Our regular supporter Godfrey Madzunga has done an excellent job as front man for the programme. 

While we are talking about the media we urge you to listen to a short debate on BBC Radio 4’s World Tonight programme broadcast on 4th March on this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qtl3. Blessing Miles-Tendi, described as a Zimbabwean research fellow at Oxford University, had written a piece in the Guardian advocating the lifting of sanctions: //www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/mar/03/jacob-zuma-zimbabwe-sanctions. The BBC invited the Vigil’s Ephraim Tapa to debate the issue with him and Ephraim wiped the floor with him.  

Other activities of the Vigil during this week were:
·        Attending a meeting at the Royal Commonwealth Society on ‘The Role of the Media in Zimbabwe's Transition’ on 4th March at which the BBC journalist Sue Lloyd-Roberts spoke about her recent damning report ‘The polarised lives of Zimbabwe’s rich and poor’. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/8509149.stm.
·        Vigil regular Josephine Zhuga gave a passionate account of the life of women in Zimbabwe to an appreciative audience of students at City and Islington College on 3rd March to mark International Women’s Day. 

Other points
·        Despite the promise of spring during our Zuma protest on Friday, the Vigil on Saturday was four hours of an icy wind. Brrrr . . . when will winter end!
·        A lady who came by told us her cat was so aggressive she had named him Mugabe.
·        Several passers-by had been deeply moved by seeing the BBC TV programme this week ‘Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children’. One man said he had not been able to stop thinking about it. To view the programme check: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00r5ww9/
Zimbabwes_Forgotten_Children/
.
·        We were told that we were joined by actor Jeremy Irons during the singing of Ishe Komberera / Nkosi Sikeleli. Judge for yourself – picture 2128. Many famous actors have dropped by in the past including Tim Robbins, Emma Thompson and Simon Callow. We are grateful for their support.
·        Thanks to Patience Thutani for her help today in setting up and helping throughout the Vigil.                                                                                       

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:  168 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·           ROHR Sheffield launch meeting. Saturday 13th March. Venue: Ruby Lounge, 35 Carver Street, Sheffield S1 4FS. ROHR President & Executive present together with some VIPs. Contact: Prosper Mudamvanji 07846621050, Raymond B Jonga 07729472879 or P Mapfumo 7915926323 / 07932216070.
·           ROHR Oxford Launch meeting. Saturday 20th March from 2 to 6 pm. Venue: Newroad Baptist Church, Bonn Square, Oxford OX1 1LQ. ROHR Founder members and ROHR UK Executive present. Contact: Wisher Mandava 07552813803, Lucia Takawira 07760315739, Lindiwe Maposa 07837788807, C Gomani 07960103752 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·           ROHR Liverpool Demonstration. Saturday 20th March from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark) Liverpool City Centre. Contact: Desire Chimuka 07917733711, Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758. Future demonstrations all on Saturdays: 3rd and 17th April, 8th and 22nd May. Same venue and time. 
·           Southwark Cathedral’s hymn singing in solidarity with worshippers in Harare. Sunday 4th April (Easter Day). Time tba. Venue: outside the Zimbabwe Embassy.  They are singing in solidarity with worshippers who are going to be locked out of the Anglican Cathedral in Harare on Easter Day. 
·          
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 30/01/2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeI4veVo0H0 and the Vigil on 26/12/2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdPsBsief0s and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX6sv2T9gwk&feature=related 

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Protest at South Africa House to greet President Zuma – 5th March 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 05 March 2010 18:14

Image of today was President Mugabe welcoming President Zuma to the South African High Commission in London with the poster ‘Have another wife on me’, in gratitude for Zuma’s campaigning for the lifting of shopping sanctions. 

The fact that Mugabe (in the form of the Zimbabwe Vigil’s Fungayi Mabhunu) was sporting a row of horse brasses in place of decorations was considered appropriate by the crowd of more than 100 Zimbabweans gathered at South Africa House.  

To be fair to Zuma, he did give us a friendly wave when he arrived at the High Commission – despite the booing and chants of ‘Shame on You Zuma’.  

There will be full details of our protest in tomorrow’s Vigil diary. 

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 the ZBN News website: http://www.zbnnews.com/home/firingline 

FOR THE RECORD: 106 signed the register.

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 27th February 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 28 February 2010 17:29

Vigil supporters discussed President Zuma’s state visit to the UK. We were surprised that, on the eve of his visit, he called for the lifting of EU targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his cronies.  

We at the Vigil thought perhaps he hadn’t realised that the measures had recently been extended for another year. It gradually dawned on us: Zuma is just another Mugabe appeaser . . . give Mugabe what he wants and he will play ball (fat chance!).  

So it’s no change then in South Africa’s foreign policy, which has seen consistent championing of anti-democratic regimes from Burma to Iran. South Africa’s voting history at the UN spells it out.  

The Vigil has learnt that Zuma is to call at the South African High Commission in London on Friday 5th March and we will be there to greet him with our new banners: ‘Zuma Save Zimbabwe’ and ‘Elections in Zimbabwe Now’.  

Here’s an extract from a letter the Vigil sent on 24th February to the South African High Commissioner: 

“Dear Dr Skweyiya 

Exiled Zimbabweans are hopeful that President Zuma will help resolve the impasse in Zimbabwe so that we can go home.   

The MDC’s chief negotiator in the SADC-mediated negotiations, Tendai Biti, said last week: ‘We are going nowhere on the dialogue and therefore it is very important for President Zuma and South Africa to step in and step in quickly. We as negotiators have reached our ceiling. It should be taken out of our hands. Continuing to let us negotiate we are wasting time because we have tried. We have been negotiating since the 14th of May 2007. I think we have reached where our human capabilities can take us as negotiators. Therefore we need a bigger brain - that of President Zuma and more wisdom - that of SADC.’ 

The Zimbabwe Vigil, which has been protesting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London since 2002, would like to present President Zuma with the following petition during his visit to London from 3rd – 5th March:  

Petition to President Zuma of South Africa
We call on President Zuma to arrange free and fair elections in Zimbabwe in his capacity as the mediator appointed by the Southern African Development Community to sort out the Zimbabwean impasse.” 

The petition, signed by hundreds of people who have passed by the Vigil will be accompanied by the following letter to President Zuma:  

“The Zimbabwe Vigil is pleased that you are supporting elections in Zimbabwe in 2011, as envisaged in the Global Political Agreement. We are aware that politicians in Zimbabwe don’t want new elections until they have had their fill at the trough but we believe that the situation can only worsen until there is a democratically elected government in place. 

What Zimbabweans want to know from you is how SADC can ensure that the elections are free and fair, given that Zanu (PF) has already reactivated militia bases and refuses to implement the GPA.” 

Do come and join us outside the South African High Commission in Trafalgar Square on Friday 5th March from 11.30 am to make our protest to President Zuma.  

At our usual social gathering after the Vigil a wide-ranging discussion ensued in which it was suggested that people should bring banners to the protest saying:
·       ZUMA GET RID OF MUGABE
·       ZUMA YOU ARE THE GPA GUARANTOR – RESULT?
·       ZUMA ARE YOU MUGABE’S HOUSEBOY?
·       NO RULE OF LAW IS THE PROBLEM – NOT EU SANCTIONS
·       MUGABE LIFT ‘ILLEGAL’ SANCTIONS ON ZIMBABWEANS     

Our link to ZimVigil TV / ZBN News is now live (see menu at the top of the home page of our website). We were interested to hear from Dr Tim of ZBN News that his coverage of last week’s Mugabe Birthday demo had unprecedented response from all round the world especially, of course, Zimbabwe and South Africa.  He was surprised at how widespread the interest was. Thanks to David McAllister for sorting out the link. 

Other points:
·       The reaction of people passing the Vigil shows deep concern for the suffering in Zimbabwe. A disable man pushing a lady in a wheelchair stopped to put £10 in our donation box.
·       One of our supporters, Josephine Zhuga, has been invited to speak at City and Islington College’s International Women’s Day event on Wednesday 3rd March. She will be talking about the situation of women in Zimbabwe and her personal story. 

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: www.zbnnews.com 

FOR THE RECORD: 154 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       The Role of the Media in Zimbabwe's Transition. Thursday 4th March from 6-8 pm. Venue: Royal Commonwealth Society, 25 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5AP. Chair: Xan Smiley, Middle East and Africa Editor, Economist. Speakers: Tabani Moyo, Advocacy Officer, MISA, Zimbabwe, Sue Lloyd Roberts, BBC  journalist, Innocent Chofamba Sithole, Zimbabwean political journalist, Richard Bourne, Associate Fellow, Commonwealth Foundation.
·       Demonstration to greet President Zuma. Friday 5th March. Meet at 11.30 am to be ready for Zuma’s arrival between 12 and 12.30.  Venue: South African High Commission, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DP. Nearest station: Charing Cross.
·       ROHR Stevenage & Hatfield (Hertfordshire) general meeting. Saturday 6th March from 1.30 – 6 pm. Venue: Poplars Bandley Hill Community Centre, Magpie Crescent, Stevenage SG2 9RZ. ROHR executive present and respected guests. Contact: Kennedy Mashonganyika 079623838720, Jemtiasi Mare 07909338769, Bertha Mwatse 07404112684, Clarkson Shumbanhete 07958550506 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·       ROHR Brighton general meeting.  Saturday 6th March from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Community Base, 113 Queens Road, Brighton BN13XG.  Contact: Sinikiwe Dube 07824668763, Wellington Mamvura 07949595506 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·       ROHR Chelmsford general meeting. Saturday 6th March from 1.30 – 5 pm. Venue: Springfield Parish Centre, St Augustine’s Way, Chelmsford CM1 6GX. Contact: B Machekano 07765459538, Martha A Magwaza 07748644911 or R Mafigo 07944815190.
·       ROHR Liverpool Demonstration. Saturday 6th March from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark) Liverpool City Centre. For details please contact: Desire Chimuka 07917733711, Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758. Future demonstrations all on Saturdays: 20th March, 3rd and 17th April, 8th and 22nd May. Same venue and time. 
·       Iran Solidarity International Women’s Day March: Sunday 7th March at 12 Noon. Meet at the Iran Embassy, 16 Princes Gate, London SW7 to support our Iranian friends in their struggle against the anti-women Islamic regime of Iran.
·       Kings College London Project Zimbabwe – International Women’s Day Open Mic Night. Friday 12th March from 8 pm – 1 am. Venue: Roebuck Pub, 50 Great Dover Street, London SE1 4YG. Features guests (musicians, poets and comedians) from Zimbabwe’s Book Café in the UK. Tickets at the door: £5 NUS / £8. All proceeds will go towards Project Zimbabwe's support of healthcare, education and training in Zimbabwe. For more information check: www.kclprojectzimbabwe.blogspot.com.
·       ROHR Sheffield launch meeting. Saturday 13th March. Venue: Ruby Lounge, 35 Carver Street, Sheffield S1 4FS. Come and share ideas on how we can tackle the human rights abuses of our fellow countrymen. ROHR President & Executive present together with some VIPs. Contact: Prosper Mudamvanji 07846621050, Raymond B Jonga 07729472879 or P Mapfumo 7915926323 / 07932216070.
·       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 30/01/2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeI4veVo0H0 and the Vigil on 26/12/2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdPsBsief0s and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX6sv2T9gwk&feature=related).  

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: Mugabe Birthday Protest – 20th February 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 21 February 2010 19:21

ALERT – CHECK http://www.zbnnews.com/home/index=121 FOR ZBN NEWS’ COVERAGE OF SATURDAY’S MUGABE BIRTHDAY PROTEST ON ZIMVIGIL TV.

Swigging appropriately from a Methuselah of champagne, a swaggering (or was it swaying) Robert Mugabe, accompanied by Amazing Grace, celebrated his 86th birthday at the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, receiving presents and birthday cards. 

Among the gifts presented by Vigil supporters wearing devil masks (including June Pedzeni, Francesca Toft and Siza Ndebele) were parcels labeled ‘Looted Diamonds’ and ‘Sanctions Eased’. Vigil supporters were puzzled why the EU should remove sanctions against the police officer in charge of beating up Tsvangirai in 2007. The EU spoke of economic reforms in Zimbabwe. What are they . . . looted diamond fields, farm invasions, the threatened takeover of private companies? 

Other presents for Mugabe were labeled Giles Mutsekwa (Co-Minister of Home Affairs), Elias Mudzuri (Minister of Energy and Power Development) and Murisi Zwizwai (Deputy Minister of Mines) – the MDC ministers being investigated by the party on allegations of joining the corrupt Zanu(PF) gravy train. 

Mugabe, played by management team member Fungayi Mabhunu (in our Mugabe death mask), and Amazing Grace, played by Josephine Zhuga, cut a birthday cake and looked at the birthday messages. Here is a sample: ‘We have suffered too long!’, ‘Enough is enough – go to the Hague’, ‘We hate you. Wish you the worst for the rest of your life’, ‘You let us down – betrayed all the liberation ideals’, ‘Enough is enough – don’t you have a heart?’, ‘To hell with you’. 

Earlier in the day Mugabe visited the nearby South African High Commission to pay his disrespects ahead of President Zuma’s visit to London.  Displaying a sign reading ‘No Zumabwe’ he gave a V sign before being wrestled away by Vigil Co-ordinator Dumi Tutani.  

We were glad to have ZBN News with us again and we will continue to link to their broadcasts: www.zbnnews.com. 

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

FOR THE RECORD: 189 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       ROHR Hayes fundraising party. Saturday 27th February from 3 pm till late. Venue: Coronation Hall, Stoke Road, Water Eaton, Bletchley, Milton Keynes MK2 3AB. Admission £7.50 including food (lots of traditional food: mazondo, maguru mubhoora and all). Fashion show. Zim Music. Raffle: tickets £10. Prizes include: computer, printer, mobile handset, DVD player. To be drawn at 10.30 pm. Nearest station: Bletchley. Bus number 5 from central Milton Keynes or Bletchley. For more info contact Rodah Kuhlengisa 07958205544, Charity Nyamuzuwe 07898765091, Snodia Chihowa 07852921523, Martha Jiya 07727016098 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·       The Role of the Media in Zimbabwe's Transition. Thursday 4th March from 6-8 pm. Venue: Royal Commonwealth Society, 25 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5AP. Chair: Xan Smiley, Middle East and Africa Editor, Economist. Speakers: Tabani Moyo, Advocacy Officer, MISA, Zimbabwe, Sue Lloyd Roberts, BBC  journalist, Innocent Chofamba Sithole, Zimbabwean political journalist, Richard Bourne, Associate Fellow, Commonwealth Foundation.
·       ROHR Stevenage & Hatfield (Hertfordshire) general meeting. Saturday 6th March from 1.30 – 6 pm. Venue: Poplars Bandley Hill Community Centre, Magpie Crescent, Stevenage SG2 9RZ. ROHR executive present and respected guests. Contact: Kennedy Mashonganyika 079623838720, Jemtiasi Mare 07909338769, Bertha Mwatse 07404112684, Clarkson Shumbanhete 07958550506 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·       ROHR Sheffield launch meeting. Saturday 13th March. Venue: Ruby Lounge, 35 Carver Street, Sheffield S1 4FS. Come and share ideas on how we can tackle the human rights abuses of our fellow countrymen. ROHR President & Executive present together with some VIPs. Contact: Prosper Mudamvanji 07846621050, Raymond B Jonga 07729472879 or P Mapfumo 7915926323 / 07932216070.
·       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 30/01/2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeI4veVo0H0 and the Vigil on 26/12/2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdPsBsief0s and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX6sv2T9gwk&feature=related.    

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