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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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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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