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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 12th February 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 13 February 2011 17:11

As Egyptians celebrated the triumph of people power, the Vigil marked the second anniversary of Zimbabwe’s Government of National Unity (GNU) with posters expressing our disgust at how the agreement has rescued Zanu-PF and emasculated the MDC.  

We are still bewildered why MDC leaders signed up to such a flawed document. ‘Two years forward for GNU – two years backward for MDC’ read one of our posters. 

We are still angry that the agreement’s SADC guarantors have allowed Mugabe to get away with murder. ‘Two years of GNU – two years of violence and looting’ read another poster.  

Vigil supporters are disgusted that the opposition is more occupied in fighting among themselves than against Zanu-PF: ‘MDC: many-headed Hydra – all parties of excellence?’ read another poster. 

In short ‘Two years of GNU – thanks for GNUTHING’ concluded another. 

With the quasi-legitimacy conferred by the GNU, Zanu-PF is making further inroads in the UK. We have always had the families of Zanu-PF bigwigs here of course – for education, to look after investments etc. (Who knows when a bolt-hole will be needed when the ‘Ben Ali / Mubarak’ time comes?) Then there are the dozens of CIO people working for the Embassy . . .  

The Guardian newspaper reported recently that 32 suspected Zanu-PF war criminals are believed to be in the UK – among hundreds of suspects at large from countries ranging from Iraq and Afghanistan to Rwanda and the DRC. (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/feb7_2011.html#Z4). 

Among the dubious Zimbabwean organizations springing up here is ‘Zimbabwe Achievers UK’ who have announced a ‘short’ list of about 160 nominees for awards in some 30 categories (see: http://www.mafaro.com/awards/news.php).  Surprisingly there is not a specific category for ‘Zimbabwe war criminal’ or ‘Zanu-PF propagandist’. But Vigil supporters noticed the inclusion of long-standing Mugabe fan George Shire in the category ‘Academic Award’. (‘This award recognizes the individual who best exemplifies an advocate for professionalism and presenting the best public image. Will also have served as a model of dedication, enthusiasm, and leadership’).  Very soon they will be electing Mugabe president of the year. 

Diary readers may remember Shire (called ‘Professor’ in the Zimbabwe Achievers announcement) from the Vigil’s encounter with him in Lisbon in December 2007 when he mounted a rival demonstration in support of Mugabe who was attending an EU / AU summit meeting. Certainly Shire is a ‘model of dedication’ to Zanu-PF (see: http://www.swradioafrica.com/news101207/zimvig101207.htm 

Needless to say the Vigil has not been nominated for an award. But it is for the best: we wouldn’t want to pay £60 a head to attend this fake Rolex event.  

Other Points
·           Vigil founder member Ephraim Tapa – who is President of ROHR – said the current violence in Zimbabwe showed how inappropriate was the UK government’s proclaimed intention to send back failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers. He said this plan should be shelved until after elections in Zimbabwe. If there were free and fair elections people in the diaspora would want to go home.
·           It was good to meet Edward Sims from the office of the Member for the European Parliament for the East of England Geoffrey Van Orden. Edward spoke of Mr van Orden’s fight to keep EU targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his cronies (see: EU starts deliberations on extending sanctions targeting Zimbabwe President Mugabehttp://www.zimbabwesituation.com/feb13_2011.html#Z7).
·          
We were impressed by Sandra Manyika’s efforts to get to the Vigil. She left Sheffield at 10 am with Kieran 8 years, Kanisha 6 years and Brianna 3 months and didn’t expect to get home till 11.30 pm.
·           We welcomed back Josephine Zhuga who has been unwell for a while.  She spent her convalescence knitting stylish hats and scarves in the Zimbabwean colours.  See our photos.  She has been asked to bring more.  

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check http://www.zimvigiltv.com/   

FOR THE RECORD:   120 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·           The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe.
·           ROHR Stoke-on-Trent general meeting. Saturday 19th February from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: 19 Regent Road Stoke-on-Trent ST1 3BT. ROHR executive members present. Contact: David R Mugwira 07833943494, Maxwell Dube 07533349840, Faith Pemba 07780594852, P Chibanguza 07908406069 / 07534626040 or P Mapfumo on 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·           ROHR Yorkshire general meeting. Saturday 19th February from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Dock Green Inn, Ashley Road, Leeds LS9 7AB. Contact:  Chinofunga Ndoga 07877993826, Prosper Mudamvanji 07897594874, Wonder Mubaiwa 07958758568, Donna Mugoni 07748828913 or R Chifungo 07795070609.
·           Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum Meeting: Elections in Zimbabwe 2011 – good idea? Monday 21st February at 7.30 -9.30 pm. Venue: Amnesty International UK Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Yard Inn, London EC2A 3EA. Nearest tube: Old Street (Exit 4) or Liverpool Street (Bishopsgate West Exit). Speakers: Okay Machisa and Kucaca Phulu National Director and Chair of Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights). You will also be able to view the ZimRights photographic exhibition ‘Reflections’ which features images of Zimbabwe’s violent 2008 election period.
·           ROHR Peterborough general meeting. Saturday 26th February from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Millfield Community Centre, 3 New England Complex, Lincoln RoadPeterborough PE1 2PE. Contact: Alista Mabiya 07724540506, Bertha Chiyangwa 07846151527 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·           ROHR Bournemouth general meeting. Saturday 26th February from 2 – 5.30 pm. Venue: East Cliff Reformed Church opposite ASDA store, Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth BH8 8AY. Contact: Sekai 07772211220, Sledge 07788850146, Abi 07780831455, P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·           ROHR Bristol general meeting.  Saturday 5th March from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Joseph’s Presbytery Church, 232 Forest Road, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 3QT. Contact: Ronald Oputeri 07791109394, Bridgita Mubaiwa 07789084534,Cecilia Ndlovu 07740122687 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070
·           Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
·           Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
·           ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and 0send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe.
·       Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk). Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you are interested in taking part.

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 5th February 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 06 February 2011 15:56

Vigil supporters – like people all over the world – have been transfixed by the drama in Egypt. The sudden arrival in Cairo’s Tehrir Square of violent provocateurs of the corrupt and oppressive Mubarak regime made us feel quite at home.  

Suddenly the absurdity of Mugabe was thrown into clear focus – 87 this month yet seeking re-election for another term: another botoxed octogenarian with dyed hair unable to loosen his claws on power, even to caress his gold bars . . .  

Vigil supporter Peter Chareka told us how he was at the Harare meeting in 1986 launching the 21 February Movement – the Mugabe youth organisation which has degenerated into the green bombers. He recalled: ‘During an interview with the ZBC on his birthday, Mugabe was asked what he wanted to do when he got older. He promised to retire completely from politics. He said “I can’t wait to enjoy life as an ordinary citizen”. I was nearly 15 years old and I looked up to him. He promised to write a book about his life. Up to now I have not read a single page . . .’ 

The Vigil was well-attended despite the absence of a group of supporters from Luton who were unable to join us because of demonstrations there over Islamic fundamentalism (see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-12372713). Vigil supporter Hellena Gusinyu sent the following email: ‘I am writing this on behalf of all our Vigil supporters in Luton who couldn’t come to the Vigil this Saturday due to the protest in Luton by the English Defence League against Islamic power. The roads are blocked and buses have been told to use another route and the violence with Muslims has already started. But we know those who are attending the Vigil will be doing it on our behalf’’. 

As we mark the 2nd anniversary of the formation of the ‘government of national unity’ we were encouraged to see a note of honesty at last from the MDC’s Co-minister of Home Affairs, Theresa Makoni. Revealing the impotence of the MDC in government, she said ‘most times you write letters but nothing happens . . . (see: http://www.swradioafrica.com/news040211/
mugscanstop040211.htm
).
 

We Zimbabweans in the UK pay loads of taxes some of which goes to help people at home through the UK’s Department for International Development – about £100 million this year. We are glad to see that the British Embassy in Harare is being more outspoken about Zanu PF’s abuse of this aid. (See: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/feb5_2011.html#Z2 - Zanu (PF) Behaviour 'Depressing': UK Embassy.) 

Other ponts
·       We were joined by Italian freelance journalist Max Santalucia.  He has sent us a link to his article about the Vigil which appears in French on a blog of the international news site France 24 – http://atlas.blogs.france24.com/article/2011/02/04/la-protestation-infinie-0.
·       Today we were visited by members of the Zimbabwe Diaspora Focus Group: Thamsanga Zhou, Lucia Dube and Martin Chinyanga.  Thamsanga addressed the Vigil stressing how important it was to attend the Vigil and that all Zimbabweans in the diaspora should work together for an end to human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and for free and fair elections.
·       Have a look at our new website www.zimvigiltv.com. Past video diaries have been uploaded on the ‘Vigil Diary’ link including key events such as the demonstration when Zuma visited the South African Embassy, the Vigil’s 8th anniversary, the protest at Lancaster House etc. The latest video diaries are uploaded on the home page.
·       Sue Toft on our front desk says a man who dropped by told her that he had met Mugabe as an 8 year old when his parents went to Harrods department store. He said; ‘I shook his hand but now I wish I had kicked him in the shins’. If the EU lifts sanctions this month he may yet have the chance to do so . . . 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check http://www.zimvigiltv.com/   

FOR THE RECORD: 113 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe.
·       Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum Meeting. Monday 21st February at 7.30 pm. Venue: offices of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT. Nearest tube: Old Street. Speakers: Okay Machisa and Kucaca Phulu of ZimRights.
·       ROHR Bournemouth general meeting. Saturday 26th February from 2 – 5.30 pm. Venue: East Cliff Reformed Church opposite ASDA store, Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth BH8 8AY. Contact: Sekai 07772211220, Sledge 07788850146, Abi 07780831455, P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·       ROHR Bristol general meeting.  Saturday 5th March from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Joseph’s Presbytery Church, 232 Forest Road, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 3QT. Contact: Ronald Oputeri 07791109394, Bridgita Mubaiwa 07789084534,Cecilia Ndlovu 07740122687 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070
·       Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
·       Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
·       ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and 0send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe
·       Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk). Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you are interested in taking part. Vigil Co-ordinatorsThe Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 29th January 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 30 January 2011 12:33

Vigil supporters have been watching the unfolding revolution in North Africa with fascination – but with little expectation of a similar street uprising in Zimbabwe 

Why are we different? Zimbabweans too are victims of a brutal and corrupt regime.  Perhaps the problem is the poor quality of opposition leaders . . . But then they are not opposition now are they?  

Certainly it doesn’t seem so from the vacuous answers Morgan Tsvangirai gave at the Davos meeting of world movers and shakers (see: http://www.cathybuckle.com/index.php?id=24). What are your feelings about a free and fair election being possible he was asked. The Prime Minister replied that as long as the AU and SADC played their part then the “Zanu PF dirty tricks will be minimized.” Asked about the 51% indigenisation of businesses, Mr Tsvangirai said changes had been made to the law, plans were being drawn up and that it was not a compulsory takeover but one of mutual agreement. Asked about land reform and if farmers were going to be able to return to their properties to farm, Mr Tsvangirai said: “that is gone, we are past that.” 

Mr Tsvangirai’s comments were unlikely to attract investment from the assembled world bankers. But then Tsvangirai is hardly a mover and shaker. He doesn’t seem to have noticed that the cabinet has not met since December – not that it makes any difference as he has no power of any consequence. Two years in government and the shambolic constitution-making process is a year behind schedule. And (big revelation!) nothing has been done about the rotten voters’ roll with thousands of people older even than Mugabe.  

As we gathered on an icy day in London, we were worried by the supine reaction of the MDC leadership to the mounting evidence that the military have already launched a terror campaign to maintain the Mugabe mafia in power. As day by day more violence is reported, a senior officer, Air Vice-Marshal Henry Muchena, has apparently told local Zanu PF leaders in Mashonaland West that soldiers are taking charge of the party’s election campaign. It is expected that some 80,000 soldiers, war veterans and youth militia – about the same number as the estimated ghost workers in the Zimbabwe civil service! – are being deployed to intimidate MDC supporters in a campaign even more bloody than the 2008 presidential run-off.  

What is the MDC leadership doing to counter this? The Vigil suggests a massive demonstration during the visit to Zimbabwe planned by an African Union mission to assess the electoral conditions. If the police clamp down on this demonstration it will be in the full sight of Africa. We propose a march to the hotel to welcome the delegation.  

Or will the MDC leadership follow Malawi’s example and spend their energies outlawing farting? (Check: http://www.nyasatimes.com/national/malawi-%E2%80%98farting-crime%E2%80%99-makes-british-headlines.html and http://www.nyasatimes.com/national/farting-to-be-punishable-by-local-courts.html.) 

Other points
·       Vigil management team member Luka Phiri was invited to an annual lunch at the Anne Frank Trust on Holocaust Memorial Day which was addressed by former South African President F W de Klerk. Check http://www.annefrank.org.uk/node/256 for a photo of Luka standing next to Mr de Klerk.
·       It was good to welcome Vigil supporter Richard Taruvinga’s two young sons (12 and 7 years) who have just arrived from Zimbabwe.  They start English school on Tuesday. (They were not impressed by the weather!)
·       A supporter who works for Lonrho and in the past has given us a bundle of Zimbabwean $100 trillion notes came by. He recounted a joke about the note which he was told in Harare in 2009 – ‘the pictures on the note are all symbolic: the waterfall symbolizes the direction of the economy, the big load of bull is a symbol of government policy and the balancing rocks are symbolic of what you have in your head if you think you can buy anything with this!’
·       There has been an explosion of technology at the Vigil thanks to ZimVigil TV. Supporters can watch themselves on a television screen as they dance and sing and before they leave they can pick up a DVD of the action. 
·      The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum are inviting some people from Zimbabwean civil society to the UK who are keen to visit the Vigil.  On Saturday 19th February we hope to host Okay Machisa, the Executive Director of Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), Kucaca Phulu, Chair of ZimRights and possibly Gabriel Shumba of Zimbabwe Exiles Forum and Gideon Shoko of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trades Union. We are hoping they will bring to the Vigil photos of victim of political violence which are part of Zimrights’ ‘Reflections’ photo exhibition with which they are touring Europe.
·      The television in the Zimbabwe Embassy was showing the tourism film ‘Zimbabwe: World of Wonders’- one wonder being that a holiday resort can be invaded  on the pretext of acting for the government’s policy of taking over businesses . . .


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

For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check http://www.zimvigiltv.com/   

FOR THE RECORD: 114 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·           The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe.
·           ROHR Ashford Kent general meeting. Saturday 5th February, Venue: the Star Pub, Ashford, Kent TN24 8PA opposite Liquid Night Club off Hythe Road, 5 mins walk from Ashford International Station. ROHR executive members present. Contact Danmore Munyuki 07535213801, Munyaradzi Badze 07709317869, Egbert Mtengwa 07985592931 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·           ROHR West Bromwich general meeting.  Saturday 5th February from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West Bromwich B70 OHF00-1700hrs. For more info contact Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Peter Nkomo 07817096594, Diana Mtendereki 07771708800, Phylis Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·           ROHR Woking general meeting. Saturday 5th February from 2 – 6 pm, Venue: Woking Homes, Oriental Road, Woking, GU22 7BE. Contact, Isaac Mudzamiri 07774044873, Sithokozile Hlokana 07886203113, Saziso Zulu 07861028280 or P.Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·           Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum Meeting. Monday 21st February at 7.30 pm. Venue: offices of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT. Nearest tube: Old Street. Speakers: Okay Machisa and Kucaca Phulu of ZimRights.
·           Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
·           Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
·           ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and 0send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe
·           Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk). Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you are interested in taking part. 

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 22nd January 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 23 January 2011 17:33

Vigil supporters were overjoyed by news that management team member Luka Phiri has been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK. His face told everything: a beaming smile.  Luka has had a long struggle to get his papers, mostly because he arrived in the UK on a Malawi passport. Despite all the evidence that he is Zimbabwean the Home Office detained him in January 2009 and threatened to deport him to Malawi. The Vigil and others organised a successful campaign to secure his release.  

Luka is a long-time Vigil supporter and a committed activist in the fight against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. He also works for the Zimbabwean refugee organisation the Zimbabwe Association which has made him invaluable at the Vigil for his unstinting help and advice to other asylum seekers. Together with Vigil co-ordinator Dumi Tutani he walked 55 miles in one day, leaving Brighton at 5 am and arriving at the Vigil in the evening in support of tumour sufferer Tare Mapungwana, who was in London for an operation.  

When the news of his successful asylum appeal got out, Luka tells us he received emails from 3 MPs who had been campaigning for him. There were messages of congratulations from Vigil supporters all over the country.  Luka said ‘Thank you so much to the Vigil’. 

Like so many others, Luka finds it difficult to see any future in Zimbabwe. There is a French saying which sums up the situation there: ‘Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose’ (the more things change, the more they stay the same).  

For us at the Vigil the past week has borne this out (again). The South African mediators have visited Harare to discuss the road map to fresh elections, a process which needs to be followed to create ‘a conducive environment for elections’ in the words of President Zuma’s adviser, Lindiwe Zulu. The upshot of the visit is the startling conclusion that Zimbabwe’s governing parties must implement the power-sharing agreement before organising fresh elections . . .  What a brilliant idea! 

It means there will be no change. Everyone knows Mugabe will never implement the agreement and yet South Africa continues to feed this illusion. The Vigil knows believes the road map will mean nothing unless South Africa is prepared to put muscle behind it – and there has been no sign of that. Meanwhile, one of the best-endowed countries in the world remains one of the poorest. The 2011 index of economic freedom reports that Zimbabwe is 178th out of 179 countries surveyed, losing out only to Mugabe’s mentor North Korea. 

Other points
·           Management team member Patson Muzuwa warned supporters against increased Zanu PF activity in the UK.
·           Our pro-Mugabe ranter was waiting for us at the start of the Vigil with his life-size punchbag topped by a mask of Bush and with his loudspeaker system blaring. We decided ignoring him was the best policy and half way through the Vigil he decided to leave it for another day after having a pee against the wall of nearby Rymans stationers.
·           We were happy to be joined by Stephen Hulcoop of the Paraclete Christian Network International who has just returned from doing Christian work in Zimbabwe.
·           A large group of students from the School of Oriental and African Studies joined us.  They were working on a presentation on migration and how it affected the Zimbabwean community in the UK. They sent us an email in which they said: ‘Thank you very much for today. We learned a lot, and you made us feel very welcome there.’
·           Vigil team member Moses Kandiyawo brought his twin to the Vigil in the form of fellow team member Dennis Benton in flat cap and plastic dreadlocks. The joke started a few weeks ago when Dennis arrived at the Vigil in a flat cap and found that dreadlocked Moses was wearing one too.  

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check http://www.zimvigiltv.com/   

FOR THE RECORD: 114 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·           The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe.
·           ROHR Nottingham general meeting. Saturday 29th January. Venue: St Saviour’s Community Hall, Arkwright Walk, Nottingham NG2 2JU. Contact Allan Nhemhara 07810197576, Mary Chabvamuperu 07412074928, Christopher Chimbumu 07775888205, P Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070. 
·           ROHR Ashford general meeting. Saturday 5th February, Venue: the Star Pub, Ashford, Kent TN24 8PA opposite Liquid Night Club off Hythe Road, 5 mins walk from Ashford International Station. ROHR executive members present. Contact Danmore Munyuki 07535213801, Munyaradzi Badze 07709317869, Egbert Mtengwa 07985592931 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·           ROHR West Bromwich general meeting.  Saturday 5th February from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West Bromwich B70 OHF00-1700hrs. For more info contact Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Peter Nkomo 07817096594, Diana Mtendereki 07771708800, Phylis Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·           ROHR Woking general meeting. Saturday 5th February from 2 – 6 pm, Venue: Woking Homes, Oriental Road, Woking, GU22 7BE. Contact, Isaac Mudzamiri 07774044873, Sithokozile Hlokana 07886203113, Saziso Zulu 07861028280 or P.Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·           Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
·           Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
·           ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and 0send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe.
·       Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk). Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you are interested in taking part.

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 15th January 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 16 January 2011 15:38

‘Tunisian President forced from power after 23 years’ was the news at the Vigil. It was a tail-between-the-legs exit for Mafia boss Ben Ali after an eruption of street anger over oppression and corruption. The sudden collapse of another African dictatorship cannot be good news for the Mugabe Mafia. If Ivory Coast is the writing on the wall then Tunisia is the wall collapsing.  Who will be next?  

The Vigil believes there is a thirst for democracy in Africa. We certainly don’t believe that human rights is a lost cause – the argument advanced in the Times of London by commentator Matthew Parris, who was incidentally educated in Zimbabwe. He said how shocked he was to hear a group of new wave Chinese students ‘making it plain they simply did not understand talk of democracy’. He concluded ‘our era of Western liberalism is drawing to a close’ (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/article2848532.ece)  

A Times reader replied ‘so young Chinese do not comprehend democracy – well, they have never experienced it’. The writer (David Hope-Robertson) continued ‘The war against human rights abuses, the degradation of women and the oppression of citizens by totalitarian regimes is one of attrition, waged by exposing the injustices over and over, by measured reason and sometimes by ridicule. It will never entirely be won, yet to concede the fight is to empower the abusers. It may sometimes feel that we are waging a pointless battle, that no progress is being made against those who believe they have a right to control their fellows but change can come, and suddenly. Who could imagine how swiftly Ceausescu would fold or the Argentinean generals be stripped of their power?’ Or Ben Ali for that matter . . . . 

On another gloomy day with a biting wind, we were out again in support of human rights. Does Matthew Parris suggest we should stop? This is not the message we get from Zimbabwean victims of human rights abuses, some of whom join us on Saturdays. 

We at the Vigil are not remote from the struggle and this week had to call for police help for only the second time in our eight years outside the Embassy. This time it was a demented pro-Mugabe Caribbean shouting abuse.  We have tolerated him for years but he is now becoming a serious nuisance. The last time we had to call for police help was when Tsvangirai’s uncle Hebson Makuvise, now Ambassador to Germany, tried to hijack the Vigil. 

Other points:   
·       Glad to have with us Ben Semwayo who has written an article ‘Zimbabwean Opposition Unite’ which has been published on Zimbabwean media sites. If you haven’t read it check: http://changezimbabwe.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3304&Itemid=2.
·       We were also glad to see Caroline Witts, a long-standing supporter, who comes regularly all the way from Exeter in Devon to help out on the front table explaining the Zimbabwe situation to the passing public.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check http://www.zimvigiltv.com/   

FOR THE RECORD: 79 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe.
·       ROHR Newcastle general meeting. Saturday 22nd January from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Warwick Court, Warwick Street, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE8 1EY. 3 mins walk from the Gateshead Interchange opposite Gateshead Civic Centre and Gateshead Police Station. Free parking available. For directions please contact Susan Ndlovu 07767024586, Allen Chamboko 07500246416, Kuda Derera 07411337933, Rugare Chifungo (Coordinator) 07795070609 or P Chibanguza (Coordinator) 07908406069.
·       ROHR Manchester Branch Demonstration/Vigil. Saturday 22nd January from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Cathedral Gardens, Manchester City Centre (map: http://www.manchester2002-uk.com/maps/cathedral-gardens-map.html). Contact: Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Artwell Pfende 07886839353, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161.
·       ROHR Nottingham general meeting. Saturday 29th January. Venue: St Saviour’s Community Hall, Arkwright Walk, Nottingham NG2 2JU. Contact Allan Nhemhara 07810197576, Mary Chabvamuperu  07412074928 , Christopher Chimbumu 07775888205, P Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070. 
·       ROHR Ashford general meeting. Saturday 5th February, Venue: the Star Pub, Ashford, Kent TN24 8PA opposite Liquid Night Club off Hythe Road, 5 mins walk from Ashford International Station. ROHR executive members present. Contact Danmore Munyuki 07535213801, Munyaradzi Badze 07709317869, Egbert Mtengwa 07985592931 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·       ROHR West Bromwich general meeting.  Saturday 5th February from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: St Peter’ Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West Bromwich B70 OHF. For more info contact Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Peter Nkomo 07817096594, Diana Mtendereki 07771708800, Phylis 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.
·       ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and 0send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe
·       Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk). Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you are interested in taking part. 

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