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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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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 13th February 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 14 February 2010 17:23

Vigil supporters were surprised that no celebrations appear to have been arranged for President, Head of State and Government, Commander-in-Chief of Defence Forces, Terror of Mankind Robert Mugabe’s 86th birthday on 21st February. So the Vigil has arranged a party for him next Saturday. 

People at home might take for granted the visionary leader who has done so much for so long to create a new Zimbabwe. But we in the diaspora continue to marvel at his achievements: poverty, murder, disease, starvation, torture, violence, ignorance, corruption . . . In short blighting the lives of millions.  

On another bitterly cold day, with a biting wind from Siberia, alleviated only by the occasional snowflake, supporters broke off from their singing and dancing to sign birthday cards for Mugabe.  They will be handed to him when he visits the Vigil on 20th February (in the form of Fungayi Mabhunu wearing our Mugabe mask, who will be accompanied by Josephine Zhuga playing the role of first lady Grace).  

We are still waiting to hear whether Mugabe will be given the expected present from the EU in the form of an easing of sanctions. There has been pressure to lift some of them in the naïve belief that appeasing Mugabe will achieve change. The Vigil would have thought that the Indigenisation Bill to take over white-owned companies and reported moves to stop NGOs from feeding the starving (see: http://www.manicapost.com/inside.aspx?sectid=234&cat=1) would have been enough to have alerted credulous EU members to the impossibility of working with Mugabe.  

The Vigil was pleased to be sent a consignment of materials from friends in South Africa to be distributed to supporters. One item was a 2010 calendar labelled ‘hit him where it hurts the most . . . in the ballot box’, urging Zimbabweans to register to vote. 

For our part the Vigil wants to remind Zimbabweans in the UK that they have a right to vote in the British general elections expected in May. Provided you register on the voters’ roll you qualify for the vote as a citizen of the Commonwealth. (Yes we know Zimbabwe walked out of the Commonwealth in 2003, but apparently the British government hasn’t changed the relevant law yet: see: http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/who_can_register_to_vote.aspx). So turn out and vote for the party you think will best help Zimbabwe.  The Zimbabwean Ambassador is expected to vote for the British National Party on the grounds that it is closest to Zanu (PF) and wants to get rid of all immigrants.  

Some other points:
·       We now have dates for President Zuma’s state visit to the UK. He will be here from 3rd – 5th March accompanied by his newest wife, Mrs Thobeka Madiba Zuma. See: http://www.royal.gov.uk/LatestNewsandDiary/Pressreleases/2010/
AnnouncementofaStateVisitfromSouthAfrica.aspx
. We will give more details next week of our plans to welcome Zuma.
·       Several of our supporters again went to take part in the Swazi Vigil and they say it is causing quite a stir. See: www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.
·       Our Iranian friends in London have created a poster showing Mugabe and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shaking hands. You can see it on our Flickr photo website. Pictures of the Iran Solidarity protest in London on 11th February can be seen on: http://iransolidarity.blogspot.com/2010/02/22-bahman-protest-london.html.
·       We were pleased to be joined by Preacher Beverley Mutandiro who said prayers with Vigil supporters.
·       We celebrated with Jenatry Muranganwa and Lungile Ncube that they have now been given their papers to remain in the UK.
·       People looking after the register wish to point out that the register closes every Saturday at 5.30.
·      
We were contacted by the former MDC MP Mike Auret this week.  His book ‘From Liberator to Dictator’ is now available in UK shops and also online via: http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/michael+auret/from+liberator+to+dictator/
6533968/
.  
 

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

FOR THE RECORD: 125 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       ROHR Liverpool demonstration. Saturday 20th February from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark) Liverpool City Centre. For details please contact: Desire Chimuka 07917733711, Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Patrick Kushonga 07900857605, Trywell Migeri 07956083758.
·       ROHR Luton (Bedfordshire) launch meeting. Saturday 20th February from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Bury Park Community Resource Centre, 161 Dunstable Road, Luton LU1 1BW. Milton Keynes Branch in support. ROHR Executive members present and a chance to buy raffle tickets for Hayes fundraising do on 27th February. Contact Edson Kureva on 07767773949, Martha Jiya 07727016098 or P Mapfumo 0791596323 / 07932216070. The car park at the back of the community centre in Avondale Road is available.
·       ROHR Leeds general meeting. Saturday 20th February from 1.30 – 4 pm. Venue: Dock Green Inn, Leeds LS9 7AB. Contact: Wonder M Mubaiwa 07958758568, Donna Mugoni (Chair Wakefield) 07748828913, Prosper Mudamvanji 07846621050, Beauty Sikosana 07940181761, David Munemo 07963708923 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·       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.
·       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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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 6th February 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 07 February 2010 16:14
Every week another petition. It must seem so if you read last week’s diary. We spend long cold hours outside Zimbabwe House telling the passing world what is going on in Zimbabwe and normally run two petitions at a time. Sometimes we have a lively debate about them with passers-by; people from all over the world are concerned.

Last week the Vigil announced the launch of a new petition demanding elections in Zimbabwe as soon as possible because of Mugabe’s failure to honour the Global Political Agreement. This week we sent Morgan Tsvangirai a petition we have been running for several months urging the MDC to stop co-operating with Mugabe. The petition reads ‘Petition to the Zimbabwean Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai. We urge you to refuse to co-operate with President Mugabe until he respects the rule of law and complies fully with the agreement under which the Zimbabwean coalition government was formed in February.’

Here is what we said in our letter to Mr Tsvangirai:  ‘Enclosed is a petition signed by hundreds of people passing by the Zimbabwe Vigil outside Zimbabwe House in London.  We note that the MDC’s partial withdrawal from government late last year prompted new moves by the Southern African Development Community and we urge you to do the same again in the hope that SADC will again intervene to ensure either that Zanu-PF complies with the GPA or that elections are called soon under international supervision.’

It will give Mr Tsvangirai something to read given that all ZANU PF ministers have been told not to report to the Prime Minister in future. He might like to consider his position  in the light of the AU summit’s backing of Mugabe  and the election of Mugabe’s client, President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi (absentee owner of a  Zimbabwean farm), as the organisation’s new Chair. It was ironic but predictable that Zimbabwe was elected to the AU’s ‘Peace and Security Council’ – a resounding vote of confidence in Zanu PF’s gangster regime.

The Vigil noted the demise of NEPAD at the AU summit. It was said that ‘it couldn't deliver a single project during the last decade.’ Remember NEPAD (New Economic Partnership for African Development)? It was a brainchild of South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki and promised good governance in Africa in return for aid. Remember Mbeki? He is the man responsible for keeping the Mugabe regime in power, with the help of it seems of Rwandan genocidaires. 

For us at the Vigil things fell into place when we saw a report from the Rwandan New Times (http://allafrica.com/stories/201002030876.html) that a top genocide suspect is working for Mugabe along with several thousand compatriots from Rwanda. They apparently live in fear of being sent home so will do anything to keep him in power, plumbing new depths of bestiality. We noted during the last elections that torture victims spoke of being abused by people who could not speak English or the Zimbabwean vernacular languages. We assumed at the time that they were Angolans.

We doubt the British parliamentary team considering aid for Zimbabwe had an opportunity to meet these Rwandan killers during the team’s brief visit to Zimbabwe. But they may have learnt something of the looting of the Marange diamonds and the power it has given to the Zanu PF mafia. They might also have noticed the publicity about the Zimbabwe Presidential scholarships. These are supposed to be paid for by Mugabe but in fact come from aid money and go to the children of top Zanu-PF people so that they can study abroad.  Zimbabwean student leaders are angry that the money is not at least spent to prop up the decrepit Zimbabwean education system.

It was lovely to have some sunshine even though it got bitterly cold when the sun set. 

Some other points:
  • The new Swazi Vigil was grateful to Sue Toft of our management team who bought four Swazi flags for them to display to compensate for the Swazi High Commission lowering their flag last week at the launch of their Vigil. The Swazi Vigil was joined by a family who spoke about how they had suffered under King Mswati’s autocratic rule and how a relative had been murdered.
  • We were pleased to be visited by Bahar Milani and Armin HZ from Iran Solidarity UK – especially in view of the closer relations between Zimbabwe and Iran. They have asked for our support for a demonstration outside the Iranian Embassy in London (see Events and Notices section for details). Bahar tells us they have prepared a poster showing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shaking Mugabe’s hand.
  • It was good to welcome the Reverend Bonnet Moyo and Pastor Lucky Siyafa of the Southend Brethren in Christ Church who prayed with Vigil supporters for the deliverance of Zimbabwe.
  • Another visitor was Dr Tim of ZBN News who has launched ZimVigil TV from footage he took at the Vigil today, Check: http://www.zbnnews.com/home/index=108. ZBN News have been tireless in filming human rights events and activists in the UK to help publicise the plight of Zimbabwe.
  • Mathias Makozhombwe of Motherland ENT has produced another video of the Vigil. This was filmed last week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeI4veVo0H0. 

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

FOR THE RECORD:  204 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
  • 'Truth be Told? Debating the Human Rights Record of the Exiled Liberation Movements of Southern Africa'. Wednesday 10th February at 5pm. Venue: Keynes Lecture Theatre, King’s College, Cambridge. The seminar is chaired by Martin Plaut, Africa Editor, BBC World Service News and participants include Professors Jocelyn Alexander (Oxford), Saul Dubow (Sussex), and Stephen Ellis (African Studies Centre, Leiden & Free University Amsterdam) with Paul Trewhela, author of ‘Inside Quatro: Uncovering the Exile History of the ANC and SWAPO’
  • Iran Solidarity Protest. Thursday 11th February from 4 – 8 pm.  Venue: opposite the Iranian Embassy, 16 Prince’s Gate London SW7 1PT. (Between Knightsbridge and High Street Kensington Tube Stations.) Iranians are demonstrating for human rights and freedom on the day the Islamic Republic of Iran celebrates its ‘Islamic Revolution’s Victory Day’. For more information, contact: 07507978745, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   or check: http://iransolidarity.blogspot.com/.
  • ROHR Stoke-On-Trent general meeting. Saturday 13th February from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Shelton Centre, Crowther Street, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 2ER. Substantive committee to be elected. Executive members present. Contact: Pauline Mutema on 07850462301, Agnes Chivhimbo 07908447037, Joana Zhira 07845896347, Farirai Muchibwa 07746628397.
  • ROHR North London general meeting. Saturday 13th February from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, Tottenham, London N17 6QN. Closest Station: Seven Sisters. From Seven Sisters towards Tottenham three stops on Buses 123, 149, 256, 349, 341 and 476. Contact:  Gladys Mapanda 07877670522, Valarie Chengaose 07956586377, Nobuhle Ndlovu 07949588597 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
  • ROHR Liverpool demonstration. Saturday 20th February from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark) Liverpool City Centre. For details please contact: Desire Chimuka 07917733711, Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Patrick Kushonga 07900857605, Trywell Migeri 07956083758.
  • ROHR Luton (Bedfordshire) launch meeting. Saturday 20th February from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Bury Park Community Resource Centre, 161 Dunstable Road, Luton LU1 1BW. Milton Keynes Branch in support. ROHR Executive members present and a chance to buy raffle tickets for Hayes fundraising do on 27th February. Contact Edson Kureva on 07767773949, Martha Jiya 07727016098 or P Mapfumo 0791596323 / 07932216070. The car park at the back of the community centre in Avondale Road is available.
  • ROHR Leeds general meeting. Saturday 20th February from 1.30 – 4 pm. Venue: Dock Green Inn, Leeds LS9 7AB. Contact: Wonder M Mubaiwa 07958758568, Donna Mugoni (Chair Wakefield), 07748828913, Prosper Mudamvanji 07846621050, Beauty Sikosana 07940181761, David Munemo 07963708923 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
  • 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.
  • 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 .
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