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Independence Day Protest – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 17th April 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 18 April 2010 17:41

Volcanic ash from Iceland 1,000 miles to the north dropped gently on the Vigil as we marked Zimbabwe’s 30th anniversary of Independence. Despite this it was a lovely sunny day and there was a big attendance at our anniversary demonstration during which we left thirty candles at the nearby South African High Commission to remind them of their obligation to help us achieve true independence. People left the Zimbabwe Embassy in small groups carrying banners and candles and left them on the steps of South Africa House around the corner on Trafalgar Square 

We were glad to be joined by two champions of Zimbabwean freedom: Lovemore Matombo of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and Gabriel Shumba of the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum.  

Lovemore Matombo said that despite the earlier progress after independence there was still a lack of freedom in Zimbabwe. The MDC seemed to have been lulled into submission and had become a continuation of the Mugabe regime. They had betrayed the people but the ZCTU would not give up the struggle. He said Zimbabwe was a rich country which had been plundered for the benefit of the few. He added that Zimbabwe’s diamonds alone were enough to get the economy on track. Mr Matombo lamented what he called the fragmentation of civil society in Zimbabwe 

For his part Gabriel Shumba advised the diaspora that there must be rule of law in Zimbabwe before they could safely go home – so they would be free from harassment, torture and intimidation. He said people in the diaspora must be given the right to vote and dual citizenship should be allowed. He insisted there should be international observers on the ground during any election. Mr Shumba stressed the need for transitional justice. He said that people could not go home to Zimbabwe to find the perpetrators of the violence against them were still in place. He added that another demand was that South Africa must protect Zimbabweans against xenophobic violence. He said he feared a resurgence of this after the World Cup.  

Another visitor to the Vigil was Mr Mugabe (alias Reginald Gwasira in our Mugabe mask).  He joined us at the South African High Commission with a placard reading ‘Thanks Comrade Malema’.  He reappeared later outside the Zimbabwe Embassy with a bottle of wine and large glass and a placard reading ’Here’s to another 30 years’.  

Other points:
·       Lovemore Matombo renewed acquaintance with his fellow trade unionist and one of the Vigil founders Ephraim Tapa (previously head of the civil service union). Lovemore told Vigil supporters of the severe torture Ephraim suffered in 2002 and how the ZCTU looked after him and arranged his escape.  He said Ephraim was barely alive when he was found.
·       For the first time ever one of our petitions has been signed by a pigeon. He unloaded his bowels on our demand that the UK should not lift sanctions against Mugabe. It must have been a stool pigeon.
·       We were all delighted by the beautiful singing of a pair of songbirds in our maple trees completely oblivious to the hubbub below them. Also oblivious to reality is the Zimbabwean coalition government which has apparently decided ‘that all key stakeholders interested or involved in addressing the debt crisis in Zimbabwe, in particular the IFIs (international financial institutions, World Bank, International Monetary Fund and African Development Bank) and western countries "must overtly acknowledge that Zimbabwe is operating under economic sanctions”.’ http://www.thestandard.co.zw/business/24199-zim-debt-parties-find-common-ground.html. Presumably if they don’t Zimbabwe will refuse their food to feed the starving or their medicines to save the sick . . .
·       It is impossible to say how many people attended the Vigil – certainly many more than signed the register. The sound of the drums thundered down the Strand.
·       It was good to be joined by Violet of SW Radio Africa, Mark and Tony of ACTSA and Tor and Wiz of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum. 
·       On a very busy afternoon our thanks go to those who made our ‘Lights for Freedom’ protest possible: Jonathan Kariwoh who looked after back table throughout and sacrificed his chance to attend the activities at the SA High Commission, Luka Phiri who ran between the Embassy and the High Commission taking the Vigil photos and Dumi Tutani who stage managed the scenario at the South African High Commission. 

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: 225 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·     ROHR South East London general meeting. Saturday 24th April from 1 – 3 pm. Venue: 16 Sydenham Road, Sydenham, London SE24 5QW. Contact P Chitsinde 07897000075, C Chiromo 07894586005 or 07838153217.
·     ROHR Leeds general meeting. Saturday 24th April from 1.30 – 4 pm. Venue: Dock Green Inn, Leeds LS9 7AB. Contact: Wonder M Mubaiwa 07958758568, Donna Mugoni (Chair Northern Region) 07748828913, Prosper Mudamvanji 07846621050, Beauty Sikosana 07940181761, David Munemo 07963708923 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·     ROHR Leicester general meeting. Saturday 24th April from 1.30 – 5.30. Venue: St Aiden Parish Church Hall, The Vicarage, South Oswald Road, New Parks, Leicester LE3 6RJ. Refreshments will be served. Contact C Ndoro 07833022167, D Sibanda 07901742649, P Mapfumo  07915926323/ 07932216070.
·     ROHR Glasgow relaunch meeting. Saturday 1st May from 1.30-5.30. Venue: Woodside Hall, 36 Glendarg Street, Glasgow, G20 7QE. ROHR Executive present to talk about the current issues in Zimbabwe and the UK.  Contact Kuda Mupunga 07940254328, Gugu Ncube 07534574763, Rugare Chifungo(Northern Coordinator) 07795070609, P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·     ROHR Woking Branch 1st Anniversary Party. Saturday 8th May from 3 – 10 pm. Venue: St Pauls Church Hall, Oriental Road, Woking GU22 7BD. Raffle for two hampers to be won. Tickets £6 adults £3.00 kids which includes entry and meal. Contact:  Mr Mudzamiri 07774044873, Jermaine 07908522992, Sithokozile 07886203113 or P Mapfumo 07915326323/07932216070
·     ROHR Cambridge fundraising event. Saturday 22nd May from 4 – 10 pm. Venue: Arbury Community Centre, Campkin Road, Cambridge CB4 2LD. African music, food and drinks hobho. Entrance fee £10 including food. Contact: Jospheth Hapazari 07782398725, Locadia Mugari 07501304116, Sibusisiwe Bafana 07765268622, Percy Marimba 07894670271 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·     ROHR  West Bromwich Branch fundraising event. Saturday 29th May from 1 – 11pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Rd, West Bromwich B70 0HF. Admission £8.00 including food and drink. Contact: Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo  07817096594, Godwin Kativu 07576994816 or P Chibanguza  07908406069
·     ROHR Northampton General Meeting. Saturday 5th June at 2 pm. Venue:  Carey Memorial Baptist Church, King Street, Kettering, Northants, NN16 8QL.  ROHR executive members present and guest speakers. Contact: Marshall Rusike 07833787775,WadzanayiMpandawana 07717795574, Gladys Milanzi  07846 448 711, Norian Chindowa 07954379426, Sherry Ngaseke 07869295544 Or P Mapfumo 07915 926 323 / 07932 216 070.
·     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 .

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 10th April 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 11 April 2010 15:53

Vigil supporters discussed plans to mark Zimbabwe’s 30th Independence Day. It was felt that Zimbabweans as such are not independent at all and won’t be until South Africa forces Mugabe to keep his word. So we plan to stage a ‘lights for freedom’ demonstration at the South African High Commission at next week’s Vigil, the day before Independence Day.  

We intend that small groups of Vigil supporters will at intervals carry tealights around the corner from the Zimbabwe Embassy to the South African High Commission in Trafalgar Square to illustrate our hope that President Zuma will give us a true anniversary present and break the logjam which will otherwise continue until the MDC is completely absorbed by Zanu PF.  

We hope the demonstration will be joined by Lovemore Matombo – President of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Irene Petras – Executive Director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, and Gabriel Shumba – Executive Director of Zimbabwe Exiles Forum, who will be attending a conference ‘Zimbabwe 30 years on: Rights, challenges and opportunities’ in London that day organised by Action for Southern Africa, the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement. 

One of our founders Ephraim Tapa spoke at the Vigil and said the MDC had forgotten it had won the 2008 elections. There was no freedom or justice in Zimbabwe. Ephraim, who is President of our partner organisation in Zimbabwe, Restoration of Human Rights, said ROHR had made some important progress. It looked to the Vigil to continue to raise awareness in the international community. The struggle must continue until there were free and fair elections which were internationally monitored. Ephraim was sceptical about the recently appointed human rights commission. He described it as a non-event given the quality of some of its members. He was equally scathing about Morgan Tsvangirai’s apparent decision to lead a delegation to Brussels this month to once again appeal for an end to targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his cronies.  Another founder member Patson Muzuwa said attempts to deport Vigil supporter Charles Ndelemani o

n the grounds that he entered the UK on a Malawian passport had been suspended following a petition to the Home Office. Patson said Charles was clearly a Zimbabwean and no Zimbabwean should be sent back until there was a legitimate government.  

Hundreds of oddly-dressed cyclists rode past us along the Strand.  This was the annual ‘Tweedrun’ at which “proper attire is expected: tweed suits, plus fours, bowties, cycling capes and jaunty flat caps are all encouraged – no beastly denim”. It made quite a sight as they passed by on a sunny warm spring day. 

Other points
·       At a Vigil management team meeting before the Vigil the 2009 financial statement was approved and we were briefed on the progress of ROHR in Zimbabwe among other matters.
·       Thanks to Sue for bringing another batch of ‘Mugabe must go’ wristbands. She is such a good customer (in fact the only one for these wristbands) that they gave her 40 for free.
·       It was good to welcome back founder member Bonny now recovered from being kicked by a cow. Bonny, who’s a farmer, was bitten by a pig the previous year.  Thank goodness we don’t have lions here.  

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: 177 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       Workshop on Transitional Outreach to the Diaspora. Thursday 15th April from 11 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Royal London House, 22-25 Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1DX. Organised by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum. Facilitators: Gabriel Shumba – Executive Director of Zimbabwe Exiles Forum, and Brian Penduka – Programme Co-ordinator of Zimbabwe HR NGO Forum. To book a place email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone Wiz or Ebba on 020 7065 0945. For more information, check: http://www.hrforumzim.com/transitional-justice-workshop.pdf.
·       ‘Lights for Freedom’: Zimbabwe Independence – 30th Anniversary. Saturday 17th April.  Vigil supporters to place candles on the steps of the South African High Commission.
·       ‘Zimbabwe 30 years on: Rights, challenges and opportunities.’ ACTSA Independence Day Conference. Saturday 17th April at 11.15 am. Venue: Unite, 128 Theobald’s Road, London WC1X 8TN. Speakers: Lovemore Matombo – President of Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Irene Petras – Executive Director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, and Gabriel Shumba – Executive Director of Zimbabwe Exiles Forum. The conference will examine the challenges and opportunities for the future from a diaspora, trade union and human rights perspective. For more information check: http://www.actsa.org/Pictures/UpImages/Conference%20flyer.pdf.
·       ROHR Liverpool Demonstration. Saturday 17th April 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 on Saturdays: 8th and 22nd May. Same venue and time.
·       ROHR South East London general meeting. Saturday 24th April from 1 – 3 pm. Venue: 16 Sydenham Road, Sydenham, London SE24 5QW. Contact P Chitsinde 07897000075, C Chiromo 07894586005 or 07838153217.
·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturdays from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.  Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. For more information check: www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.
·       Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays).
·       Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. For information: http://www.citizensforsanctuary.org.uk/pages/Strategic.html or contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 3rd April 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 05 April 2010 18:53

Vigil supporters were not surprised by the squirming of Zanu-PF when confronted by the reality of implementing the Global Political Agreement. We don’t think it came as a surprise to President Zuma either and we look to him to make Mugabe honour his word. Zuma must know that South Africa’s credibility is at stake. 

To underline Zimbabwe’s dependence on South Africa for freedom from tyranny we plan to mark the thirtieth anniversary of Zimbabwe’s Independence Day at our Vigil on 17th April by placing candles on the steps of the South African High Commission. Our ‘lights for freedom’ will be carried there by groups of supporters at intervals during the Vigil. We hope to be joined at that Vigil by Lovemore Matombo – President of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Irene Petras – Executive Director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Gabriel Shumba – Executive Director of Zimbabwe Exiles Forum. The three will be attending a conference ‘Zimbabwe 30 years on: Rights, challenges and opportunities’ in London that day organised by Action for Southern Africa, the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement. ACTSA are encouraging their visitors to attend the Vigil from 4 pm. (See Events and Notices for more information about the ACTSA conference.) 

We are pleased to say that the equipment paid for by a generous donation to the Vigil from pupils at the Dolphin School in London has now been delivered to four schools in Zimbabwe selected by Vigil management team members. We earlier reported pupils and staff at Gwinyai Primary School (selected by Fungayi Mabhunu) were delighted to receive sports equipment and stationery.  Arnold Kuwewa’s brother delivered a package to Southerton Primary School and Arnold reports that there was a special assembly to celebrate the delivery. Moses Kandiyawo similarly reports that the Gumbo Primary School was delighted to receive the sports equipment and stationery. These three schools are in the Harare area but the fourth Baring Primary School is in Mutare. Again a special assembly was held.  The children of all four schools are very keen to make contact with the children of the Dolphin School and start penpal friendships.  The Vigil will get in touch with Steve Garvey the teacher who organised the donation to facilitate this. 

Other points:
·           Thanks to Sue Toft for standing in for Vigil Co-ordinator Rose Benton and to Kimpton Samkange and Reginald Gwasira for making sure the Vigil paraphernalia was delivered safely. 
·           The special Prayer Vigil for Zimbabwe outside the Zimbabwe Embassy on Sunday 4th April (Easter Day) was attended by about 100 people. It took place after a procession from nearby St Martin-in-the-Fields with a big banner ‘Release (in Shona, Ndebele and English) Zimbabwe’. Vigil supporter Josephine Zhuga led the choir. Bishop Michael Doe who returned from Zimbabwe about 4 weeks ago talked about his ministry there.  He said the lockout of Anglicans from their churches was widespread affecting many large towns including Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and Masvingo.  The funeral service for Bob Stumbles, the prominent Zimbabwean lawyer, had to be held in a school hall. 

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: 114 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       ‘Lights for Freedom’: Zimbabwe Independence – 30th Anniversary. Saturday 17th April.  Vigil supporters to place candles on the steps of the South African High Commission.
·       ‘Zimbabwe 30 years on: Rights, challenges and opportunities.’ ACTSA Independence Day Conference. Saturday 17th April at 11.15 am. Venue: Unite, 128 Theobald’s Road, London WC1X 8TN. Speakers: Lovemore Matombo – President of Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Irene Petras – Executive Director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Gabriel Shumba – Executive Director of Zimbabwe Exiles Forum The conference will examine the country’s current challenges and opportunities for the future from a diaspora, trade union and human rights perspective.
·       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 .       

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 27th March 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 28 March 2010 15:50

 A special hymn-singing and prayer Vigil is to be held outside the Zimbabwe Embassy from 12.30 – 2 pm on Easter Sunday in solidarity with Anglican worshippers in Harare locked out of St Mary’s Cathedral because of the power struggle involving former Bishop Kunonga, a Mugabe crony and farm beneficiary. 

The special Vigil is being supported by London’s Southwark Cathedral, which has a long-standing relationship with the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe, St Martin-in-the-Fields, which is our local church, and the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.  The Vigil will be attended by Bishop Michael Doe who has recently returned from Zimbabwe. He will speak (at 1 pm) about his experiences ‘celebrating the Eucharist in a ditch’. 

Vigil management team member Sue Toft hosted the interim Harare Bishop Sebastian Bakare when he visited the UK two years ago. Sue was interviewed by Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News and drew attention to Bishop Sebastian’s recent appeal for Christian solidarity in Zimbabwe. The Bishop said he had approached other churches to use their buildings only to ‘realise that our brother and sisterhood does not go beyond our denominational boundaries’.  

Other points
·           It poured down with rain on the last of our winter Vigils. Now that British summertime is in force the evenings will be much lighter – though we are puzzled that winter seems to have stayed so long.
·           Vigil supporters were not surprised by the desperate kicking of the Zanu-PF donkey against President Zuma’s current facilitation attempt. It is the moment of truth for South Africa. They will have to force Mugabe to comply with the GPA.
·           Notable milestone today was the sale of the 1,000th of our hessian bags labelled ‘Working for a new Zimbabwewww.zimvigil.co.uk’. All profits from the sale of these bags have gone to help our work. Thanks to Caroline Witts who has brought them all the way from Exeter, Devon (170 miles from London) for the last 2 years.
·           We note that our Swazi friends have stirred up things in Mbabane. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Lutfo Dlamini apparently said the demonstrators at the Swazi Vigil in London had never even been to Swaziland.  Well how well informed he must be! The minister said the demonstrators were being organised by ‘a faction calling themselves’ ACTSA. This is Action for Southern Africa which succeeded the Anti-Apartheid Movement! The Minister was responding to a question by the Matsanjeni South MP Oedusizi Ndlovu who said he feared being manhandled by angry demonstrators in London who were saying ‘a lot of bad things about the country’. According to this report the Minister said that the demonstrators in London are ‘not even British or Swazi but a hired group from an African country who are paid to speak bad things about this country.’ He reassured everyone ‘we are working on the issue and have a plan in place….’ 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme provided by ZBN News, 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:  171signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·           BATSIRA PARTY. Friday 2nd April. Venue: Jasmins Club, Upper Tooting Road, London SW17 7TG. Fundraiser for ACTSA’s Dignity Period Campaign organised by University of Westminister students. Tickets: £15. Raffles of donated prizes including a Samsung Plasma TV. For more information, contact: Zeyn Mitson, Tel: 07950 507 866, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , facebook: Zeyn Kassam.
·           ROHR Liverpool Demonstration. Saturday 3rd April from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark) Liverpool City Centre. Contact: Desire Chimuka 07917733711, Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758. Future demonstrations all on Saturdays: 17th April, 8th and 22nd May. Same venue and time. 
·           Prayer Vigil for Zimbabwe. Sunday 4th April (Easter Day). Time 12.30 – 2 pm. Venue: outside the Zimbabwe Embassy.  Praying and singing in solidarity with worshippers who are going to be locked out of the Anglican Cathedral in Harare on Easter Day. 
·           ROHR Liverpool general meeting. Saturday 10th April 2010 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: Desire Chimuka 07917733711, Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Patrick Kushonga 07900857605, Trywell Migeri 07956083758
·           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 – 20th March 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 21 March 2010 17:25

Vigil supporters were cautiously optimistic about the outcome of President Zuma’s visit to Harare. There was much discussion at the Vigil of the possible implications. We were pleased that we had been able to put our case to President Zuma during his visit to London.

It has been clear to us for some time that our Dear 86-year-old Leader is not exactly ‘well-informed’ and we welcome Mr Zuma’s reportedly more robust approach in dealing with a situation teetering on the brink.

We noted in particular Mr Zuma’s meetings with Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and National Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi. What were they talking about? The Vigil assumes he explained things to them in terms they will misunderstand at their peril.

Now that the castrated Gono has been auctioned off by the Reserve Bank’s creditors, Vigil supporters were pleased that Attorney-General Tomano is apparently being given a free transfer and that the talks on implementing the GPA have been set a clear deadline (with the implication that South African heavies will be stationed at Harare Airport to stop the negotiators sloping off for their usual shopping trips abroad).

The Vigil will discuss with our friends in Brussels how to welcome the Zimbabwean delegation which is going to be sent to discuss sanctions. Of course, everyone knows the EU will not suspend them until there is real evidence of change in Zimbabwe but apparently everyone must go through the motions. For our part we can show the delegation some of the delights of Brussels while they waste their time. The food really is good there.

Vigil supporters, after a particularly tough winter in the UK, really want to go home and want elections as soon as possible, providing peace-keeping forces are in place to prevent intimidation and violence. We also want observers to prevent another stolen election. Surely these are not impossible demands. We don’t see that postponing elections will achieve anything.

Some other points:
• Thanks to Sister Beverley Mutandiro who came and led prayers for the Vigil.
• Vigil supporters were encouraged to see that a big MDC Youth demo took place in Harare on Friday 19th March without harassment from the authorities. For photos check: http://www.swradioafrica.com/MDC%20protest%2019%20March%202010/slides/Some%20of%20the%20police%2escort.html.
• It was good to have Susan Chechita with us again. She comes about twice a month from Liverpool and catches the coach at 6.30 in the morning to be with us on time. She had difficulties this time because she misunderstood the time available for a cup of tea at a scheduled stop and the coach went off without her!

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme provided by ZBN News, 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: 165 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
• ROHR Thurrock & Basildon launch meeting.
Saturday 27th March from 1.30 – 6 pm. Venue: Grays Parish Hall, West Street, Grays RM17 6LL. Contact: Tobokwa Malikongwa 07533660621, Billy Machekano 07765459538, Paradzai Mapfumo 07932216070 / 07915926323
ROHR Liverpool Demonstration. Saturday 3rd April from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark) Liverpool City Centre. Contact: Desire Chimuka 07917733711, Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758. Future demonstrations all on Saturdays: 17th April, 8th and 22nd May. Same venue and time.
Southwark Cathedral’s hymn singing in solidarity with worshippers in Harare. Sunday 4th April (Easter Day). Time tba. Venue: outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. They are singing in solidarity with worshippers who are going to be locked out of the Anglican Cathedral in Harare on Easter Day.
Swaziland Vigil. Saturdays from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB. Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. For more information check: www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.
Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays).
Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. For information: http://www.citizensforsanctuary.org.uk/pages
/Strategic.html or contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
For Motherland ENT’s videos of the Vigil on 30/01/2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeI4veVo0H0 and the Vigil on 26/12/2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdPsBsief0s and http://www.youtube.com/watchv=nX6sv2T9gwk&feature=related.

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