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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 30th January 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 31 January 2010 17:50
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeI4veVo0H0
Video courtesy of Motherlandinc

 

With the failure of the SADC-mediated talks to resolve differences over the Global Political Agreement, the Vigil has launched a new petition calling for elections as soon as possible.

The petition reads: ‘Petition to President Zuma of South Africa: After a year of the Zimbabwe interim government it is clear that it is going nowhere so we call on President Zuma as mediator for the Southern African Development Community to arrange free and fair elections as soon as possible.’

It is our intention to submit the petition to the South African High Commission during President Zuma’s state visit to Britain in March.

 Zanu-PF has made clear it will not honour the GPA; in fact it has shown that it will sabotage any reform that endangers its hold on power, including the constitution-making fiasco.

The MDC is apparently asking SADC to step in and resolve the impasse. The Vigil’s view is that SADC must set a date for new elections and take steps to ensure that these are free and fair. This could include seeking help from the African Union and the United Nations. After all, elections have been organised in Afghanistan and Iraq in even worse circumstances.

We were puzzled by Tsvangirai’s remarks at the international meeting in Davos about easing sanctions. He spoke of ‘rewards for progress’. Reward Mugabe for obstructing the GPA? Reward the MDC for caving in to Zanu PF? Tsvangirai said ‘It’s not as if I am here as a salesman for Zimbabwe’. He sounded like a salesman for appeasement.

It was another freezing day. Several people joined us straight from supporting the first Swazi Vigil outside the Swaziland High Commission near Buckingham Palace, including Thobile Gwebu, the organiser of the Swazi Vigil. They noted that the Swazi flag was lowered when they started drumming and that they were filmed by people inside the building. Hero of the day was Fungayi Mabhunu of our management team who carried a heavy table and a drum on public transport to help our Swazi friends. Supporters of the Swazi Vigil are puzzled how the Swazi government can afford to maintain a High Commission in London while its people starve.

The Swazis wish to thank David McAllister of the Zimbabwe Vigil who set up a website for them – www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.

There has been good progress on the delivery of goods to our selected schools in Zimbabwe. Pupils and staff at Gwinyai Primary School were delighted to received sports equipment and stationery. A video of the occasion is being sent to us. We will report when the rest of the goods are delivered.

Some other points:
• Susan Chechita boarded a bus in Liverpool at 6.20 am to be with us at 2 pm. Heaven knows what time she got home but we were pleased to see her.
• Mathias Makozhombwe and Nasiso Kashiri of Motherland ENT, a Zimbabwean music production outfit based in Coventry, were back with us today. They took more video footage of the Vigil and will send us the link to their video in due course.
• A human rights lawyer came by to see us because their practice has so many Zimbabwean clients. The lawyer was very please to spend some time with us.
• A lady from Yorkshire stopped by and said that her 8 year old son had written to the Prime Minister Gordon Brown because of the situation in Zimbabwe!
• Thanks to Nobuhle Ndlovu for her help today, especially with the register and merchandise on the back table.
• Congratulations to Patson Muzuwa and Esther whose baby son (also Patson) was born on Wednesday.

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

FOR THE RECORD: 185 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
ROHR Liverpool demonstration. Saturday 6th February from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark) Liverpool City Centre. Next demonstration on Saturday 20th February. Same venue and time. For Details please contact: Desire Chimuka 07917733711, Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Patrick Kushonga 07900857605, Trywell Migeri 07956083758.
ROHR Woking general meeting. Saturday 6th February from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: 1 Ravenswood Court, Hillview Road, Woking GU22 7NR. Contact Isaac Mudzamiri 07774044873, Sithokozile Hlokana 07886203113, Thandiwe Mabodoko 07552402416 or P Mapfumo 07932216070 / 07915926323.
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 on the day. 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 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 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 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 – 23rd January 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 24 January 2010 16:24

Given all the attention paid in Zimbabwe to the recent comments by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, Vigil supporters were surprised that commentators only seem to have noticed his rather obvious remarks about sanctions. What was much more interesting to us was his praise of President Zuma’s Zimbabwe policy.  Answering questions in Parliament, Mr Miliband said ‘President Zuma is playing a careful hand, and he is playing it rather skilfully’.  

What does he mean?  We know Mr Zuma has said he wants elections to resolve the Zimbabwe situation next year. No more dilly-dallying: ‘park’ disagreements. South Africans have always had a reputation for ‘making a plan’ and we hope that President Zuma will soon explain what he has in his ‘careful hand’.  

In particular, the Vigil wants to know how he will ensure that the Zimbabwe elections are free and fair given the refusal of Zanu-PF to relinquish power and its readiness to use violence. When we know this we can assess how ‘skillfully’ he is playing his hand.  The Vigil would like to welcome President Zuma as a friend when he visits London in March. This is on the understanding that by then he will have answered satisfactorily our question: ‘What is your plan?’ 

In the coming week Vigil supporters will be attending a meeting in Parliament of the committee looking into aid to Zimbabwe (see below for details). The Vigil has already pointed out to the committee our view that there should be no relaxation of pressure on Zanu PF to honour what they have already agreed in the GPA.   

We were happy that we have been able to help the launch of a Swazi Vigil in London. They are to protest outside the Swazi High Commission (see below for details) every Saturday in support of freedom. We are sure Zimbabweans will support a struggle against an autocratic ruler (and friend of Mugabe) who would starve his people to pay for a Boeing for his wives.  

Good news this week is that a consignment of sports equipment and stationery from the Vigil has arrived in Zimbabwe.  This is thanks to a class at the Dolphin School, Battersea, and their teacher Steve Garvey.  Through their fundraising efforts they collected around £900. Thanks especially to Fungayi Mabhunu who sourced and purchased all the goods, helped by Arnold Kuwewa.  Thanks also to Chipo Chaya and Moses Kandiyawo who helped Fungayi dispatch the goods.  Four schools have been selected by Vigil team members to receive the equipment and we will keep you informed of deliveries to the schools.  We are hoping that penpal friendships will result between pupils at these schools and the pupils of the Dolphin School. 

Some other points:
1.       ‘Don’t worry you are going to win’ – that was the cryptic message given by a passer-by to one of our regulars, Francesca Toft.
2.       Vigil supporters are planning to go to Chatham House on 3rd February to hear Sekai Holland talking about national healing.  Josephine Zhuga of the Vigil will be there to ask if she can have back her house stolen by a Zimbabwean policeman.
3.       Thanks to Loveness Chikwanje who was with us at the start, helped throughout and packed up at the end.   

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

FOR THE RECORD: 160 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·           Parliamentary Committee on DFID’s assistance to Zimbabwe.  Tuesday 26th January at 10.30 am. Venue: Committee Room 5, House of Commons. Access via St Stephen’s Gate – leave enough time to clear security. See: http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/international_development/future_meetings.cfm. You can watch the committee proceedings on: www.parliamentlive.tv. Nearest station: Westminster.
·           Launch of Swazi Vigil. Saturday 30th January from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.  Please support our Swazi friends. They intend to hold weekly Vigils on Saturdays– same time and venue. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. http://www.swazilandvigil.co.uk/
·           ROHR Swansea general meeting. Saturday 30th January from 1 – 4 pm. Venue: tba. Contact: Kudzai Ruzvidzo 07824967317 or Phillip Mpukutsa 07999615868. Future meeting on Saturday 27th February.
·           ROHR West Bromwich general meeting. Saturday 30th January from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF.  Contact: Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo 07817096594 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·           ROHR Brighton general meeting.  Saturday 30th January from 1 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Community Base, 113 Queens Road, Brighton BN13XG. ROHR Executive representative present. Contact: Sinikiwe Dube 07824668763, Wellington Mamvura 07949595506 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070. Future meetings to be held on Saturdays 27th February and 27th March – same time and venue. 
·           ROHR Liverpool Demonstration. Saturday 6th February from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark) Liverpool City Centre. Next demonstration on Saturday 20th February. Same venue and time.  For Details contact: Desire Chimuka 07917733711, Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Patrick Kushonga 07900857605, Trywell Migeri 07956083758.
·           ROHR Stoke-On-Trent general meeting. Saturday 13th February from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Children and Young People Service, West Team, Shelton Centre, Crowther Street, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 2ER. Substantive committee to be elected. Executive members present on the day.  Contact: Pauline Mutema on 07850462301, Agnes Chivhimbo 07908447037, Joana Zhira 07845896347, Farirai Muchibwa 07746628397
·           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 £5. 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.
·           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 26/12/2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdPsBsief0s and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX6sv2T9gwk).  

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Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 19 January 2010 22:44

Here is a synopsis of the highlights of the Zimbabwe Vigil for 2009 (mostly taken from the weekly diaries)

Monday 12th January  
From our Press Release: “A leading Zimbabwean political activist in the UK campaigning for human rights in Zimbabwe has been taken into detention and told he is to be deported. Luka Phiri was helping organise a demonstration in London for Tuesday 13th January calling for Zimbabwean failed asylum seekers to be allowed to work in the UK.  Phiri is on the management team of the Zimbabwe Vigil. He is also a leading member of the Zimbabwe Association, a charity looking after Zimbabwean asylum seekers in the UK. Phiri entered the UK in 2003 on a Malawian passport and it is apparently for this reason that the Home Office wishes to expel him. Vigil Co-ordinator Rose Benton said “There is no doubt that Luka is a Zimbabwean but the Home Office wants to send him back to Malawi, a firm supporter of Mugabe. Malawi will send him on to Harare where he will face retribution from the Mugabe regime.”   
 

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 16th January 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 17 January 2010 18:36

Vigil supporters were dismayed at President Zuma’s comments on the deadlock in Zimbabwe and agreed to revive our petition to the international football federation to move the soccer World Cup from South Africa. 

The petition had been signed by thousands of passers-by before we suspended it when we believed Zuma was prepared to take action to enforce the South African-negotiated Global Political Agreement. We decided to ‘unpark’ the petition now in light of Zuma’s cynical suggestion that the MDC should simply accept that Mugabe would not implement the agreement he signed 16 months ago. Zuma said the MDC should ‘park’ the issues in contention.  

Vigil supporters wonder how you can ‘park’ issues like law and order (Tomano) and institutionalised corruption (Gono).  Why is the MDC, which won the 2008 elections, always expected to make concessions? Why doesn’t Zuma suggest that Mugabe ‘park’ his greed and monomania and do what he promised? In other words, how can there be free and fair elections if Mugabe flouts the spirit of the GPA, flawed as it is? 

The Vigil believes that, by not addressing the human rights issues in Zimbabwe, Zuma is putting the whole region in danger. He needs to take another shower.  

The tragic violence accompanying the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola should be a warning to FIFA that the World Cup teams and their supporters could be at risk in South Africa, especially with the renewed xenophobic assaults there on Zimbabwean refugees who continue to head south for help. 

Other points
·           A quick survey revealed that none of us has been recalled to Zimbabwe to join the donor-funded constitutional consultation gravy train. It appears that one official has urgently recalled 5 of his children from South Africa to take part in the US$70 per day exercise.
·           Zimbabwe is continuing to keep bad company.  A leading article in the Times on 14th January compared Haiti after the earthquake to Zimbabwe: ‘What was once regarded as the jewel of the French Empire now more closely resembles Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe’. Another depressing comment on the reputation of Zimbabwe came from the head of Somalia's central bank who warned that his country could ‘descend into another Zimbabwe if plans to print money went ahead’.
·           There was an interview with the Vigil on SW Radio about our petition to the British parliamentary committee discussing aid to Zimbabwe, check: http://www.swradioafrica.com/news110110/ukurged110110.htm and newsreel broadcast on Monday, 11th January.
·           After last week’s snow we were amazingly lucky today. It rained steadily  in London till we gathered at 2 pm and was basically dry throughout our whole Vigil.
·           Great to have the front desk stewards back again – Gladys Mapanda, Josephine Zhuga, Sue Toft and June Pedzeni. Also thanks to Godfrey Madzunga who was there at the start to help set up the Vigil and man the back table.  

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

FOR THE RECORD: 167 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·          
'Mugabe and the white African' is showing until 21st January at the ICA (www.ica.org.uk). On Friday 22nd January at 6.30 pm there will be a question and answer session with Lucy Bailey, the director of the film, at the Tricycle Cinema, 269 Kilburn High Road, London NW6 7JR. For tickets call the Box Office: 020 7328 1000.
·           ROHR Leeds general meeting. Saturday 23rd January 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 or David Munemo 07963708923.
·           ROHR Liverpool demonstration. Saturday 23rd January from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark) Liverpool city centre. Future demonstrations on Saturdays 6th and 20th February. Same venue and time.  Contact: Desire Chimuka 07917733711, Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Patrick Kushonga 07900857605, Trywell Migeri 07956083758.
·           ROHR Birmingham general meeting.  Saturday 23rd January from 1.30 – 4.00 pm. Venue: Bishop Latimer Church,28 Handsworth New Road, Birmingham B18 4PT. Contact: Tsitsi Mavhura 07723096508,Audrey Marere 07788797365,Morgan Mupandawana 07833526198.
·           ROHR Swansea general meeting. 30th January 1 – 4 pm. Venue: tba. Contact: Kudzai Ruzvidzo 07824967317 or Phillip Mpukutsa 07999615868. Future meeting on Saturday 27th February.
·           ROHR West Bromwich general meeting. Saturday 30th January from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF.  Contact: Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo 07817096594 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·           ROHR Brighton general meeting.  Saturday 30th January from 1 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Community Base, 113 Queens Road, Brighton BN13XG. ROHR Executive representative present. Contact: Sinikiwe Dube 07824668763, Wellington Mamvura 07949595506 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070. Future meetings to be held on Saturdays 27th February and 27th March – same time and venue. 
·           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 £5. 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.
·           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 26/12/2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdPsBsief0s and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX6sv2T9gwk

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 9th January 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 10 January 2010 20:32

Snow at the Vigil. It’s our eighth winter protesting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy but the first time it has snowed. The temperature was below zero centigrade – worsened by a piercing wind from the Arctic / Siberia. We were cheered, on such a desolate day, that so many people made the journey – especially since transport was disrupted and some people were snowed in. To protect us from the elements we used two tarpaulins – one to catch the snow and the other as a windbreak. The bleak conditions were lightened by our singing and drumming.   

During the week the Vigil sent the following letter to the International Development Committee of the British Parliament, which is to review the British government’s aid to Zimbabwe. 

“The Zimbabwe Vigil wishes to express its opposition to any dilution of the pressure on Mugabe and his cronies until they comply fully with the Global Political Agreement signed with the two MDC factions in September 2008.  

We believe, in particular, that to give development aid to the coalition government is premature and will send the wrong signals not only to Mugabe and his Zanu PF party but also to members of the European Union and other countries which have adopted measures against Zimbabwe 

The Vigil wishes to advise the Committee that it is running the following petition dealing with aid to Zimbabwe: ‘A petition to the UK government: We welcome the UK’s humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe but call on the UK government to withhold development aid until it is confident that the money will benefit the people rather than the corrupt Mugabe regime.’ 

The petition has been signed so far by some 9,000 people from all over the world who have passed by the Vigil in recent months. They are not convinced that there has been real change in Zimbabwe 

The Vigil has been demonstrating outside Zimbabwe House, London, for free and fair elections every Saturdaysince 12th October 2002.  The Observer newspaper (several years ago) described us as the largest regular demonstration in London.    

We would like to take the opportunity to draw your attention to a recent article by the Zimbabwean economist John Robertson, which criticises the economic recovery programme of the ‘inclusive’ government.” 

We are still accepting signatures for this petition and it will present it to the British government at an appropriate time. There are big changes afoot. The EU is to discuss the renewal of its measures against Zimbabwe next month and that might be the time to submit the petition. 9000 signatures may not seem much – but they are those of people who have stopped and engaged us at the Vigil – not just clicked an internet button.  

We were pleased to welcome back David McAllister, who has been cruising the world on a luxury liner as an internet café manager.  He set up our website and has now added a new feature on our home page – a slide show of the most recent Vigil photos. These will change as each Vigil set is added to our Flickr photo website. 

Thanks also to Lungile Ncube and Collin Chitekwe for their athletic lamp post climbing to put a roof over our shivering supporters.  Congratulations to Enock Dzonga on the birth of his daughter.

The documentary film about farm seizures ‘Mugabe and the White African’ was reviewed in the Times on 8th January – text below: 

“Mugabe and the White African (A powerful documentary that pits a white farmer and his son-in-law against President Mugabe in a battle for their farm) – by

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/film_reviews/article6979465.
ece
 

In Mugabe and the White African, Michael Campbell, a gentle, dry, 75-year-old farmer from Zimbabwe, asks: “Is it possible to be white and African?” If you’re President Mugabe, the answer is a brutal “no”.  

This powerful documentary pits Campbell and his son-in-law Ben Freeth against their country’s dictator in a battle for their farm, which is holding out – just – against the land seizure campaign that has already led to thousands of white Zimbabweans being forcibly evicted. Their plan? To take the Government of “a country without a rulebook” to an international tribunal that will force it to stop.  

But it’s a race against time. Groups of men with knives and axes stalk their maize fields at night, while neighbours are filmed breaking their settler stoicism and weeping as their own farm is taken for Mugabe’s flunkies, and their friends and workers — black and white alike — are uprooted. The madness in Zimbabwe is not news, but here a human story crystallises it first by seeming curious, then quickly compelling and then horrifically shocking before the final courtroom drama. The hate, fear and greed on show all hit you in your gut — it’s impossible not to steam at the sight of the braggart government minister’s son waiting by his new 4x4 outside the farm, telling Campbell and Freeth how he will simply take their home. But your lasting emotions are of respect for the two farmers, mixed with a lingering, helpless sadness.” 

This film is up for an Oscar and is going to be shown all over the world. It will not improve Zimbabwe’s image. 

We noted that we were quoted  in an article in the Zimbabwe Independent. We applaud every effort by journalists in Zimbabwe to expose corruption:
http://www.theindependent.co.zw/comment/24811-decade-of-hope-may-be-may-be-not.html.
 

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

FOR THE RECORD: 136 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·           'Mugabe and the white African' is showing until 14th January at The Empire, Leicester Square (www.empirecinemas.co.uk), until 21st January at the ICA (www.ica.org.uk) and until 14th January at the Filmhouse in Edinburgh (www.filmhousecinema.com).
·           ROHR Leeds general meeting. Saturday 23rd January 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 or David Munemo 07963708923.
·           ROHR West Bromwich general meeting. Saturday 30th January from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF.  Contact: Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo 07817096594 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·           ROHR Brighton general meeting.  Saturday 30th January from 1 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Community Base, 113 Queens Road, Brighton BN13XG. ROHR Executive representative present. Contact Sinikiwe Dube 07824668763, Wellington Mamvura 07949595506 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070. Future meetings to be held on Saturdays 27th February and 27th March – same time and venue. 
·           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 £5. 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.
·           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 26/12/2009:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdPsBsief0s and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX6sv2T9gwk

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