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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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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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