Banner
ZimVigil Diary Entries
Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 11th December 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 12 December 2010 18:10

Father Christmas brought the Vigil several early presents. Perhaps the most welcome was a break in the freezing weather. Suddenly the icy wind was gone and the temperature soared to 7 degrees. We know you back home will not be impressed by this. But after our sub zero temperatures and snow and slush it lifted our spirits immensely.  

Our thanks to Father Christmas – but expressing this to him proved a problem as we were overwhelmed by hundreds of them and couldn’t thank them all. They were on their way to a Father Christmas rally in Trafalgar Square. It’s our 9th winter outside the Embassy and no one could recall a more bountiful year for Father Christmases – and out so early too.  

The day began well when we received a large box of money. Always welcome. The box came from an anonymous donor with the message: ‘We heard your protest vigil needed some money – enjoy’. The message continued ‘proudly printed in Zimbabwe and smuggled out to you by some brave friends’. It seems that Mugabe’s personal bonker has started a new bank, the Reverse Bank.  We now have a pile of new billion, trillion and zillion dollar notes all with pictures of Gono and Grace.  On the back are cartoons such as Mugabe on the phone in bed surrounded by cows dropping cowpats on his floor with the caption ‘. . . and another thing Gideon, tell Grace I have taken back my lobola.’ This is one of the few notes suitable for a family audience. 

We were also cheered by a group of students: Hana, Seb, Katie and Tom from Colfe’s School in Lewisham who showed great interest in our protest and were keen to do a charity fundraiser for us.  They will speak to their teachers and get back to us if they can go ahead with their plan.  From our point of view just raising awareness of the plight of Zimbabwe is a wonderful thing to do.  

We get our message over in many different ways.  One of our supporters who is in prison tells us in one of his precious letters that he was given an opportunity to speak to inmates about the situation in Zimbabwe. He said many of them were from the Caribbean and they expressed surprise about what he had to say about the Mugabe regime. The Vigil sends him the Zimbabwean newspaper so he can keep up to date.  

Vigil supporters also took part in an event at City and Islington College on Friday to mark Human Rights Day. We are much sought after for events like this – for our singing and dancing apart from anything else. Thanks to Dumi Tutani, Patrick Nyamwanza, Wendy Ziyambi and Farai Marema for participating. Those at the event would have been unaware that Farai is a noted musician who has performed with Thomas Mapfumo. 

Spreading the message about what is going on in Zimbabwe is what the Vigil is about so we were a bit puzzled that some people have expressed fears that Mugabe may capitalize on American diplomats’ reports on Zimbabwe published in Wikileaks (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/dec11a_2010.html#Z15). These reports have not contained any real surprises. Zanu PF may well bleat about them but we don’t believe it is necessary to propitiate tyranny. It’s like the argument over targeted sanctions: this is just a Zanu PF excuse for not observing their obligations. Remove sanctions and they will find another excuse.  

 

Another point: Vigil Co-ordinator Dumi expressed the alarm of the Vigil that South African former President Mbeki has been sent to try and resolve the differences after the disputed Ivory Coast election (See: http://www.swradioafrica.com/news081210/sadc081210.htm). Dumi said it would be a disaster if Mbeki imposed his Zimbabwe solution on Ivory Coast.

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 THE RECORD:  102 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe.
·       ROHR Liverpool branch Christmas fundraising party. Saturday 18th December from 2 – 10 pm. Venue: Kensington Methodist Church, 294 Kensington, Liverpool L7 2RN. Traditional food available and Zimbabwean sounds and lots more. Contact: Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758, Sheilla Mironga 07578541227, Patience Karimanzira  07832712074.
·       ROHR Bournemouth general meeting. Saturday 18th December from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: East Cliff United Reformed Church opposite ASDA Store, Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth BH8 8AW. Contact Sekai Mujeyi 07772211220, Sledge Bova 07788850146, Tarisai Mashawi 07843614091, A Nzimba 0778083455 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·       Christmas Virtual Vigil. Saturday 25th December.  We will not be meeting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy because there will be no public transport and central London will be deserted.  Please hold a virtual Vigil by praying for Zimbabwe and singing the national anthem at 6 pm.
·       ROHR Newcastle general meeting. Saturday 22nd January from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Warwick Court, Warwick Street, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE8 1EY. Three mins walk from the Gateshead Interchange opposite Gateshead Civic Centre and Gateshead Police Station. Free parking available. For directions please contact Susan Ndlovu 07767024586, Allen Chamboko 07500246416, Kuda Derera 07411337933, Rugare Chifungo (Coordinator) 07795070609 or P Chibanguza (Coordinator) 07908406069.
·       Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
·       Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
·       ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and 0send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe.
·       Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk). Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you are interested in taking part.

LAST_UPDATED2
 
Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 4th December 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 05 December 2010 17:17

A small window opened in the freezing weather to allow us to hold our Vigil as normal – although with depleted attendance. The current cold spell has been the worst in living memory so early in the winter. Train travel was disrupted by snow and traffic brought to a standstill in many places because of icy roads. Sue Toft, a supporter in deepest Kent – 40 miles or so from the Vigil – phoned to say she had been snowbound in her home for four days and was preparing to venture out on foot to buy food . . .

Being brought to a standstill gave Vigil supporters pause to digest three interesting developments. Mugabe’s predictable anti-Western posturing at the EU-Africa summit in Libya seems, in retrospect, to have done our cause nothing but good. To Europeans – and that means of course black British people as well – he was seen – in former US Ambassador Dell’s terms – as a delusional egomaniac. In many African eyes he was simply an embarrassment.  

Mr Dell’s assessment in 2007 of the leading Zimbabwean politicians published by Wikileaks chimed with our own views: Mutambara lightweight, Welshman Ncube duplicitous, Tsvangirai indecisive. Furthermore, as was clear to most, he describes Mbeki as partial. But we at the Vigil remain puzzled why the US continued to support Mbeki’s ‘mediation’ and why it did not make clear its opposition to the abortive GNU from the beginning. It would have helped those of us who did. 

The third development provided a reproof to dodgy academics using small-scale unrepresentative studies to try to legitimise Mugabe’s land ‘reform’ policy. Zimonline, based in South Africa, spent three months looking at the real beneficiaries of the land grab (http://www.zimonline.co.za/Article.aspx?ArticleId=6474). It said more than 40% went to Mugabe’s cronies, many of then given multiple farms.  Mugabe and his wife have fourteen. All of Zanu PF’s 56 politburo members, 98 Members of Parliament and 35 elected and unelected Senators were allocated former white farms. All 10 provincial governors have seized farms, with four being multiple owners. Apart from senior army and police officers and government officials, 16 Supreme Court and High Court judges also own large farms.   

There is nothing new here to Vigil supporters but it underlines how difficult it will be to remove these thieves from power. Deep down they know they will not be able to justify their looting and any change of regime will expose them to justice. The simple fact is that they will always be at risk of being brought to book under international law.  The Zimbabwean looters are not in the same position as their models elsewhere in Africa. The Kenyan elite took massive bribes and stole aid money, difficult to trace. President Tshombe of the DRC and the leaders from countries such as Nigeria and Angola looted natural resources. But as for the stolen farms it is going to be very difficult for Zanu PF people to explain them away or for Mr Chombo to explain how he owns half of every city in Zimbabwe or for Mines Minister M’puffed-up to explain the ‘diamonds on the soles of his shoes’. 

The Vigil’s advice to the Zimbabwean mafia is that they would be wise to sell their farms to China and go and lie low somewhere in Asia. There is a steady demand for food by the UN which has now launched a new appeal to mainly Western donors for US$415 million to feed some 1.7 million Zimbabweans for the next three months. Perhaps the Chinese might consider growing food on the underused farms and sell it to the UN at a discount? After all Zimbabwe is likely to be a repeat customer . . .  

Other points
·       It was good to be visited by Judith Todd, the Zimbabwean human rights champion, who was briefly in London. She said how encouraged she was that we were still going and how she looked forward to reading our diary every week. She reminded us that in 1980 international police monitored the Zimbabwean elections and she suggested this might be a sensible way forward for next year’s elections. Given the recent Nazi-like response from Police chief Chihuru that any non-Zanu PF victory would not be allowed, this seems a good idea. (See Events and Notices for Judith’s book.)
·       Thanks to Patson Muzuwa who brought a mini-busload of supporters from Leicester and led the singing and dancing. Thanks also to Godfrey Madzunga and Batson Chapata who were there at the start and helped out throughout the afternoon to make the Vigil ran smoothly.

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 THE RECORD:  86 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe.
·       ROHR Nottingham launch meeting. Saturday 11th December. Venue: St Saviour’s Community Halls,  Arkwright Walk, Nottingham NG2 2JU. Contact Allan Nhemhara 07810197576, Christopher Chimbumu 07775888205, P Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·      
ROHR Liverpool branch Christmas fundraising party. Saturday 18th December from 2 – 10 pm. Venue: Kensington Methodist Church, 294 Kensington, Liverpool L7 2RN. Traditional food available and Zimbabwean sounds and lots more. Contact: Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758, Sheilla Mironga 07578541227, Patience Karimanzira 07832712074
·       Christmas Virtual Vigil. Saturday 25th December.  We will not be meeting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy because there will be no public transport and central London will be deserted.  Please hold a virtual Vigil by praying for Zimbabwe and singing the national anthem at 6 pm.
·       ROHR Newcastle general meeting. Saturday 22nd January from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Warwick Court, Warwick Street, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE8 1EY. 3 mins walk from the Gateshead Interchange opposite Gateshead Civic Centre and Gateshead Police Station. Free parking available. For directions please contact Susan Ndlovu 07767024586, Allen Chamboko 07500246416, Kuda Derera 07411337933, Rugare Chifungo (Coordinator) 07795070609 or P Chibanguza (Coordinator) 07908406069
·       Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
·       Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
·       ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  and send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe.
·       Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk). Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you are interested in taking part.

LAST_UPDATED2
 
Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 27th November 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 28 November 2010 14:42

A photograph of the Vigil in The Zimbabwean last week showed supporters displaying our banner ‘Elections in Zimbabwe now’. How strange that this should be a controversial position – opposed by many NGOs among others. But it reflects our belief that the ‘unity’ government is going nowhere. In fact we believe that it has allowed Mugabe to so entrench himself in power that he could be invited with a straight face to the EU-Africa Summit in Tripoli. 

Two of the Vigil’s friends, Kate Hoey MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Committee on Zimbabwe, and Geoffrey Van Orden, MEP for South East England, told us of their disgust at Mugabe’s attendance.  Kate said ‘it is disgraceful that the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso will be welcoming Mugabe to a meeting sponsored by the EU. Mugabe is currently mobilising armed violence yet again to stamp on democratic expression in Zimbabwe.’  For his part, Geoffrey said ‘I doubt that anyone will have the guts to mention their disapproval of Mugabe's presence when they are feasting in Libya’. (see: http://www.swradioafrica.com/news261110/anger261110.html).  

It has become clear that Zanu PF will never agree to changes which would threaten its dominance, ie reforms of any kind. Mugabe has indicated that he wants to have elections by next June – apparently so that he can hand over power to his ‘ever-obedient son’ Defence Minister Emerson Mnangagwa who would guarantee him a safe retirement.  

Preparations are, by all accounts, well under way to secure Mugabe’s victory by the traditional methods: violence, intimidation and bribery. This is why the Vigil has collected many thousands of signatures for our petition calling on the UN to send in observers and a peace-keeping force.   

The recent abortive SADC troika meeting shows that Zimbabweans can place no reliance whatsoever on help from our neighbours – whatever Zuma might say. Indeed the fact that SADC has suspended its own legal tribunal shows the depths to which it will go in its support for Mugabe. As for the African Union, it is of no use since it has simply delegated the whole matter to SADC. So we must concentrate on embarrassing the UN into action. 

The British Ambassador to Harare, Mark Canning, says Zimbabwe is not ready for elections. Where is he coming from? He should have helped to make Zimbabwe ready for elections instead of wasting time and money on the ludicrous constitutional outrage programme now virtually jettisoned.  

The Vigil believes that so long as Zanu PF is in power Zimbabwe will never be ready for elections – not next year or 2013 or ever. But postponing elections will only further undermine the MDC and prolong the suffering of the people. The Vigil believes Zanu PF could not survive bludgeoning its way to another election victory.   

Other Points
·       The ZimVigil TV website (www.zimvigiltv.com) was launched on Friday. Thanks to Dr Tim Rusike of ZBN News who set it up for us. The website will be managed by a team selected by the Vigil and has space for videos, picture gallery, community area and blog. Most of the content is still to be uploaded. Dr Tim will be uploading the complete ZimVigil TV archive.
·       Nyasha Mandaza from Glasgow set off for the Vigil at 3 pm on Friday in freezing conditions and spent the day with us (also in freezing conditions) before her journey home at 11 pm on Saturday.
·       Our attendance was understandably down given that travel in many parts of the country was disrupted by snow.
·       Christmas this year falls on a Saturday so we want to let people know that we do not plan to meet outside Zimbabwe House on Christmas day because there will be no public transport and central London will be deserted. Instead we ask supporters to join a ‘virtual Vigil’ remembering friends and family in Zimbabwe in their prayers between 2 and 6 pm.   

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 THE RECORD:  119 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe.
·       ROHR Woking Christmas Party. Saturday 4th December from 2 – 10 pm. Venue: The Church House, Oriental Road, Woking GU22 7BD. Contact Isaac Mudzamiri 07774044873, Thandiwe Mabodoko 07552402416, Thoko Khlokanka 07886203113 or P Mapfumo on 07915926323/07932216070.
·       ROHR Nottingham launch meeting. Saturday 11th December. Venue: St Saviour’s Community Hall, Arkwright Walk, Nottingham NG2 2JU. Contact Allan Nhemhara 07810197576, Christopher Chimbumu 07775888205, P Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070. 
·       ROHR Liverpool branch Christmas fundraising party. Saturday 18th December from 2 – 10 pm. Venue: Kensington Methodist Church, 294 Kensington, Liverpool L7 2RN. Traditional food available and Zimbabwean sounds and lots more. Contact: Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758, Sheilla Mironga 07578541227, Patience Karimanzira 07832712074
·       Christmas Virtual Vigil. Saturday 25th December.  We will not be meeting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy because there will be no public transport and central London will be deserted.  Please join a virtual Vigil by praying for Zimbabwe and singing the national anthem at 6 pm.
·       Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
·       Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
·       ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe
·       Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk). Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you are interested in taking part                                         

LAST_UPDATED2
 
Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 20th November 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 21 November 2010 16:49

Vigil supporters were not surprised to learn of the latest SADC fiasco which left President Zuma talking to himself at a meeting of the security troika in Gaberone called to discuss Zimbabwe. 

Zambian President Rupiah Banda – obviously still to recover from being peed on by a monkey in State House – failed to turn up. The third member of the troika President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique had no such excuse: perhaps he just forgot to go. 

Nevertheless the meeting was a brilliant success for President Zuma who managed to get his views on Zimbabwe across to himself without interruption. He no doubt congratulated himself on South Africa’s efficient plans to expel hundreds of thousands of Zimbabwean refugees in the new year. 

We at the Vigil looked elsewhere for inspiration – to Chief Chaka of Chirumhanzu in Midlands Province, who spoke at a meeting last Sunday arranged by our friends of Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR). A full report on this meeting can be seen on ROHR’s website (http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/Latest-News-from-ROHR-in-Zimbabwe/) but we quote some of it here because it exemplifies what the Vigil is trying to achieve:  

“More than five hundred villagers, among them chiefs, counsellors, herdsmen, the representative from national youth service, church leaders, artists, women, youths, men, political party representatives and members from the MDC and from ZANU PF, gathered on Sunday afternoon 14th November at Muwani business centre, 5 km from Chaka business centre along the Harare – Masvingo road to commemorate the international day of peace organized by ROHR Zimbabwe. The commemoration was celebrated in the form of rich probing poetry, incisive drama, soothing music , testimonials and deep speeches interwoven together to popularize the inevitable need for sustainable peace for development, its attainment and the underlying advantages of the absence of violence. The moment came when his highness, the visionary Chief Chaka delivered the key note address directly to his people and the visiting chief Manhovo from the neighbouring villages. Unlike the other breed of chieftainship that has been mired in the political crisis rather than being part of the solution, Chief Chaka made it known openly to the gathering that he was neither MDC nor Zanu PF in assuming his priorities and duties as the leader.” 

Chief Chaka said “People should be free to live in harmony. I have said to people particularly the youths in my area, if I hear that you have burnt a house or that you have beaten other people because of politics then you have to depart from my area.” He went on to say: “As from today we do not tolerate any form of intimidation or any form of violence among the people of Manhovo and Chaka. We are one family therefore we encourage unity and development. I do not want to hear of any shaming incidents in newspapers of violence between Manhovo and Chaka. You are lucky to have wise leadership that respects truth telling . . . that is why I am here today. We want peace and unity. I am not aligned to any political party. I want to unite people to live in peace, exchange ideas on what to do to stir development forward. Let’s be in the papers for good reasons not violence. I want to conclude saying to the youths, do not let people buy you beer or drugs to commit murder. Human blood is sacred.” 

As we sang and danced outside the Embassy, Vigil supporters could only pray that ROHR’s message will spread widely before elections proposed for next year. But Vigil supporter David Kadzutu of the MDC said that Zanu PF were already using their tactics of intimidation and violence. He said the MDC and all other opposition groups should join forces with one voice. 

Other points
·       Three ROHR representatives are currently in Mozambique engaged in a regional advocacy and exchange programme in support of democracy in Zimbabwe (see: http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/Latest-News-from-ROHR-in-Zimbabwe/).  
·       Josie Zhuga addressed a meeting on behalf of the Vigil of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) on Monday.  They are keen to involve Zimbabweans in their Voices of African Women campaign. (See Events and Notices Section).
·       The Vigil is bemused by speculation about a rapprochement between Mugabe and the UK government. The Vigil will pursue under international human rights laws all the Zimbabwean human rights abusers who may come to the UK. The only safe haven that Mugabe can have in the UK is at the Broadmoor prison for the criminally insane.  

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 THE RECORD:  132 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe.
·       WILPF Voices of African Women meeting. Thursday 25th November at 6.30 pm. Venue: WILPF office, 52-54 Featherstone Street, London EC1Y 8RT near Old Street, The meeting is open to anyone who is interested and it is an ongoing campaign.
·       Launch of ZimVigil TV website.  Friday 26th November.  Thanks to Dr Tim Rusike of ZBN News who is setting up a new website: www.zimvigiltv.com in gratitude to the Vigil for allowing him to work at the Vigil to develop ZBN News.  The website will be managed by a team selected by the Vigil and will have space for videos, picture gallery, community area and blog.
·       ROHR Woking Christmas Party. Saturday 4th December from 2 – 10 pm. Venue: The Church House, Oriental Road, Woking GU22 7BD. Contact Isaac Mudzamiri 07774044873, Thandiwe Mabodoko 07552402416, Thoko Khlokanka 07886203113 or P Mapfumo on 07915926323/07932216070
·       Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
·       Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
·       ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe
·       Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk). Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you are interested in taking part.                                        

LAST_UPDATED2
 
Zimbabwe Vigil Diary –13th November 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 14 November 2010 18:00

If the British government has any strategy to ensure that the promised elections in Zimbabwe are free and fair it is not letting on. That’s the conclusion reached by Vigil supporters who attended a meeting at the Chatham House think-tank in London addressed by the Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham, and the British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mark Canning.  

The Chatham House rule, under which remarks are not attributed, was lifted for the occasion. There was no need: Chair Robin Niblett summed the speakers up as tiptoeing and cautious.  

There was nothing that wasn’t diplomat-speak except, perhaps, the observation by the Ambassador that he had little doubt that most of the high grade diamonds from Marange were ‘going out of the back door’. But that’s pretty obvious. 

Apart from that, no one – including the third member of the panel Zimbabwean academic Knox Chitiyo – had anything to say except blithe platitudes: the unity government is making a difference, the economy is looking up, violence is down. In fact, there has been ‘remarkable progress’, according to Her Majesty’s Ambassador – though he admitted that the 80 – 90% of people unemployed might not notice. 

The panel was asked by Geoff Hill of the Washington Times whether there could be an election or hand-over of power given Zanu-PF's control of the police, army, CIO and youth militia. The Ambassador dodged it by saying he didn't know when the election would take place . . . .  

Gerry Jackson of SW Radio Africa stood up and asked, to applause, about the increasing violence in rural areas being reported to them by their contacts every day and the desperation of people to ensure that their vote was not a death sentence. 

Minister Bellingham, who had spoken of an improvement in the human rights situation, was stung to say that the UK wants a comprehensive election monitoring system – ‘but it’s not for us to say how it should be organised . . . .‘  His main interest, it appeared, was how Britain could boost trade. 

It was, all in all, a chilling experience of backslapping hypocrisy. Diplomacy used to be defined as being sent abroad to lie for your country.  Now you only have to go to Chatham House in St James Square 

Further light on the meeting was cast when we learnt that an honoured guest was Zanu-PF’s Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi, in London to launch an attempt to attract visits by rich, fat and stupid murungus. Mzembi, a firm supporter of the army’s involvement in politics, was delighted by the supine gushing of Canning and Bellingham. He told NewZimbabwe (see: http://www.newzimbabwe.com/news-3793-Mzembi+UK+tourism+charm+offensive/news.aspx) the meeting was ‘a sign that the British are now ready to engage constructively’ and ‘they want to be less critical of Zanu-PF and President Mugabe’.  

A different view of the situation in Zimbabwe was given by the President of ROHR Ephraim Tapa when he spoke at the Vigil. He warned Vigil supporters that Mzembi’s friends in the army were openly campaigning for Mugabe and were launching a new terror campaign ‘Operation Dimbura Musoro’ (headless chickens). The targets, he said, were already being identified for decapitation. Their headless bodies would be returned to their families. (see: Beheading Operation Launched To Terrify Zim Villagers - http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/nov12_2010.
html#Z6
). Ephraim said Zimbabweans in the
UK were being sold down the river by a British government more interested in trade than principle.

 Other points
·       Not only should Zimbabweans in the UK be sent back home but, according to a Conservative Party legislator, Mugabe should be allowed to take their place and be given honourable retirement in Britain! (For he’s a jolly good fellow . . . .)
·       Good to hear again from embattled Zimbabwean farmer Ben Freeth. ‘Well done in keeping things going’, he said. ‘I am trying to use what limited influence that I have got to get Morgan and Arthur and every single MP that cares to write a letter to the Secretary General of the UN asking for the UN to have a Peace Keeper force on standby in the light of what they expect to happen with elections next year’.  Ben added  ‘How do we get Morgan and Arthur to act though?  If they as the majority in the Zimbabwe Government were to write the letter with the signatures of the majority of MPs, the UN would have more difficulty in denying the people of Zimbabwe protection.’
·       We shared a cake to celebrate the birthday of Josephine Zhuga our front table lady.
·       Many thanks to Audrey Marere who brought us a new tablecloth for our front table – we are now much smarter. 

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 THE RECORD: 146 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·       The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe.
·       Talk about the situation in Zimbabwe and achievements of the Zimbabwe VigilMonday 15th November from 6.30 – 8.30 pm. Venue: Commonwealth Club 25 Northumberland Avenue WC2 – dowstairs room is booked in the name of Jane Grant. Speaker: Josephine Zhuga of the Vigil. Organisers: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
·       ROHR Manchester Branch Inaugural Vigil. Saturday 20th November from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Cathedral Gardens, Manchester City Centre (map: http://www.manchester2002-uk.com/maps/cathedral-gardens-map.html). Contact: Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161
·       ROHR Bournemouth Anniversary and Christmas Party. Saturday 20th November from 2 – 10 pm. Venue: Strouden Community Hall, Bradpole Road, Strouden Park BH8 9NY near Castle Point shopping Centre. Music, sadza, maguru, braai, drinks etc. Contact Sekai Mujeyi 07772211220, Sledge Bova 07788850146, Tari Mashawi 07843614091, Abi Nzimba 07780831455 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·       ROHR Peterborough general meeting. Saturday 20th November from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Millfield Community Centre, 3 New England Complex, Lincoln Road, Peterborough PE1 2PE.  Contact Alista Mabiya 07724540506, Bertha Chiyangwa 07883820641, Nyarai Maziso 07732545514 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·       ROHR Yorkshire general meeting. Saturday 20th November. Venue: Dock Green Inn, Ashley  Road, Leeds LS9 7AB. Contact  Chinofunga Ndoga 07877993826, Prosper Mudamvanji 07897594874, Wonder Mubaiwa 07958758568, Donna Mugoni 07748828913
·       Launch of ZimVigil TV website.  Friday 26th November.  Thanks to Dr Tim Rusike of ZBN News who is setting up a new website: www.zimvigiltv.com in gratitude to the Vigil for allowing him to work at the Vigil to develop ZBN News.  The website will be managed by a team selected by the Vigil and will have space for videos, picture gallery, community area and blog.
·       ROHR Woking Christmas Party. Saturday 4th December from 2 – 10 pm. Venue: The Church House, Oriental Road, Woking GU22 7BD. Contact Isaac Mudzamiri 07774044873, Thandiwe Mabodoko 07552402416, Thoko Khlokanka 07886203113 or P Mapfumo on 07915926323/ 07932216070
·       Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.
·       Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.
·       ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe
·       Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk). Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you are interested in taking part. 

LAST_UPDATED2
 
<< Start < Prev 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 Next > End >>

JPAGE_CURRENT_OF_TOTAL

How can you help?

The Zimbabwe Vigil exists entirely on donations from the public and well wishers. You can help us by donating via a deposit into our account Thank you.