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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 6th November 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 07 November 2010 15:33

The release of a UN report naming Zimbabwe as the worst country in the world to live in prompted debate at the Vigil on how we can get the UN to do something about it – namely to send a peacekeeping mission to ensure that the promised elections next year are not a repeat of the violent 2008 charade. 

The report by the UN Development Programme said Zimbabwe was poorer that 40 years ago. It ranks Zimbabwe at the very bottom of a list of 169 countries for which figures were available; it has the lowest income per head – 40% lower than the second worst-off country, the DRC. (See: http://www1.zimbabwesituation.com/nov6_2010.html#Z11Norway best, Zimbabwe worst places to live: UN).  

Another startling report (see: http://www1.zimbabwesituation.com/nov5_2010.html#Z13 – Life Expectancy for Zimbabwe Women Falls) says life expectancy for women in Zimbabwe is now 30 – four years less than when the coalition government was formed! Ok, one wonders how accurate statistics for Zimbabwe are, but they all tend to undermine the case for the continuance of the current regime.   

If things are not getting better why continue along a sterile path?  Investment is not flowing into Zimbabwe. The only thing flowing into Zimbabwe is Western aid and that will not turn around the situation for our desperate people.  

The Vigil has been hearing the despairing voices of the people of Muzarabani in the borderlands of Mashonaland Central and Mozambique. They say they are prepared to sell their chickens and goats to help finance foreign observers: ‘If we are to have elections next year we want the UN and EU to come and observe the elections . . . What does it take for them to come and protect us? If it is money, we villagers in Muzarabani are prepared to sell our chicken and goats to pay them to come. We cannot have a repetition of 2008 when SADC observers were relaxing in hotels while we got beaten here! . . .‘ said Mr Goto, during one Heal Zimbabwe meeting at Machaya village. 

The Vigil  is also prepared to sell our chickens and goats to get free and fair elections. The Vigil is working through our partner Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) to resist violence and work for a peaceful Zimbabwe. ROHR is leading a consortium of four organisations which had a meeting in Zimuto in Masvingo Province, one of the first places to be hit by the 2008 violence (see: http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/Latest-News-from-ROHR-in-Zimbabwe/Resist instigators and agents of violence!). We support their determination to stand up for peace and, as they put it, ‘repossess the keys to the gates of Zimuto’. 

The Vigil is hoping to present the following petition to the UN soon: ‘We call on the Security Council to ensure that the next elections in Zimbabwe are free and fair. We look to the United Nations to supervise the electoral process and the handover of power to a new government and believe peace-keeping troops will need to be in place before, during and after the polling.’ We are thinking of submitting the petition through the European Union via our good friend Geoffrey Van Orden, MEP, who has been an implacable opponent of the Mugabe regime.   

President Zuma recently addressed the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and was urged by Mr Van Orden to do more to resolve the ongoing political turmoil in Zimbabwe. 

Mr Van Orden commented:  "I put it to President Zuma that South Africa has been reluctant to show regional leadership on Zimbabwe and has acquiesced while the Mugabe clique brutalised their country. In spite of some changes following the Global Political Agreement, Mugabe's people still grasp the levers of power. Key elements of the economy - especially the diamond mines at Marange - are plundered for their personal enrichment.  The restrictive measures are aimed specifically at Mugabe and his immediate supporters - they are not sanctions against Zimbabwe as such and have played no role in the economic decline of the country. It would therefore be premature to remove them until genuine democratic change had been achieved. Rather than calling for the EU's restrictive measures to be removed, I urged President Zuma to be more active in forcing the pace of change.” 

We are hoping that Mr Van Orden will be able to visit us soon so we can pass on our petition, which has been signed by thousands of people from all over the world passing along the Strand. 

Other points
·       This week was one of joy and sorrow for the Vigil.  We rejoiced at the news that a baby daughter, Mandisa, was born to our co-ordinator Dumi Tutani and his wife Gugu, also a Vigil management team member. We grieved with Godfrey Madzunga whose mother died suddenly in Zimbabwe.  We prayed and sang for Godfrey and his family at the Vigil today and a collection was made to help him at this difficult time.
·       We were all transfixed by the Zimbabwe Tourist Authority’s new video shown in the Embassy window.  It depicts white tourists having a luxurious spa treatment and patting elephants and lions on the head. No wonder one tourist was eaten by lions recently! ‘The mystique of the Eastern Highlands’ is the title of the video which strangely enough has no pictures of the desperate scrambling for diamonds . . .
·       The Vigil was surprised not to receive an invitation from the Foreign Office to a meeting on Monday with the British Ambassador to Zimbabwe.  We only heard about the meeting by chance.  The Foreign Office seems to prefer dealing only with a Zimbabwean group set up by the UK government. See ‘Events and Notices’ for how to attend.  The Ambassador will also be speaking at Chatham House in London on Wednesday.
·       We recommend you read Solidarity Peace Trust’s ‘Initial Thoughts on the Matabeleland Constitutional Outreach Experience’ – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/nov2_2010.html#Z1  for why the programme has been such a colossal waste of time and money. Why the West funded this fiasco instead of reforms to make a free and fair election possible we will never know.
·       Front desk lady Josephine Zhuga has been invited to talk about  the situation in Zimbabwe and the achievements of the Vigil at a meeting of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom on Monday 15th November. See ‘events and notices’ for time and venue.
·       Thanks to Loreta Govere for stepping in to help with the register today. 

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:  140 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.
·       Meeting on the situation and politics in Zimbabwe. Monday 8th November from 2 – 3.30 pm. Venue: Foreign and Commonwealth Office, King Charles Street, London, SW1A 2AH. The invitation to Zimbabweans is from The Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham MP, and will be chaired by the British Ambassador to Harare, Mark Canning. Register your name with Margaret Belof ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 020 7008 2930) so that a security pass can be prepared in advance.  It is advisable to arrive ten minutes early.
·       Furthering Zimbabwe Debate in the United Kingdom. Wednesday 10th November from 1.30 – 2.30 pm. Venue: The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, 10 St James's Square, London SW1Y 4LE. Participants: Henry Bellingham MP, Minister for Africa; Mark Canning, Ambassador to Zimbabwe; Dr Knox Chitiyo, Head of the Africa Programme, Royal United Services Institute; Chair: Dr Robin Niblett, Director, Chatham House. To secure a place email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it but hurry, the meeting is filling up fast.
·       ROHR Liverpool general meeting. Saturday 13th November. Venue: Kensington Methodist Church, Liverpool L7 2RN. Contact: Anywhere Mungoyo - 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758, Netsai Karota 07767483180 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·       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 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 Basildon and Thurrock fundraising day. Saturday 20th November from 1.30 – 1030 pm. Venue: WRVS, Richmond Road, Benfleet SS7 5HE. Food, drinks, music. Contact: Tobokwa Malikogwa 07865156381, Nhamo E Kumumvuri 07623337115, Stephen Kamumvuri 07961677573 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070
·       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.

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 30th October 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 31 October 2010 17:14

The Vigil missed a trick today. With Halloween ghouls taking over the streets of London we could have put the fear of God into them with our Mugabe mask.  And, come to that, we should have terrified the lady ghouls with a mask of Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono, Mugabe’s personal bonker. 

Here in the UK, where clocks suddenly change, thrusting us into winter, it’s a very reflective time as we prepare for the dark nights and the cold. There was a sobering feeling at the Vigil that the UK and the West in general are allowing the situation in Zimbabwe to drift to disaster.  Those of us who managed to get to the meeting at Lancaster House on Wednesday reported back and there was general puzzlement at why the Home Office is planning to resume the deportations of Zimbabweans at such a threatening time, with Zanu PF openly preparing a new wave of violence before elections which Mugabe says will be held by June next year.  

It was felt that the British government was failing to appreciate the true gravity of the situation in Zimbabwe – despite evidence such as a Channel 4 television report on Friday further exposing the scandal of the Marange diamonds (see: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/unreported-world/4od). Many people who stopped by the Vigil expressed their horror at the human rights abuses shown in the film.  

Vigil supporters asked why Mugabe was always being allowed by Tsvangirai to make the running – indeed, why has he been able to humiliate the MDC for two years and emerge even stronger despite losing the 2008 elections?  

There was frustration that the MDC leadership had allowed itself to be taken in by the constitutional outrage programme. Vigil supporters viewed it as a waste of time and resources at the expense of real reforms necessary for free and fair elections, such as a new voters’ roll and an opening of the airwaves to independent broadcasters. We can’t understand why the West funded this predictable fiasco.  

There is no time to lose. Tsvangirai says he wants observers in Zimbabwe six months before the elections so they will have to be packing their bags in the next few weeks. What is the West doing about this? Mugabe has made it clear he won’t allow any observers from countries he regards as hostile and the record of African observers is one of cover-up and lies. Again, the Vigil wants to know what the British government and the West are going to do about this.  

Perhaps, as the Economist magazine suggested recently, the Mugabe mafia could be offered a suspension of targeted sanctions if they accept an international mission to deter election violence and malpractice. 

The Vigil calls for real pressure on SADC to comply with the obligations it accepted by promoting the abortive Government of National Unity. We believe that the cost to the region of allowing a gangster state to fester in its midst will be heavy if Mugabe is allowed to bludgeon his way to another election victory.  The Vigil wants to know what the UK plans to do to prevent this – not how soon it can get rid of Zimbabweans.  And we want Mr Tsvangirai to assert himself as Prime Minister. He must go to the UN and demand observers and peackeepers and to the EU to demand they don’t recognise Mugabe’s ambassador. Tsvangirai is the elected leader of Zimbabwe and should not act like Mugabe’s houseboy.  

Other points
·       Lawyer Mark Taylor has made good points in an article about the Lancaster House meeting (check: http://www.zimeye.org/?p=23536).
·       The Vigil grieved with Liz, wife of Bill McClelland a Zimbabwean farmer who has died at the age of 76.  Bill and Liz came to the Vigil several times and we were glad to welcome her back with her son Giles.   

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:  139 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 North London branch anniversary and fundraising. Saturday 6th November from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Tottenham Chances 399 High Road, Tottenham N17 6QN. Station: Seven Sisters. From Seven Sisters catch buses towards Tottenham – third stop. Buses: 123, 149, 259, 349, 341, 476. Contact: G Mapanda 07556586377, V Chengaose 07956586377, B Hukwa 07835323174, Ruby Chitiyo 07886998102, V Moyo 07960863128, P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070. Refreshments available. Raffle. ROHR UK executive attending.
·       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, beer etc. Contact Sekai Mujeyi 07772211220, Sledge Bova 07788850146, Tari Mashawi 07843614091, Abi Nzimba 07780831455 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·       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.

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No Returns before Elections! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 28 October 2010 18:38

About 300 Zimbabweans gathered at Lancaster House in London on 27th October for a meeting to hear a senior Home Office official Phil Douglas answer questions on the sudden ending of the four year moratorium on sending home failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers.   

He dismissed fears that the move would influence the decision of a team of judges presently considering the Zimbabwe country guidance case and insisted that independent courts would continue to decide on individual asylum cases.  

Few of his audience were satisfied by his explanations. There was laughter when Mr Douglas said that returned people could relocate to different areas. Many people expressed fears of renewed violence during next year’s elections. There was a cry of ‘blood on your hands’. And there was applause when Ephraim Tapa, President of the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR), suggested that any returns should be delayed until after the elections.  

It was agreed there was a need for further dialogue on the policy and it was proposed that there should be a further meeting in November. The British government team suggested that Zimbabwean concerns about the policy should be channelled through an organisation of their creation, the Zimbabwe Diaspora Focus Group.  There were a couple of members of this group present but most of the others were from the Vigil, ROHR and the MDC.  

The Zimbabwe Vigil / ROHR’s views are that they do not want to be represented by any other group and this was reaffirmed at a briefing after the meeting to the large group of Zimbabweans who had waited patiently outside, being unable to get into the meeting, and had continued a lively protest behind the Vigil banners ‘No to Mugabe, No to Starvation’ and ‘End Murder, Rape and Torture in Zimbabwe’.  They included a Vigil supporter from Glasgow Josiah Sibanda who applied for registration to attend but did not get a reply. Josephine Zhuga, who was to present a petition to Mr Douglas, was also denied entry.   

It was agreed to begin a wide consultation exercise in readiness for any further engagements with the UK Border Agency. Ephraim Tapa was chosen to co-ordinate this process and liaise with other concerned Zimbabwean groups in the UK. 

We ended with prayers for our troubled country. 

(Mr Douglas agreed to accept our petition and hand it on. It reads: ‘Petition to the Home Secretary, the Honourable Theresa May: We the undersigned, members of the Zimbabwean Diaspora in the UK and sympathisers, express our grave disquiet at the UK government’s announcement that failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers are to be deported – even before the hearing of a test (country guidance) case is concluded.  Our view is that the situation in Zimbabwe is not suitable for the return of exiled Zimbabweans, especially those who have shown their rejection of the Zimbabwean regime by applying for asylum in the UK. In particular, we are aware of continuing widespread acts of political violence by Zanu PF agents who enjoy immunity from prosecution. We fear the situation is likely to worsen given plans to hold new elections next year.’)

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What’s going on at the UK Border Agency? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 07:42

Some very odd things are going on at the British Home Office. On Wednesday 27th October a senior official of the UK Border Agency (UKBA) Phil Douglas is to devote a whole sixty minutes to address a meeting in London to explain the recent announcement by Immigration Minister Damian Green of an end to the moratorium on sending back failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers (see: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/news/wms-zimbabwe.pdf and http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/news/enforced-returns).

 Zimbabweans throughout the UK have naturally expressed interest in attending the meeting but have been puzzled why a report about the UKBA’s Fact-Finding Mission to Zimbabwe in August is suddenly no longer available on the UKBA website. It has also disappeared from the website of the UNHCR. Fortunately the Vigil captured it in case it does not reappear and it can be accessed on our website (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/Campaign-News/).  

In a letter to Zimbabweans Mr Douglas quoted this report in support of the UK government’s change of policy (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/ZimVigil-Diary-Entries/uk-government-letter-to-zimbabweans-in-the-uk.html). He left many questions to be answered. Here are some: 
1.       Why in your letter to Zimbabweans do you speak of ‘the indiscriminate violence which marred the elections of 2008’? This is a complete travesty of the truth. The violence was not indiscriminate: it was directed by Mugabe and his thugs against the MDC.
2.       In your letter, you say ‘There is no doubt that political persecution and abuses of human rights persist in Zimbabwe. However, these abuses are more targeted than previously and not all Zimbabweans are equally affected.' What is meant by 'more targeted' – targeted at opponents of Mugabe? Some of these opponents are in the UK trying to get asylum - the very people you propose to send home. 
3.       If it so safe to send back Zimbabweans why has one of the Vigil inspirers, Roy Bennett, recently taken political asylum in South Africa even though he is supposed to be the Deputy Minister of Agriculture?
4.       The Archbishop of Canterbury’s office says two Anglican bishops in Zimbabwe have been threatened with assassination and may have to flee the country. Will the British government send them back to Harare 

The sudden inaccessibility of the little-publicised report – running to more than 100 pages – seems to be more than a coincidence. It is indeed a damning report – but damning for the UKBA’s case. The message of the report is quite clear – there is continuing violence, torture, intimidation and fear – and everyone expects it to get worse in the elections Mugabe wants within eight months. The UKBA’s intention to resume deportations flies in the face of its own report. The decision is simply bizarre.  

The report speaks of seven Zimbabweans returned safely but the report makes clear that they didn’t let on that they had claimed asylum in the UK. Later in the report (4.6) an organisation in Zimbabwe is reported as expressing concern that those who have claimed asylum would be considered to be disloyal. If Britain goes ahead with mass deportations of failed asylum seekers they will not be able to hide like the magnificent seven when they reach Zimbabwe. 

The biggest puzzle of all is how the UKBA can announce this change of policy while three judges are still considering the Zimbabwe country guidance case. These three judges have indicated that their deliberations are unlikely to be completed until the beginning of December and, subject to appeals, their ruling may be pushed back to January or February.  The Home Office statement of 14th October said that there would be no forced removals of failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers until the court decision. This will be just a few months before the elections – when everyone expects violence . . . 

The Tribunal judges will surely note 3.59 in the UKBA report: no safe hiding place for political activists with a sufficiently high political profile and 3.69: Zanu PF believes in violence. 

They might have to look at the Zimbabwe Vigil website to see the report.

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 23rd October 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 24 October 2010 18:17

The Vigil resolved to challenge the British government to throw its diplomatic and financial muscle behind our campaign to ensure that the elections planned in Zimbabwe next year are free and fair. Our argument is that, having decided to end its moratorium on sending home failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers, the British government has a moral responsibility for their safety.   

The Vigil has pointed to clear evidence that a new wave of violence is being prepared – indeed is already underway – to bludgeon Zanu PF back to power.  

Mugabe says he wants elections by the middle of next year. Tsvangirai says ok but that international observers and peacekeepers must be in place well beforehand.  We believe the British government can help here. 

The Vigil has gathered many thousands of signatures for the following petition to the United Nations: ‘We call on the Security Council to ensure that the next elections in Zimbabwe are free and fair. We look to the United Nations to supervise the electoral process and the handover of power to a new government and believe peace-keeping troops will need to be in place before, during and after the polling.’ We are waiting for a suitable occasion to present this petition. 

Unfortunately South Africa has been elected again to serve on the Security Council and lost no time in announcing that it will continue to protect Mugabe. We urge the UK to step up pressure on SADC to take steps to ensure the Zimbabwean elections meet regional guidelines – with the threat of suspending aid if they once again turn a blind eye to a stolen election. Is there a SADC country that doesn’t receive scores of millions of pounds in direct aid every year from UK taxpayers? After the recent budgetary cuts in the UK many people will be asking why we should give this money to countries supporting the Mugabe tyranny. 

On a lovely autumn day, when we largely escaped the threatened deluge, supporters signed the following petition to the Home Secretary, Theresa May: ‘We the undersigned, members of the Zimbabwean Diaspora in the UK and sympathisers, express our grave disquiet at the UK government’s announcement that failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers are to be deported – even before the hearing of a test (country guidance) case is concluded.  Our view is that the situation in Zimbabwe is not suitable for the return of exiled Zimbabweans, especially those who have shown their rejection of the Zimbabwean regime by applying for asylum in the UK. In particular, we are aware of continuing widespread acts of political violence by Zanu PF agents who enjoy immunity from prosecution. We fear the situation is likely to worsen given plans to hold new elections next year.’ 

The petition is to be presented at a demonstration to be held on Wednesday at Lancaster House in London before a meeting to be addressed by a senior Home Office official, Mr Phil Douglas.  Ironically it was at Lancaster House that the Independence Constitution was agreed under which Mugabe came to power in 1980.  

Zimbabweans have been advised by Mr Douglas that he would like questions in advance and the meeting  will last one hour – a tight time-frame for Zimbabweans! He has been advised of the following questions:
1.      Why in your letter to Zimbabweans do you speak of ‘the indiscriminate violence which marred the elections of 2008’? This is a complete travesty of the truth. The violence was not indiscriminate: it was directed by Mugabe and his thugs against the MDC.
2.      In your letter, you say ''There is no doubt that political persecution and abuses of human rights persist in Zimbabwe. However, these abuses are more targeted than previously and not all Zimbabweans are equally affected.' What is meant by 'more targeted' - opponents of Mugabe? Some of these opponents are in the UK trying to get asylum - the very people you propose to send home. 

Other questions which could be asked are:
1.      If it so safe to send back Zimbabweans why has one of the Vigil inspirers, Roy Bennett, recently taken political asylum in South Africa even though he is supposed to be the Deputy Minister of Agriculture?
2.      The Archbishop of Canterbury’s office says two Anglican bishops in Zimbabwe have been threatened with assassination and may have to flee the country. Will the British government send them back to Harare? 

Other points
·           Sarah Harland of the Zimbabwe Association updated supporters on what was happening with the Zimbabwe country guidance case. She said the three judges have indicated that their deliberations are unlikely to be completed until the beginning of December and, subject to appeals, their ruling may be pushed back to January or February.  The Home Office statement of 14th October said that there would be no forced removals of failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers until the court decision.
·           Thanks to Josephine Zhuga for taking charge of the petition to the Home Secretary.  She will take it to the demonstration at Lancaster House on Wednesday to collect more signatures. Thanks also to Kelvin Kamupira for helping at the back table.
·           We enjoyed delicious muffins at the Vigil kindly brought by Debra Mutepeya and Alena Jali of Wolverhampton.  They donated all the proceeds to the Vigil.
·           A wonderful mime artist, a Marcel Marceau look-alike, came by with a bunch of flowers and spent some time with us. He seemed to symbolise the fragile situation in Zimbabwe.
·           It was good to see Joan Weir from Edinburgh who dropped by on her way to the Britain Zimbabwe Society AGM.  She has organised Zimbabwean events and protests in Edinburgh in the past. 

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: 169 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 Wolverhampton relaunch meeting. Saturday 30th October. Venue: Heath Town Community Centre, 208 Chevril Rise, Wolverhampton WV10 0HP. Contact P Chibanguza 07908406069, P Nkomo 07817096594, P Dunduru 07958386718, D Mtendereki 07771708800 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 /  07932216070.
·       ROHR Bournemouth general meeting. Saturday 30th October at 3 pm. Venue: East Cliff United Reformed Church opposite ASDA Store, Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth, BH8 8AW. Contact Sekai Mujeyi 07772211220, Sledge Bova 07788850146, Tari Mashawi 07843614091, or Abi Nzimba 07780831455.
·       Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) Conference. Saturday 30th October at 2 pm. Venue: Unite (the Union), 128 Theobald’s Road, London WC1X 8TN.  The conference on  ‘Gender and Development in Southern Africa’ will be addressed by Stephen Lewis who is a former Special UN Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF and was the Canadian Ambassador to the UN. He has been outspoken on violence against women in Zimbabwe. He is currently the co-director of AIDS Free World which you may know from its work on gender and violence in Zimbabwe.  For more information about registration, see: http://www.actsa.org/page-1421-Annual_General_Meeting.html
·       Zimbabwe Association AGM. Sunday 31st October from 1 – 4 pm. Venue: St James Church Hall, 11 Prebend Street / corner of Packington Street, London N1 8PF. Guest speakers: Mike Kaye, Still Human Still Here Campaign and Lucia Dube, Chair, Zimbabwe Diaspora Focus Group – ‘How to work together as a diaspora?’ RSVP: Zimbabwe Association, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, EC2A 4LT, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , www.zimbabweassociation.org.uk, Tel: 07846859200, Fax: 020 7549 0356.
·       ROHR North London branch anniversary and fundraising. Saturday 6th November from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Tottenham Chances 399 High Road, Tottenham N17 6QN. Station: Seven Sisters. From Seven Sisters catch buses towards Tottenham – third stop. Buses: 123, 149, 259, 349, 341, 476. Contact: G Mapanda 07556586377, V Chengaose 07956586377, B Hukwa 07835323174, Ruby Chitiyo 07886998102, V Moyo 07960863128, P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070. Refreshments available. Raffle. ROHR UK executive attending.
·       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, brai, drinks, beer etc. Contact Sekai Mujeyi 07772211220, Sledge Bova 07788850146, Tari Mashawi 07843614091, Abi Nzimba 07780831455 or P Mapfumo 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.

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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.