Banner
ZimVigil Diary Entries
Zimbabweans demonstrate in London against violence – 21st March 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 21 March 2011 19:51

Zimbabwean exiles in the UK and supporters demonstrated outside the Zimbabwean Embassy and the South African High Commission in London on Monday in protest at the growing violence as Mugabe’s Zanu PF prepares for new elections.  

The demonstrations were organized by the MDC UK and were supported by other groups including the Zimbabwe Vigil, Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Association and Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) the successor organization to the Anti-Apartheid Movement.  

Outside the Zimbabwe Embassy prominent demonstrators included members of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers who demanded the release of six Zimbabwean activists on trial for treason for watching a video about the uprising in Egypt. 

Amid drumming and singing, over a hundred demonstrators outside nearby South Africa House carried banners reading ‘Zuma where is our road map?’, ‘Blood on Zuma’s hands’, Mugdafi stop selective justice now’, ‘Zuma publish election dossier now’, ‘AU act now’, ‘Zanu PF game is up’, ‘Mugabe stop torture, false arrests’, ‘Bloody SADC where are you? – wake up’, ‘Chihuru, Chiwenga, Shiri – Hague is waiting’, ‘Bloody Zuma – ungunthakathi’ and ‘No violence in Zim? Ask Gwisai’. 

A deputation was sent to the Home Office to deliver a petition protesting at new moves to send home failed Zimbabwe asylum seekers. 

The MDC UK’s Interim Organising Secretary Jeff Sango said: ‘We realise that the situation in Zimbabwe is not getting any better. We thought the government of national unity was going to change things, but we see an escalation where Mugabe and ZANU PF are very keen on not having a proper road map and free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.’ (See: http://www.swradioafrica.com/news210311/zimsprot210311.htm).

Check here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimpolitics_net/sets/72157626202312031/ for photos of the anti-violence protest.

LAST_UPDATED2
 
Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 19th March 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 20 March 2011 16:21

Brilliant sunshine blessed our last Vigil of the winter – certainly the coldest winter of our nine years demonstrating outside the Embassy. Last December was one of the worst months on record for general snow, ice and freezing temperatures. It has been tough turning out every Saturday in such conditions. But the Vigil is encouraged by the tsunami of unrest from North Africa and believes it will sweep away Zanu PF before too long.  

We were arrested by the words used by Tsvangirai this week that ‘dark and sinister forces’ are at work in Zimbabwe. They sounded an echo: as we noted in last week’s diary a British minister Lord Howell spoke of ‘highly sinister’ developments in a parliamentary debate on Zimbabwe.  

What can this mean? The Vigil believes both men are acknowledging that the security services – in the form of the Joint Operations Command – have taken control and are relentlessly closing down all the remaining democratic space in preparation for a Burmese / North Korean gangster state.  

The Vigil is encouraged that the African bloc has repudiated Gaddafi by their votes in the United Nations Security Council and is confident that the continent is swinging against dictators. Zimbabweans should consider adopting a strategy of political defiance on the lines suggested by Gene Sharpe in his book ‘From Dictatorship to Democracy’ which has been so influential in the North African revolutions. You can download the short book from this link: http://www.aeinstein.org/organizations/org/FDTD.pdf. 

Sharpe says there are times for defiant public demonstrations and that ‘abandonment and control of fear is a key element in destroying the power of the dictators over the general population’. The Vigil believes that Tsvangirai by threatening to go ahead with his star rally in Harare in defiance of the police and then chickening out at the last moment is not setting a good example. 

Other points
·         Jeff Sango of the MDC UK came and told us of a London demonstration the party is holding on Monday against the increasing violence in Zimbabwe and against the possibility that Zimbabwean failed asylum seekers in the UK will be sent home (see Events and Notices Section for details).
·         Vigil team member Patson Mazuwa, who is a leading figure in the Zimbabwe Association (ZA), said that Zimbabweans in the UK should not be too alarmed by the new legal development. Patson said failed asylum seekers who were worried about their position should contact the ZA. For details of the legal position check comments by solicitors Yvonne Gwashawanhu and Taffy Nyawanza (http://newzimbabwe-yg.notlong.com/ and http://newzimbabwe-tn.notlong.com/).
·         Because of a computer error by the diary team, last week’s diary didn’t appear in the Zimbabwean newspaper. Instead we sent by accident a very interesting article by Jon Swain (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/mar13_2011.html#Z2) which we had saved for research purposes. We apologise to the Zimbabwean and its readers.
·         Following French fashion week there has been a big demand for Vigil designer hats knitted by Josephine Zhuga. On another fashion note it appears the privations of living in the UK have slimmed Zimbabweans down judging by the drop in sales of XXL Vigil tshirts.
·         Thanks to Brenda Chavundura for her help today especially in selling the Zimbabwean newspaper. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check http://www.zimvigiltv.com/.    

FOR THE RECORD: 162 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.
·           MDC UK Demonstration against violence in Zimbabwe and threatened deportations from the UK. Monday 21st March from 12 – 4 pm. Meet at the Zimbabwe Embassy at 12 noon. Protesters will move on to demonstrate outside the nearby South African High Commission.
·           ROHR Manchester Vigil. Saturday 26th March from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Cathedral Gardens, Manchester City Centre (subject to change to Piccadilly Gardens). Contact: Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi  07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353, Charles Nenguke 07925146757, P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070 or P Chibanguza 07908406069. Future demonstrations: 30th April, 28th May. Same time and venue.
·           ROHR Wolverhampton general meeting. Saturday 2nd April. Venue: Heath Town Community Centre, 208 Chevril Rise, Wolverhampton WV10 0HP. Contact  Tsvakai Marambi 07915065171, Florence Munemo 07901733634, Flora Nyahuma 07900036702, P Chibanguza 07908406069
·           ROHR Woking general meeting. Saturday 2nd April from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Woking Homes, Oriental Road, Woking GU22 7BE. Contact, Isaac Mudzamiri 07774044873, Sithokozile Hlokana 07886203113, Saziso Zulu 07861028280 or P.Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·           ROHR Manchester meetings. Saturday 16th April: (committee meeting from 11 am – 1 pm, general meeting from 2 – 5 pm). Venue: The Salvation Army Citadel, 71 Grosvenor Road, Manchester M13 9UB.  Contact: Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353, Charles Nenguke 07925146757, P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070 or P Chibanguza 07908406069. Future meeting: 14th May. Same times and venue.
·           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 – 12th March 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 13 March 2011 18:32

The tsunami sweeping everything before it after the Japanese earthquake made a haunting picture but the Zimbabwean image of the week for Vigil supporters was Tsvangirai storming off to complain to Mugabe about the arrest of MDC Minister Mangoma – only to find that the old man had tottered off to some AU meeting to defend fellow tyrants Gaddafi and Gbagbo. Foreign investors gathered in Harare to hear Tsvangirai tell them of Zimbabwe’s wonderful economic potential were left wondering what was going on: they had already been snubbed by Mugabe who chose instead to attend a politbureau meeting to decide how the government could steal their money.  

We were not surprised that ZBC did not report either the Japanese earthquake or Tsvangirai’s angry outburst. The contradictions abounded: Tsvangirai inviting investors while bemoaning the violence, corruption and compromised judiciary – and at the same time telling a Financial Times journalist how ‘humane’ Mugabe is (see:  – Dinner with the FT: Morgan Tsvangirai - http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/mar12a_2011.html#Z17). 

Vigil supporters could observe the same strange unreality here in the UK. A well-informed debate on Zimbabwe in the House of Lords, compassionate and thoughtful, ended in a nebulous cloud of ill-founded hope. Speaking for the government, Lord Howell condemned the increasing violence and spoke of ‘highly sinister developments’. He said the role of SADC as guarantors of the Global Political Agreement will be a key to the future of Zimbabwe and went on to say ‘we are encouraged by the recent increased diplomatic activity in working to create an environment conducive to holding free and fair elections’. He went further in an interview with the Voice of the People in which he said ‘SADC is already playing a remarkable role which is closely related to the hands on approach that South Africa is playing’. (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/mar11_2011.html#Z13 – Top UK govt officer and former Mandela lawyer urges Zim to respect rule of law).  

Lord Howell gave no details and the Vigil sees no evidence of this ‘remarkable role’. Any ‘remarkable role’ played by SADC is more likely to be of the type played by Gaddafi in Northern Ireland.  

The Vigil noted the comment in the debate by Baroness Bonham-Carter: ‘As major providers of aid to Zimbabwe and to its neighbours, the people of the United Kingdom – and, indeed the EU as a whole – have a right to expect serious engagement on these issues’. Vigil supporters want to see the British government and the EU in general take the gloves off and put pressure on SADC to force Mugabe to honour his undertakings. We believe that they should withhold aid to SADC governments if they do not meet their obligations to Zimbabweans.  

Other points
·         Vigil team members Dumi Tutani and Luka Phiri featured in interviews on the internet this week. Dumi gave an interview to a US radio station in Portland Oregon which also featured Jenni Williams of WOZA – check: http://kboo.fm/node/27088. Luka was interviewed on a video documentary by Antonio Cardoso which includes footage of the Vigil – Check: www.vimeo.com/acardoso/zimbabwevigiluk.
·         Glad as always to have Beverley Mutandiro with us. She led the Vigil in prayer and singing. She said how singing releases stress and talked to us about the virtue of patience (Hebrews 11 /12).
·         Supporters came from far and wide today. Angeline Mukoti caught the overnight coach from Edinburgh and was returning home overnight. She plans to come again next week. Anna Mutunzi came from Newcastle and had to leave her new baby (born premature) in others’ care. Gladys Mapanda joined us from Cardiff and took care of the register and merchandise.  Sandra Madenyika once more brought her three young children from Sheffield. Her children plus David Kadzutu’s sons David Jnr and Jones (newly arrived from Zimbabwe) were a great help handing out flyers and selling the Zimbabwean newspaper.  

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check http://www.zimvigiltv.com/.    

FOR THE RECORD: 138 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 general meeting. Saturday 19th March from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, Tottenham N17 6QN. Station: Seven Sisters. Buses 123, 149, 259, 349, 341, 476 towards Tottenham – third stop. Contact: V Chengaose 07956586377, Bernard Hukwa 07835323174, Ruby Chitiyo 07886998102, B Nyahwa 07534905348, Velempini Moyo 07960863128, P Mapfumo 07932216070.
·           ROHR Manchester Vigil. Saturday 26th March from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Cathedral Gardens, Manchester City Centre (subject to change to Piccadilly Gardens). Contact: Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi  07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353, Charles Nenguke 07925146757, P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070 or P Chibanguza 07908406069. Future demonstrations: 30th April, 28th May. Same time and venue.
·           ROHR Manchester meetings. Saturday 16th April: (committee meeting from 11 am – 1 pm, general meeting from 2 – 5 pm). Venue: The Salvation Army Citadel, 71 Grosvenor Road, Manchester M13 9UB.  Contact: Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353, Charles Nenguke 07925146757, P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070 or P Chibanguza 07908406069. Future meeting: 14th May. Same times and venue.
·           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 – 5th March 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 06 March 2011 15:52

Vigil supporters were appalled at further reports from Libya that foreign mercenaries – said to include Zimbabwean troops – are carrying out atrocities to maintain Gaddafi in power. The reputation of Zimbabwe – already low – has been further sullied already by reports being investigated by the UN that Mugabe has broken the arms embargo on the Ivory Coast to support Laurent Gbagbo who, like himself, has refused to leave office after losing a presidential election. 

With friends like Gaddafi and Gbagbo, Mugabe could well find himself arraigned before the International Criminal Court in the Hague along with like another of his friends Bashir of Sudan – especially as reports mount of increasing violence at home.  

Setting up the Vigil we were immediately approached by a Zimbabwean lady visiting her daughter in the UK. Unprompted she told us of the growing violence in Zimbabwe, the mobilization of pro-Mugabe forces, the sight of lorryloads of drunken youths and the failure of the government of national unity to make real progress. 

We in the diaspora are sometimes accused of being out of touch with what is going on at home – though we are all in constant contact with family and friends all over the country experiencing the daily reality of a dysfunctional state. So we were interested that our visitors shared our views: that the MDC has been hoodwinked by the illusion of sharing in government and that Zanu-PF has no intention of giving up power. Our visitors also had no confidence that South Africa would face up to the Mugabe regime or that of his prospective successor General Chiwenga.  

In other words no change. Admittedly no Zanu-PF chef has yet had the gall to buy a US $380 million yacht like the son of Teodoro Obiang, Chair of the African Union and President of Equatorial Guinea, one of the poorest countries in the world (http://telegraph-luxury-yacht.notlong.com). 

Mugabe himself has been no slouch at abusing the state’s resources. He has, for instance, dished out millions of dollars to praise singers and his repeated visits to South East Asia do not come cheap.  Vigil supporters wonder whether after three trips in two months it might not be more sensible for him to stay there . . .  

Other points
·       We were glad to have with us solicitor Mark Taylor who has worked so hard on Zimbabwean asylum issues. He updated us on the legal situation of Zimbabweans in the UK.
·       Vigil supporter Batson Chapata introduced us to Michael Liddell, a minister from his church, who led prayers for our country.
·       We were surprised to be criticized for our publicity stunt on Tuesday during which we hanged Mugabe outside the Embassy. ‘Totally unbecoming in a society that strongly opposes the death penalty anywhere in the world’ said a correspondent. In fact we would prefer Mugabe to end his life in a Zimbabwean jail which would be a much worse fate that being hanged. Batson said the cell he was in was so overcrowded that inmates had to synchronise changing position at night!
·       For a report in South Africa’s Sunday Times on our Tuesday protest, check: http://zimdemo.notlong.com.
·       There will be a repeat showing of the Prisoners of Conscience photo exhibition ‘Mugabe’s Victims: Zimbabwe Today’ from 22nd March to 3rd April at the Woolfson and Tay gallery, bookshop and cafe, 12 Bermondsey Square, London, SE1 3UN. Admission is free and the gallery will be open Tuesdays to Saturdays 11am – 7pm and on Sundays from 11am – 3 pm (closed Mondays).  Nearest station: Borough. Check: http://poc-photographs.notlong.com.
·       Thanks to Atipa Pedzeni, Kelvin Kamupira and Josephine Zhuga for their help today at the Vigil front table and to Atipa for arranging and putting up posters.
·       A lady from Egypt stopped by and asked how she could help.  We told her how encouraged we were by the events in Egypt and suggested she bring a group of her friends to the Vigil so we could express our solidarity with them. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check http://www.zimvigiltv.com/.    

FOR THE RECORD: 126 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 Manchester meetings. Saturday 12th March: (committee meeting from 11 am – 1 pm, general meeting from 2 – 5 pm). Venue: The Salvation Army Citadel, 71 Grosvenor Road, Manchester M13 9UB.  Contact: Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi  07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353, Charles Nenguke 07925146757, P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070 or P Chibanguza 07908406069. Future meetings: 16th April, 14th May. Same times and venue.
·           ROHR North London general meeting. Saturday 19th March from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, Tottenham N17 6QN. Station: Seven Sisters. Buses 123, 149, 259, 349, 341, 476 towards Tottenham – third stop. Contact: V Chengaose 07956586377, Bernard Hukwa 07835323174, Ruby Chitiyo 07886998102, B Nyahwa 07534905348, Velempini Moyo 07960863128, P Mapfumo 07932216070.
·           ROHR Manchester Vigil. Saturday 26th March from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Cathedral Gardens, Manchester City Centre (subject to change to Piccadilly Gardens). Contact: Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi  07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353, Charles Nenguke 07925146757, P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070 or P Chibanguza 07908406069. Future demonstrations: 30th April, 28th May. Same time and venue.
·           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
 
Mugabe ‘executed’ outside Embassy – 1st March 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 01 March 2011 17:25

President Mugabe was strung up from a tree outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London today at a Vigil in support of an attempt to stage an anti-Mugabe demonstration in Harare. 

Security forces were beefed up to deter protesters from gathering at Harare gardens but in London some 50 people attended our mock execution of the aging tyrant. 

We were joined by a Reuters news team, apart from other journalists, and passers-by stopped to take photos with their mobile phones. Bus drivers hooted in solidarity as Terence Mafuva in our Mugabe mask and a white shroud dangled from the branch of a maple tree (discreetly supported by a small stool). 

Vigil supporters wore yellow bandanas saying ‘Robert Mugabe for the sake of Zimbabwe: Please hang’ and displayed posters reading ‘Mugabe must go!’ and ‘87 years old – 31 years in power’ while singing songs mocking the despot, to the accompaniment of drumming. There were passionate speeches denouncing him. Martin Chinyanga of the Zimbabwe Diaspora Focus Group said to applause that Mugabe’s time was coming to an end. For his part, Takwana Jonga of the Zimbabwe Action Group said Zanu PF was the enemy of the people of Zimbabwe responsible for the death of more than 5 million Zimbabweans since 1980 (by violence, neglect and poverty). 

The Vigil was pleased to get a message of encouragement from Passop, the Zimbabwe support group in South Africa, who were holding a solidarity demonstration outside Parliament in Cape Town. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check http://www.zimvigiltv.com/.    

FOR THE RECORD: 47 signed the register.

LAST_UPDATED2
 
<< Start < Prev 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 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.