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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 14th August 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 15 August 2010 10:17

As regional leaders prepared for the SADC meeting in Windhoek, Vigil supporters were disturbed to read the comments on Zimbabwe by South Africa’s top foreign ministry official, Ayanda Ntsaluba. He said: “Zimbabwe is on the correct path. . . The overwhelming picture is favourable.” 

The Vigil believes Mr Ntsaluba’s picture can only be seen with head buried in the sand – but then there is plenty of sand in Namibia. He further observed that Zimbabwe was "beginning to use its natural resources to improve the lives of its people". About time, some would say. But if he was referring to the Marange diamonds it will be news to Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who has said publicly that the Treasury has received no revenue from the diamonds. Not one dollar.  Mr Ostrich Ntsaluba’s comments deflated hopes that the Southern African Dictators’ Club would take any steps to honour its commitment to ensure that Mugabe observes the abortive GPA. As one Vigil supporter said “They can’t manage their wives, let alone Mugabe”.  The Vigil believes that it is long past time for the international community – or the small part of it that cares about human rights – to take a tougher approach to the SADC countries. It could, for instance, take a closer look at the nasty regime in Swaziland (which can always be relied on to support Mugabe). 

A strong supporter of the Zimbabwe Vigil has been a Swazi lady Thobile Gwebu, who in January started a Vigil outside the Swaziland High Commission in London in protest at human rights abuses in her homeland. We were shocked that the UK Home Office has seen fit to detain her for immediate deportation – shocked in particular that the Home Office is concentrating on asylum seekers instead of dealing with clear abuses of the immigration / visa system reported at length in the Times this week, a much bigger problem.  

Vigil supporters signed the following petition for immediate dispatch to the Home Office: 

Petition to the Home Secretary 

UK to deport Swazi Activist
The most prominent Swazi pro-democracy activist in the UK, Thobile Gwebu, has been detained by the UK immigration authorities and is due to be deported as a failed asylum seeker on Tuesday 17th August at 20.30 

Thobile is the co-ordinator of the Swaziland Vigil which has been campaigning for human rights outside the Swaziland High Commission in London since January, see: www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.In May the Swazi Times quoted her extensively in an article about the Swaziland Vigil. The paper also interviewed a Swazi government minister about the the UK protest. This means that Thobile is known to the Swazi authorities as a pro-democracy activist and the Swazi authorities have made clear their attitude to dissent.  

The Zimbabwe Vigil strongly believes that Thobile will be at considerable risk if returned to Swaziland. It is Africa’s last absolute monarchy and is under Africa’s longest-running state of emergency. We quote Thobile’s own words: “Exiled Swazis and supporters urge the UK to put pressure on the absolute monarch King Mswati III to allow political freedom, freedom of speech, the rule of law, respect for women and affordable AIDS drugs in Swaziland.” The Zimbabwe Vigil is appalled that her asylum claim has been turned down and that she is to be handed over to this medieval despot, who would like to spend the country’s meager revenues on a Boeing to fly his 14 wives to the fleshpots of the world.  

Suporters of the Zimbabwe Vigil urge the Home Secretary to intervene so that further consideration can be given to Ms Gwebu’s case. 

Thanks to Luka Phiri of the Vigil management team and Vigil supporter Eunita Masolo who dropped everything to visit Thobile at the Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre on Friday and take her thoughtful necessities and further thanks to Luka who is faxing our petition (signed by more than 300 people this afternoon!) to Theresa May, the Home Secretary. Luka was an ideal person to visit Thobile as he has been in the same position. His visit gave her great comfort.  

Other points
·       The sight of the day was Vigil Co-ordinator Dumi Tutani circling the Vigil on one the bicycles now rented out by the London authorities, who have installed a bicycle rank next to the Vigil.
·       Thanks to Kelvin Kamupira who took charge of the back table with the merchandise and register today.
·       Everyone signed Francesca Toft’s birthday card.  She turned 20 yesterday and after many years with the Vigil has become very popular and is always a great help in looking after children.
·        Vigil supporters were interested to see the article by Eric Bloch on Mugabe’s recent outburst (Zim: A man-made economic hell) that the West could go to hell. Mr Bloch said this was an invitation to the West to remain in Zimbabwe, which Mugabe has made a hell! http://www.theindependent.co.zw/opinion/27621-eric-bloch-zim-a-man-made-economic-hell.html 

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 earlier ZimVigil TV programmes check: http://www.zbnnews.com/home/firingline. 

FOR THE RECORD:  155 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 Vigil. Saturday 21st August from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark), Liverpool City Centre. For details please contact: Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161. Future demonstration: 4th September. Same time and venue.
·       ROHR Chelmsford general meeting. Saturday 21st August from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: 23 Widford Close, Chelmsford CM2 8TA. Contact: R Mafigo 07944815190, F Muzambi 07879916275, Martha A Magwaza 07748644911, Tendai Gwanzura 07772912679. All invited and braai party afterwards.
·       ROHR Harlow general meeting. Saturday 4th September from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: St James and St Lukes Church, Perry Road, Harlow CM18 7NP. Contact: Clement 07879123783, Bothwell 07725208657, llyod  07883695970, Paradzai Mapfumo  07915926323.
·       Ministering to the Diaspora: a case study of Zimbabweans in Britain. Wednesday 15th September from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm. Venue: Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, SS Philip & James Church, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HR. A conference to help identify unique needs, the services Christian organizations are offering and can offer (but are not), identifying what more needs to be done and how this might be achieved, and drawing up a co-ordinated action plan. For more information, contact: Clayton Peel, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone 01865 882 421
·       Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts
·       Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil 

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 7th August 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 08 August 2010 14:34

‘Zuma Save Zimbabwe’ was the theme of the Vigil as SADC prepares to hold a summit meeting in Namibia.  Our banners urging South African intervention have so far failed to bear fruit but we were pleased that Mugabe’s attempt to keep Zimbabwe off the agenda seems to have failed.  

As the recent AU Summit in Uganda showed, African leaders are all too willing to sweep Zimbabwe under the carpet on the basis that SADC has been handed the responsibility. Vigil supporters believe that, after eighteen months of Zanu-PF arrogance in refusing to implement the GPA, South Africa and SADC must now force Mugabe’s hand.  

Zimbabweans in exile – with our children now going into secondary school in our host countries – believe that MDC should not stand for Manipulated, Deluded and Confused and should call Zanu PF’s bluff.  They cannot pretend to be part of government when their input is ignored and they are treated with contempt by the security forces and the civil service.  

The Vigil agrees with Simba Makoni’s comment that a new constitution is not necessary for elections. We have always believed that the constitutional outreach programme is a recipe for disaster (a view supported by SW Radio article: http://www.swradioafrica.com
/pages/copac040810.htm
.) 
 

The Vigil urges SADC to address the real issue: how to ensure that elections are free and fair. After all, it is not to the region’s advantage that the present situation continues or that there is a repeat of the 2008 election violence and a fraudulent outcome that will not be accepted by the outside world. 

This week we were sent an email asking us to join in an international prayer day ‘LoveZim’ on 26th September.  We certainly hope people will pray on this day for Zimbabwe as we do every Saturday. Our supporters spend long hours traveling to join us – such as a new supporter from Leeds who caught the bus at 7 am today – and we regard this as a sacrifice for Zimbabwe. We had extra prayers today when two white Christians spotted supporter Marian Rondora tying a Zimbabwean flag to one of our maple trees. They said that at their church they had been shown an image of a flag and a tree and felt this was a sign they should stop and pray for the Vigil.  They spent some time praying with Marian. 

We have earlier mentioned our supporter who had such a harrowing time on his recent trip to Zimbabwe and we now been given permission to report a little more fully on what happened. This is his story:  

‘A ROHR and Vigil activist visited Zimbabwe recently wanting to witness the much heralded changes for himself. He was held unduly long at Harare airport. Officials spent time doing checks, asking what he did in the UK. They said “you have been away for too long, you are working against Zimbabwe”, etc. An uncle who works for Air Zimbabwe at the airport eventually came to his rescue. 

'Visited Mashonaland East (maternal home connection), where he saw a homestead which had been razed by Zanu PF functionaries at the behest of a powerful  ZANU PF official (women's league and well connected to Tobaiwa Mudede, a Mugabe close relative). The homestead belonged to suspected opposition supporters who are ordered out of the Chief's area. The activist and colleagues confront the Zanu PF people arguing that it amounted to an abuse of power and a human rights violation. The next thing the case is before the Chief who orders the arrest of the activists by police. Held at police station for couple of days after they realised his Vigil and ROHR connection. In police cells the activists are beaten, tortured and accused of being puppets/sellouts, want to return the country to the whites - the usual ZANU PF rhetoric. Lawyer intervenes and our activist is granted bail and ordered to report twice a week at police station. Kept under surveillance by CIO. Passport seized. Twice in court and skipped bail once he could buy the passport back with a bribe. Thankful for Vigil help as, without it, he could still be in Zimbabwe and who knows what could have happened next? Still fears for co-defendants and firmly believes that nothing has changed.’ 

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 earlier ZimVigil TV programmes check: http://www.zbnnews.com/home/firingline. 

FOR THE RECORD:  153 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.
·       Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and Central London Zimbabwe Forum
. Monday 9th August from 7.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Development House, 56-64 St Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT. Human rights lawyer Dewa Mavhinga who has recently been appointed the Regional Co-ordinator of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition’s Regional Office in South Africa will address the human rights abuses around Zimbabwe's diamond fields and the current situation regarding Zimbabwe’s constitution-making process. For more information: http://www.hrforumzim.com/dewa-mahinga.pdf
·      
ROHR London South-East Branch general meeting. Saturday 14th August at 1 pm. Venue: 16 Sydenham Road, London SE26 5QW. Contact: Wellington Rupere 07799702750, Priscilla Chitsinde 07804696328, Courage Chiromo 07894586005 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070. 
·       Ministering to the Diaspora: a case study of Zimbabweans in Britain. Wednesday 15th September from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm. Venue: Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, SS Philip & James Church, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HR. A conference to help identify unique needs, the services Christian organizations are offering and can offer (but are not), identifying what more needs to be done and how this might be achieved, and drawing up a co-ordinated action plan. For more information, contact: Clayton Peel, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone 01865 882 421
·       ROHR Liverpool Vigil. Saturday 21st August from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark), Liverpool City Centre. For details please contact: Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161. Future demonstration: 4th September. 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 

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 31st July 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 01 August 2010 17:33

While both Mugabe and Tsvangirai have been seeking support from apostolic Christians, the Vigil was surprised to be joined by a large group of Zimbabwean Christians. We were grateful for their prayers – and touched when they prayed for those on our register. Dressed in white robes, they said they had come to London to spread peace. They are members of Friday Apostles ‘Johane Masowe We Chishanu’ and have a base in Sheffield in the north of England 

Their attendance was timely as the Vigil has been reminded of the cost of Mugabe’s misrule by a new report by the Solidarity Peace Trust titled ‘A fractured nation: Operation Murambatsvina five years on’. Some 700,000 were left homeless and an estimated 2.4 million lost their livelihoods in the sudden destruction of informal housing and small businesses aimed at driving MDC supporters back to their rural homes where they could starve out of sight.  

Looking back at the Vigil diary, we note the entry for 11th June 2005: ‘The heavy media coverage given to Mugabe’s scorched earth policy ensured that the Vigil was besieged by people eager to sign our petition demanding that South Africa stops supporting the Mugabe regime. Many people lingered to talk about the situation, expressing great concern at the plight of those made homeless in winter. And from the activists who support the Vigil week in and week out there was an anger unseen before – even during the successive stolen elections.’ 

(We recall our dismay at the time that the left of centre British newspaper the Guardian thought Operation Murambatsvina was a thoroughly sensible thing – talk about useful idiots!) 

Solidarity Peace Trust has been tracking the fate of some of those displaced 5 years ago and notes: ’The story is a grim one with many of those we remembered now prematurely dead and others living in unspeakable poverty.’ In short, those whose lives were devastated remain poverty-stricken and forgotten.  

The state has done nothing whatsoever to alleviate the plight of those displaced by Operation Murambatsvina. In fact the only help they’ve got has been from NGOs and the Vigil is surprised that it is an MDC minister who now wants to block NGO work. Minister for Regional Integration and International Co-operation, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, echoing the Zanu-PF line, has ordered donors and NGOs to report all their activities to her – criticised as an attempt to divert donor funds from projects the government doesn’t like. Before she joined the gravy-train, Ms Misihairabwi-Mushonga had opposed government interference in the affairs of NGOs. Can’t she let well enough alone and concentrate on getting her share of the diamonds? See:http://www.solidaritypeacetrust.org/787/a-fractured-nation-operation-murambatsvina-%e2%80%93-five-years-on/#more-787 and http://www.solidaritypeacetrust.org/798/poverty-on-top-of-poverty/#more-798. 

Some other points:
·       The UK Supreme Court has ruled that failed asylum seekers who made a fresh claim for refugee status should be allowed to work if they have waited more than 12 months for a new Home Office decision. See: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/7914736/
Tens-of-thousands-of-failed-asylum-seekers-given-right-to-work.html
and http://www.guardian
.co.uk/uk/2010/jul/29/restrictions-sought-asylum-seekers-jobs

·       We were glad to be joined by the activist we helped to escape from Zimbabwe. He said after he was picked up he was randomly beaten up on the way to the police station. He was held in cells for 2 days in indescribable conditions and would probably still be there if we hadn’t got legal help to get him out. The experience left him 2 kgs lighter.
·       Our sympathy to committed supporter Patrick Nyamwanza who was very distressed to learn yesterday that his mother in Zimbabwe who he hasn’t seen for many years had had a stroke.  We pray with him for her recovery.
·       Vigil supporters might be interested to see a piece about the Vigil on the Zimeye website: http://www.zimeye.org/?p=20005
·       It was good to have with us for the whole afternoon, Adriano Navarro, a Portuguese student from the London School of Economics who bought a Vigil tshirt and a ‘Mugabe must Go’ wristband and generally empathized with the plight of Zimbabwe.
·       While we were looking back at the diary we found that Roy Bennett visited us 5 years ago (6th August 2005) and described us as a ‘Fire in Mugabe’s bum’. We are not surprised that Mugabe is continuing to misuse the legal system to keep him from taking up his job as Deputy Agriculture Minister. 

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 earlier ZimVigil TV programmes check: http://www.zbnnews.com/home/firingline. 

FOR THE RECORD: 142 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 Vigil. Saturday 7th August from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark), Liverpool City Centre. For details please contact: Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161. Future demonstrations: 21st August, 4th September. Same time and venue.
·       ROHR Stoke-On-Trent general meeting. Saturday 7th August from 2 – 5 pm.  Venue: YMCA Edinburgh House. Harding Road, Stoke-On-Trent ST1 3AE. Substantive committee to be elected. Executive members present. Contact: Pauline Mutema on 07850462301, David Mugwira 07866873493, Maxwell Dube 07533349840, P Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·       ROHR Woking general meeting. Saturday 7th August. Venue: 61 Sunbury Lane, Walton-on-Thames, KT12 2JA, Surrey. Contact: Isaac Mudzamiri 07774044873, Sithokozile Hlokana 07886203113 or P Mapfumo on 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·       ROHR London South-East Branch general meeting. Saturday 14th August at 1 pm. Venue: 16 Sydenham Road, London SE26 5QW. Contact: Wellington Rupere 07799702750, Priscilla Chitsinde 07804696328, Courage Chiromo 07894586005 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 

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Vigil Response to ‘Sword of Truth’ Ambassador Makuvise – 29th July 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 29 July 2010 20:18

The Vigil made the front page of the Zimbabwe Herald this week (see below).  We are mentioned in the Herald’s interview with Hebson Makuvise, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Germany.  He reportedly says of activists in the UK "Every Saturday they gather at the Zimbabwean Embassy in the UK playing drums denouncing President Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and the inclusive Government. They are then given some money by tourists who visit the embassy in the name of the suffering masses of Zimbabwe.”  He said he has tried without success to dissuade the activists from carrying out such activities.  

The Vigil’s take on this is rather different. Makuvise, Tsvangirai’s uncle and representative in the UK, tried to control the Vigil as he did the MDC in the UK. Check: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/ZimVigil-Diary-Entries/vigil-diary-archive-jan-feb-2008.html (17th January 2008). We can’t forget how he thundered down to the Vigil with his goons and, oblivious to the irony, waved his fist at the Vigil Co-ordinator saying ‘How dare you accuse me of being a bully-boy!’  

Makuvise has come back from the dead through articles on the websites Zimdiaspora and Zimeye. (Check:
1.  http://www.zimeye.org/?p=19616Stanford Biti blasts Morgan Tsvangirai for “leaked document”
2. http://www.zimeye.org/?p=19982Rein in brother, Biti told
3.  http://zimdiaspora-bitiandmakuvise1.notlong.comFinance Minister Biti must discipline brother Stanford Biti: Makuvise.
4.  
http://zimdiaspora-bitiandmakuvise2.notlong.com, Stanford Biti hits back, likens Makuvise to maggot behaviour.
5.  http://www.zimeye.org/?p=20019Makuvise opens lawsuit against website.) 

Judging by comments on these articles Mr Makuvise does not have many fans. 

The articles follow an MDC decision to launch an enquiry into allegations of corruption in the MDC UK. The investigations were carried out by a team from Zimbabwe led by Sam Sipepa Nkomo. Zimdiaspora published in seven parts what they said was the report leaked from Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s office. The alleged report detailed financial irregularities in the MDC UK and strongly criticized Makuvise. For his part, Makuvise is particularly angry with Tendai Biti’s brother Stanford, Chair of MDC Southend, who the Herald says is campaigning for the recall of Mr Makuvise from Germany and accusing him of embezzling party funds donated by well-wishers. 

The latest development is that Ambassador Makuvise says he is instituting legal proceedings against Zimdiaspora. No doubt he will be seeking donor funding to finance his legal costs! The Vigil offers its support to Zimdiaspora and recalls the case of former British cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken, who, under the banner of wielding the ‘sword of truth’, told a string of lies in a libel case in London and was sent to jail for perjury. Mr Makuvise must realise that he will have no diplomatic immunity in the UK. and that donors may, in their ignorant way, decide to feed the starving, help the ill, educate children and protect the innocent rather than sponsor Makuvise.  

PS why has this MDC report still not been published?  

We cannot attest to the veracity of the report published by Zimdiaspora. But you can find it by looking at the following:
1. http://zimdiaspora-chawora-gate1.notlong.com, Zimdiaspora serialises Sipepa-Nkomo report on Chawora-gate.
2. http://zimdiaspora-chawora-gate2.notlong.comChawora-gate Part 2: looting of MDC funds, breaches exposed.
3. http://zimdiaspora-chawora-gate3.notlong.comChawora-gate Part 3 they failed to provide expenditure evidence.
4.  http://zimdiaspora-chawora-gate4.notlong.comChawora-gate Part 4: £75 836.00 is missing from card sales only.
5.  http://zimdiaspora-chawora-gate5.notlong.comChawora-gate Part 5: No asylum support letter without sex first.
6.  http://zimdiaspora-chawora-gate6.notlong.comChawora-gate Part 6: They formed bogus company to milk funds.
7.  http://zimdiaspora-chawora-gate7.notlong.comChawora-gate part 7: They produced, sold their own party cards.

 

 

The Zimbabwe Herald – Monday, 26th July 2010

Rein in brother, Biti told

By Takunda Maodza

ZIMBABWE’S Ambassador to Germany, Mr Hebson Makuvise, has challenged MDC-T secretary-general Mr Tendai Biti to counsel his young brother Stanford against bringing MDC-T and the country into disrepute by disseminating falsehoods in the
United Kingdom and on the Internet.

The ambassador’s remarks come at a time when Mr Stanford Biti, the MDC-T UK and
Ireland branch activist, is campaigning for the recall of Mr Makuvise from Germany accusing him of embezzling party funds donated by well-wishers.

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 24th July 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 25 July 2010 17:01

Senator David Coltart, the Zimbabwean Minister for Education, was given a friendly reception when he came to the Vigil at the end of his visit to London – a welcome that turned to cheers when he put on our bracelet ‘Mugabe Must Go’.  

Surrounded by Vigil supporters, he said ‘I know that many of you are very sceptical about this inclusive government. But I want to let you know that there is a group working very hard to make it work.  Don’t write it off. But you do need to continue the Vigil because things are by no means right yet.  We are all looking for the same thing: a democratic Zimbabwe where everyone can hold their heads up high.’  

We were pleased that Senator Coltart took the trouble to join us – even though many of us don’t share his optimism. Some Vigil supporters went to hear him during the week when he spoke at a meeting in Parliament about the dire situation in the Zimbabwean education system. Who could be against giving money towards education in Zimbabwe – even if Zanu PF gangsters are looting the country’s own resources that should be paying for it?  

Senator Coltart was only one of a horde of MDC leaders descending like locusts on London with their begging bowls.  It’s all very well giving money to education but the two other MDC ministers and the Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara were shaking the can for investment. They seem to have difficulty grasping that people are reluctant to invest in a country with no rule of law.  

A large contingent of our supporters went to hear Mutambara speak at a London meeting after the Vigil.  Apart from telling us about his massive intellect and brilliant education, he urged people with skills and capital to go home, brushing aside questions of violence and good governance, though he admitted a lot of work still had to be done. 

An unexpected addition to the ranks of the Pollyannas who see nothing wrong with Zimbabwe is the new Director of the British Council in Harare Jill Coates. She said “Zimbabwe is such a beautiful and peaceful country and not at all hostile like what is perceived in the UK media.” The columnist Muckraker in the Zimbabwean newspaper the Independent said ‘What do we call these remarks? Naïve or downright stupid?’ See: http://www.theindependent.co.zw/opinion/
27365-zanu-pf-retraces-steps-to-failure.html
. The British Council no doubt keeps the British Sunday Times in its library. She will see in its latest edition new revelations about the scandal of the Marange diamonds. 
 

Apart from the visit by Senator Coltart, another highlight of the Vigil was the arrival of the valiant Smale father and son team (Adrian and Michael) who had cycled 85 miles from Salisbury to the Vigil in aid of charity. They set off at 6.30 am and were with us before 5 pm. They looked fit as fiddles when they arrived.  Vigil activist Josephine Zhuga organised a collection and presented the money to them. Their charity is Children Alone Trust which cares for orphans in Zimbabwe. They would welcome further donations – contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 07946 128 204.

Other points
·       Norman Mhunduru was pleased to hear he was the overall winner of our World Cup draw and was at the Vigil to receive his winnings of £50.
·       A Vigil member said how amazed she was when she encountered at the Vigil a friend from primary school who she hadn’t seen for 40 years.  She went on to say that she had also recently come across someone in a shop in London who had rented a room from her in Harare 27 years ago.
·       It is difficult to accept the assurances of the Zanu-MDC government that all is well in Zimbabwe when one of our activists was arrested and beaten up recently just for being in the country. We can’t give any further details to protect the security of people back home. If anyone wants to tell us all is well perhaps they will refund us the money we spent on getting our supporter out of the country (see our diary of 3rd July).           

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 earlier ZimVigil TV programmes check: http://www.zbnnews.com/home/firingline. 

FOR THE RECORD: 185 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 Vigil. Saturday 31st July from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark), Liverpool City Centre. For details please contact: Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688, Trywell Migeri 07956083758, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161. Future demonstrations: 7th and 21st August, 4th September. Same time and venue.
·       ROHR Bournemouth get-together and executive election. Saturday 31st July from 2 – 10 pm. Venue: East Cliff United Reformed Church opposite ASDA Store, Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth, BH8 8AW. Contact: Abi Nzimba 07780831455 or Sekai Mujeyi 07772211220 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 07932216070. Food, drink, music, Everyone welcome.
·      
ROHR West Bromwich general meeting.  Saturday 31st July from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West Bromwich  B70 0HF. Contact: Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Peter Nkomo 07817096594, Diana Mtendereki 07837682108, P Chibanguza  07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323.
·       ROHR Hayes general meeting. Saturday 31st July from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: Brookside Community Centre, Hayes, UB4 0PE. The raffle for the computer, DVD player, printer and Samsung mobile phone will be drawn – tickets are still on sale. ROHR Executive present. Contact Roda Kulhengisa 07958205544, Snodia Chihowa 07852921523, Charity Nyamuzuwe 07898765091 or P Mapfumo 0791592623 / 07932216070.
·       ROHR Stoke-On-Trent general meeting. Saturday 7th August from 2 – 5 pm.  Venue: YMCA Edinburgh House. Harding Road, Stoke-On-Trent ST1 3AE. Substantive committee to be elected. Executive members present. Contact: Pauline Mutema on 07850462301, David Mugwira 07866873493, Maxwell Dube 07533349840, P Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·       ROHR Woking general meeting. Saturday 7th August. Venue: 61 Sunbury Lane, Walton-on-Thames, KT12 2JA, Surrey. Contact: Isaac Mudzamiri 07774044873, Sithokozile Hlokana 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 
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