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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check the link at the top of the home page of our website.   

FOR THE RECORD:  86 signed the register. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check the link at the top of the home page of our website.   

FOR THE RECORD:  119 signed the register. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check the link at the top of the home page of our website.   

FOR THE RECORD:  132 signed the register. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check the link at the top of the home page of our website.   

FOR THE RECORD: 146 signed the register. 

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

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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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