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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 4th September 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 05 September 2010 14:12

Most of us at the Vigil have relatives or friends who have taken refuge in South Africa. This is hardly surprising given that an estimated 1 in 4 Zimbabweans have fled the Mugabe meltdown. We know of the hardships refugees in South Africa have suffered but we were shocked to hear that the Zuma government has now announced measures which could see many of them sent back to Zimbabwe at the end of the year (http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/article638337.ece/
End-of-the-line-for-illegal-Zim-nationals
).

Explaining the decision, government spokesman Themba Maseko said ‘We believe that some form of stability has returned to Zimbabwe’. The Vigil believes that people sent home to poverty, starvation and abuse will not thank the schizophrenic MDC which has been telling two contradictory stories: complaining at home of victimisation while proclaiming to the outside world that things are getting better. 

Take the case of Tsvangirai’s beautician Theresa Makone, promoted from make-up and hair-styling to the dizzying depths of co-minister of Home Affairs. Now she is trying to make the police look beautiful.  The police, she told the Zimbabwe Independent, were now executing their duties in a professional manner. Continuing her cosmetic wizardry, she went on ‘I can assure you that everything has been looked at and there is no more hiding behind a finger of someone powerful. As I speak right now everything is being effected – all court orders are being implemented, work is being done as the country moves forward. We are doing our job . . . The Zimbabwe Republic Police is doing what it was mandated to do’ (see: http://www.theindependent.co.zw/local/27867-police-have-turned-over-new-leaf--makone-.html). 

We are told that – now the World Cup is over – there is hardly a day in South Africa that passes without negative comments about Zimbabweans (see: http://www.swradioafrica.com/news
030910/zum aput030910.htm
). So it is not surprising that the government there grasps at MDC fantasies and looks to get rid of unwanted refugees despite the manifest failure of the interim government to end human rights abuses and revive the comatose economy.  
 

We in the UK are also fearful of being dispatched to the mercies of this dysfunctional government and we urge South Africa to think again before sending Zimbabweans back to Mugabe. Our view is that Pretoria’s persistent failure to stand by its proclaimed democratic principles has betrayed Zimbabweans. We warn them that if they do not deal honestly with us South Africans will face the same fate as Zimbabweans.  Can they seriously think that things are going alright in Zimbabwe when the regime has resumed jamming of outside broadcasts? (see: http://www.cathybuckle.com/index.php?id=7).   

Other points
·       The BBC rebroadcast a moving documentary about the plight of children in Zimbabwe: ’Zimbabwe’s forgotten children’. Many passers-by said they didn’t realise how bad things were.
·       Our partner organisation in Zimbabwe, Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR), is involved in a new peace building initiative launched on 31st August. It is to be spearheaded by ROHR and three other civil society organizations, Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace and Victims Action Committee under the banner ‘You and I can make peace happen’. (See: http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/Latest-News-from-ROHR-in-Zimbabwe/).
·       A benefactor has made available copies of Zimbabwean human rights activist Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe ‘Through the Darkness’. See review: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/africa/article2510767.ece). See our ‘Event and Notices’ section for how to obtain a copy. All proceeds will be donated to the Budiriro Trust, which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe.
·       Thanks to Anthony Webb-Martin who gave us an archive of past issues of the Zimbabwean.  They were gratefully received by Vigil team member Patson Muzuwa. We are often asked for past copies of the newspaper.
·       Our Swazi friend Thobile Gwebu is still in detention.  We are helping to secure bail for her and hope she will be free soon.  

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: 163 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 general meeting. Saturday 11th September from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: The Salvation Army Citadel, 71 Grosvenor Road, Manchester, M13 9UB. ROHR Founder, National Chairperson and executive members present. Contact Fenny Nyatsanza 07886310005, P A Karimanzira 07538534375, Charter Madzivanyika 07747141835 or A Mungoyo on 07939913688
·       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 protest to mark the second anniversary of the signing of the Zimbabwean Global Political Agreement. Saturday 18th September from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, London.
·       ROHR Bristol demonstration. Saturday 18th September from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Watershed, 1 Canon's Road, Harbourside, Bristol BS1 5TX. ROHR President attending. Contact: Ronald Oputeri 07799893695, Bridgita Mubaiwa 07789084534, Emelia Sydney 07733816947,Cecelia Ndhlovu 07545118593, Agnes Chidhakwa 07838773268, P Mapfumo  07915926323.
·       ROHR Derby general meeting. Saturday 18th September from 2 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Augustine’s Church, Upper Dale Road, Derby DE23 8BP. ROHR National Executive present so those with questions here is your chance. Contact: Tsitsi Razawe 07773649330, Wonder Katurura 07858699224, P Chibanguza 07908406069 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070
·       ROHR Stoke-on-Trent general meeting. Saturday 18th September from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Christ Church, Tunstall High Street, Stoke-on-Trent ST6 5XG. ROHR executive members present. For info contact David R Mugwira 07833943494, Maxwell Dube 07533349840, Pauline Mtema 07850462301, Faith Pemba 07780594852, P Chibanguza 07908406069/07534626040 or P Mapfumo on 07915926323/07932216070
·       ROHR Yorkshire general meeting. Saturday 18th September from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Dock Green Inn, Ashley  Rd, Leeds LS9 7AB. Contact Chinofunga Ndoga 07877993826, Prosper Mudamvanji 07897594874, Wonder Mubaiwa 07958758568,Donna Mugoni 07748828913 or R Chifungo 07795070609
·       IOM Live Video Conference with Returnees in Zimbabwe. Wednesday 22nd September from 9.30 am to 1.30 pm. Venue: International Organisation for Migration, 21 Westminster Palace Gardens, Artillery Row, London SW1P 1RR. Attendance is free, but registration is required. To confirm your attendance or for more information about the event, please call 020 7808 1083 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Lunch will be provided.
·       ROHR Coventry general meeting. Saturday 25th September from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: 90a Paynes Lane, Coventry CV1 5JH. ROHR National Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact V.J Mujeye 07534034594, Matambanashe Sibanda 07886660392, Pauline Makuwere 07575265710, P. Mapfumo 07932216070/07915926323 or P Chibanguza 07908406069.
·       Zimbabwe Vigil’s 8th Anniversary. Saturday 9th October from 2 – 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 account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email 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 postal order or cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA.
·       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 – 28th August 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 29 August 2010 15:44

Halfway through the 30 day period given by SADC to the interim government to resolve their differences there has been no discernible movement and the Vigil doubts there will be. So we are preparing to hold a demonstration on 18th September to mark the failure of the latest SADC initiative and the second anniversary of the misconceived agreement under which the MDC submitted to Mugabe.   

Vigil members will wear black armbands to mark the occasion in what we intend to be a rebuke to the MDC leadership for their abject betrayal of their faithful supporters. Certainly, as far as the UK is concerned, MDC members have been left bewildered by the failure of Harare to resolve the problem of the dissolved UK and Ireland leadership.  Now we hear stories that Tsvangirai signed up to a crazy proposal to link the appointment of governors to the lifting of targeted sanctions.  

Vigil supporters have heard denials of this but on the other hand we have always been puzzled why the MDC agreed two years ago to sign up to the GPA which committed them to call for an end to sanctions and broadcasts by SW Radio Africa and Voice of America. Vigil supporters clearly remember a meeting in London at which we were shown the agreement with this crazy provision. Tsvangirai signed up to it so we can well believe that he will give in to other Zanu PF demands. 

Further anxiety about the prospects for democracy in Zimbabwe were prompted by an ominous interview given to Violet Gonda of SW Radio Africa by the departing Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe Sten Rylander. See: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/aug27_2010.html#Z18.   

The Vigil responded to an invitation to comment on the interview and here is what we said: “The Vigil is disappointed by Ambassador Rylander’s wimpish remarks. Despite all the evidence of unrelenting abuse of the GPA by Zanu PF, he says he is leaving on 'a note of optimism', that Zimbabwe is 'on the right track', 'space is opening up', the constitution-making process is 'going better than expected', the three parties are 'coming together' and there is 'no stalemate'. Where has Rylander been for the past few years? He is complacent about the stolen elections and blind to the realities.  Mr Rylander says elections next year would be too early. The Vigil's view is that there will always be reasons to postpone elections if Zanu PF abuses are not curbed. On this logic will there ever be elections again? He calls for 'out of the box' thinking - our guess is that this is code for caving into Mugabe. We fear that a similar delusional message has been coming from the British Ambassador.” 

It’s a pity My Rylander hasn’t had a word with MDC Senator Mishek Marave who said recently: "Since we joined the Inclusive Government, not a single day has gone by without the police harassing, intimidating and persecuting MDC officials and supporters. The same police force treat us with contempt, disrespect and scorn while showing favouritism and granting special privileges to Zanu PF and its supporters. . . They (Zanu PF) have a free pass to do as they please and are never held accountable. They are simply untouchable." 

What depressed Zimbabwe Vigil supporters is that Mr Rylander’s line is remarkably similar to one we have been getting from the British government: “things in Zimbabwe are not perfect but they are getting better, the opposition is part of the government, things are moving forward . . . In other words all you exiles should obey Mr Tsvangirai’s summons and go home and get out of our hair”. As one Vigil supporter said “Thinking outside the box means things are not working in the box”. So we can expect a favourable response to a new appeal by Mr Tsvangirai to lift targeted sanctions before they are renewed next February. But by then Mugabe will probably be in his own box and it will be a different ballgame . . .

Other points
·       Vigil Co-ordinator Dumi Tutani was on a panel at a screening of ‘Mugabe and the White African’ in London on Thursday.  Director Lucy Bailey was very pleased to have a black Zimbabwean’s views.  Dumi stressed that the problems in Zimbabwe were not caused by the white farmers and the land issue but by a corrupt government determined to stay in power at all costs. He received a round of applause at the end of the event.
·       We are grateful to an unidentified passer-by who gave use £20 to support our work.  He does this regularly and doesn’t wait for thanks.
·       Despite our apprehension about possible change in the British government’s policy on returning failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe, several Vigil supporters have recently been successful in their applications to remain in the UK.
·       We were glad to be joined today by two long-term members of the Vigil, Gugu Tutani and Agnes Zengeya, both of whom have babies due in October.  We are opening a book on who’s first. 

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’s Forgotten Children. This documentary will be shown again on BBC 2 on Tuesday 31st August at 9 pm. 
·       ROHR Liverpool Vigil. Saturday 4th September 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. 
·       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.
·       ROHR Woking general meeting. Saturday 4th September from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Ravens Wood Court, Hillview Road, Woking GU22 7NR. Contact: Isaac Mudzamiri 07774044873, Sithokozile Hlokana 07886203113 or P Mapfumo on 07915926323 / 07932216070.
·       ROHR Manchester general meeting. Saturday 11th September from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: The Salvation Army Citadel, 71 Grosvenor Road, Manchester, M13 9UB. ROHR Founder, National Chairperson and executive members present. Contact Fenny Nyatsanza 07886310005, P A Karimanzira 07538534375, Charter Madzivanyika 07747141835 or A Mungoyo on 07939913688
·       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.
·       IOM Live Video Conference with Returnees in Zimbabwe. Wednesday 22nd September from 9.30 am to 1.30 pm. Venue: International Organisation for Migration, 21 Westminster Palace Gardens, Artillery Row, London SW1P 1RR. Attendance is free, but registration is required. To confirm your attendance or for more information about the event, please call 020 7808 1083 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Lunch will be provided.
·       Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts
·       Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil
·       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 – 21st August 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 22 August 2010 16:29

News that the British government had sent officials to Zimbabwe to assess conditions there for the return of  failed asylum seekers was the talk of the Vigil. Fears were expressed that the team from the Foreign Office and UK Border Agency would not get a true picture of the situation: the continuing political violence despite the so-called unity government, the partisan application of the rule of law and renewed hate speech.  Would the officials even venture into the wretched rural areas?  

Patson Muzuwa of the Zimbabwe Association, which helps asylum seekers, was at the Vigil as usual: he criticised the British government for not sending an independent team to Zimbabwe. It turned out that another person at the Vigil had worked for the Zimbabwe prison service and had seen MDC people arrested for no reason, tortured and jailed. She confirmed  that, in the last elections, prison workers had been forced to vote for Zanu PF.   

The Vigil understands the problems facing the British government over the 20,000 or so failed asylum seekers from Zimbabwe.  We know these include economic migrants and even Zanu PF supporters (some of them relatives of party chefs!). We have no brief for these people. But if the UK ends the moratorium on sending home failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers we urge it to make absolutely sure that no opposition activists are included. The Vigil has evidence that they are still in real danger.   

To declare our own interest: the Vigil is not an asylum organisation but writes letters about the activism of supporters to help them in their asylum claims. We are sometimes astonished at how asylum tribunal judges can misdirect themselves on questions that could be established without doubt. For instance some judges have assumed that the Vigil is part of the MDC, others that photos on our website can be put on by anyone and the site is therefore open to abuse. One judge even questioned whether the Zimbabwean newspaper circulated in Zimbabwe! (This is of significance because the Zimbabwean newspaper reports our activities.) Asylum judges have also insisted that our supporters should have membership cards for the Vigil. We have never issued these – we keep a register and log attendance on our attendance database. Another judge said erroneously there are many other demos like ours with photographs of supporters on the web.  This is not the case. Anyone who takes the trouble to scan the web on this matter will see that photographs of the Vigil appear on many other websites but they are clearly photos of the Vigil.  There is no other regular Zimbabwean demonstration anywhere in the world apart from the Vigil.     

These elementary shortcomings underline our reservations about the asylum process – reinforced when we see action taken against our supporter Thobile Gwebu, a Swazi lady who launched a Vigil outside the Swazi High Commission in London but was recently detained for deportation (see our last diary). She is a clear-cut case of someone who would be at risk if sent home and we are glad to say that her deportation was halted although she is still in detention.  

Following the SADC meeting in Namibia, the Vigil ventures to make the following offer to the British government: if SADC’s demand is met that the Global Political Agreement in Zimbabwe is implemented in one month we will end our Vigils and eat our banners (and all go home…). We are sure that this will not happen as Mugabe rubbished the SADC meeting as soon as he got back to Harare. See: ‘Mugabe refuses compromise until western sanctions lifted’ http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/aug21_2010.html#Z1. We never cease to be astonished how MDC leaders delude themselves, see: http://www.theindependent.co.zw/comment/27699-comment-sadc-summit-churns-out-more-deception.html.

Another point – Sympathy on the demise of the SADC legal tribunal, which has been suspended because it ruled in favour of dispossessed farmers (hang the messenger!).  See Events section for another showing of Mugabe and the White African.   

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:  170 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.
·       ‘Mugabe and the White African’ screening. Thursday 26th August at 7.30 pm.  Venue: the Rich Mix Cinema, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.  Q&A session with Director Lucy Bailey.  The organizers are keen Zimbabweans should attend. For tickets: 020 7613 7490, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
·       ROHR Liverpool Vigil. Saturday 4th September 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. 
·       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.
·       ROHR Manchester general meeting. Saturday 11th September from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: The Salvation Army Citadel, 71 Grosvenor Road, Manchester, M13 9UB. ROHR Founder, National Chairperson and executive members present. Contact Fenny Nyatsanza 07886310005, P A Karimanzira 07538534375, Charter Madzivanyika 07747141835 or A Mungoyo on 07939913688
·       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 – 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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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.