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Spaced out – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 16th November 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 17 November 2019 14:51

There was a lot of space in Parliament when Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube delivered his budget. This was partly because the opposition was boycotting the occasion but mainly because of the surprise announcement that he was to send a satellite into orbit.

‘The budget has set aside resources for research and development programmes, including the launch of a space satellite. I repeat, including the launch of a space satellite,’ Ncube announced.

Then we began to suspect an empty space between the ears of the wizard economist who has returned Zimbabwe to hyperinflation, poverty and starvation but wants to play with rockets.

Some at the Vigil remembered when a Zambian would-be astronaut only got as far as the upper branches of a nearby tree. Zimbabweans sniggered then. We are not sniggering now.

This space breakthrough promises to be as important as the discovery of diesel flowing from the rocks in Chinoyi which took in a gaggle of credulous Mugabe ministers. Perhaps we have been wasting our time on industry and agriculture and stuff like that and have now found our destiny: a small step for mankind but a giant leap for Zimbabwe.

Why should we spend all day queueing for a few of the new Zimbabwean dollar notes when they can hardly buy anything – and when the new currency can easily be obtained from black market dealers who mysteriously have loads of it.

When he came down to earth, spaceman Ncube had some useful advice for the ordinary starving Zimbabwean, quoting Nobel-winning economist Amartya Sen: ‘Human development is about expansions of citizens’ capabilities to fend for themselves.

In other words, look after yourself. The government doesn’t have space for you.

Other points

  • Thanks for further contributions to the purchase of a gazebo to shelter the Vigil from rain from: Miriam Gasho, Simbarashe Jingo, Josephine Jombe, Jane Kaphuwa, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Benjamin Molife, Lucia Mudzimu, Fungisai Mupandira and Beverly Mupandiro.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up the front table and put up the banners: Delice Gavazah, Rosemary Maponga, Washington Mugari, Esther Munyira, Tapiwa Muskwe and Kevin Wheeldon. Thanks to Rosemary and Delice for looking after the front table, to Patience Chmba and Tendai Chigariro for handing out flyers, Mary Muteyerwa, Margaret Munenge and Delice for drumming and to Jonathan Kariwo for photos.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.                                                                 

FOR THE RECORD: 19 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Reading Christmas Party Fundraiser. Saturday 30th November from 6.30 – 11 pm. Venue: The Spice Oven Buffet Restaurant, 2 – 4 Church Street, Reading RG4 8AT. Theme: to restore dignity to the suffering people of Zimbabwe. Tickets: £20 per adult, free entry for children under 5 years. For more information, contact: Deborah Harry 07578894896, Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Josephine Jombe 07455166668.
  • ROHR fundraising dinner dance in aid of women living with HIV/AIDS in rural Zimbabwe. Saturday 7th December from 7 pm till late. Venue: Lee Chapel South Community Centre, The Knares, Basildon SS16 5SA. Formal dress code. Tickets £30. Contact organisers: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Simbarashi Jingo 07722998848, Rangarirai Chivaviro 07378429599 and Patience Chimba 07896496379.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization 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. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Facebook pages:
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
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Sinking ship – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 9th November 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 10 November 2019 18:01

With almost half the population now registered for food aid, the government is taking decisive action to deal with the threat – not by providing food for the people but by fattening up the army and police.

As the ship of state, Zanu PF Zimbabwe, slips like the Titanic beneath the waves, the call goes out at the lifeboats: soldiers and police first!

While doctors get fired for striking for more money for the health service, and teachers protest they don’t earn enough to go to work, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube announces that the security services are to get the lion’s share of the new budget.

The Zimbabwe Independent reveals the reason in their story ‘Hungry soldiers spark government fears’. The essence is that the economic situation has become so bad that the Mnangagwa regime is in danger of rebellion by its dissatisfied foot soldiers.

The problem is that the president seems to have no idea what to do beyond hiring a plane to fly him to his next destination, Zimbabwe Airways having apparently been sacrificed to pay for the renovation of a house belonging to a relative of government minister Joram Gumbo.

Foreign diplomats in Zimbabwe are said to be increasingly disturbed by Zimbabwe’s lack of direction. A senior British Foreign Office official Harriet Matthews, accompanied by the British Ambassador and a senior official from Britain’s Department for International Development, had a meeting with Mnangagwa this week. Mrs Matthews said afterwards they had frank discussions. ‘The first thing I think is a call for a step up in reforms, in particular human rights and on corruption’.

This week also saw the dismissal by the constitutional court of a petition by the MDC leader Nelson Chamisa contesting the legitimacy of the last elections. MDC Treasurer-General David Coltart, himself a lawyer, said ‘It is hard to believe that trained, experienced, judicial officers could have written this judgment.’

For his part, Chamisa said Zimbabwe was now in a de facto state of emergency. It was in reality a police state and Mnangagwa’s days were numbered. He was speaking after police blocked civil servants from marching to government offices with a petition demanding better salaries, although the protest had earlier been approved. 

Other points

  • Thanks to all those who came on a very wet day to set up and pack up the Vigil: Norah Bomani, Cynthia Chibanda, Benjamin Chigamba, Patience Chimba, Rangarirai Chivariro, Miriam Gasho, Beaulah Gore, Simbarashe Jingo, Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa, Rufaro Makaya, Dambudzo Marimira, Patricia Masamba, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Benjamin Molife, Bianca Mpawaenda, Lucia Mudzimu, Washington Mugari, Esther Munyira, Fungisai Mupandira, Beverley Mutandiro, Mary Muteyerwa, Hazvinei Saili, Ephraim Tapa and Kevin Wheeldon.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 28 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Reading Christmas Party Fundraiser. Saturday 30th November from 6.30 – 11 pm. Venue: The Spice Oven Buffet Restaurant, 2 – 4 Church Street, Reading RG4 8AT. Theme: to restore dignity to the suffering people of Zimbabwe. Tickets: £20 per adult, free entry for children under 5 years. For more information, contact: Deborah Harry 07578894896, Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Josephine Jombe 07455166668.
  • ROHR fundraising dinner dance in aid of women living with HIV/AIDS in rural Zimbabwe. Saturday 7th December from 7 pm till late. Venue: Lee Chapel South Community Centre, The Knares, Basildon SS16 5SA. Formal dress code. Tickets £30. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Hazvinei Saili 07857602830, Margaret Munenge 07384300283, Pamela Chirimuta 07762737339.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization 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. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Facebook pages:
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
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Mnangagwa alienates China – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 2nd November 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 03 November 2019 16:44

As President Mnangagwa goes through his pantomime head of state role, flying off all over the place in expensively-hired planes, Zimbabwe slips into mass starvation and hopelessness impelled by incompetence and corruption.

While he plays with his scarf, the government is desperately trying to repair relations with China after officials seized US$10 million from an escrow account containing funds for the expansion of the Robert Mugabe international airport in Harare.

An escrow account is where funds are held in trust while a transaction is completed. In this case the Zimbabwean officials replaced US dollars with the rapidly depreciating local currency. 

China lost patience with their deceit and froze three infrastructure projects it is financing to the tune of US$1.3 billion. The projects are the US$1.1 billion expansion of the Hwange coal-fired power station, the US$153 million extension of the airport and the US$71 million expansion of NetOne Telecoms.

Apparently the Shanghai Construction Group is also complaining that it is unable to access hard currency for the new parliament at Mount Hampden which is being financed by a $100 million free Chinese grant. 

Zimbabwean economist John Robertson said: ‘This deception from government is very serious. We don’t deserve economic support when government acts like this.’ (See: https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2019/11/01/raiding-of-funds-erodes-confidence-in-zim-govt/.)

Despite the economic challenges facing the government it has still managed to find $5 million for allowances and accommodation for MPs at the Victoria Falls for a pre-budget seminar. They will no doubt discuss the government’s austerity measures…..

Other points

  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners on a wet day: Cynthia Chibanda. Evelyn Chigaro. Chido Makawa, Dambudzo Marimira. Esther Munyira, Hazvinei Saili, Sikhumbuzule Sibanda and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Hazvinei for looking after the front table, to Patience Chimba for handing out flyers, to Chido, Cynthia and Margaret Munenge for drumming and to Chido for photos.
  • Thanks to those who made further contributions for the gazebo: Evelyn Chigaro, Tendai Chigariro, Chido Makawa, Margaret Munenge and Sikhumbuzule Sibanda.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 18 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 9th November from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058109.
  • ROHR fundraising dinner dance. Saturday 7th December from 6 pm till late. Venue tba. ROHR is hosting a dinner dance to raise funds for a Zimbabwe peace building initiative. Tickets £25. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Hazvinei Saili 07857602830, Margaret Munenge 07384300283, Pamela Chirimuta 07762737339.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization 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. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Facebook pages:
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
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Sanctions lunacy – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 26th October 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 28 October 2019 12:04

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/48964124801/sizes/m/

The anti-sanctions public holiday on Friday was a new dimension in Zimbabwean lunacy, buoyed by mistaken African solidarity. They accept Zanu PF propaganda without looking into what these sanctions are or why they were imposed.

They won’t even notice the poor attendance at the anti-sanctions rallies in Harare and Bulawayo – where the main interest of those attending was the chicken, chips and Pepsi on offer. Fortunately, the economic effect of a day off work will be minimal in a country of mass unemployment.

It is dereliction of care that SADC doesn’t pay attention to the catastrophe in Zimbabwe. Are they not troubled by this ‘invitation’ to the anti-sanctions rally sent to ‘all Heads of ministries and departments in Bulawayo’? ‘Your members of staff are invited without fail to be part of this very important march. May you kindly favour this office with a list of your members of staff for ease of accountability.’ A copy of the letter can be seen on this link: https://www.vantunews.com/news/politics-anti-sanctions-march-bulawayo-civil-servants-invited-without-fail-by-government-a-register-to-be-used-to-mark-those-present).

To the Vigil this sounds like fascist North Korea – unsurprising since the Matabeleland genocide in the 1980s was committed by the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade of Mnangagwa.

An article in Newsday by the US Ambassador Brian Nichols pulls no punches: ‘Blaming sanctions is a convenient scapegoat to distract the public from the real reasons behind Zimbabwe’s economic challenges —corruption, economic mismanagement, and failure to respect human rights and uphold the rule of law.’ See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2019/10/its-not-sanctions-its-corruption-lack-of-reforms-2/

The US followed it up with another punch, banning state security minister Owen Ncube from entering the US because of his involvement in gross violations of human rights. ‘We are deeply troubled by the Zimbabwean government's use of state-sanctioned violence against peaceful protestors, and civil society, as well as against labour leaders and members of the opposition leaders in Zimbabwe,’ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. ‘We urge the government to stop the violence, investigate and hold accountable officials responsible for human rights violations and abuses in Zimbabwe,’ he said. 

The Vigil today marked one such abuse with this letter to the Zimbabwean Embassy signed by all present: ‘Your countrymen outside the Embassy are protesting today at the brutal murder of Harare street vendor Hilton Tafadzwa Tamangani by the police. Tamangani was arrested along with ten other vendors and taken to Harare police station, where they were beaten with baton sticks. 29-year-old Tamangani, who has a seven-year-old son, was left in agony from his injuries and died without sedatives during the night. The Zimbabwe Vigil calls for an inquiry into his death and the prosecution of the offenders .Scandals like this have become all too common, with the police acting illegally, with impunity.’ Thanks to Rosemary Maponga, Mary Muteyerwa and Patience Chimba for leading on this protest and bringing  posters.

Other points

  • A Pastor in the Bulawayo area who is supported by some Vigil activists reports: ‘Wherever we go people no longer say the usual ‘How are you/I am fine.’ They go directly into talking about their problems. They say: I haven’t eaten for two days, no food at all, even today. We made a mistake by voting for the present government because we thought that by removing the late president things would get better, but they are worse. The prices have gone up so much we can’t afford to buy; the children will die.  They can’t even go to school; We can’t afford to go to hospital when we are sick because the bus fares are too high. Now our money can’t buy anything.  After all this the President doesn’t say anything, nothing encouraging, no plan. At least President Mugabe would say something. We don’t know what’s going to happen to the whole nation.  There’s hunger everywhere. If you need anything like a birth-certificate you have to pay somebody for it.  If you don’t pay you don’t get it. We are praying and praying and praying and we thank God that we are still alive. He has heard our prayers. (See: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1044-report-from-the-bulawayo-pastor-october-2019).
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners on a wet day: Cynthia Chibanda, Benjamin Chigamba, Marvellous Chinguwa, Leslie Gakanje, Delice Gavazah, Rosemary Maponga, Esther  Munyira, Mary Muteyerwa, Hazvinei Saili, Rudo Takiya, Ephraim Tapa and Kevin Wheeldon. Thanks to Rosemary and Hazvinei for looking after the front table, to Hazvinei, Marvellous and Esther for handing out flyers, to Mary and Delice for drumming, to Delice for prayer and to Hazvinei and Jonathan Kariwo for photos.
  • We’ve had many wet Vigils lately so a collection was made to buy a gazebo. Thanks to those who contributed: Happy Chazuza, Benjamin Chigamba, Patience Chimba, Marvellous Chinguwa, Rangarirai Chivariro, Delice Gavazah, Yvonne Jacobs, Philip Maponga, Rodwell Mpawose, Washington Mugari, Esther Munyira, Hazvinei Saili, Ephraim Tapa and Kevin Wheeldon.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD:  22 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 9th November from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Esther Munyira 07492058109.
  • ROHR fundraising dinner dance. Saturday 7th December from 6 pm till late. Venue tba. ROHR is hosting a dinner dance to raise funds for a Zimbabwe peace building initiative. Tickets £25. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Hazvinei Saili 07857602830, Margaret Munenge 07384300283, Pamela Chirimuta 07762737339.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization 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. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Facebook pages:
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Report from the Bulawayo Pastor – October 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 27 October 2019 15:24

I greet you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ

Wherever we go people no longer say the usual ‘How are you / I am fine.’ They go directly into talking about their problems. They say:
  • I haven’t eaten for two days, no food at all, even today.
  • We made a mistake by voting for the present government because we thought that by removing the late president things would get better, but they are worse.
  • The prices have gone up so much we can’t afford to buy; the children will die.  They can’t even go to school.
  • We can’t afford to go to hospital when we are sick because the bus fares are too high.
  • Now our money can’t buy anything.  After all this the President doesn’t say anything, nothing encouraging, no plan. At least President Mugabe would say something.
  • We don’t know what’s going to happen to the whole nation.  There’s hunger everywhere.
  • If you need anything like a birth-certificate you have to pay somebody for it.  If you don’t pay you don’t get it.
  • We are praying and praying and praying and we thank God that we are still alive. He has heard our prayers.
God has been answering many prayers:
  • Mrs Banda coming from hospital looked in her bag for her bus fare but it was gone. The tout shouted at her and threatened kick her off.  One woman from behind said, ‘Don’t cry, I will pay for you.’ Mrs Banda told her story at church on Sunday.
  • Three weeks ago I had a burden to visit a family to pray with them.  I was wondering what to bring them.  The only thing in my storeroom was a bag of maize and it was full of weevils—you couldn’t eat it—but I decided to take it anyway. When I got there they asked for food.  I did not want to give it to them but I did not have anything else.  When they opened it the maize was okay to eat and they were very happy.
  • In 2018 before the elections, a number of our pastors and their church members were drawn away with promises by Obert Mpofu to support a ZANU (PF) church.  Since the middle of this year many people have returned and last week three pastors returned.  They were interviewed by our board and they said there was nothing spiritual at the other church, there was just talk of what car you might get.  They admitted they were lost.
With this desperate situation people are going along the railway tracks to collect grain fallen from railway trucks.  The local currency has become worthless and people cannot buy from the shops anymore. We don’t know what is going to happen.

We are grateful to our donors who keep us going.  This month with funds from Zimbabwe Victims’ Support Fund we will get 19 tonnes of maize: 2t for feeding from Hillside Methodist Church; 4 tonnes for schools in Lupane and the rest for church members from Binga to Beitbridge.  The problem we are facing now is transport costs.  We can’t afford to pay for the food to be sent out.
 
Zimbabwe Partnership Trust and Whitestone Chapel also provide e’Pap for babies and young school children.  This has helped to keep these children healthy and alert.  Because of these feeding programmes we are able to hire the school hall for a reduced fee for church services.

Not many people were able to come to our conferences this year, due to transport costs, so we are going to send pastors out to Binga, Beitbridge, Masvingo, Plumtree, Gwanda and the Midlands instead. We managed to have a Women’s conference and studied the book of Ester, working from an excellent book provided by Pastor Kevin Thompson.

This year we have only planted one church two weeks ago at Nyathi.  There was a very good turnout and about 150 found the Lord and many sick were healed. At Killarney the school building is still dismantled and they are meeting under the trees. 
 
People are still being helped with money for school fees and rent from the ZVSF emergency fund.  Thanks to all donors big and small for your obedience and your compassion for this desperate community. Please pray for good gentle rains this season, seed to plant and leaders who have a heart for the people. 

Yours in Christ
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