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ROHR Zimbabwe explores democratic space PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 14 July 2008 20:17
ROHR Zimbabwe explores democratic space

Our partner organisation in Zimbabwe , Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR), is launching an ongoing arts festival in an effort to counter political violence. It is working with Zimbabwe Poets for Human Rights (ZPHR) and their first event will be held in Kadoma on Saturday, 19 th July.

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

•  To promote active participation of citizens in the healing process of the nation through promoting tolerance and urging citizens to work as one.

•  To encourage the youth to desist from any kind of sponsored violence.

•  To nurture a culture of peace and one love in the post run off election period.

•  To advocate for the respect, recognition and restoration of human rights as the basis of achieving one love, one people and one nation.

For further details check the ROHR page on the Zimvigil website.

 
Archbishop of York says ‘Restore Zimbabwe ' PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 11 July 2008 20:21

Archbishop of York says ‘Restore Zimbabwe ' – Friday 11 th July 2008

Vigil members took a leading role today in a service at Parliament's own parish church, St Margaret's, next to Westminster Abbey, addressed by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu. The occasion was a service of prayer for the people of Zimbabwe called ‘Restore Zimbabwe'. Chipo Chaya and Luka Phiri of the Vigil management team read a lesson in Shona and Ndebele respectively: “If you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God's approval. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.” (1 Peter 2: 19-24). Chipo also conducted the Zimbabwean choir and Vigil Co-ordinator Dumi Tutani led dancing below the altar. Vigil members gave testimony as ‘Voices of Zimbabwe': Walter Semwayo, Arnold Kuwewa, Geraldine Takundwa, Choice Matambanadzo, Jeff Sango and others.

The Archbishop said he hoped the international community would wake up to what was happening in Zimbabwe and he assured the congregation “No tyrant lives forever”. Dr Sentamu threw his support behind the campaign ‘Strangers into Citizens' and said that Zimbabweans in the UK should be allowed to work even if they are not given refugee status because the government accepted they could not be sent home under present conditions. He insisted it was not the thin edge of the wedge but “the right thing for the right people at the right time”.

The church was full to capacity for the service and the congregation afterwards gathered in Parliament Square where they heard Kate Hoey, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Committee on Zimbabwe, say she hoped they would soon be back in St. Margaret's to celebrate change in Zimbabwe. About a thousand Zimbabweans and supporters then formed a procession to deliver a petition to the British Government calling for the right to work.

 
Mourning the Death of Democracy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 27 June 2008 19:47

Zimbabweans in the UK marked Election Run-off day with anger and anguish. Some 150 people gathered outside the Zimbabwe Embassy to protest against the death of democracy in Zimbabwe . The centrepiece of the demonstration was a black-draped coffin which was presented to the nearby South African High Commission, containing a petition calling on President Mbeki to stop supporting former President Mugabe. The South Africans would not allow our nominated person to present the petition because he was wearing our Mugabe mask so it was presented instead by his dear wife Grace dressed from top-to-toe in Harrods. The crowd outside the High Commission shouted “Mbeki must go, Mbeki out, out, out” with the encouragement of the well-known South African documentary maker Paul Yule.

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We had a wonderful encounter with Nelson Mandela today PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 26 June 2008 20:29
We had a wonderful encounter with Nelson Mandela today. Vigil management team member Fungayi Mabhunu joined human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell at Mr Mandela's hotel in London . They were there to alert people who might have pitched up for the planned picket cancelled because of Mr Mandela's welcome comments on the Zimbabwe situation on Wednesday night. Fungayi, speaking in hastily-learned Xhosa, said how pleased he was that Mr Mandela had spoken out about Zimbabwe and asked him to continue speaking out. A surprised Mr Mandela said OK.

The Vigil had planned to picket the concert for Mr Mandela's 90 th birthday in Hyde Park on Friday but in view of his support any message that we will give will be one of gratitude that he has spoken out.

The Vigil choir sang at the annual service in support of Zimbabwean victims of torture at St Paul 's Church, Covent Garden , organised by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum. It was very moving to hear the accounts of the suffering of people at home. Flowers were laid at the Embassy after the Service.

We look forward to seeing you all on Friday for the mother of all non-elections. We will be joined by members of the MDC UK and expect a large turnout. The highlight of the day will be our protest from 1 – 2 pm outside the South African High Commission. Mugabe and Grace (or people looking like them) will be accompanying a coffin with our petition asking President Mbeki to stop supporting Mugabe. The South African High Commission have agreed to accept the petition which reads: “A petition to President Mbeki of South Africa . Exiled Zimbabweans and supporters urge you to stop supporting Mugabe and allow a peaceful transfer of power from the military regime to the Zimbabwean people. Our blood is at your door.”

Our friends in Belfast also have an event tomorrow. The Bristol Vigil will hold an anti-election demo tomorrow to express their disgust.

 
MANDELA SPEAK OUT PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 20:31
MANDELA SPEAK OUT

Several Vigil supporters were among about a dozen demonstrators who gathered at Hyde Park on Wednesday evening as Nelson Mandela arrived for a dinner with leaders including Gordon Brown and former President Bill Clinton. They held up a banner saying "Mandela ignores Mugabe's terror. Shame", "Mandela speak out. Support a free Zimbabwe ". They were pleased when Mr Mandela waved at them.

The protest was organised by the human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell who is organising another demonstration tomorrow (Thursday) outside the London hotel in which Mandela is staying.

Message below from Peter about tomorrow's protest.

Mandela protest on Thursday 26 June at 10am

URGENT ACTION

Call on Nelson Mandela to speak out against Mugabe's terror in Zimbabwe . If he spoke out it would have a huge impact in Zimbabwe and on African leaders. Nelson Mandela is in London all this week. He is staying at the Dorchester Hotel.

Protest:

10am Thursday morning 26 June The Dorchester Hotel, 53 Park Lane , London W1. We will meet on the pavement outside the hotel at 10am sharp.

The Dorchester Hotel is in Park Lane between South Street and Deanery Street, just north of the Hilton Hotel (nearest tube: Hyde Park Corner). See this map: http:// www .google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=Dorchester+Hotel+London&btnG=Search&meta=

Some placards will be organised by me, but people can also make and bring their own placards on the theme of: "Mandela, Speak out" and "Mandela – Help save Zimbabwe " Note: Placard slogans should be written in large, thick dark coloured letters on a light or white background (these photograph best).

THERE ARE RUMOURS MANDELA MAY SPEAK OUT TONIGHT - IF HE DOES TOMORROW'S PROTEST WILL BE CANCELLED.

 
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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.