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ROHR demo outside election offices in Harare – 22nd July 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 23 July 2013 14:44

Today (Monday) between 1330hrs and 1430hrs a group of about 100 human right activists under the banner of the Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe staged a peaceful demonstration outside the ZEC offices at the corner of Kaguvi Street and Jason Moyo Avenue in Harare.

 

Their bone of contention is that ZEC has no capacity to run a credible plebiscite come 31st July. They further argue that even if ZEC were capacitated to run a smooth harmonised election, the body has disenfranchised millions of bona-fide Zimbabwean citizens because of the flawed ZEC voter registration process which had many bottlenecks designed to scuttle the urban vote.

 

ZEC released figures a few weeks ago that Greater Harare had registered 27,000 and Bulawayo Province 13,100 voters during the one month long mobile voter registration exercise. During the same period, ZEC says Mashonaland East Province accounted for 70,000 voters whilst Manicaland had 60,000.  

 

This has irked unregistered urbanites who are suggesting that ZEC re-opens mobile voter registration and allow people to register until a day before polling. They are also arguing that ZEC should allow all Zimbabwean citizens to cast their ballot without having registered and that a supplementary voters’ roll should be compiled comprising the unregistered voters. 

 

ROHR spokesperson Mr Kimberley Nyatsanga said they will continue to pile pressure on ZEC to do the right thing. This is the third time since the close of voter registration that ROHR has staged a demonstration against ZEC. Nyatsanga says they will continue to hold demonstrations picketing ZEC and the Registrar General's offices.

 

ROHR President Ephraim Tapa declared that the election had already failed to meet the free and fair threshold with millions in the diaspora and at home having been denied their right to vote. He called on ZEC to avoid pushing the country into a serious security risk by owning up to the Zimbabwe people and the world that they had no capacity to deliver a free and fair election let alone a credible outcome.

 
Zimbabwean activist killed PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 14 July 2013 18:30

Press Release from the Zimbabwe Vigil – 14th July 2013

 

With elections due in Zimbabwe in a few weeks, a human rights activist has been killed a day before a planned protest by the organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) against election rigging.

 

The activist, Elliot Dhliwayo, was in a car with a senior ROHR official travelling near Chivhu on the Harare-Masvingo road when two vehicles took turns to sideswipe their car and did not stop when it crashed. Both victims and witnesses believed this was an assassination attempt.         

 

Mr Dhliwayo died of his injuries. He was 38 and leaves a wife and three children.  His companion is recovering in hospital.

 

The incident took place on 3rd July. The protest was postponed and took place on Friday 12th July. More than a hundred ROHR activists delivered petitions to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the Home Affairs Ministry demanding free and fair elections (for full report see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/504-rohr-zimbabwe-demonstrates-in-harare-for-the-right-to-vote).

 

The ROHR President, Ephraim Tapa, described the death of Mr Dhliwayo as an assassination and said that the Mugabe regime would stop at nothing to suppress opposition and win the elections on 31st July. He added that being a human rights defender was currently the most dangerous job in Zimbabwe.

 

ROHR was started by the Zimbabwe Vigil, which has been protesting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London every Saturday for the past eleven years against human rights abuses and in support of free and fair elections.

 

For further information, contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940 793 090 or Dennis Benton 07932 193 467.

 
15th Free Zimbabwe Global Protest - stop police harassment of civil society and opposition members PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 21 March 2013 20:57

Please come and join us on Saturday 23rd March 2013 for the 15th round of the Free Zimbabwe Global Campaign. The campaign has seen monthly protests by the Zimbabwean diaspora round the world since the beginning of last year.

 

We will be delivering a letter to the Tanzania High Commission to pass on to President Kikwete, Chairperson of the SADC Security Troika.

 

The letter condemns illegal police harassment of civil society and opposition members and calls on SADC to insist that Zimbabwean police act within the law and respect the spirit of the Global Political Agreement.

 

Copies of the letter will also be delivered to the South African High Commission and the Zimbabwe Embassy.

 

Timetable for the day

2 pm – set up Vigil

2.45 – 3 pm – move to Tanzania High Commission, 3 Stratford Place, London W1C 1AS.

3.30 pm – deliver letter to Tanzania HC

4.30 pm – deliver letter to South African High Commission, Trafalgar Square

5 pm – back to Vigil to deliver letter to the Zimbabwe Embassy

 

Travel

Bus route 6 from Charing Cross to Bond Street (approx 30 minutes) – Bond Street is 2 minutes from Tanzanian HC

Bakerloo underground from Charing Cross to Oxford Circus (15 minutes) then a 10 minute walk

Buses from Trafalgar Square to Oxford Circus – 12, 3, 88.

 

We recommend that those already travelling in London get a day pass for tube and bus.

 
UK Zimbabweans appeal to Cameron PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 16 March 2013 22:33

Media Notice from the Zimbabwe Vigil – 14th March 2013

 

Zimbabweans in the UK are to present a petition to 10 Downing Street on Saturday 16th March appealing to the UK government not to send home failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers because of election violence.

 

A letter to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, says there has been a disturbing campaign of police harassment of civil society organisations ahead of elections in Zimbabwe expected in July, accompanied by increasing violence. The letter says ‘We expect the situation to worsen as polling approaches because President Mugabe’s Zanu PF thugs are given impunity by the police to terrorise opponents’.

 

The petition has been organised by Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR), the sister organisation of the Zimbabwe Vigil, which has been demonstrating outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London every Saturday for the past eleven years in support of free and fair elections.

 

The petition is being presented on the same day as a referendum in Zimbabwe to decide whether to adopt a new constitution. The three parliamentary parties are campaigning for a yes vote but the proposed constitution has been rejected by many civil society organisations.

 

ROHR spokesperson Fungayi Mabhunu said: ‘The referendum is a charade. President Mugabe has once again outwitted the Movement for Democratic Change. Four years and more than $100 million have been wasted on this defective constitution when what is really needed is action to ensure free and fair elections’.

 

The Vigil is being joined by Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA), formerly the Anti-Apartheid Movement, to mark referendum day. Passers-by will be invited to write messages of hope for peaceful elections on red paper roses to be used to form a montage.

 

Timetable for the day

·         2 pm: meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London WC2R 0JR for the regular Vigil. Nearest station: Charing Cross.

·         3.45: leave the Vigil for 10 Downing Street.

·         4.30: Presentation of petition to 10 Downing Street.

·         6.15: Zimbabwe Action Forum. Mark Beacon, Campaigns Manager of ACTSA, will discuss how the Vigil and ACTSA can work more closely together to deliver freedom in Zimbabwe Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. Nearest station: Temple (District and Circle lines). For more detailed directions, check Events and Notices on our website: www.zimvigil.co.uk.

 

Text of letter to David Cameron

 

Dear Mr Cameron

 

We respectfully submit the following petition on behalf of Zimbabwean failed asylum seekers: 

 

Petition to the UK Border Agency: We, the undersigned members of the Zimbabwe Community in the United Kingdom, friends of Zimbabwe and human rights defenders, are deeply disturbed by allegations that deportees to Zimbabwe are being threatened with sedation to facilitate their forced removal from the UK. We are also concerned by the practice of detaining asylum seekers when they sign-in. We believe this approach discourages compliance and instead drives the frightened asylum seeker under the radar and possibly into crime. We also raise concern that asylum claims made in detention are being fast tracked to expedite the deportation decision without full recourse to the law.  We call upon the UK immigration authorities to respect international human rights statutes in their treatment of asylum seekers throughout the asylum process. We beg the UK government to seriously consider deferring deportations to Zimbabwe to at least 6 months after the planned 2013 elections which we believe will be, like those before them, violent.

 

We wish to draw your attention to a disturbing campaign of police harassment of civil society organisations in Zimbabwe ahead of the elections expected in July. This has been accompanied by increasing violence.  The MDC party of Morgan Tsvangirai has submitted a dossier to the Southern African Development Community detailing 120 incidents of violence in the past few months. We expect the situation to worsen as polling approaches because President Mugabe’s Zanu PF thugs are given impunity by the police to terrorise opponents.

 

We Zimbabweans in exile and supporters ask you to pass this petition on to the UK Border Agency so that they can be reminded to respect human rights in their treatment of asylum seekers. In particular, we suggest a moratorium on sending Zimbabweans home until the violence ceases.

 

The petition has been organised by Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe, a sister organisation of the Zimbabwe Vigil, which has been demonstrating outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London every Saturday for the past eleven years in support of free and fair elections.

 

Contacts

Fungayi Mabhunu                   07746 552 597

Rose Benton                           07970 996 003

 
Hague letter PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 05 February 2013 20:12

 Hague: New government to continue policy on Zimbabwe

Media Release from the Zimbabwe Vigil – 14th June 2010 

The new British government has made clear there will no change of policy on Zimbabwe despite suggestions from President Mugabe that he would find it easier to deal with the Conservative party than the former Labour administration. 

In his first statement on the intractable Zimbabwe situation, the new British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, said it was clear that the inclusive government formed last year after the violent elections of 2008 was not a long-term solution. 

‘This government will focus on supporting a process that gives Zimbabweans a chance to state their democratic preferences, and that leads to a stable government genuinely representing the people’s will,’ he said. ‘It is vital that elections, when held, must be conducted in a manner that allows Zimbabweans to express their opinions in an informed and free way and without fear of violence or intimidation. We will be working with the international and regional community to ensure that this can happen.’ 

Mr Hague added that the UK is currently providing its largest ever assistance package to Zimbabwe - £60 million in humanitarian assistance focused on the poorest and most vulnerable people.  The Foreign Secretary was responding to a letter from the Zimbabwe Vigil, which has been demonstrating outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London for the past 8 years in support of free and fair elections. 

Full text of Mr Hague’s letter follows.  (For text of Vigil letter see Zimbabwe Vigil diary 29th May 2010: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/ZimVigil-Diary-Entries/zimbabwe-vigil-diary-29th-may-2010.html.)  

8th June 2010 

Thank you for your kind wishes on my appointment as Foreign Secretary and for letting me know of the Vigil’s views on how the international community should respond to events in Zimbabwe. 

I am aware of the good work the Zimbabwe Vigil does in keeping alive the pressure for reform in Zimbabwe. It is dispiriting to consider just how long the people of Zimbabwe have been waiting for the opportunity to express their views in free and fair elections and to be able to contribute to the revival of a prosperous and democratic country. 

The creation of the Inclusive Government was an important step in helping to curtail the violence of 2008 and start the process of economic and political reform that the parties signed up to in September 2008. But it is clear that this is not a long-term solution. This government will focus on supporting a process that gives Zimbabweans a chance to state their democratic preferences, and that leads to a stable government genuinely representing the people’s will. It is vital that elections, when held, must be conducted in a manner that allows Zimbabweans to express their opinions in an informed and free way and without fear of violence or intimidation. We will be working with the international and regional community to ensure that this can happen. 

The UK is currently providing its largest ever assistance package to Zimbabwe - £60 million in humanitarian assistance that is focused on helping the poorest and most vulnerable in society. Funding is concentrated in the health, food security and primary education sectors. All funding is channelled through international organisations or NGOs and not through the Government of Zimbabwe or the Reserve Bank. This approach was confirmed at an international donor meeting of the Friends of Zimbabwe at the end of May. 

The EU renewed and modified its targeted measures on Zimbabwe in February to reflect the progress that had been made in the economic sector but the lack of progress in advancing political reform. Any further modifications must be agreed by all 27 Member States and should reflect progress in line with the Global Political Agreement. We welcome the renewal of dialogue between the EU and the Government of Zimbabwe as a means of helping to further the democratic process and the efforts of the reformers in Zimbabwe. 

I wish the Zimbabwe Vigil every success in achieving their aim, of a peaceful and democratic Zimbabwe. 

Yours sincerely 

William Hague

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