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Here we go again – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 15th June 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 16 June 2019 12:07

Mnangagwa has made clear that Zimbabwe will have its own currency again by the end of the year. Economist and former senior MDC MP Eddie Cross says it will be the strongest currency in the region. The Vigil respectfully disagrees.

We bottom wipers in Britain are not economists but have watched the Zimbabwe economy slide from bad to worse over the last 20 years or so, with astronomic inflation destroying their hopes for the future and reducing their families to poverty. Inflation is now tipped to reach 280% by the year’s end.

To us the cause of Zimbabwe’s problems seems to be rampant corruption and government ineptitude and, for all the talk, we have seen no serious effort to deal with this. How many known corrupt Zanu PF bigwigs are in jail? None.

Tendai Biti’s criticism of hitherto calm Finance Minister Ncube, made on the sidelines of a book launch in London last week, has provoked the minister into an hysterical response. This will only increase skepticism about the success of his handling of the economy.

The diaspora has no faith in a Zanu PF government and, if the new currency is introduced, we fully expect it to devalue rapidly, leading to yet another chase for the US dollar which has proved such an easy route to wealth for Zanu PF crooks in the past.

The truth is that Zanu PF never changes. It always reverts to dodgy practices that have kept it in power for going on 40 years – violence and corruption. It has become well-skilled in both, with tacit international support. So why should they change a winning formula?

Other points

  • Zanu PF has certainly been a money spinner for Grace Mugabe. Mnangagwa says that she has been shown in a land audit to own 16 farms, in flagrant violation of government policy of one farm per person. Zanu PF also seems to have paid off for MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena who has just paid a quarter of a million dollars for a Lamborghini. And at an auction this week Zanu PF oil tycoon Kuda Tagwirei paid 250,000 RTGS dollars for a trademark scarf worn by the President. Only a few months ago a similar scarf fetched only a fraction of this sum.
  • Action for Southern Africa, the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement, plans to launch a Youth Activist Network (YAN) next year. It has asked for our help and writes: we're currently surveying young people about what they think should be included in the design of the YAN, how it should operate and issues it should prioritise etc. We wondered if you'd be able to share the survey with young people within your network so that we have as many voices from Zimbabwe or who are friends of Zimbabwe as possible involved in the design stage. The survey and a full explanation of the YAN is here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CT726QK.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up the front table today and put up the banners: Shylette Chipangura, Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Rosemary Maponga, Lucia Mudzimu, Esther Munyira, Mary Muteyerwa, Sindile Ncube, Hazvinei Saili, Bigboy Sibanda, Ephraim Tapa, Mary Taruvinga and Bridget Zhakata. Thanks to Rosemary, Josephine and Shylette for looking after the front table, to Hazvinei, Bigboy, Lucia and Nyarai for handing out flyers, to Mary for drumming and to Tatenda Mandiki, Esther, Jonathan and Lucia for photos. Thanks also to the group (Hellena Gusinyu, Mary Ndoro, Rosemary Maponga, Mary Taruvinga and Rosemary Rubatika) from the women’s wing of the MDC UK who brought flowers to lay at the Embassy door to commemorate the recent death of Tsvangirai’s daughter Vimbai.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 29 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Reading branch outreach and general meeting. Saturday 22nd June. Community outreach from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Broad Street, Reading. Awareness campaign on deteriorating human rights in Zimbabwe. General meeting from 2 – 5 pm: Venue: The RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. Contact: Nicodimus 07877386792, Josephine 07455166668, Shylette 07828929806, Josh 07877246251.
  • ROHR fundraising dinner. Saturday 29th June from 6 pm till late. Venue: Zazas, 108 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1JE. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Fungisai Mupandira 07468504393, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Simbarashe Jingo 07787870888, Pamela Chirimuta 07762737339, Sikhumbuzule Sibanda 07912210225, and Farai Muroiwa 07365431776.
  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 6th July from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625.
  • ROHR sponsored walk. Saturday 27th July. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013, Patricia Masamba and Farai Muroiwa 07365431776. More information as plans progress.
  • 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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Embassy vs the people – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 1st June 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 02 June 2019 12:15

The Zimbabwe Embassy refused to accept a letter from the Vigil on Friday and instead called the police to clear us away from the building. The letter protests at the involvement of Embassy officials in the asylum process – not that the Embassy waited to read it before pressing the emergency button.

Ephraim Tapa, President of Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe, led the delegation. He said: ‘We put the original letter into the post as per police advice and slipped a copy under the door of the Embassy. However, they repeatedly kicked our letter back and for a while it was one of us pushing the letter in from the outside and them pushing it out from the other side. Eventually we relented and retreated to our usual space. It was an interesting, fruitful but funny midday indeed! 

How things have changed since the new Ambassador Colonel Christian M Katsande came to London last year, when he approached the Vigil, bought a copy of our book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ and said we must have a meeting with him. Now that we take up his invitation we have the door slammed in our face.

Our letter read:

Dear Ambassador

The involvement of Zimbabwe Embassy officials in Home Office interviews with asylum seekers is causing much alarm among the Zimbabwean diaspora in the UK.

We regard Zimbabwe now as a military dictatorship where human rights abuses are rife and opponents of the government are at serious risk. On top of that, we know that the economy is in a state of collapse with fuel and power shortages, growing poverty and widespread hunger.

Asylum seekers fear that the involvement of Embassy officials in the asylum process will lead to their identification as opponents of the government with consequent victimisation on return to Zimbabwe. 

If anything we believe the Zimbabwean authorities should help expatriates achieve settled status in the UK so that they can acquire further education, train and work and remit foreign exchange to Zimbabwe while preparing to go back and rebuild the country.

We call on the Zimbabwe government to put an end to human rights abuse, investigate past atrocities and bring perpetrators to book, rebuilding investor confidence by facilitating clean politics.

Events at home in the past week have confirmed what we say in the letter, with the arrest of seven human rights activists accused of plotting against the government and reports that, while people are starving, millions of dollars are being spent on equipment for the security forces, including water cannons and tear gas cannisters.

For a taste of the paranoia gripping Zanu PF, we suggest you look at the Herald’s hysterical report ‘US-backed demo stutters (see: https://www.herald.co.zw/us-backed-demo-stutters/).

Other points

  • Corruption is now endemic in Zimbabwe so it comes as little surprise that it even extends to Amnesty International, which has suspended all operations in Zimbabwe after evidence of massive fraud by local management (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/amnesty-international-shuts-down-zimbabwe-operations-over-fraud/).
  • Thanks to those who were at Friday’s well-attended protest: Shylette Chipangura, Pamela Chirimuta, Babula Gwatiringa, Patrick Hale, Simbarashe Jingo, Jane Kaphuwa, Jonathan Kariwo, Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa, Patricia Masamba, Kudzai Mashiri, Lucia Mudzimu, Esther Munyira, Collen Mupazviriho, Tapiwa Muskwe, Mary Muteyerwa, Viola Nyika, Tsitsi Nyirongo, Sikhumbuzule, Sibanda, Locardia Takawira and Ephraim Tapa. Special thanks to Esther and Ephraim for organising the protest and the register and to Lucia and Mary for leading the singing.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up the front table today and put up the banners: Tatenda Mandika, Rosemary Maponga, Gertrude Mudede, Esther Munyira, Fungisai Mupandira, Bridget Mupotsa, Hazvinei Saili and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Rosemary and Esther for looking after the front table, to Hazvinei, Bridget and Simbarashe Jingo for handing out flyers, to Fungisai for drumming and to Esther and Fungisai for photos.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 13 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 8th June from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625.
  • ROHR fundraising dinner. Saturday 29th June from 6 pm till late. Venue: Zazas, 108 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1JE. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Fungisai Mupandira 07468504393, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Simbarashe Jingo 07787870888, Pamela Chirimuta 07762737339, Sikhumbuzule Sibanda 07912210225, and Farai Muroiwa 07365431776.
  • ROHR sponsored walk. Saturday 27th July. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013, Patricia Masamba and Farai Muroiwa 07365431776. More information as plans progress.
  • 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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Let them eat cake – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 25th May 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 29 May 2019 11:20

At the time of the French Revolution Queen Marie-Antoinette, when told that people had no bread, is reported to have said ‘Let them eat cake’. Some 230 years later Zimbabwe’s new Minister of Energy, Fortune Chasi, has made a similar remark in response to the 50% rise in fuel prices: ‘Let them buy electric cars’. (See: https://www.zimeye.net/2019/05/19/if-you-cant-get-fuel-buy-electric-cars-says-new-energy-minister/.) 

The problem is that people have to money to buy electric cars and there is no electricity to run them. With the economy in freefall, the situation in Zimbabwe is deteriorating rapidly, making the authorities increasingly jumpy in fear of a Zimbabwe revolution.

Ben Freeth, the civil rights campaigner, in his latest newsletter says: ‘Sadly, there is a very significant deterioration in conditions on the economic front and in the general situation in Zimbabwe. Fuel queues are currently very long and chaotic. Electricity is sporadic. Hunger will be a major problem this year with more than half the population requiring international food aid. Prices continue to sky-rocket. Once again we have the second highest inflation rate in the world.’

Freeth says civil rights activists are increasingly targeted.  ‘Two weeks ago, a dear friend’s daughter was abducted in a raid by Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operatives at a venue where she was involved in training teachers about civic rights. After it was discovered that she and other teachers were missing, her lawyer father, David Drury, went to the notorious Harare Central Police Station to establish if she had been taken there.

‘All knowledge of their whereabouts was denied by the police and CIO. Remarkably though, in a dark corridor, a CIO member hinted that they were there. Dave called in other lawyers to assist, and they refused to leave the police station. Eventually, after some torture had been administered, his daughter and others were released.’

Freeth continued: ‘In another instance, a friend who had recently stayed with us, was abducted and tortured. Over many hours he was slapped after every question that was asked; he was also made to dig holes in the hard dry ground with his hands and had his testicles pulled.’ (See: https://media.wix.com/ugd/02876c_70dde214490c4a99b5e50cab276e1a81.pdf).

A pastor working with the poor in the Bulawayo area says there is widespread, and increasing, hardship and hunger. The harvest was about zero. Travelling up from Plumtree (Mat South) it was hard to see any sign of a harvest. There is no effective food relief programme in place. The price of food is ratcheting up steadily. Few have any real money to buy with USD but at the same time some sellers demand payment in USD.  The value of the RTGS dollars is reducing steadily. The mood is angry but the anger muted on account of the prevailing fear.

The pastor’s work is focused on a hundred or so destitute families who were evicted at short notice from their long-term homes by Zanu PF thugs greedy for their land.

A Vigil activist’s sister, who supports the pastor, reports on the plight of some of these people. Their name have been changed.

The Moyos lived at a settlement for over 20 years. When their home was destroyed they were moved to a carpentry training centre since they had nowhere to go. The family included a young woman who was soon to give birth. They found a place to stay—in an adapted pigsty they had to clean out—shortly before she gave birth.  Baby Moyo was born with a clubfoot and has neurological problems and seizures. At their former home they farmed, growing vegetables and raising livestock.  They were able to eat and the children went to school.  They had lots of space and the children were free to roam. Now they have no way of earning an income and have to pay rent. The children were chased from school as there was no money for fees.

Other points

  • The Vigil activist’s sister was asked by her pastor to write a lamentation for the evictees. She wrote the following: ‘Out of the depths O Lord I cry to you for I am tempted to despair. Do you remember the work of my hands? The home, built brick by brick? The crops, watered cup by cup? Chickens in the yard and the children running free? We prayed but they still came. With batons, threats and bulldozers. Knocked us down – flat down – down – down – down. Our Mary with child and nowhere to go. I have a pigsty for rent, he said. And Mary gave birth to a girl: she was not right. We laid her in a manger. Now my hands are still, and I am tempted to despair. Have you forgotten us Lord? Our house of prayer is gone. But I do not forget you. You showed me your hands, the work of your hands I remember and I trust, my hands are still. You will bring us home.’
  • On Friday 31st May, the Vigil and its sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe are handing in a letter to the Zimbabwe Ambassador protesting against the involvement of Embassy officials in asylum seeker interviews with the Home Office. For more information see ‘Events and Notices’.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up the front table and put up the banners: Shylette Chipangura, Rosemary Guveya, Jonathan Kariwo, Rosemary Maponga, Kudzai Mashiri, Lucia Mudzimu, Esther Munyira, Collen Mupazviriho, Tapiwa Muskwe, Mary Muteyerwa, Tsitsi Nyirongo, Pearl Shambare, Ephraim Tapa and Bridget Zhakata. Thanks to Rosemary Maponga and Shylette for looking after the front table, to Kudzai for handing out flyers, to Mary for drumming and to Jonathan for photos.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD:  21 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Petition to the Zimbabwe Ambassador in the UK. Friday 31st May at 10.30 am. This is to call for a stop to asylum seeker interviews by Embassy personnel. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Fungisai Mupandira 07758958803.
  • MDC UK & Ireland South West District Reading Branch Fundraising BBQ Party. Saturday 1st June. Theme: Mnangagwa release all political prisoners – Zanu PF must go. From 12.30 – 1.30 pm demonstration at Reading train station. Then from 2.30 – 11 pm gochi gochi, disco music, jumping castle. Venue: Pakistani Community Centre, Reading RG1 13PA. Free car parking available. Bus 17 from Reading train station. Contact: Deborah Harry: 07578894896, Charles Mararirakwenda: 07588275745 and Josephine Jombe: 07455166668.
  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 8th June from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625.
  • ROHR fundraising dinner. Saturday 29th June from 6 pm till late. Venue: Zazas, 108 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1JE. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Fungisai Mupandira 07468504393, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Simbarashe Jingo 07787870888, Pamela Chirimuta 07762737339, Sikhumbuzule Sibanda 07912210225, and Farai Muroiwa 07365431776.
  • ROHR sponsored walk. Saturday 27th July. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013, Patricia Masamba and Farai Muroiwa 07365431776. More information as plans progress.
  • 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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Making things simple – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 18th May 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 20 May 2019 11:15

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube has a droll sense of humour. He says he decided to name Zimbabwe’s latest local currency the RTGS dollar so as not to confuse the public! (See: https://zwnews.com/we-called-our-local-currency-rtgs-as-not-to-confuse-citizens-ncube/.)

Of course, even those in remote rural areas know that RTGS stands for Real Time Gross Settlement dollars and simply love this method of payment using electronic money transfer systems.

Mr Ncube’s new solution is not to be confused with the other local currency, the tired and discredited bond notes and coins. But the joke is on the people because everyone knows these two depreciating local currencies are just false creations and nothing like the almost unobtainable grubby old US dollars with which they were supposed to be equivalent.

But it is not a laughing matter, as the Americans recognise with their warning of rising crime and civil unrest in Zimbabwe as abject poverty drives people to desperation. 

The general manager of Zimbabwe Pensions and Insurance Rights Trust, Martin Tarusenga, says people are losing billions of dollars as these alternative currencies lose value. In a coruscating article in the Zimbabwe Independent, he says life in Zimbabwe has reached new lows (https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/unrestrained-govt-failures-may-trigger-public-anger/).

There is no shortage of pungent academic analysis of Zimbabwe’s government failures. In an article in The Zimbabwean, Tamuka Chirimambowa of the University of Johannesburg says the government’s ‘open for business’  mantra lacks policy and administrative action to make it a reality and turn around the fortunes of the country (see: https://www.thezimbabwean.co/2019/05/zimbabwes-deceptive-road-to-non-reform/) 

On a lighter note we turn to a headline in Zimeye: ‘Axe-wielding VP welcomes Chinese’, a reference to Vice President Mohadi who recently threatened his wife with an axe. Some welcome! (See: https://www.zimeye.net/2019/05/17/axe-wielding-vp-mohadi-assures-chinese-that-zimbabwe-is-a-safe-destination/.)

Other points

  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up the front table and put up the banners: Patrick Hale, Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Heather Makawa, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Margaret Munenge, Fungisai Mupandira and Ephraim Tapa.  Thanks to Josephine, Margaraet and Joyce for looking after the front table and to Heather and Jonathan for photos.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 16 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Reading branch outreach and general meeting. Saturday 25th May. Community outreach from 11.30 am – 1.30pm. Venue: Broad Street, Reading. Awareness campaign on deteriorating human rights in Zimbabwe. General meeting from 2 -5 pm: Venue: The RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. Contact:  Nicodimus 07877386792, Josephine 07455166668, Shylette 07828929806, Josh 07877246251.
  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 8th June from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625.
  • ROHR fundraising dinner. Saturday 29th June from 6 pm till late. Venue: Zazas, 108 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1JE. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Fungisai Mupandira 07468504393, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Simbarashe Jingo 07787870888, Pamela Chirimuta 07762737339, Sikhumbuzule Sibanda 07912210225, and Farai Muroiwa 07365431776.
  • ROHR sponsored walk. Saturday 27th July. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013, Patricia Masamba and Farai Muroiwa 07365431776. More information as plans progress.
  • 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.
  • Petition to the Zimbabwe Ambassador in the UK. Friday 31st May at 10.30 am. This is to call for a stop to asylum seeker interviews by Embassy personnel. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Fungisai Mupandira 07758958803.
  • 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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Mixed messages – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 11th May 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 12 May 2019 14:35

It is ironic that Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa happened to be in London spreading the ‘Zimbabwe open for business’ message when it was announced in Harare that draconian power cuts are being imposed. 

They are not just routine measures. An announcement by the power utility ZESA said some suburbs across the country would be cut off for at least 10 hours a day because of reduced generation at major power stations. Worse still, most of the power-shedding will be during the morning and evening peak periods of 5 am – 10 am and 5 pm – 10 pm. A spokesman said if the measures were not implemented the country could be plunged into total darkness by October.

Another irony was a notice advertising the auction of farm equipment from the troubled Mugabe farming enterprise. The equipment includes five combine harvesters, tractors and at least 30 vehicles. The Mugabe family have been facing lawsuits over unpaid debts.

No such financial difficulties for Comrade Obert Mpofu, one of the richest men in Zimbabwe, who ironically has survived the demise of the Mugabes and as Zanu PF Secretary for Administration this week had talks in Harare with British Ambassador Melanie Robinson.

‘I was able to express our support for the reforms the President has laid out on the economic and political side’, the Herald quotes her as saying (see: https://www.herald.co.zw/british-envoy-commends-zim-reforms/).

Judging from recent statements, the UK, the EU and – more importantly – the US are now singing from the same song sheet: accepting the military regime – at least until further atrocities by the security forces.

The West seems to have given up hope in Zimbabwe’s fractious political opposition and the stick of human rights with which it used to beat Mnangagwa has been replaced by a carrot – the removal of sanctions to tempt Zimbabwe out of the orbit of China, Russia etc.

Other points

  • Several members of the Mutsvangwa party, including Zanu PF bigwig husband Christopher, came past the Vigil to go into the Embassy. They declined to engage with us.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up the front table and put up the banners: Tinotenda Chihope, Pamela Chirimuta, Patrick Hale, Simbarashe Jingo, Josephine Jombe, Patricia Masamba, Esther Munyira, Farai Muroiwa, Mary Muteyerwa, Sipho Ndlovu, Sikhumbuzule Sibanda and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Josephine for looking after the front table, to Simbarashe for handing out flyers, to Mary for drumming and to Patricia, Jonathan and Sipho for photos. Thanks also to Mary, Pamela and Sikhumbuzule for contributing to a new ROHR banner.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 16 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Reading branch outreach and general meeting. Saturday 25th May. Community outreach from 11.30 am – 1.30pm. Venue: Broad Street, Reading. Awareness campaign on deteriorating human rights in Zimbabwe. General meeting from 2 -5 pm: Venue: The RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. Contact:  Nicodimus 07877386792, Josephine 07455166668, Shylette 07828929806, Josh 07877246251.
  • ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 8th June from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625.
  • ROHR fundraising dinner. Saturday 29th June from 6 pm till late. Venue: Zazas, 108 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1JE. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Fungisai Mupandira 07468504393, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Simbarashe Jingo 07787870888, Pamela Chirimuta 07762737339, Sikhumbuzule Sibanda 07912210225, and Farai Muroiwa 07365431776.
  • ROHR sponsored walk. Saturday 27th July. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013, Patricia Masamba and Farai Muroiwa 07365431776. More information as plans progress.
  • 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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