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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 5th September 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 06 September 2009 16:07

The Vigil felt vindicated at the announcement this week that the Zimbabwe regime has agreed an amnesty for some 1,500 prisoners. We are often asked by passers-by what we hope to achieve.  A group of former Zimbabweans came past and asked us this very question today. Well, we think that by our amnesty campaign alone we have saved some lives.  We launched our campaign on Independence Day (18/04/09) following an SABC television report on the horrific conditions in Zimbabwean jails. Our proposal was initially derided by the regime and we are glad that they have now seen the light.  We continue to demand that Zimbabwe imprisons only the number of people it can cope with humanely.   

Ahead of the SADC summit in Kinshasha, the Vigil sent two petitions to the organisation’s Executive Secretary, Dr Tomaz Augusto Salomão, with a request that he draw them to the attention of SADC leaders. The petitions, signed by thousands of people, were:
1.       We call upon the Southern African Development Community – as guarantors of the Zimbabwe power-sharing agreement – to put pressure on the new Zimbabwean government of national unity to stop the blatant abuse of human rights of prisoners in Zimbabwe who are dying of starvation, disease and torture.
2.       We call upon the Southern African Development Community – as guarantors of the Zimbabwe power-sharing government – to put pressure on President Mugabe to honour the agreement.  More than six months into the unity government, Mugabe is still resisting a return to the rule of law, deterring essential foreign development aid and investment. 

As for hopes that SADC would act honourably on Zimbabwe, we are not optimistic. We were particularly offended by the patronizing tone of South Africa’s  Director-General of International Relations and Co-operation, Dr Ayanda Ntsaluba, who said ‘Congo will struggle (as the new chair of SADC) – but it could benefit from the experience’. Great! So much for Zimbabwe – a toy for the Congolese to practice on.   

We were encouraged  that a former senior British diplomat to Zimbabwe dropped by and signed the following petition: ‘A petition to the UK government: We welcome the UK’s humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe but call on the UK government to withhold development aid until it is confident that the money will benefit the people rather than the corrupt Mugabe regime.’ 

We were joined at the Vigil by two human rights campaigners, one English and the other American.  One topic of conversation was the possibility of a citizen’s arrest should the European Union again allow entrance to someone on the targeted sanctions list.  We were unhappy that Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengengwi was allowed in on Tsvangirai’s visit and do not want to allow this to go unchallenged in future.  

One reason we all come to the Vigil is because of the warm support we get from passers-by. An American came by and gave us a wad of one hundred trillion (100,000,000,000,000) Zimbabwean dollar notes. We decided to sell them at one pound each but we were so successful we will, in true Zimbabwe inflationary style, raise the price to £5 next week.  

Another visitor was our friend Steve Garvey, a teacher at Dolphin School in South London. He raised money for the Vigil by running the London marathon and together with efforts by his pupils gave us some £900. Today he brought along another contribution from one of his pupils, Ben Fletcher, who single-handedly raised £56.  We took the opportunity to discuss with Steve how we are using this money – we are in the process of buying sports equipment and stationery for Zimbabwean schools. 

It was good to hear from Mike Auret this week. He told us about his new book due to be published this month. See ‘Events and Notices’ section for details. (This replaces our ‘For your Diary’ section so that we can include notices and not just diary items.) 

We were pleased that our attendance held up despite two rival attractions – Zimfest and an MDC UK meeting on the 10th anniversary of the MDC called to discuss missing funds.  

Thanks to Sue Toft who brought ‘Mugabe Must Go’ wristbands which proved very popular. Thanks also to Josephine Zhuga and George Mapanda who were waiting ahead of the start of the Vigil to help set up. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/ 

FOR THE RECORD:  97 signed the register. 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:
·         ROHR Northampton and Kettering general meeting. Saturday 12th September from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Mary's Church, Abbey Road, Northampton, NN4 8EZ. ROHR UK Executive present.  Contact: Norian Chindowa 07954379426, A Chimimba 07799855806, Willard Mudonzvo 07591686724, Marshall Rusike 07884246888, Hazvineyi Masuka 07795164664. P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·         ROHR Birmingham general meeting. Saturday 12th September at 2 pm. Venue: Bishop Latimer Church, 28 Handsworth New Road, Birmingham B18 4PT. Contact: Adrey Marere 07788797365,Tsiti Mavhura 07932477842, Morris Mutanga 07882602249, P Mapfumo 07915926323 or Des Parayiwa 07815565335
·         Zimbabwe Worship Service. Sunday 27th September from 10.30 – 12.00 followed by Zimbabwean food from 12 – 3 pm. Venue: Elim Christian Centre, Dews Road, Salisbury SP2 7SN. Zimbabwean speaker. Contact: Adrian Smale, 01722 770024, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , www.elimsalisbury.org.uk.
·         Zimbabwe Vigil – 7th Anniversary. Saturday 10th October at 6.30 pm.  The Vigil started on 12th October 2002 and we are marking this anniversary on the nearest Saturday to that date.  There will be a social gathering after the Vigil, downstairs at the Bell and Compass, 9-11 Villiers Street, London, WC2N 6NA, next to Charing Cross Station at the corner of Villiers Street and John Adam Street.
·         ROHR West Bromwich general meeting. Saturday 31st October from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF. ROHR Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo 07817096594 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 0793221607
·         Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays).
·         From Liberator to Dictator by Mike Auret. This is a personal account of the unravelling of Zimbabwe, written by an insider who was prepared to keep faith with Robert Mugabe until it was almost too late. Michael Auret served for many years on Zimbabwe's respected Catholic Commission of Justice and Peace, which worked tirelessly to defend human rights in that country. In this absorbing memoir, he traces his involvement in the politics of his country, from his days as an opposition MP in Ian Smith's Rhodesia to his involvement with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and his election as MP for Harare Central in the brutal election of 2000. http://www.newafricabooks.co.za/books_detail.asp?ID=499. 
·         Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. Further information: http://www.citizensforsanctuary.org.uk/pages/Strategic.html or contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 29th August 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 30 August 2009 17:23

Despite the upbeat reaction, Vigil supporters were pessimistic about the outcome of Zuma’s visit to Zimbabwe. South Africa has clearly dropped its ‘Crisis – what crisis?’ blinkers – but Zuma doesn’t seem to have grasped that the crisis is not just economic.   There was nothing in his public statements to suggest that he understood the gravity of the situation or was prepared to do anything about it.  

For instance, Zuma could start by stopping the supply of SA ammunition to Mugabe. John Huruva, one of the early MDC people in the UK, is convinced that this ammunition is to be used against the Zimbabwean people. Vigil supporters discussed an article he had written in which he says ’we have seen the same kind of scenario in Rwanda where almost a million civilians were massacred’. 

What kind of scenario is John talking about? Zanu-PF’s strategy, he says, is to hold on to power at all costs. As its popularity wanes it relies more and more on state brutality driven by the desire to protect their loot, the fear of facing justice and the realisation that their party will not win a free and fair election. Huruva believes that beatings etc as a strategy for ‘winning’ the next elections have already started in remote rural areas.  ‘What is almost certain,’ he says, ‘is that the killings are coming.’  

Mr Huruva has agreed to come along to the next Vigil to discuss his article, which you can see via this link: http://www1.zimbabwesituation.com/aug29_2009.html#Z15 

Some early comments by people at the Vigil:
·        
‘One thing about Zanu-PF: they have always made clear their murderous intentions. People must take them at their word.’
·        
‘Hate speech is getting worse again. You can see from the way the government reported Zuma’s remarks that nothing has changed.’
·        
‘Zanu-PF doesn’t care about aid to rebuild the country. They are OK.’
·         ‘The SADC meeting in DRC will only thank Kabila for flying Chinese arms to Mugabe.’ 

Given all the talk about the economy, the Vigil was surprised that one announcement seems to have escaped attention. Dun & Bradstreet has rated Zimbabwe as the worst place in the world to invest in – along with Afghanistan. D & B’s credit ratings are used by banks and businesses throughout the world.   

Discussion of the situation at home kept us busy on an otherwise (for us) rather quiet Vigil – not surprising as it was the start of the late summer long weekend holiday.   

We were joined at the Vigil by David Adelstein, who is making a film about Zimbabweans in the UK based around the Vigil, called Vura Nzita – ‘Open the Road’. David said he was invited to show part of the film to an MDC meeting in Oxford but when the organizers found out it would show Tsvangirai being booed at Southwark Cathedral they pulled the plug.  When people asked why the film was not being shown, the organizers said there wasn’t time for it. The large audience was pretty unhappy about this so David says they can contact him on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if they want him to show the film. 

Thanks to Constance and Takunda Manyimani who were at the Vigil ahead of the start to help unload and set up the Vigil. Thanks also to Edwick Office and Gladys Mapanda who helped on the front and back tables throughout the Vigil.  

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/ 

FOR THE RECORD:  115 signed the register. 

FOR YOUR DIARY:
·         ROHR Coventry party. Saturday 5th September from 4 pm till midnight. Venue: St Paul's Church, Foleshill Road, Coventry CV6 5AJ. Food, drinks, ne Doro available. Admission £3.50. Contact (Chairman) E. Nyakudya
07876796129, (Secretary) Pauline Makuwere 07533332306, (Organizer) Matambanashe Sibanda 07886660392, (Treasurer) V.J Mujeye 07534034594.
·         ROHR Northampton and Kettering general meeting. Saturday 12th September from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Mary's Church Abbey Road, Northampton, NN4 8EZ. ROHR UK Executive present.  Contact: Norian Chindowa 07954379426, A Chimimba 07799855806, Willard Mudonzvo 07591686724, Marshall Rusike 07884246888, Hazvineyi Masuka 07795164664. P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·         Zimbabwe Vigil – 7th Anniversary. Saturday, 10th October at 6.30 pm.  The Vigil started on 12th October 2002 and we are marking this anniversary on the nearest Saturday to that date.  There will be a social gathering after the Vigil, downstairs at the Bell and Compass, 9-11 Villiers Street, London, WC2N 6NA, next to Charing Cross Station at the corner of Villiers Street and John Adam Street
.
·         ROHR West Bromwich general meeting. Saturday 31st October from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall
Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF. ROHR Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo 07817096594 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 0793221607
·         Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays). 

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 22nd August 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 23 August 2009 14:08

An alarming picture of life under the ‘unity’ government has emerged in the wake of a mention in the Vigil diary about ‘people’s poet’ Brian Sibanda. We reported (see diary of 1st August) how he had brought along a banner expressing skepticism about the ‘3 days of national healing’. His take was ‘3 days peace. On day 4 bullet sent via post’ – a reference to the bullet sent to Tendai Biti.  Brian says that within days of our report (accompanied by a picture of him) appearing in the Zimbabwean, his family home in Zimbabwe was raided by 3 policemen. They compared photographs of him there with his picture in the newspaper (6-12 August) and spoke angrily about Zimbabweans in the UK.   

Here is the text of an email that was sent to Brian: ‘Bhudi Tha.i hope i find you well.ndoda things arent happening doen this side.your picture appeared on one of our local newspapers this week and it has caused commotion in Lobengula even uDube usaBen saw it. Izolo emini 3 policemen were at home again yesterday. They were asking questions about our family most of them about you. They searched the house and took the copy of your Birth and also isithupha sako sezenge. They wanted to know where u stay in UK, what you do there and when your next visit diwn this side wa scheduled, and a whole lot more. They took a look at your pictures around our living room, and the post cards u sent last. Kadekusethuisa bhudi. They were saying bad things about zimboz living in the Britain. Ngiya koNjabu call me on his landline I will tell yoi more. Take care bra and uzinanzelele.’ 

On a lighter note, the Vigil was amused to see long-term supporter Priscilla Chakanyaka arrive in a London rickshaw.     We had a good attendance despite rival factions of the MDC UK calling meetings today in Oxford and Midlands North.  Most of the people who attend the Vigil are MDC supporters but we try to maintain a non-party political stand, concentrating on fighting for human rights in Zimbabwe 

Talking about human rights, today we launched a new petition aimed at the SADC meeting in Kinshasha next month which is due to review the Global Political Agreement: ‘A petition to Zimbabwe’s neighbours: We call upon the Southern African Development Community – as guarantors of the Zimbabwe power-sharing government – to put pressure on President Mugabe to honour the agreement.  More than six months into the unity government, Mugabe is still resisting a return to the rule of law, deterring essential foreign development aid and investment.’  

We will be sending it to SADC Executive Secretary Dr Tomaz Augusto Salomão along with a petition on the prison holocaust. ‘A petition to Zimbabwe’s neighbours: We call upon the Southern African Development Community – as guarantors of the Zimbabwe power-sharing agreement – to put pressure on the new Zimbabwean government of national unity to stop the blatant abuse of human rights of prisoners in Zimbabwe who are dying of starvation, disease and torture.’   

We are not holding our breath. Dr Salomão has never acknowledged anything we have sent to him and we have no illusions that Mugabe’s SADC cronies will ever do anything to help the people of Zimbabwe. What matters is that – at a time when Zimbabwe has dropped from the headlines – we continue to attract the attention of the thousands of people who pass by the Vigil. Many of them express their support by signing our petitions – which include one to the UK Government: ‘A petition to the UK government: We welcome the UK’s humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe but call on the UK government to withhold development aid until it is confident that the money will benefit the people rather than the corrupt Mugabe regime.’ 

The Vigil has been going for nearly 7 years and we will be marking our anniversary on 10th October – see below ‘For your Diary’ for details. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/ 

FOR THE RECORD:  166 signed the register. 

FOR YOUR DIARY:
·         ROHR Chelmsford general meeting. Saturday 29th August, 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Springfield Parish Hall, Chelmsford, CM1 6GX
. Transport from train station to the venue provided.  Contact: Faith Benesi 07958650670, Tobokwa Malikongwa 07533660621, Robert Mafigo 07944815190, Christina Zanji 07535791464, Matha A Magwaza 07748644911.
·         ROHR Brighton general meeting. Saturday 29th August from 2 – 4 pm. Venue: The Community Base, Queens Road, Brighton (5mins walk from Brighton train station). Contact: Sinikiwe Dube 07824668763, Sehlaphi Mpofu 07786164808, Wellington Mamvura 07956870547 or Phylis Chibanguza 07534626040 / 07535936460.
·         ROHR Coventry party. Saturday 5th September from 4 pm till midnight. Venue: St Paul's Church, Foleshill Road, Coventry CV6 5AJ. Food, drinks, ne Doro available. Admission £3.50. Contact (Chairman) E. Nyakudya
07876796129, (Secretary) Pauline Makuwere 07533332306, (Organizer) Matambanashe Sibanda 07886660392, (Treasurer) V.J Mujeye 07534034594.
·         ROHR Northampton and Kettering general meeting. Saturday 12th September from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Mary's Church Abbey Road, Northampton, NN4 8EZ. ROHR UK Executive present.  Contact: Norian Chindowa 07954379426, A Chimimba 07799855806, Willard Mudonzvo 07591686724, Marshall Rusike 07884246888, Hazvineyi Masuka 07795164664. P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·         Zimbabwe Vigil – 7th Anniversary. Saturday, 10th October at 6.30 pm.  The Vigil started on 12th October 2002 and we are marking this anniversary on the nearest Saturday to that date.  There will be a social gathering after the Vigil, downstairs at the Bell and Compass, 9-11 Villiers Street, London, WC2N 6NA, next to Charing Cross Station at the corner of Villiers Street and John Adam Street
.
·         ROHR West Bromwich general meeting. Saturday 31st October from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall
Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF. ROHR Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo 07817096594 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 0793221607.
·         Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays).

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 15th August 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 16 August 2009 19:46

A spectacular performance by our friends the Afro Drum Generation was the highlight of the Vigil. Dressed in traditional animal skins, their high-stepping dancing, supported by marimba and drums, entranced many passers-by. The group hopes to take part in Zim Idol, a TV talent contest to discover Zimbabwe's music stars of tomorrow.  

Thanks to Njabalo Ndlovu, Claude Chiswamu, Christopher Sibanda, Jerry Mtotela, Peter Dlomo (on loan from the Shashe Dance Troupe) and Nanzy Sebata. Nanzy also manages the group. They are available for hire – please contact Nanzy (07787 183 098). 

Once again we were joined by several MDC officials who spoke of the need to reform the party in the UK. Our activities were again filmed by ZBN News (www.zbnnews.com).  

The Vigil continues to be ‘humiliated’ by developments at home – when, for instance, Mugabe says Zimbabwe must maintain its vast army of  diplomats leaving trails of unpaid debts around the world because to reduce their number would be ‘humiliating’. We are embarrassed when the mayor of Harare – in an affront to all donor countries – openly boasts he has a private fleet of vehicles but must still have an official car costing US$150,000: ‘I have a Mercedes Benz E240 and a Jaguar. My wife has a Toyota Double Cab and an Audi Curio Double Cab. My children use a Ford Bantam and a Ford Courier’. We are embarrassed that the Zanu PF deputy spokesman—in a break from insulting the West --  whines that Mugabe and his gang still can’t travel to the West or educate their children there. 

It was good to have so many supporters from far-flung places today – David Maliselo from Plymouth and Edrith Mhembere from Wales were there to greet us when we set up and we were also joined by Tabetha Mutyambizi from Dublin.  Patson Muzuwa read out a letter of thanks from Enika Chindawi.  Her mother died recently and Vigil supporters made a collection for her last week. Our condolences go out to Enika. There was also a message from journalist Irene Madonko. She is interested in talking to anyone who has been repatriated.  If anyone would like to help her, please contact the Vigil ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) and we will pass on the message. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/ 

FOR THE RECORD:  190 signed the register. 

FOR YOUR DIARY:
·         ROHR Swansea launch meeting. Saturday 22nd August, 1.30 – 6 00 pm. Venue: Morriston Memorial Hall, Heol Gwernen, Morriston, Swansea SA6 6JR. Present ROHR President and some members of the ROHR Executive. Contact: Kudzai Ruzwidzo 07824967317, Israel Ncube 07789814159 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·         ROHR South East London general meeting. Saturday 22nd August, 1 – 5 pm. Venue:  375 Old Kent Road, London, SE1 5JQ. Contact: Priscilla Chitsinde 07804696328 or Wellington Rupere 07838153217.
·         ROHR Chelmsford general meeting. Saturday 29th August, 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Springfield Parish Hall (centre), Chelmsford, CM1 6GX. Transport from train station to the venue provided.  Contact: Faith Benesi 07958650670, Tobokwa Malikongwa 07533660621, Robert Mafigo 07944815190, Christina Zanji 07535791464, Matha A Magwaza 07748644911.
·         ROHR Derby general meeting. Saturday 5th September, 1.30-5.30pm. Venue: The Community Block, Pear Tree Community Junior School, Pear Tree Street, Derby DE23 8PN. ROHR Executive present and a substantive committee to be elected. Contact: Tsitsi Razawe 07773649330, Wonder Katurura 07858699224, Phenias Tutayi 07825524519. FREE PARKING AVAILABLE.
·         ROHR Coventry party. Saturday 5th September from 4 pm till midnight. Venue: St Paul's Church, Foleshill Road, Coventry CV6 5AJ. Food, drinks, ne Doro available. Admission £3.50. Contact (Chairman) E. Nyakudya 07876796129, (Secretary) Pauline Makuwere 07533332306, (Organizer) Matambanashe Sibanda 07886660392, (Treasurer) V.J Mujeye 07534034594.
·         Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays). 

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 8th August 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 09 August 2009 18:04

Supporters were disappointed to learn that Lovemore Madhuku, Chair of the National Constitutional Assembly, was not coming to address our next Vigil as we had hoped. Zimbabwean activist Givemore Chindawi told the Vigil that Dr Madhuku’s passport had been seized at the airport as he was about to leave for the UK. There were suspicions that this was an attempt to muzzle an alternative view of the situation in Zimbabwe to that presented in June in London by Morgan Tsvangirai. 

MDC UK Chair of Southend Branch, Stanford Biti (brother of Tendai), condemned what he described as efforts by the MDC in the UK to blame the Vigil and ROHR for the booing of Tsvangirai in Southwark Cathedral. He expressed his support for moves underway to challenge the leadership of the MDC in the UK. He said it had moved away from the people and had become a corrupt, self-serving patronage system.  Mr Biti said the MDC in the UK must work with the Vigil and ROHR and he urged Vigil supporters to take this message back to their MDC branches.   

The wonderful singing at the Vigil on a brilliant sunny day provided good material for our new friends Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News who interviewed supporters (including Fungayi Mabhunu, Dumi Tutani and Simon Mambongo) on the question of the new constitution.  One message we wanted to get through was that we feared the whole process was being prolonged to delay the promised ‘free and fair’ elections. The ZBN team first visited us last week and coverage of the Vigil is on their website: www.zbnnews.com 

It was good to have with us former MDC UK Chair Washington Ali. He said “people are still dying in Zimbabwe. The way we can express our support is by our singing.” The singing and ululating drew many passers-by to stop at the Vigil, where they could see pictures of the holocaust conditions in Zimbabwean prisons and of the beaten and tortured victims of Zanu PF violence.   

The Vigil was hopeful that Mrs Clinton’s meeting with President Zuma would break the political stalemate in Zimbabwe. Our supporters were appalled that the mayor of Harare has been voted US$150,000 for a car. We urge a delay while the Vigil sources a combined ambulance / fire engine / hearse / garbage truck so it can be usefully employed while the mayor is not swanning around in it. Come to think of it, the mayor of London goes to work on a bike. If his counterpart in Harare did the same the money saved could help out the Water Ministry whose minister, Sam Sipepa Nkomo (MDC), has said his ministry is being ripped off by Zanu PF middlemen so that the price of imported chemicals to treat water is ten times higher than it should be.  Mr Nkomo says he is not doing anything about it because his officials have told him it would cause trouble! 

The Vigil noted that Tsvangirai’s uncle, Hebson Makuvise, until now his representative in the UK, is undergoing training to be Ambassador to Germany. He certainly needs a lot of training in diplomacy. Be warned Germany  

There was passionate fervour at the end of the Vigil when we declaimed the slogan ‘To save Zimbabwe (His Excellency, Commander-in-Chief, Head of State and Government) Mugabe must go’. 

Thanks to Patience Thutani who generously brought cool drinks for our thirsty supporters. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/ 

FOR THE RECORD: 168 signed the register. 

FOR YOUR DIARY:
·         ROHR Milton Keynes general meeting.  Saturday 15th August, 1.30 – 5 30 pm. Venue: Old Bath House Community Centre, 205 Stratford Road, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5RL (near Tesco and 2 mins from Wolverton train station). Contact: Punish Mandere 07883071990, Martha Jiya 07727016098, Josephine S Phiri 07853572982, Diana Satumba 07737879653.
·         ROHR Cambridge general meeting. Saturday 15th August, time tba. Venue: The Odd Fellows Hall, 131 Newmarket Rd, Cambridge, CB5 8HA. Contact: Jospheth Hapazari 07782398725, Stewart Sheshe 07551546918, Locadia Mugari 07717374383 or Margret Jenkins 07894064600.
·         ROHR Swansea launch meeting. Saturday 22nd August  1.30 – 6 00 pm. Venue: Morriston Memorial Hall, Heol Gwernen, Morriston, Swansea SA6 6JR. Present ROHR President and some members of the ROHR Executive. Contact: Kudzai Ruzwidzo 07824967317, Israel Ncube 07789814159 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·         ROHR Derby general meeting. Saturday 5th September, 1.30-5.30pm. Venue: The Community Block, Pear Tree Community Junior School, Pear Tree Street, Derby DE23 8PN. ROHR Executive present and a substantive committee to be elected. Contact: Tsitsi Razawe 07773649330, Wonder Katurura 07858699224, Phenias Tutayi 07825524519. FREE PARKING AVAILABLE.
·         ROHR Coventry party. Saturday 5th September from 4 pm till midnight. Venue: St Paul's Church, Foleshill Road, Coventry CV6 5AJ. Food, drinks, ne Doro available. Admission £3.50. Contact (Chairman) E. Nyakudya 07876796129, (Secretary) Pauline Makuwere 07533332306, (Organizer) Matambanashe Sibanda 07886660392, (Treasurer) V.J Mujeye 07534034594.
·         Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays). 

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