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Call for UN action on Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 11th February 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 17 February 2017 08:47

With Zimbabwe now in the dangerous pre-election stage, the Vigil is submitting a petition to the UN Secretary General calling for action to avert violence and ensure a level playing field. 

The petition reads: ’With mounting unrest in Zimbabwe, we urge you to appoint a Special Representative to prepare the ground for a UN Transitional Authority to take over from the failed Mugabe regime. We look to the Special Representative to initiate comprehensive negotiations so that the UN Transitional Authority can assume control of Zimbabwe’s administrative structures – foreign affairs, defence, security, finance and communications – to ensure a level playing field conducive for credible national elections.’

The petition was based on suggestions by Vigil supporter Clifford Mashiri, an academic and former Zimbabwean diplomat, who sadly died last year. The petition has been signed by thousands of people who have passed by our protest outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London on Saturdays.

From next week, the Vigil will be running a new petition urging the Southern African Development Community to engage more closely with the Zimbabwe problem and ensure free and fair elections in 2018. The success of the West African Economic Community in peacefully removing the reluctant loser of the recent Gambian presidential election showed how lacking our own regional organisation has been in dealing with Mugabe.

Why do we want outside intervention when we are told that discussions about a coalition to oppose Mugabe in the elections are still on course despite the split in Mujuru’s party? To us the key issue is the election modalities and we are not convinced by the progress claimed by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

The old order is going. Even the Angolan kleptocrat dos Santos has said he is now stepping down. Kabila of the DRC is on his last legs and Zuma himself appears doomed. But if we wait until Mugabe is the last man standing, what will be left of Zimbabwe?

Other points

  • Vigil supporters demonstrated outside the Embassy on Wednesday when Pastor Evan Mawarire appeared in court to appeal for bail. A report can be seen on our campaigns page (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/849-report-on-demonstration-on-wednesdays-8th-february). We are having another demonstration outside the Embassy on Friday when Pastor Evan again appears in court.
  • The Vigil marked the 23rd month since the abduction of human rights activist Itai Dzamara.
  • Alice Hill has asked us to draw attention to her novel ‘When the Tree is Dry’ which raises awareness of the Zimbabwe crisis. For details see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/848-when-the-tree-is-dry. It's currently free on special offer from Amazon.
  • It was good that so many came on a freezing day. With the severe cold weather, our detractors were nowhere to be seen. Vigil co-ordinators warned supporters to guard against people using the Vigil and ROHR brands to promote their own interests. It was felt that these detractors were exploiting the painful human rights situation in Zimbabwe for personal gain.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Abigail Chidavayenzi, Mavis Chisvo, Daizy Fabian, Sibongile Gumbo, Isabell Gwatidzo, Etines Kapiya, Phillip Mahlahla, Heather Makawa, Lucia Mudzimu, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Virginia Mutyambizi, Patience Muyeye, Nontokozo Ncube, Sipho Ndlovu, Tsitsi Ndoro, Sibusiso Ngwenya, Tawanda Rusape, Rumbidzayi Sambana, Maxmus Savanhu and Portiah Tobaiwa. Thanks to Roseline, Cathrine Musa, Gladys, Nontokozo and Patience for looking after the front table, to Abigail and Nomusa Dube for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Phillip, Alfredy, Maxmus, Tawanda and Portiah for putting up the banners and tarpaulin.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 43 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ‘We demand Justice’ demonstration. Friday 17th February from 12 noon – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The demo, organised by ROHR Central London branch, will mark a court appearance by Pastor Evan Mawarire and is in solidarity with all human rights and political activists who have been abused and incarcerated for their fight for freedom, equality and justice. Contact: Daisy Fabian 07708653640 (ROHR), Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899 (Vigil), Rose Benton 07970996003 (Vigil), Sharon Moyo 07877224113 (MDC) and Portiah Tobaiwa 07926196851 (ROHR).
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 18th February from 6.30 pm. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. For exact location phone: Rose Benton 07970996003, Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • ROHR Reading branch outreach and general meeting. Saturday 18th February.  General meeting from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. Outreach from 2 - 6 pm at Mugabe’s mock birthday at the Vigil. Contact: Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792 (Chair), Joshua Kahari 07877246251 (Publicity and Advocacy) and Alice Shimika 07450323439 (Secretary).
  • 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 organisation 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.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 18th February from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest. Saturday 11th March from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The protest is to mark two years since Itai’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2016 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/843-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2016. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2016 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
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Report on demonstration on Wednesday’s 8th February PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 12 February 2017 15:21

By Rumbidzayi Sambana

 

The arrival and immediate arrest of Pastor Evan Mawarire on Wednesday 1st February caused quite a stir among Zimbabweans. Euphoria swept many but questions why he had returned flooded social media platforms. Within hours we learnt that he had been charged with a serious offence, denied bail and remanded in custody.

 

When his bail hearing was set for 8th February, we realised that we needed to have a demonstration to show our support for the pastor and all other activists who have been arrested or reported missing. More than a dozen people braved the freezing weather and turned up to protest against the flagrant abuse of human and political rights of all those who do stand up and speak out.

 

Upon arrival the embassy was open, both the consulate and the tourism office. Our small band of singing and dancing protesters made enough noise for the Embassy to close their doors and call the police, who were very friendly and more than willing to be in a photo with us.

 

Towards the end of our protest we got news that Pastor Evan had been granted bail to the relief of the group.

 

ROHR and the Vigil are holding another demonstration outside the Embassy on Friday 17th February when Pastor Evan appears in court again.

 

Attendees: Rumbidzayi Sambana, Gift Moyo, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Rose Maponga, Fungayi Mabhunu, Yvonne Bonde, Flemming Diza, Junior Mapanga, Bianca Monica Mpawaenda, Howard Zikhale, Ebson Chigwedere, Salome Nkiwani and Lloyd Mudzengere.

 
When the Tree is Dry PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 12 February 2017 14:19

From Alice Hill

I'm a great admirer of what Zimbabwe Vigil continues to do to maintain public awareness of Zimbabwe's problems. I've written a novel which I hope will also raise public awareness of the brutality of our government. It's currently free on special offer on Amazon, and I'm hoping that perhaps some of your members may help promote it by downloading a free copy. Every download brings up its Amazon rankings and makes it more visible. The novel tells the story of Zimbabwe's horrifically violent 2008 elections, seen through the eyes of three women. Florence, hiding as an illegal immigrant in Britain, returns home to fight for democracy. Sekai, a village girl persecuted when her husband becomes an election agent for the opposition, fights her way from victim to heroine. And Claire, a British journalist, discovers that the plight of the refugees is more important than being a hotshot reporter. I've tried to make the background as authentic as possible by interviewing several of the real victims and the staff at Harvest House. The novel is a tribute to their incredible courage.

The book is free to download here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/When-Tree-Dry-Alice-Hill-ebook/dp/B01N25GQWX. The page also contains a link to the free Kindle app, which allows eBooks to be read on a PC or smartphone. I'd be really grateful if you could spread the word to your members and ask them to download it. I'd also be very grateful for Amazon reviews, if anyone has the time, as they also help increase the rankings. Thanks for your help, and for your continuing work on behalf of our beloved Zimbabwe.

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BIZARRE: Pastor arrested – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 4th February 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 05 February 2017 15:52

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/32343252720/sizes/m/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/31867005944/sizes/m/

‘Jailed for protesting’ read one of the posters at the Vigil as we gathered in outrage at the arrest of Pastor Evan Mawarire, leader of #ThisFlag movement who was pounced on by a gaggle of CIO people at Harare airport when he arrived back on Tuesday.

BIZARRE seems to be the headline of choice for some websites to grab your attention. The scoop may be ‘goblins having sex with teachers in school’ or ‘Zimbabwean musician videos himself committing suicide’ or maybe ‘woman gives birth to frog baby’.

Well here’s the Vigil’s ‘scoop’. Human rights activist faces 20 years in jail for saying he doesn’t like the government – that is, if he is lucky.

Evan astonished everyone by his decision to return only six months after fleeing with his family to safety in the United States – defying divisive rumours fostered by the CIO. Why did he return? Surely it couldn’t be that he is a brave man acting out of love for his country? He must have known what he faced.

His lawyer Fadzayi Mahere posted: ‘Pastor Evan Mawarire has been classified as a “D” Class remand prisoner and is being detained at Chikurubi Prison where convicted murderers are held, instead of the normal remand holding centre. This is not about Pastor E as an individual but it’s a battle for the soul of Zimbabwe. Are we a constitutional democracy – where free speech, free assembly, free conscience and political rights are respected – or not? Do we speak out? Do we choose apathy? Do we hold onto disappointment that he chose family over fame – or do we rally behind what his incarceration represents for us as a country? Police cells are awful. Remand prison is inhuman. Chikurubi serious crimes section is hell.’

Evan can be comforted by the victory of protesters in Romania. Earlier this week hundreds of thousands gathered in the capital Bucharest and other cities to protest at a government decree allowing those guilty of corruption involving less than about $50,000 to escape prison.

Romanians were proud that their notoriously corrupt bureaucracy had been steadily cleaning up its act since joining the European Union. They weren’t persuaded by the government’s insistence that the decree  was for the best and duly turned out to protest the next night, and again the following night. Now the government has given in.

Hopefully Evan and people like him will see this same happy outcome in Zimbabwe. If he survives. The Vigil notes that a senior British diplomat has just been in Zimbabwe to see the situation for herself. We hope she will get the British government to tell Mugabe: if Evan dies in prison so do British diplomatic ties with Zimbabwe.

Vigil founder member and President of ROHR Ephraim Tapa told the Vigil that, with less than 18 months before the next elections, Zimbabwean activists should brace themselves for more persecution, abductions, torture and imprisonment. The Vigil displayed a poster from a ROHR supporter in Harare, Linda Masarira, who has launched a campaign for #21daysofactivism demanding changes every day until Mugabe’s birthday.

Other points

  • Vigil supporters in the UK were amused to read in the UK Times newspaper : After you, Mr Mugabe: Priti Patel, the international development secretary, was left circling at Addis Ababa airport far beyond her scheduled arrival time on Saturday evening. The minister was dropping in on some UK aid projects in Ethiopia and timed her visit to coincide with the African Union summit and cram in a couple of bilateral meetings. What she hadn’t counted on was landing at the same time as Robert Mugabe. Naturally, the Zimbabwean kleptocrat was granted priority as well as the full red carpet treatment. When Ms Patel’s plane eventually set down, she had to make her own way across the tarmac. There are some things aid can’t buy, it seems.’
  • We were glad to have with us Brighton Chireka, a founder member of the Vigil, now a busy doctor. 
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Muchineripi (Ebson) Chigwedere, Flemming Diza, Linda Dodzo, Sibongile Kadzima, Jean Kawara, Fungayi Mabhunu, Alice Majola, Nancy Makurira, Allen Mandaza, Theodora Mandishaya, Jenniffer Maritsa, Edna Mdoka, Gladys Meck, Darlington Mlambo, Benjamin Molife, Sharon Moyo, Eletha Mpofu, Tinotenda Mrewa, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Simbarashe Mutero, Nontokozo Ncube, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Tsitsi Ndoro, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Aivet Phiri, Newman Richard, Tawanda Rusape, Rumbidzayi Sambana, Douglas Tavengwa and  Maureen Tavengwa. Thanks to Roseline, Cathrine Musa, Gladys, Nontokozo and Sharon for looking after the front table, to Chipo, Sibongile, Maureen and Rosemary Maponga for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Alfredy, Mduduzi, Newman, Tinotenda, Simbarashe, Tawanda and Darlington for putting up the banners.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 68 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Southampton branch meeting. Wednesday 8th February from 12 noon – 1 pm for committee meeting and from 1 – 3 pm for general members meeting. Venue: Eastleigh Library, Swan Shopping and Leisure Centre, Swan Centre, Eastleigh SO50 5SF. Contact: Ben Semwayo (Chair) 07401611932, Grace Rukure (Secretary) 07462103397 and Reuben Waretza (Publicity and Advocacy) 07946 607 617.
  • ROHR Leicester branch general meeting. Saturday 11th February from 2 – 4 pm. Venue: the Salvation Army New Parks, 330 Aikman Aveue, Leicester LE3 9PW. Contact: Enniah Dube 07403439707, Yvonne Makombe 07453909247 and Moline Nyabonda 07961250525.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 11th February from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. Contact: Daisy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • ROHR Slough branch meeting. Saturday 11th February from 11 am – 1 pm. Venue: Upton Lea Community Centre, Wexham Road, Slough, SL2 5JW.   For further information contact Patricia Masamba (Chair) 07708116625, Fungisai Mupandira (Organising Secretary) 07758958803, Sharon Zimuto (Publicity and Advocacy) 07950837841.
  • 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.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest. Saturday 11th February. From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The protest is to mark twenty-three months since Itai’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 18th February from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 18th February from 6.30 pm. Venue: to be advised. ZAF meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2016 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/843-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2016. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2016 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
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Mugabe’s mega delusions – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 28th January 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 29 January 2017 14:37

Zimbabwe’s Christmas holidays drew to a close on Friday with the fleeting return to Harare of President Mugabe after six weeks gallivanting around the world. The government can now turn its attention to the main business facing the country: preparations for the President’s 93rd birthday party on the grave of Cecil Rhodes next month.

The two Vice-Presidents, accompanied by a variety of cabinet ministers and senior officials, were at the airport to brief the presidential couple on preparations for the celebrations. They obviously had good news as Mugabe was said to have been in high spirits. He, in turn, assured them that his holiday had not been all frolics. He had, for one thing, interrupted it to see China’s President Xi, who had assured him he would help as much as possible with the mega deals agreed some years ago.

Unfortunately, Mugabe had no news of a mega financial bailout to enable the government to pay its mega workers and enable the country to pay for its mega imports. The Vigil believes this is a mega problem and all the government’s mega promises are mega delusions.

As if to prove it, the mega welcoming delegation returned to the airport today to say a mega farewell to the President who, having refilled his mega wallet, flew off to Addis Ababa for a mega African Union meeting on ‘Harnessing the Demographic Dividend for Investment in the Youth’.

The youth of Zimbabwe await the outcome with bated breath.

Other points  

  • Zanu PF’s anti-Vigil reappeared outside the Embassy today after their Christmas vacation but only six people took part and they left dispirited after less than an hour. Come on, earn your money!
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Mercy Bayipayi, Joseph Chivayo, Deborah Harry, Fungayi Mabhunu, Emmanuel Magarira, Phillip Mahlahla, Alice Majola, Benjamin Molife, Alfredy Mukuvare, Nontokozo Ncube, Pretty Okechukwu, Tawanda Rusape and Maxmus Savanhu. Thanks to Cathrine Musa, Nontokozo, Alice, Deborah and Pretty for looking after the front table, to Alice and Nomusa Dube for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Phillip, Alfredy, Maxmus, Emmanuel, Tawanda, Joseph and Benjamin for putting up the banners and tarpaulin.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.

FOR THE RECORD: 36 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 4th February from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 11th February from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. Contact: Daisy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • ROHR Slough branch meeting. Saturday 11th February from 11 am – 1 pm. Venue: Upton Lea Community Centre, Wexham Road, Slough, SL2 5JW.   For further information contact Patricia Masamba (Chair) 07708116625, Fungisai Mupandira (Organising Secretary) 07758958803, Sharon Zimuto (Publicity and Advocacy) 07950837841.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 11th February. From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The protest is to mark twenty-three months since Itai’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil. 
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2016 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/843-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2016. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2016 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
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