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Parallel Universe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 16th July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 17 July 2016 14:54
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/28074499710/sizes/l
 
The Zimbabwean diaspora was interested to hear from Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo that we are being used by Western countries to promote alarm, despondency and unrest in the motherland where all is ‘calm and peaceful’.
 
The Herald says Chombo’s remarks came in the wake of the Vigil’s demonstration at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London against the money-raising visit by Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa which ended in humiliation for the Minister.
 
The Herald quotes Chombo as saying ’so-called asylum seekers should be working for nation building rather than fomenting hate messages against the government’ (see: http://www.herald.co.zw/chombo-blasts-unpatriotic-diasporans/).
 
Chombo is cushioned by his vast wealth (see: http://www.pindula.co.zw/Ignatius_Chombo). He seems to be living in a parallel universe inhabited only by the Mugabe mafia. They appear to be too far gone to see that it is the state that they have created that promotes ‘alarm, despondency and unrest’ – a state that can charge a pastor with treason for wearing the Zimbabwe flag and working for nation building without hate.
 
Zimbabwean exiles were protesting outside the Embassy in London on Wednesday when we saw pictures of the crowds of lawyers who had turned up in court to offer their services free to Pastor Evan Mawarire. We were encouraged to read the reflections of Pastor Scott Marques who was among the many who gathered to support Pastor Evan (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/806-reflections-on-pastor-mawarires-court-case--wednesday-13th-july-2016).
 
Whatever the delusions of the dying regime, the bottom line is that it has run out of money. Once again the army has been told that they cannot be paid on time. Eddie Cross, the MDC-T MP, says the crunch appears to be imminent.  ‘The regime has its back to the wall in Harare and I see no way out . . . The regime has falsified the financial position of the state and the IMF talks have collapsed leaving the regime in Harare totally reliant on the international community for emergency support.’ (http://www.thezimbabwean.co/2016/07/the-economic-and-political-crisis-in-zimbabwe/). The Vigil believes this support must only come when the corrupt Mugabe regime steps down and allows real change.
 
Other points

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. For videos of Vigils and other events, check the ROHR facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos?fref=photo.

FOR THE RECORD: 88 signed the register.
 
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
  • ROHR Leicester branch meeting. Saturday 23rd July from 2 – 4 pm. Venue: the Salvation Army, Kildare Street, Leicester LE1 3FY. Directions: Opposite Peking Chinese Restaurant, City Centre. Contact: Enniah Dube 07403439707, Yvonne Makombe 07453909247 and Moline Nyabonda 07961250525.
  • ROHR Middlesbrough branch general meeting. Saturday 23rd July from 1.30 – 5 pm. Venue: Student Centre, Clarendon Building, Teesside University, Middlesbrough TS1 3BA. For more information please contact Ndumiso Ncube 07532080247, Xoliso Sithole 07455911728,Henrietta Mlilo 079313110024, Esther Munyira 07460861487 and Sharon Shoniwa 07534867127.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 23rd July from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR Reading branch summer national fundraiser. Saturday 30th July from 2 pm till late. Venue: Pakistani Community Hall, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA. Contact: Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Charles Mararirakwenda 07964731721, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Shylette Chipangura 07828929806, Deborah Harrry 07578894896, Sihle Sibanda 07985712749.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest. Saturday 6th August from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark seventeen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Vigil and ROHR Brighton to London Walk. Friday 12th August to Saturday 13th August. The theme of our fundraising walk is ‘Mourning the death of democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe’. The walk will end around 3 pm at the Vigil. If you wish to participate or sponsor the walkers contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . More information to be provided as plans develop.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 20th August 2016 from 12 noon – 2 pm. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.Contact: Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899, Mavis Chisvo 07944612944.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 3rd September from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
  • 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.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 3rd September from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and a shop. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
  • 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 2015 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/746-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2015. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
    ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835.
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Reflections on Pastor Mawarire's court case – Wednesday 13th July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 17 July 2016 12:17

Email from Eddie Cross 15th July 2016

Wednesday 13th July 2016 was a quite extraordinary day in Zimbabwe. It was the day the State brought the Pastor of a small Church to Court and charged him with treason and tried to deny him bail. His crime? Wearing a Zimbabwe flag around his neck in protest against the collapse of the economy, the failure of State policies and the suffering of the people. The week before he had called a national shut down which had been almost totally observed. A weird silence descended on the whole country.

Zimbabwe is a deeply Christian country and over 80 per cent claim to be Christian. In this case what we then saw was a spontaneous outpouring of support. This is the first time I have seen the Church in Zimbabwe combine on an issue and then take a stand. It is a game changer.

These are the reflections of one Pastor who was there in support.
 


REFLECTIONS OF THE DAY BY SCOTT MARQUES: River of Life Church, Harare, Zimbabwe

Tomorrow is another day and no doubt there will be challenges to face. The most important thing is that Kingdom of God is advancing, the Church is growing and Jesus is working out his purposes in an amazing way, for His Glory!

We saw today the leaders of the National Church, across all denominations, in unity with each other bringing prayer, blessing, peace and joy whilst massive tear-gas trucks and riot police stood aghast on stand-by.

We saw today the President of the EFZ, Dr. Shingi Munyeza, sit from morning to night in solidarity with Evan and many other church leaders there. I saw him lead an entire courtroom in prayer for Evan, for the Magistrate, for the Police and for Zimbabwe. Authority, humility, wisdom, truth and courage with every word.

We saw today these church leaders issue bold statements speaking truth in love to all Zimbabweans, giving direction and challenge.

We heard today 5000 people chant 'Pastor, Pastor, Pastor, Pastor . . . ' from outside the Magistrate's Court as the church lead the way in today's proceedings

We saw today 100s of lawyers standing for justice and offering their services Pro-Deo and Pro-Bono – many holding up their lawyers' ID when the magistrate asked who is taking this case.

We saw today a defence lawyer lay down his vanity and allow for a team-effort of all lawyers, thereby receiving a torrent of legal advice as half the court-room were some of the best legal minds in the country. Every word the defence lawyer uttered seemed to build the most insurmountable defence that the magistrate had ever heard.

We saw today the accused, Evan Mawarire, come up from the cells, from the bowels of the magistrate's court building, and hold his head high in the dock with a Zimbabwean flag around his neck. He stood resolutely, courageously trusting in God and continuing in his purpose.

We heard today 2000+ people outside the courtroom hold a 5 minute silence/prayer time as the court-hearing started at 2.15pm.

We heard today people excited in the courtroom about Sean Mullens who had just lead the masses outside to pray in groups as the afternoon entered its most challenging moment with some unrest setting in. I believe this altered the course of the day.

We saw today every race and tribe loving Jesus, loving one another and loving Zimbabwe today.

We heard today an overflowing courtroom sing 'Ishe Komborera Zimbabwe, Come Spirit, Holy Spirit' as we waited 2.5 hours for the verdict. Police included in the singing.

We saw today, after singing and praying in the courtroom, the riot police enter with AK-47's, truncheons and shields. We saw them honored by all inside and respectfully asked by a lawyer about their actions. We saw them reconsider and walk out after 5 minutes to great applause.

We sang today of 'The Blood of Jesus' (directly translated from Shona 'The Blood of God') at the top of my voice in the courtroom with hundreds of others. And many other amazing songs of worship.

We saw and heard today a judge bring a just and righteous judgement, not a word out of place – like poetry from beginning to end.

We saw something we have prayed for over years – dancing in the streets and joy in homes. We saw this as Evan and his family left the courts for home and the thousands remaining kicked–off the biggest street party that Harare may have ever seen. I watched this guy love his wife and kids, preferring them to personal glory or fame.

We saw today what could be something extraordinarily special for reconciliation and foundation-laying in Zimbabwe, even the influence of a continent.

Zimbabweans, through prayer, we render the baton stick, teargas, the AK 47 or any other weapon powerless. Let us remain united, peaceful and prayerful as we love our neighbour and raise our voices to the Lord.

 
Standing still is suicide – Zimbabwe Vigil protest, Thursday 14th July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 15 July 2016 12:15

Photolinks:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/28202027052/sizes/m/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/27691862933/sizes/m/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/27690296783/sizes/m/
           
The second day of solidarity demonstrations outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London drew even more people that attended on Wednesday when about 150 gathered to express support for Pastor Evan Mawarire’s call for a two-day shutdown in Zimbabwe.
 
It was one of the biggest gatherings held by the Zimbabwe Vigil in 14 years of campaigning for an end to human rights abuses and free and fair elections. Our banners strung between the four maple trees where we stage the weekly vigils were obscured today by the pressing crowd.
 
We were joined by gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.  famous for his attempt to make a citizen’s arrest of Mugabe on visits to London in 1999 and Brussels in 2001 when he was savagely beaten by Mugabe’s bodyguards (see: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/mar/06/zimbabwe.andrewosborn). He paid tribute to the persistence of the Vigil and spoke of the ‘awesome’ courage of the demonstrators in Zimbabwe adding, ‘no tyranny lasts forever’ (see video: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos/vb.301811392835/10154288724147836/?type=2). Peter joined in the dancing (see video: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/28206729172/in/album-72157668189852073/).
 
We were also joined by a white Zimbabwean family who brought a striking poster reading ‘ Moving forward is perilous, moving backwards is cowardice, staying still is suicide’.
 
Vigil founder member and President of ROHR (Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe) Ephraim Tapa spoke of the suffering in Zimbabwe and said it was a man-made disaster caused by Mugabe (see video: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/27694083494/in/album-72157668189852073/).
 
After the Vigil on Saturday our forum will discuss our future activities in support of protest back home. For details of the meeting see below.
 
Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 16th July from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's next door to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn. ZAF meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
 
Thanks to Vimbai Karumbidza and Roseline Mukucha for looking after the register – Vimbai on Wednesday and Roseline on Thursday. Thanks to Cathrine Musa for bringing and distributing flyers to publicise the ZAF meeting on Saturday evening.
 
For photos and videos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157668189852073 and https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos?fref=photo. Shingisai Suluma singing #ThisFlag is highly recommended: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMzx5UxLWWs.

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Enough is enough: Media release from the Zimbabwe Vigil – Wednesday 13th July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 13 July 2016 15:32
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/27669172154/sizes/m/
 
Feelings ran high as Zimbabwean exiles demonstrated outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London today in support of the two-day #ShutdownZimbabwe called by Pastor Evan Mawarire of the #ThisFlag protest movement.
 
Demonstrators – some draped in the Zimbabwe flag – demanded that charges be dropped against Pastor Mawarire, who was arrested in Harare on Tuesday accused of inciting violence.
 
One poster read: ’36 years of freedom: no free speech, no freedom. Free Evan Mawarire’. Another poster read ‘No more injustice, no more corruption, no more poverty, no more Mugabe’.
 
About 150 people were there to hear a demand that there should be no western aid to prop up the Mugabe regime. The demand was made by Ephraim Tapa of the Zimbabwe Vigil who is also president of ROHR (Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe).
 
Tapa said ‘We say no to money for Mugabe and Zanu PF. We don’t trust them. They will buy more tear gas, more water cannons, more military weapons, more helicopters.
 
‘Any loans from the west must be given only to a legitimate regime or they will not be honoured. We want political reforms, economic reforms. We want Mugabe to go and a transitional authority to organise free and fair elections monitored by the international community’.
 
Tapa called for the release of all those arrested in the ongoing unrest informed by social media such as #ThisFlag, Tajamuka (we have arisen), Occupy Africa Unity Square, Hatichada (enough is enough) and others including Linda Masarire of ROHR and those arrested in Beit Bridge and elsewhere.
 
Among the demonstrators were many women banging pots and pans with sticks ahead of the ‘Beat the pot’ protest to be held on Saturday which will be observed by the Vigil.
 
During the protest which went on for more than two hours, a black Mercedes with the number plate ZIM 1 remained stationary outside the Embassy. Perhaps the Ambassador ‘stayed away’.
 
Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157668143634024 and videos: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos?fref=photo.
 
Zimvigil protests – 4th, 5th, 6th July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 10 July 2016 17:26

Zimvigil protests – 4th, 5th, 6th July 2016
 
The Zimbabwe Vigil and its sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe demonstrated for three days this week. We received several messages of congratulations including a twitter message from Dirk #ThisFlag Frey: ‘Much love to @zimvigil for giving Chinamasa a torrid time. Solid solidarity! Thank you comrades’ and a message from Eddie Cross MP:  ‘Thank you Team Zimbabwe once again for doing your Country proud – I think we sunk this ship well and truly’.
 
On Monday 4th July we were outside the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House to picket a meeting addressed by Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa. For a report of the protest check: http://zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/press-releases/797-chinamasa-besieged-in-london-monday-4th-july-2016 and for a video of the police protecting Chinamasa from the protestors check: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xz9L0dL9aUs. Those who attended were: Alfredy Mukuvare, Cephas Maswoswa, Chipo Kamhunga, David Wilkins, Deborah Harry, Dennis Benton, Eldridge Culverwell, Emmaculate Tshuma, Fungayi Mabhunu, John Burke, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Rose Benton and Sandra Kudenga.
 
On Tuesday 5th July Vigil and ROHR supporters were joined by the MDC to picket Chinamasa and others at a money-raising conference in the City of London. Protestors were there from 7 am to 7 pm and managed to hold up Chinamasa’s lunchtime taxi for an hour with a sit-down protest. For reports of the day see:
http://zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/press-releases/798-chinamasa-confronted-again--tuesday-5th-july-2016
http://zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/press-releases/799-chinamasa-trapped-in-london--tuesday-5th-july-2016.
58 people signed the register including: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Deline Bura, John Burke, Muchineripi Chigwedere, Paul Chipamhadze, Mavis Chisvo, Percy Dube, Arnold Dube, Mary Eluwasi, Kidi Gotsi, Hellena Gusinyu, Isabell Gwatidzo, Lucia Gwenya, Chipo Kamhunga, Etines Kapiya, Vimbai Karumbidza, Prosper Karuru, Sandra Kudenga, Marjory Kunaka, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phylis Magejo, Phillip Mahlahla, Nancy Makurira, Rosemary Maponga, Patricia Masamba, Cephas Maswoswa, Lipi Mhlope, Sharon Moyo, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Esther Munyira, Edward Murota, Simbarashe Mutero, Sally Mutseyami, Vusumuzi Ncube, Tryness Ncube, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Mary Ndoro, Collins Nyamupfuknoza, Patricia Nyawo, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Elliot Pfebve, Jennipher Sabe, Eva Sanyahokwe, Alice Shimika, Zenzo Siziba, Ephraim Tapa, Emmaculate Tshuma, Cakes Vundla, Emma Whiley, Saziso Zulu and Elector Zvorwadza.
 
There are many videos of the day. Here are links to some of them:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na31BT2u_mc – Protestors sit down on the road and hold up Chinamasa’s taxi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgCX7vRFYhU – Patrick Chinamasa escorted from conference by London police
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXJEdEYeUOc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXLhp8TpUbg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAs7iJViI5g
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsYxy6llttE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbl8bmHnT6k
https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos/10154264266372836/
 
On Wednesday 6th July Vigil and ROHR activists turned out again outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London to express solidarity with the ‘stay away’ in Zimbabwe. For a report of the demonstration see: http://zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/press-releases/801-tajamuka--we-have-rebelled-wednesday-6th-july-2016. 31 people signed the register including: John Burke, Eldridge Culverwell, Percy Dube, Humphrey Dube, Mary Eluwasi, Chipo Kamhunga, Sarah Logan, Phylis Magejo, Ratidzai Makombe, Tungamirayi Makombe, Rosemary Maponga, Takura Masarira, Edward Murota, Mandifusa Mushambadope, Beverley Mutandiro, Kennedy Mutandiro, Simbarashe Mutero, Sally Mutseyami, Anna Mwanza, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Anna Pfende, Lara Rickard, Jonathan Terry, Ben Tsikwa and Craig Welling.
 
There were also protests at the Zimbabwe Embassy in South Africa on solidarity with the ‘stay away’ in Zimbabwe on Wednesday 6th July, check: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdrDXSh4eNA and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJTwkU5UgEk.

Other videos are posted here: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos?fref=photo.

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