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Zanu PF’s London sales pitch – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 25th June 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 26 June 2016 17:44
Exiled Zimbabweans are to picket a conference in London on 5th July at which Zanu PF will try to persuade the world that it is reforming and should be bailed out with Western loans. The meeting comes as the bankrupt regime hopes to convince the International Monetary Fund that it is serious about implementing the constitution adopted in 2013.
 
The Zimbabwe Vigil will be outside the meeting to tell any prospective investors the real reasons why Zimbabwe has run out of money and why the world should be sceptical about any assurances given by the likes of Finance Minister Chinamasa, Minister of Macro Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Obert Mpofu (unaccountably one of the richest men in Zimbabwe) and Mike Bimha, Minister of Industry and Commerce. They are listed to speak at the conference along with Reserve Bank governor John Mangudya.
 
Strangely enough, although these four feature prominently on the programme (see: http://africa-confidential-meetings.com/programme/) they are not on the list of confirmed speakers, suggesting their attendance is uncertain. In which case, the Vigil wonders whether people will be entitled to a refund of the fee for the one-day conference of more than £500.
 
The meeting has been organised by Africa Confidential, a fortnightly newsletter covering politics and economics in Africa. Explaining the conference, Africa Confidential says Zimbabwe ‘is on the brink of finalising an historic deal which will end a decade and half of sanctions and unlock substantial new funds for economic growth and development’. This comment indicates from which perspective the organisers are coming (see: http://africa-confidential-meetings.com/rationale/).
 
Contrary to Africa Confidential’s assumption, the MDC T MP Eddie Cross says the sudden announcement that Zimbabwe is introducing a new local currency (bond notes) has exposed the real state of affairs and the IMF realises it has been deceived and the regime’s liabilities are much greater than previously revealed.
 
As an indication of Zanu PF’s intentions, Mr Cross cites a new bill tabled in Parliament this week to reinstate the powers that the new constitution had stripped from the Minister of Local Government to suspend and dismiss the elected leadership of local authorities. He says ‘Inpreparation for the next election – expected in 2018, the Minister (who is also the Political Commissar of Zanu PF) has been instructed to cripple and evenremove as many MDC controlled Councils as he can’.
 
Mr Cross continues: ‘It clearly demonstrates that Zanu PF has no intention at all of implementing the new Constitution. Secondly, it shows that they know that they cannot win a free and fair election and are therefore strengthening their defenses against the MDC. The Voters Roll is still under Military control and is managed, not by the Electoral Commission as provided in the Constitution, but by a secretive company called NICOV from Israel. The Minister of Local Government has announced his intention of settling up to 250 000 members of the “Youth” wing of his Party in urban areas using Urban and State land and allocating these people small plots at virtually no cost to themselves.
 
‘You do not need an imagination to understand that the programme of fear and coercion, and the control given by the fear of being removed from your allocated stands, is now being extended to all urban centers and the newly settled people will be used for political purposes and controlled violence against all opponents.’
 
Mr Cross concludes: ‘What does this all indicate? Very clearly it says that the Leopard that has been courting the IMF and the International Community in the past three years; has not changed its spots in any way. The consequences for the country are disastrous. They are again taking money out of our accounts and replacing it with a worthless form of virtualmoney. Their economic policies are destroying what little is left of a oncediversified and sophisticated economy. They are clearly not going to allow a democratic election any time soon and the wholesale theft of resources by atiny, military and civilian clique is continuing.
 
“I am afraid that the days of trying to whitewash this Leopard and to persuade it to change its ways are over. We have no choice but to take matters into our own hands and effect real change in our Country.  The best solution would be an internationally supervised election without avoters roll as soon as possible. If this is not facilitated by the region, then the streets will have to make the required decisions. We the citizens of this country, really have no choice.’ (See: http://www.politicsweb.co.za/opinion/zanupf-the-leopard-has-not-changed-its-spots)
Other points
  • Protest at Zimbabwe Conference 2016 ‘Rebooting and Rebuilding’. Tuesday 5th July from 8 am onwards. Venue: outside DLA Piper UK LLP, 3 Noble Street, London EC2V 7EE. For more information: http://africa-confidential-meetings.com/.
  • Several activists from the Vigil and its sister organisation ROHR are planning to walk the 110 kms from Brighton to London to fundraise for our organisations. The walk ‘Mourning the death of democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe’ will start in Brighton on Friday 12th August and end at the Vigil at around 3 pm on Saturday. Walkers can do the whole walk or join it at various train stations along the route. 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.
  • Jets from the Royal Air Force aerobatics team the Red Arrows flew low over the Vigil leaving vapour trails in red, white and blue, marking the annual Gay Pride Parade which ended in nearly Trafalgar Square. A number of people from the parade signed our petition calling for Mugabe to be tried by the International Criminal Court for genocide.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Joseph Chivayo, Humphrey Dube, Sandra Kudenga, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Bonisile Manyatsi, Rosemary Maponga, Praisego Moyo, Paula Mukonwayasaka, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Chipo Parirenyatwa and Eva Sanyahokwe. Thanks to: Roseline, Sandra and Praisego for looking after the front table, Humphrey for handing out flyers, Phillip, Alfredy and Humphrey for putting up the high banners and tarpaulin and to Chipo P for selling the Vigil wristbands. Lucia Mudzimu kindly brought toasted corn and peanuts for all to enjoy at the Vigil.
 
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: 32 signed the register.
 
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 2nd July from 11 am to 1.30 pm. 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 2nd July from 6.15 pm. Venue: StrandContinental 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 achievetrue democracy.
  • Protest at Zimbabwe Conference 2016 ‘Rebooting and Rebuilding’. Tuesday 5th July from 8 am onwards. Venue: outside DLA Piper UK LLP, 3 Noble Street, London EC2V 7EE. See above.
  • Zimbabwe Play: Workshop Negative by Cont Mhlanga. Wednesday 6th July to Saturday 9th July at 7.30 pm + 3 pm performance on Saturday. Venue: Gate Theatre, 11 Pembridge Road, Notting Hill, London W11 3HQ. The play is a response to theaftermath of Zimbabwean independence. Its comic and controversial approach led to it being banned by the Mugabe government in 1986, a challenge to artists’ freedom of expression. For more information and tickets check: http://www.gatetheatre.co.uk/events/all-productions/tangle_presents_workshop_negative?spektrix_bounce=true.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 9th July from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark sixteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 9th July from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • 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.
  • 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
LAST_UPDATED2
 
SADC save Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 18th June 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 19 June 2016 14:07
 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/27631559516/sizes/m/

 

With the army going unpaid while the government tries to find the money, the Vigil delivered a petition to the Botswana High Commission in London calling for the help of the Southern African Development Community to avert disaster in Zimbabwe.

 

A Vigil delegation was given a courteous reception at the High Commission, being greeted by its defence secretary, a bridadier, and then introduced to a senior diplomat, who accepted a letter to pass on to President Ian Khama as Chair of SADC. They were interested to hear that a member of the delegation had been at school with President Khama in Zambia. Our letter said:

 

‘Dear President Khama

 

In the last 15 years or so Zimbabweans have increasingly looked to Botswana as a model of good governance. We have been comforted that Botswana could always be relied on to speak the truth to President Mugabe – even if it was a lone voice.

 

We are grateful for your patience in the face of the influx of Zimbabwean refugees and other problems we have caused you as our country’s economy collapsed. You have been a true friend and we will not forget your solidarity with our suffering people.

 

Your predecessor, former President Festus Mogae, was quoted by the UN recently as saying: ‘Sovereignty has limits like any other right. A leader cannot kill and harass his people and hide behind sovereignty. A true leader does not kill but protects his people. We still have leaders in Africa who think they are indispensable, larger than life and more important than their countries. That must stop. If a leader loses control, the world will and should intervene to save the people.’

 

We of the Zimbabwe Vigil have been protesting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London for the past 14 years demanding an end to human rights violations and calling for free and fair elections. We fear that our country could be torn apart as President Mugabe clings to office into his nineties with no designated successor. 

 

In your closing months as Chair of the Southern African Development Community we submit to you the following petition calling for SADC intercession to avert disaster. The petition has been signed by thousands of people from all over the world who have passed by our Vigil outside the Embassy.

 

To the Chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), President Ian Khama of Botswana We wish to alert you to alarming threats by the military in Zimbabwe to employ violence against people opposed to the Zanu PF regime. The threats come amid worsening splits in the party and rising popular outrage at the demolition of the homes of the poor and the imposition of pre-paid water meters for an unreliable supply. The Commander of the Presidential Guard Brigadier-General Anselem Sanyatwe has threatened force to stop ousted Vice-President Joice Mujuru from opposing Mugabe. He told his troops ‘Professionalism is over . . . Zanu PF should rule forever’. The national army commander Lieutenant-General Phillip Sibanda later warned that ‘the Zanu PF axe’ could be wielded again. You will be aware that Zimbabwe has recently been judged the worst governed country in SADC. Bad governance has destroyed the economy, reducing people to desperation while the ruling elite drive past in their luxury cars from their mansions to the expensive restaurants. There is growing resentment. Provocative moves by the military could cause an explosion of anger. We call on SADC to prepare to intervene to stop a meltdown.”

 

We remember how SADC facilitated the government of national unity after the violent 2008 elections, arresting catastrophe. It is not for Zimbabweans in the diaspora to prescribe what any solution should be but we want a government that observes the rule of law and will conduct free and fair elections. We believe this is the key to the restoration of Zimbabwe.

 

Yours sincerely

Zimbabwe Vigil Co-ordinators’

 

The following people made up the delegation on Tuesday: Alfredy Mukuvare, Anna Pfende, Cephas Maswoswa, Chipo Kamhunga, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Deborah Harry, Dennis Benton, Eldridge Culverwell, Esther Munyira, John Burke, Percy Dube, Rose Benton and Rosemary Maponga.

 

Other points

·       There was great interest in a report the Vigil put out on Monday about the closure of the NHS clinic in Nottingham run by Zimbabwean doctor Sylvester Nyatsuro and his wife Veronica who have violently seized a farm in Zimbawe owned by a white couple (see: http://zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/791-british-medical-centre-run-by-zimbabwean-doctor-closed). Latest news we have is that the sudden closure of the clinic was to protect the welfare of the patients. We are waiting for a full statement from the National Health Service.

·       We are glad to hear from the Occupy Africa Unity Square protestors that their arrested activists have now all been released after bail was paid. They include Linda Masarire who memorably declared:  ‘We are sick and tired of being sick and tired’. Lynda is a member of our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR). We are told that some of the protestors have lost their jobs and nearly all have lost their phones so donations for their welfare would be welcome. If you wish to contribute, please ecocash +263774059140. The recommended route is worldremit.com. For a statement by the protestors check: http://www.bulawayo24.com/index-id-opinion-sc-columnist-byo-90434.html.

·       ‘The economic crisis which has brought Zimbabwe to its knees has nothing to do with United States sanctions but the failure by President Robert Mugabe's government to pay the country's debts.’ This is what NewZimbabwe reported from a meeting addressed by the US Ambassador in Harare on Thursday (see: http://allafrica.com/stories/201606170151.html – Zimbabwe: Sanctions Not Responsible for Zimbabwe's Crisis - Says U.S. Ambassador). Predictably the government propaganda organ The Chronicle took a different line. Its headline was: Illegal sanctions hurting Zimbabwe: US Envoy (see: http://www.chronicle.co.zw/illegal-sanctions-hurting-zimbabwe-us-envoy/). The Vigil knows who to believe.

·       Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Benjamin Chigamba, Mavis Chisvo, Isabell Gwatidzo, Barbara Kachidza, Etines Kapiya, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Nancy Makurira, Rosemary Maponga, Cephas Maswoswa, Sharon Moyo, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Esther Munyira, Mandifusa Mushambadope, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Anna Pfende and Elector Zvorwadza. Thanks to Roseline, Sharon and Esther for looking after the front table and to Cephas, Benjamin, Alfredy, Phillip and Mduduzi for putting up the banners. Chipo P and Isabell worked hard to raise funds through ROHR Central London branch’s lucky dip which was made more enticing by the following contributions: chocolates from Chipo P, eyeshadow and moisturiser from Roseline and a teddy bear from John Burke. ROHR Reading branch members Elector and Barbara sold raffle tickets for their forthcoming fundraiser.

 

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: 47 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       ROHR Middlesbrough branch general meeting. Saturday 25th June 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 N Mlilo 079313110024, Tapiwa Semwayo 07412236229 and Esther Munyira 07460861487.

·       ROHR Leicester ‘Feed the Children’ Fundraiser. Saturday 25th June from 2 – 6 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. The high tea is to fundraise for a project ROHR Leicester wants to undertake in Zimbabwe feeding school children in Hwange province.

·       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.

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 25th June from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       MDC Youth Family Fun Day. Saturday 25th June from 2 pm until late. Venue: Billing Aquadrome, Crow Lane, Northampton NN3 9DA. For more information contact: Sharon Moyo (07877224113) Organising Secretary and Vusumuzi Ncube (07758937280) Youth Chair.

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 2nd July from 11 am to 1.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 2nd 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 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.

·       Protest at Zimbabwe Conference 2016 ‘Rebooting and Rebuilding’. Tuesday 5th July from 8 am onwards. Venue: outside DLA Piper UK LLP, 3 Noble Street, London EC2V 7EE. More information as our plans firm up. For more information: http://africa-confidential-meetings.com/.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 9th July from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark sixteen months since Dzamara’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 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

 
British medical centre run by Zimbabwean doctor closed PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 13 June 2016 11:47

(photolink: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Inspectors-close-Willows-Medical-Centre-Carlton/story-29392272-detail/story.html#ixzz4BS1dfdM5)

 

A medical centre in Nottingham run by a black Zimbabwean doctor has been closed. Zimbabwean exiles have staged repeated demonstrations outside the clinic in protest at the doctor’s violent seizure of a white-owned farm in Zimbabwe.

 

In February the Zimbabwe Vigil protest group presented a petition to 10 Downing Street calling on the government to consider revoking the British citizenship of Dr Sylvester Nyatsuro, who runs the Willows Medical Centre with his wife Veronica. Dr Nyatsuro has lived in the UK for 15 years and lives with his family in a large and luxurious house nearby valued at around £750,000.

 

They say that they were simply allocated the farm by the Zimbabwe government and denied any nepotism was involved. But photographs emerged showing the couple socializing with Grace Mugabe.

 

The Vigil also drew the matter to the attention for the National Health Service which has responsibility for the clinic. Last week inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited the centre and took immediate action to close it until further notice. Patients are being directed to other practices.

 

The UK government says the question of Dr Nyatsuro’s citizenship is being looked at by the Home Office. The Vigil argues that they are clearly Mugabe supporters and citizenship could have been obtained by means of fraud or false representation. The Nyatsuros have no known farming experience. 

 

FROM THE ZIMBABWE VIGIL 

 
Mugabe strikes at activists – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 11th June 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 12 June 2016 20:28

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/26997392294/sizes/m/

 

As activists at the Vigil commemorated the fifteenth month since the abduction by state security agents in Harare of the human rights campaigner Itai Dzamara, we displayed a new poster – this one condemning the arrest on Wednesday of his brother Patson.

 

Last week Patson released a photograph of what looked like his brother with his hands tied behind his back and a bandage around his head. He told a news conference that he had been given inside information ‘from within the evil establishment’.

 

Patson was arrested along with four other activists while taking part in a revived protest in Africa Unity Square originally started by Itai  against Mugabe’s misrule. Their lawyer, Obey Shava of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, said they had been charged with robbery and obstructing the course of justice.  ‘These are trumped up charges to instil fear and discourage people from occupying Africa Unity Square,’ Shava said.

 

Ten more protestors were detained later in a clear move to close down the protest, which has been gathering increased support as the economy slips towards the cliff edge. They have all now been released on bail.

 

The Facebook page of Occupy Africa Unity Square was defiant, saying the protest would continue: ‘We have been attacked, robbed, beaten, detained without charges, arrested on trumped-up charges, denied bail by charging outrageous amounts, smeared in the Herald.  All of this for 10 days of activism. All this for demanding the Freedom hard-earned at Independence, and subsequently sold down the river’. Meanwhile, youths in Bulawayo have started their own occupation outside City Hall.

 

The protest has aroused international interest. This week the Times of London ran stories about Zimbabwe on three consecutive days. On Monday the headline was ‘Cash runs dry after Mugabe plunders banks’ (http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/78-cash-runs-dry-after-mugabe-plunders-banks).

For details of how Mugabe has plundered the banks see an article by Eddie Cross MP (http://nehandaradio.com/2016/06/11/they-have-done-it-again/).

 

Other points 

- Some newcomers to the Vigil were startled when a procession of naked cyclists rode past. We told them it was an annual event and assured them it had nothing to do with the Queen’s 90th birthday marked today by a fly-past after the ceremonial Trooping the Colour.

- Our friends at the Swaziland Vigil confronted the Swaziland High Commissioner, Mrs Dumsile T Sukata, when she was driven away to attend Trooping the Colour. They pushed a poster against a rear window of her car showing a picture of King Mswati III with the wording ‘Wanted for Human Rights Abuses’. She desperately tried to close the window blinds.

- On Tuesday 14th June the Vigil is presenting a petition to the Botswana High Commission in London calling on SADC to take action to avert meltdown in Zimbabwe. See ‘events and notices’ for details.

- On Friday we were alarmed to hear that Vigil supporter Emmaculate Tshuma was to be deported that day. She was in a Home Office van outside Heathrow airport. Kenya Airways’ telephone lines were overloaded with calls telling them not to take Emmaculate back to Zimbabwe. We are relieved to say that she was not sent home.  

- Thanks to the big group that arrived early to help set up: Alfredy Mukuvare, Benjamin Chigamba, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Ethel Siduna, Eletha Mpofu, Esther Munyira, Etines Kapiya, Euliter Mutami, Eva Sanyahokwe, Flemming Diza, Fungayi Mabhunu, Isabell Gwatidzo, Jean Kawara, John Burke, Jonas Makombera, Kevin Gondo, Kidi Gotsi, Mandifusa Mushambadope, Mavis Chisvo, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Michael Sirewu, Michelle Makoni, Nancy Makurira, Nomcebo Ngwenya, Percy Dube, Phillip Mahlahla, Praisego Moyo, Rashiwe Bayisayi, Roseline Mukucha, Rosemary Maponga, Sihle Sibanda, Vusumuzi Ncube and Zenzo Siziba. Thanks to Roseline, Esthere and Etines for looking after the front table and to Phillip, Benjamin, Alfredy, Kevin and Mduduzi for putting up the high banners and the tarpaulin in the rain. Thanks to Chipo and Isabell for looking after the lucky dip to fundraise for ROHR Central London branch. Chipo made a beautiful cake to commemorate the Queen’s 90th birthday which was enjoyed by all.

 

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: 44 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       Presentation of Vigil petition to Botswana High Commission. Tuesday 14th June at 11 am. Venue: Botswana High Commission, 6 Stratford Place, London W1C 1AY. Nearest station: Bond Street. The petition asks President Ian Khama as Chair of SADC to ask the region to intervene in Zimbabwe. We are gathering outside the High Commission at 10.30 am.

·       ROHR Reading branch general meeting. Saturday 18th June from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below. Contact: Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Charles Mararirakwenda 07964731721, Shylette Chipangura 07828929806.

·       ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 18th June 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 Leicester branch meeting. Saturday 18th June 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.

·       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.

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 25th June from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       MDC Youth Family Fun Day. Saturday 25th June from 2 pm until late. Venue: Billing Aquadrome, Crow Lane, Northampton NN3 9DA. For more information contact: Sharon Moyo (07877224113) Organising Secretary and Vusumuzi Ncube (07758937280) Youth Chair.

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 2nd July from 11 am to 1.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 2nd 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 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.

·       Protest at Zimbabwe Conference 2016 ‘Rebooting and Rebuilding’. Tuesday 5th July from 8 am onwards. Venue: outside DLA Piper UK LLP, 3 Noble Street, London EC2V 7EE. More information as our plans firm up. For more information: http://africa-confidential-meetings.com/.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 9th July from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark sixteen months since Dzamara’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 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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Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 12 June 2016 20:17

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/zimbabwe-faces-collapse-as-cash-starts-to-run-out-l22vvmbbs

Cash runs dry after Mugabe plunders banks

Jan Raath, Harare

June 6 2016, 12:01am, The Times

Zimbabweans have endured shortages of fuel, food and water for decades: now the country is running out of cash.

Hundreds queue at cash machines in Harare, often in vain. When banks have cash to dispense, it can take two hours to reach the front of the queue but a daily withdrawal cap has been cut from $2,000 just a month ago to about $300. It is widely believed that the banks have had to curb withdrawals because President Mugabe’s government is illegally demanding loans that force them to raid customers’ savings.

The 92-year-old leader, who often travels abroad and has been out of the country for the past three weeks, takes about $4 million in cash with him on every overseas trip, Tendai Biti, the former finance minister, said last week.

One bank customer, Barry Phillips, who runs a printing company, said that he queued for two hours only to be told that he could not withdraw the $6,000 he needed to pay his staff. “I asked the teller how much they were letting corporate customers have. A hundred dollars, he said. I’m panicking now. I can’t pay my workers, and they aren’t going to work without pay,” he added.

Zimbabweans fear that economic collapse is imminent. The economy nearly shut down in 2008, amid an inflation rate of 5,000,000,000 per cent. Mr Mugabe ordered banknotes worth about 1,000 billion Zimbabwean dollars to be printed. Quickly deemed worthless, the local currency was abandoned and black market US dollars took over. The US dollar became the official national currency in 2009.

Under Mr Mugabe’s rule, high taxes, labour laws that made sackings nearly impossible and demands that white-owned businesses hand over 51 per cent of their ownership to black Zimbabweans, have caused most of the country’s industrial base to shut down. The eviction of white farmers has, in effect, wiped out surplus farm produce. Fifteen years ago, supermarket shelves were filled with locally produced goods: now almost every product is imported — and that trade is seriously under threat.

“I’m struggling to pay my suppliers in South Africa,” said Vincent Hwende, who owns a supermarket. “Before, I could order a transfer from the bank and it would be in their account a day or two later. Now it’s taking three weeks, or longer. They won’t accept that. I just can’t operate any more.”

Eddie Cross, an economist, said that the country was running out of cash, partly because Mr Mugabe’s government was borrowing it illegally from the private banks, taking at least half of retail deposits. “Every bank in Zimbabwe is technically broke,” he said.

Rampant corruption accounts for a major chunk of state spending. Critics point to the home of Augustine Chihuri, the Zimbabwean police chief, on the eastern outskirts of Harare, marked by an enormous dome. Property consultants estimate that the building cost more than $5 million.

The International Monetary Fund has told the government that “profound economic transformation” is the only way to deal with the crisis. But Eldred Masunungure, a political analyst, said: “They don’t know how to take the country forward and there is little hope among citizens on how this regime can redeem us from the economic abyss.”

Mr Mugabe has been away from Harare for almost three weeks, travelling to South Africa, Singapore and Papua New Guinea with a delegation believed to be 60-strong, to attend a meeting of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific group of states. He was the only head of state who turned up. Local media reported that he has travelled to Singapore for medical treatment ten times since January. He has also been to Uganda, Russia, India, Ethiopia and Equatorial Guinea, usually with a large entourage.

Obert Gutu, spokesman for the opposition MDC party, put his travel bill so far this year at $80 million.

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