Reflections on Pastor Mawarire's court case – Wednesday 13th July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
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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
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Friday, 15 July 2016 12:15

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.

Enough is enough: Media release from the Zimbabwe Vigil – Wednesday 13th July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 13 July 2016 15:32
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
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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:
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
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.

West to rescue Mugabe? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 9th July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 10 July 2016 17:24

The West seems hell-bent on saving the beleaguered Zanu PF regime – in spite of a Zanu PF minister accusing Western embassies of fomenting the mounting unrest. The West apparently believes that there will be regional chaos if the regime collapses.
Behind the re-engagement process between the West and Zimbabwe is the International Monetary Fund  which has been persuaded by Zimbabwe’s promises of economic reforms and says the country is capable of quick growth if it can only get some cash.
The word is that new loans will only come after reforms have been made but the Vigil can’t see how Zanu PF can undertake reforms. For instance, would this involve a 50% cut in the government wage bill as recommended? We do not believe this can be delivered  as it would undermine Zanu PF’s support base.
Many others are equally sceptical. The Zimbabwean economist Tony Hawkins says ‘the IMF is being taken for a ride’. An article in the latest edition of the UK’s Economist headlined ‘Bailing out bandits’ makes clear its view that a lifeline for Mugabe is ‘a bad idea’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-bailing-out-bandits/).
The West is pinning its hopes on those they see as ‘reformist’ elements in Zanu PF. Vice President Mnangagwa, despite his genocidal history, is seen as one of them, along with Finance Minister Chinamasa, who made a poor impression at a money-raising conference in London’s financial district on Tuesday.
The Zimbabwean academic Alex Magaisa was at the conference and says Mugabe and Zanu PF can’t believe their luck at the prospect of new loans. He says Western countries must not delude themselves into thinking that they are dealing with a different creature or that it is in the interests of ordinary Zimbabweans  (see: http://alexmagaisa.com/chinamasa-came-london/). Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who was also at the conference, accused Chinamasa of lying and said Zimbabwe needed a national transitional authority to stabilise the situation and arrange new elections.
The MDC T has called on the Southern African Development Community to intervene as it did after the violent 2008 elections. This echoes the call by the Vigil, which last month delivered a petition to Botswana, the current Chair of SADC.
Other points

  • Dr Magaisa said that as the conference was taking place the songs and chants by Vigi protestors outside could be heard, prompting laughter when Chinamasa claimed ‘political stability’.
  • For Vigil reports on the day as well as its protest against Chinamasa at a meeting at the Chatham House think tank on Monday (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/802-zimvigil-protests--4th-5th-6th-july-2016). You will also find a brief report on our demonstration on Wednesday in support of the ‘stay away’ in Zimbabwe,
  • Voice of America interviewed Vigil Co-ordinator Fungayi Mabhunu during the Tuesday protest, check: http://www.voazimbabwe.com/a/zimbabwe-politics-economy-chinamasa-zimbabwe-vigil/3405218.html.
  • Chinamasa did not give a good account of his case in an embarrassing interview on BBC’s Hardtalk programme, when he predictably blamed all Zimbabwe’s problems on non-existent sanctions. (see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07jht24/hardtalk-patrick-chinamasa-zimbabwean-minister-of-finance).    
  • Today we marked sixteen months since human rights activist Itai Dzamara was abducted. We also expressed solidarity with other activists back home.
  • An Islamic group ‘Who is Hussain’ take over the Vigil’s our space outside the Embassy every Saturday at 6 pm to feed the homeless. Today they asked if they could put up decorations a little early for an Eid party at the end of Ramadan. Vigil supporter Phillip Mahlahla along with the Vigil ladder was most useful in helping to put up their decorations. We were all invited to the party.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Benjamin Chigamba, Mavis Chisvo, Busie Dlamini, Philile Dlamini, Percy Dube, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Michelle Makoni, Nancy Makurira, Cephas Maswoswa, Praisego Moyo, Sharon Moyo, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Esther Munyira, Euliter Mutami, Vusumuzi Ncube, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Nomcebo Ngwenya, Emilia Nyamhandu, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Zanele Shongwe, Sihle Sibanda and Zenzo Siziba. Thanks to Roseline, Sharon and Esther for looking after the front table and to Phillip, Alfredy, Cephas, Mduduzi, Benjamin and Vusimuzi for putting up the banners. Thanks to Chipo P for selling our wristbands and to Zenzo for bringing scones and crisps for 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: 47 signed the register.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 16th July from 11 am – 1 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 16th July from 1 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
  • ROHR Slough fundraiser. Saturday 16th July from 6 pm till late. Venue: Sharks Bar, Wexham Road, Slough SL2 5HS. Tickets £15. Money raised will go to books, food and school fees for Zimbabwean children in rural areas. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Fungisai Mupandira (07721383165 and Iline Manhunzi 07824886092.
  • 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 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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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