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A new onslaught – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 19th November 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 21 November 2016 23:26

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/30750699100/sizes/m/ 

The ruthless crushing of the latest anti-government demonstration in Harare, combined with news that the army is recruiting thousands more soldiers, suggest that Zanu PF’s strategy for stealing elections has not changed. 

The scenario is confirmed by the announcement that the diaspora will only be allowed to vote in 2018 if they return home to register and stay on or return again for the ballot – despite the lauded 2013 constitution giving every Zimbabwean the right to vote. 

The Zimbabwean diaspora is believed to number some 4 million – the overwhelmingly majority of voting age. The registered electorate at home is put at around 6.6 million, so the diaspora would have a decisive say. 

Rita Makarau, chair of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, said that the electoral laws had not yet been aligned with the new constitution. The Vigil thinks that this is a step that Zanu PF is never likely to take, making our wonderful constitution a hollow mockery. 

The Vigil is not surprised that six activists were shot at and beaten up ahead of Friday’s planned demonstration against the introduction of ‘bond notes’. Ishmail Kauzani, who was driving one of the two cars containing the activists when they were blocked by unmarked pick-up trucks, said he managed to escape into the night under a hail of gunfire. ‘They were firing on us when we were still driving - many, many shots. It was like a war zone, a barrage of bullets’, he said. (see: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-zimbabwe-beatings-idUSKBN13D1SM). 

Although the Vigil was not surprised by the regime’s ambush we were surprised at the lack of wider support for the demonstration given the opposition’s promises to confront Mugabe on the streets. 

We were even more surprised to see Mugabe making his way down the long red carpet in Marrakech for the UN climate change convention. Not surprised by his futile attendance at yet another back-slapping event but that he could walk unassisted (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTbmGs0Pqck). 

It seems that it’s the opposition which needs help. If it is to win in 2018 it must insist that the constitution is fully implemented well before the election or it will be just another waste of time. If there’s no level playing field the opposition this time must refuse to take part in Zanu PF’s charade.

Other points

  • Ephraim Tapa, President of ROHR and founder member of the Vigil, spoke to us of the need to confront elements trying to hijack the Vigil and ROHR for their own purposes.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Yvonne Bonde, Mercy Chapepa, Mavis Chisvo, Joseph Chivayo, Enniah Dube, Nomusa Dube, Phillip Mahlahla, Edna Mdoka, Zimazile Mguni, Gladys Muduve, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Tracy Mupeti, Cathrine Musa, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Sipho Ndlovu, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Tawanda Rusape and Maxmus Savanhu. Thanks to Cathrine, Gladys and Esther Munyira for looking after the front table, to Chipo, Enniah and Nomusa for handing out flyers and selling ‘Mugabe must go / has gone’ wristbands and to Phillip, Alfredy, Mduduzi, Maxmus, Sipho, Peter Gonera, Honest Madondo, Raymond Gundula and Joshua Kahari for putting up the banners.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photo 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 Zimbabwean HR Charity. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR. 

FOR THE RECORD: 55 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Monthly Prayer Vigil. Saturday 26th November from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. Contact Beverley Mutandiro (07412053415) with names of Zimbabwean pastors and prayer groups who might want to participate. The MDC-T UK and Ireland Youth Assembly will be joining us for the last hour for a candlelit vigil in remembrance of fallen comrades, those who have suffered and continue to be persecuted under Mugabe's Zanu PF regime and the many who perished during Gukurahundi. Please bring spare glass jars for the candles. MDC-T organisers: Sharon Moyo, Youth Province Organising Secretary, 07877224113 and Simbarashe Mutero. MDC-T UK & Ireland SE District Youth Chair, 07543 611638.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 26th November from 11.30 am – 1.45 pm. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall SE1 8XX. Phone Ephraim Tapa 07940793090 or Cephas Moswaswa 07931999174 for exact location.
  • ROHR Birmingham branch meeting. Saturday 26th November from 10.30 am – 1 pm. Venue: Strathallan Hotel, 225 Hagley Road, Birmingham B16 9RJ. Contact: Chair Gladys Muduve 07956430115, Info & Publicity Tecla Bandawe 074 50507650.
  • ROHR Reading branch Christmas dinner party. Saturday 26th November from 7.30 – 11 pm. Venue: Spice Oven Buffet Restaurant, 2- 4 Church Street, Reading RG4 8AT. Admission: £20 eat all you can. Contact Charles 07964731721, Deborah 07578894896, Sihle 07985712749, Alice 07450323439.
  • 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 26th November from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 10th December. From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The protest is to mark twenty-one 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 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: 
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Campaign against visa refusal – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 12th November 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 13 November 2016 17:54

The Vigil has launched a petition to the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, following the refusal of visas to Zimbabwean human rights activists invited to address audiences in London.

The petition reads: ‘Exiled Zimbabweans and supporters appeal to the UK government to allow Zimbabwean civil rights campaigners to take up invitations to visit the UK so that they can tell the world about the worsening situation in Zimbabwe. A number of prominent activists have been denied entry although members of the Mugabe regime have been given visas despite having a history of human rights abuses.’

At the same time, the Vigil is calling on supporters in the UK to write to their Member of Parliament to complain at the refusal of visas to the activists. Zimbabweans resident in the UK are allowed to vote in parliamentary elections as Commonwealth citizens, even though Zimbabwe walked out of the organization more than ten years ago. (The British government has not yet updated the relevant law to exclude Zimbabweans.)

Here is a template for a letter to MPs: 

‘Zimbabweans in the UK are puzzled and distressed that leaders of non-party Zimbabwean protest groups are being refused visas to visit the UK to speak about the struggle against Mugabe’s repressive Zanu PF regime. 

Among them is Pastor Evan Mawarire, leader of the #ThisFlag protest, now exiled in the United States, who was invited to address the All Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe as well as to speak at the Royal Institute of International Affairs. Pastor Mawarire drew international attention when he wrapped himself in the Zimbabwe flag and protested against Mugabe. 

Other campaigners denied visas include Patson Dzamara, who was also due to speak to the parliamentary group. Patson is the brother of Itai Dzamara who was abducted twenty months ago by intelligence agents for his protest in Harare’s Africa Unity Square. He has not been heard of since.

We know of others excluded including Gift Konjana, who has been detained more than thirty times and his home petrol-bombed for helping destitute farm workers. He had been invited to address a meeting at the Royal GeographicalSociety by the Mike Campbell Foundation which had already bought his air ticket.

We do not accept the stated reason that these people did not have the resources to maintain themselves in the UK when they have been invited here to speak and provided with return tickets. We note that Mugabe representatives seem to be allowed free access, including people who have been involved in killings.

The Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group Kate Hoey says the UK’s Ambassador to Harare, Catriona Laing, is also puzzled by the refusal of visas.  Ms Laing is drawing a lot of adverse criticism in Zimbabwe because of the move.

We would be grateful if you would ask the government to clarify its policy on this matter.’

The new petition augments the petition we are already running, addressed to the UN Secretary General: ‘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.’

Other points

  • Today the Vigil held another monthly demonstration to mark twenty months since the abduction of Itai Dzamara.
  • A reminder of the Vigil and ROHR protest on Friday 18th November from 12 noon – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. This protest is supporting a bond note demonstration in Zimbabwe.
  • The MDC-T UK and Ireland Youth Assembly will be joining us at our prayer Vigil on Saturday 26th November. They would like to have a candlelit vigil from 5 – 6 pm in remembrance of fallen comrades, those who have suffered and continue to be persecuted under Mugabe's Zanu PF regime and the many who perished during Gukurahundi. Please bring spare glass jars for the candles.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Elizabeth Chakachaka, Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Beverley Mutandiro, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Maxmus Savanhu, Clerence Simelane and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Beverley, Josephine and Elizabeth for looking after the front table, to Chipo Parirenyatwa and Prosper Karuru for selling ‘Mugabe must go / has gone’ wristbands and to Fungayi, Ephraim, Phillip Mahlahla, Jonathan, Alfredy Mukuvare, Maxmus, Prosper, Alphios Chirwa and Angela Tapera 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.

FOR THE RECORD: 62 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Bond note protest. Friday 18th November from 12 noon – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. This protest is supporting a bond note demonstration in Zimbabwe.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 19th November from 11 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. Phone Ephraim Tapa (07940793090) for the exact location.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 26th November from 11.30 am – 1.45 pm. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.
  • ROHR Birmingham branch meeting. Saturday 26th November 2016 from 10.30 am – 1 pm. Venue: Strathallan Hotel, 225 Hagley Road, Birmingham B16 9RJ. Contact: Chair: Gladys Muduve 07956430115, Info & Publicity: Tecla Bandawe 074 50507650.
  • 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 Prayer Vigil. Saturday 26th November from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. Contact Beverley Mutandiro (07412053415) with names of Zimbabwean pastors and prayer groups who might want to participate. The MDC-T UK and Ireland Youth Assembly will be joining us for the last hour for a candlelit vigil in remembrance of fallen comrades, those who have suffered and continue to be persecuted under Mugabe's Zanu PF regime and the many who perished during Gukurahundi. Please bring spare glass jars for the candles. MDC-T organisers: Sharon Moyo, Youth Province Organising Secretary, 07877224113 and Simbarashe Mutero. MDC-T UK & Ireland SE District Youth Chair, 07543 611638.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 26th November from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 10th December. From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The protest is to mark twenty-one months since Dzamara’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 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:
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Belshazzar’s feast – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 5th November 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 06 November 2016 15:39

The meeting between Mugabe and Zuma in Harare on Thursday was a surreal encounter between the doomed and the damned. 

‘His Excellency President Zuma brings with him a cloud of hope and integrity’ gushed Zanu PF, adding that Zuma was walking in Mugabe’s footsteps. They ignored the dark cloud of hopelessness in South Africa over the rampant corruption which has damned his presidency. And as far as ‘integrity’ goes, the Vigil supposes that Zanu PF must have its own definition of this word. Just ask Jonathan Moyo, who didn’t even bother to go to court on Friday to answer for his defrauding of state funds – even though he had given an undertaking to be there. 

As for the doomed Mugabe, he is already booked in next month for more monkey gland injections in Singapore. In the meantime, state television was banned from showing him tottering to the lectern at the Zuma meeting. 

The Daily News quotes Zanu PF insiders as saying it could be ‘mene, mene, tekel and parsim’ time for Mugabe (the words appearing on the wall during Belshazzar’s feast). They were interpreted by the Prophet Daniel to mean ‘God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end . . .’

Angry South Africans must hope that Zanu PF is right  that Zuma really is ‘walking in Mugabe’s footsteps’ and that his banquet too is about to end.

In any event, few South Africans are likely to take up Zanu PF’s invitation to abandon their university courses to get a ‘decolonised’ education in Zimbabwe, even if they were offered a three-month doctorate such as Dr Grace’s.

Other points

  • The Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil agreed to stage a demonstration outside the Embassy from 12 noon – 2 pm on Friday 18th November in solidarity with protests against bond notes planned to take place in Zimbabwe on that day.
  • The Forum also agreed to run a petition at the Vigil from next week protesting to the British government at the refusal of visas to several prominent Zimbabwean activists who had to cancel planned visits to speak in the UK. Kate Hoey MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe, has suggested we should get supporters to write to their MPs about this matter. A template letter will be prepared.
  • It was decided that a Prayer Vigil for Zimbabwe will be held on the last Saturday of every month in support of prayer meetings in Zimbabwe. Bev Mutandiro our ‘face of prayer’, suggested that people should ask their pastors to get in touch with her (07412053415). Bev shared James 1:25 with the Vigil: ‘But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.’
  • Sally Mutseyami has spare bus tickets for those travelling in the Midlands region. Contact her on 07448730581.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Yvonne Bonde, Benjamin Chigamba, Abel Chikanya, Flemming Diza, Percy Dube, Daizy Fabian, Etines Kapiya, Jean Kawara, Fungayi Mabhunu, Honest Madondo, Emmanuel Magarira, Phillip Mahlahla, Cephas Maswoswa, Gladys Meck, Sharon Moyo, Eletha Mpofu, Eunice Mucherechedzo, Mukudzei Muku, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Edward Murota, Simbarashe Mutero, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Jennipher Sabe, Maxmus Savanhu, Douglas Tavengwa, Maureen Tavengwa and Portiah Tobaiwa. Thanks to Roseline, Sharon and Gladys for looking after the front table, to Maureen and Nancy for handing out flyers and selling ‘Mugabe must go / has gone’ wristbands and to Phillip, Alfredy, Maxmus, Honest, Douglas, Percy, Mduduzi and Benjamin 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.

FOR THE RECORD: 78 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 12th November. From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The protest is to mark twenty months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 12th November from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Bond note protest. Friday 18th November from 12 noon – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. This protest is supporting a bond note demonstration in Zimbabwe.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 19th November from 11 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. Exact location to be advised.
  • 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 Prayer Vigil. Saturday 26th November outside the Zimbabwe Embassy.
  • 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:
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Zim activists denied UK visas – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 29th October 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 31 October 2016 11:24

A leading British parliamentarian has said it is disgraceful that prominent Zimbabwean civil rights campaigners are being refused visas to visit the UK to talk about the struggle against Mugabe and his Zanu PF regime. 

Kate Hoey, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe, was speaking at the Royal Geographical Society in London on Wednesday at a meeting of the Mike Campbell Foundation which was set up to address injustices involved in Mugabe’s land seizures. 

She said a visa had been denied to one of the speakers invited to the gathering, Gift Konjana, who had been detained more than thirty times and his home petrol-bombed for helping destitute farm workers. 

Other activists refused visas include Pastor Evan Mawarire, leader of the #thisflag protest, now exiled in the United States, who had been invited to address the parliamentary group as well as to speak at the London foreign policy think tank, the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House). Another excluded activist was Patson Dzamara, brother of the abducted Itai, who was also due to speak to the parliamentary group.

Ms Hoey said the British government was letting in representatives of the Mugabe regime, including people who had been involved in killings, as well as other tainted people such as Joice Mujuru, but was more and more turning away seasoned campaigners for change.

Kate said the British Ambassador to Harare Catriona Laing was angry at the refusal of visas and had taken the matter up with the relevant government department. The problem appeared to involve financial guarantees regarding their stay in the UK. Kate suggested people write to their MPs to increase awareness in Parliament of what was happening.

A speaker from Zimbabwe who was able to get a visa was Bishop Ancelimo Magaya, founder of Grace Ablaze Ministries International, making his first visit to the UK. The Bishop, who is blind, received a standing ovation for his speech in which he said the people of Zimbabwe were ‘wounded and despondent’. He spoke of abductions and a tired dictatorial leadership holding on to power by brutality. Mugabe had mastered the art of giving the impression that he allowed democratic elections but they were all rigged and people intimidated. ‘Diplomats don’t see this’, he added. 

Bishop Magaya said the Church must lead the way in dislodging the dictatorship. He said ‘the CIO put on dark glasses. Well I don’t see them. I am blind so I am not afraid. If I die I die. That is the motivation the Church should have. We must not be silent in the face of oppression, torture, politically-motivated violence. We must declare God’s judgement. Under God we will win through.’

Other points

  • In answer to a question from one of the 28 Vigil supporters at the meeting, the Bishop said people in the diaspora were automatically regarded by the regime as sell-outs and were liable to be treated as such when they returned home. Anyway, there was nothing for them if they did go back.
  • Another speaker at the gathering was Professor Craig J Richardson, an American economist and author of a book ‘The Collapse of Zimbabwe in the Wake of the 2000 – 2003 land reforms’. Asked by a Vigil supporter to comment on studies by British academics Ian Scoones and Joseph Hanlon painting land reform in a positive light, Professor Richardson said ‘The studies I have seen were carried out in a specific area and were unrepresentative. The growth they showed was because they were starting from zero, giving a misleading impression’.
  • The Vigil presented a fifth anniversary cake (made by Chipo Parirenyatwa) to Ben Freeth the executive director of the Mike Campbell Foundation. Vigil supporters ended the evening by dancing and singing Vigil protest songs for the audience as they left.
  • The picture of oppression described by Bishop Magaya was borne out by a report in the UK Guardian on Friday: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/28/record-levels-of-assault-abduction-and-torture-reported-in-zimbabwe.
  • Deborah Jandles and Edwin Kamanda of a Zimbabwe prayer group joined us today for a prayer vigil. Together with our sister Beverly Mutandiro, they led prayers for Zimbabwe to coincide with prayers being said there and Bev led the singing. We plan to have monthly prayer vigils.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Kevin Gondo, Raymond Gundula, Isabell Gwatidzo, Deborah Jandles, Josephine Jombe, Prosper Karuru, Phillip Mahlahla, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Esther Munyira, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Marlon Nyamakanga, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Douglas and Maureen Tavengwa. Thanks to Roseline, Josephine and Maureen for helping at the front table, to Esther and Nancy Makurira for handing out flyers, to Chipo P, Prosper and Nomusa Dube for selling ‘Mugabe must go / has gone’ wristbands and to Phillip, Alfredy, Douglas, Marlon, Kevin, Munyaradzi and Mduduzi 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. 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: 48 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 5th November from 11 am to 1.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 5th November from 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 5th November 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. 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.
  • MDC London branch meeting. Saturday 5th November from 12.30 – 2 pm. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL. Contact: Sharon Moyo (branch organizing secretary 07877224113) and Clemence Munyukwi (07889 667686 branch secretary). 
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 12th November. From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark twenty months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 12th November from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • 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:
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Everything must fall? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 22nd October 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 23 October 2016 15:25

To paraphrase the famous observation by the German pastor Martin Niemöller: ‘First they came for Rhodes, then they came for Isaac Newton, next they’ll come for the constitution itself’.

The Rhodesmustfall campaign which started at Cape Town University calling for the removal of a statue of the nineteenth century imperialist was seen by many to be rather silly but nevertheless understandable.

Then students took their reforming mission further, seeking to scrap what they see as a ‘Eurocentric’ science curriculum in favour of traditional African theories. In particular, they dismissed Newton’s work as colonial. (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/826-what-did-newton-know-rioting-students-determined-to-defy-gravity).

The students have stopped short of calling it a ‘Newtonmustfall’ campaign perhaps realising this might validate Newton’s law of gravity.

Zimbabwean students have rather more pressing problems to face than removing Rhodes from his grave in the Matopos. And as far as decolonising science is concerned, they learnt to be sceptical of assertions that diesel comes from rocks in Chinhoyi.

But that doesn’t seem to apply to Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao who seems ready to reject not only Rhodes and Newton but the constitution itself, asserting that Zanu PF is the state and it can use state resources to fund party projects. 

Zhuwao is not alone among Zanu PF leaders with this mindset. Vice President Mnangagwa, addressing a Zanu PF rally ahead of the Norton by-election, said the electorate should not waste their votes on an opposition candidate as that person would not access state resources to develop the constituency. He added that, after doling out agricultural  land, Zanu PF was now providing residential stands to its supporters.

More ominously, Social Welfare minister Prisca Mupfumira told starving Norton residents that they risked losing out on food aid if they were not Zanu PF members. So much for the constitution . . .

Other points

  • Few people are persuaded by South Africa’s explanation of its decision to leave the International Criminal Court. They believe the real reason is that South Africa’s ruling elite – like ours – don’t want to end up in jail.
  • The extra photos that were taken on 1st October with a superior camera are now on the Vigil flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157675165006465. There are some good pictures of Vigil regulars.
    The extra photos that were taken on 1st October with a superior camera are now on the Vigil flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157675165006465. There are some good pictures of Vigil regulars.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Isaac Chawasarira, Audrey Chihoho, Nelson Dauramanzi, Nomusa Dube, Munyaradzi Garikayi, Deborah Harry, Vimbayi Karumbidza, Honest Madondo, Emmanuel Magarira, Phillip Mahlahla, Cephas Maswoswa, Marlon Nyamakanga, Sharon Nziramasanga, Tawanda Rusape, Jennipher Sabe, Maureen Tavengwa and Portiah Tobaiwa. Thanks to Deborah and Maureen for looking after the front table, to Portiah, Sharon and Nancy Makurira for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Phillip, Munyaradzi, Cephas, Tawanda and Prosper Karuru 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. 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: 29 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • Mike Campbell Foundation Fifth Anniversary: Taking Effective Steps to Fight Dictatorship – Restoring Justice, Restoring People.  Wednesday 26th October at 6.30 pm. Venue: the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. For tickets: https://event.bookitbee.com/8186/mike-campbell-foundation-5-year-anniversary-event/.
  • Special Prayer Vigil. Saturday 29th October from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 29th October from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 5th November 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 5th November 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. 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.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 12th November. From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark twenty 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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