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Vigil Diary 29th November 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 30 November 2008 21:16

Much anxiety at the Vigil about the cholera epidemic. Patson Muzuwa said he knew of eight people who had died.  There was certainly a feeling that the death toll was much higher than the figures given. Ephraim Tapa said he had received reports from Zimbabwe of hundreds of deaths a week. We were sorry to hear from Chipo Chaya of our Vigil management team that her cousin has the disease.  

 

On a cold, gloomy wet day, when the light went at 4 pm, we were cheered to find three people (Andrew Kumwenda, Anesu Monalisa Mlambo and Kudzanai Kanyimo) who had come down all the way from Liverpool. They left there by bus at 8 am and were due to get home after 11 pm. 

 

Six-year-old Candice visited the Vigil with her school’s teddy bear, Bill. The teddy bear stays with a different child each weekend and the child then reports to the class on his adventures.  This is probably the first time he has taken part in a human rights protest! 

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Letter from the Zimbabwe Vigil to South Africa and the Elders – 26th November 2008 PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 26 November 2008 22:54

The dishonesty, hypocrisy and ignorance emerging from South Africa in the past week stabs at the heart of all those working for democracy in Zimbabwe. 

The group of three ‘Elders’ spent a couple of days in South Africa talking about Zimbabwe and say they have been shocked by what they have learnt. Where have they been for the past 10 years? Have they read nothing, heard nothing?  

Even though they were not allowed into Zimbabwe, they submitted a report to South Africa’s President Motlanthe. He says he was shocked by the report and talks about ‘quibbling over ministries’. Where has he been for the past 10 years? Has he read nothing, heard nothing? 

They say the situation is desperate – and so it is – but it is not helped by this dishonesty, hypocrisy and ignorance. They say the Zimbabwean party leaders must put aside their differences and join in a power-sharing government to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe – as if another short-sighted and deceitful agreement like the one signed in September will do anything to improve the situation.   

Contrary to the perception emerging from the talks in South Africa, the crisis in Zimbabwe is caused by Mugabe alone and is not the result of the failure to set up a power-sharing government and may well be worsened by it.  If Zimbabweans see that their democratic will is again thwarted they may well be reduced to violence. 

There is no way through for Zimbabwe until there is real power-sharing and to treat Tsvangirai as a junior partner when he won the general election last March will do nothing to help Zimbabweans. If he joins the government as a puppet nothing will change. Is this what the Elders want? South Africa clearly does, as is evidenced by the insulting letter reportedly sent to Tsvangirai by the mediator Mbeki in which he apparently complained of his links with the West. Where does Mbeki think aid and investment will come from to revive Zimbabwe? China, North Korea, Burma, Iran, Libya, Venezuela, Cuba? The $30million offered by South Africa will not go far given the mendacity and greed of the Mugabe regime. 

If there is to be any real pressure for change in Zimbabwe it must be applied on the Mugabe regime.  The Botswana government sees this clearly (watch BBC Hardtalk with Phandu Skelemani, Foreign Minister of Botswana - http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00fw6yw/HARDtalk_Phandu_Skelemani_Foreign_Minister_of_Botswana/). The Southern African region must take its advice and isolate the regime.

 For our part the Vigil wants to see:
1.        No recognition of Mugabe’s illegitimate regime
2.        Neighbouring countries to refuse visas to members of the regime
3.        A freeze on the assets of members of the regime
4.        Tighter UN sanctions on the regime
5.        The establishment of refugee camps in countries bordering Zimbabwe where desperate Zimbabweans can seek food, medical attention, shelter and education no longer available at home.
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Zimbabwe Vigil Glasgow Diary - 22nd November 2008 PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 26 November 2008 22:44

With the country’s meteorologists fore-warning us of  some treacherous winds from the Arctic aggravated by an icy storm from the North Pole, 22 Novemeber lived up to its predictions. However, the foot solders of Vigil - galvanised by their resolve to continue raising Glasgow’s awareness to the problems of Zimbabwe – proved that weather is no barrier to their commitment to the struggle. 

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Report from ROHR Zimbabwe - 23rd November 2008 PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 24 November 2008 15:00

23 November 2008 – ROHR Zimbabwe Report

 

The “Demand for Justice and Democracy Campaign” demonstration scheduled for Friday 21 November 2008 in Bulawayo was subdued by heavy presence of police, army and CIOs in the city. The demonstration collided with the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) graduation ceremony which Robert Mugabe attended. The heavy presence of the uniformed forces and CIOs made it impossible to demonstrate but ROHR members managed to distribute fliers to the people in the streets. Members of the public however appeared unfazed by this hostile presence as they openly reached out for the informative material and approvingly shouted, ‘victory is for the people’. 

 

The demonstration is a continuation of the Demand for Democracy and Justice Campaign whose primary aim is to see Zimbabwe hold fresh elections for a new government and a leader of their choice within two years. The campaign also seeks to push for the prosecution of perpetrators of political violence, post March 29 election and before as well as those who are looting the countries’ resources. 

Whilst Zanu PF continues to arrogantly but desperately cling to national security forces i.e. Home affairs, Defence, CIO etc which are its conduits for orchestrating violence against the ordinary citizens, the Zimbabwean crisis is now at desperate and dangerous level. In most towns people are succumbing to Cholera every day, hunger and starvation is nationwide and major hospitals are closed.  Schools and Universities are either closed or failing to open. On the other hand the collapsed economy continues to cause severe suffering on the ordinary Zimbabweans. People can no longer access their cash in banks, can’t afford their daily meals.

 

ROHR Zimbabwe views the above crisis as a direct consequence of Zanu PF’s failure to govern since independence and the subsequent subversion of people’s democratic right to choose a leader of their own on 29th March. This nonsense must be stopped and every Zimbabwean, churches progressive political parties, civic society and the international community must take action to stop this madness.

 

The demand for justice and democracy campaign will continue to unpack a series of protests until the people of Zimbabwe are finally allowed the opportunity to exercise their right to vote for a government of their choice in a free, fair and peaceful environment, whose outcome will be undisputed.

 

Information Department
Restoration of Human Rights Zimbabwe
 
Vigil Diary – 22nd November 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 23 November 2008 21:40

The prospect of yet more talks under the partisan chairmanship of the late Mbeki failed to warm even the most optimistic of us at a wintry Vigil. We phoned our friends at the Glasgow Vigil to see how they were faring closer to the Arctic Circle.  We were cheered to hear they were even colder than us! 

 

ROHR activists in Liverpool are continuing their Saturday protests.  Isaac Ndoro (Interim Chair ROHR Liverpool Branch) reports that they were out in the biting cold handing out leaflets and displaying placards telling the miserable story of Zimbabwe and collecting signatures for petitions.  He says many of their activists have problems getting to the protests because they cannot afford the bus fare – rather like the problem back home!  ROHR activists in Liverpool would like to thank the community of Liverpool for the immense support they have shown since these demonstrations started.  

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