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. 

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
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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.  

17th November 2008 PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 17 November 2008 23:09

17th November 2008
We were pleased to receive the following report, submitted by George Murevesi and Patience Tsungu, from our friends in Glasgow on their last Vigil on 8th November 2008. 

Glasgow Vigil Diary – 8th November 2008
On the eve of another important regional gathering to thrash out a deal to break the current impasse we gathered, once again, on Argyle Street Precinct in Glasgow, Scotland, to vent our displeasure at the continued human rights crisis engulfing our beloved land. 


In the midst of the hustle and bustle characteristic of early Christmas shopping, we were humbled by the concern of the Glasgow residents who took time to sign our petitions and make donations despite the biting credit crunch. 


We were also touched on this Remembrance Day by the poppies which were donated, in solidarity with us, by the army cadets. 


The Vigil activists did not disappoint either, as they boosted morale through song, dance and drumming, charging up the atmosphere which, without their commitment, could otherwise have been ruined by the ruthless cold currently stalking Glasgow. We were, however, lucky that the heavens spared us the rain, which normally affects public interest. 


We are happy at the recognition and support we are receiving from other civic groups here, particulary the labour movement, and we will be linking up with some of them in future projects. 


For the record, approximately 20 people attended. 


For your diary:
Next Zimvigil Glasgow meeting is on 22 November 2008, 2pm till 6pm.
ROHR is in Glasgow on 22 November at Langside Hall (reception room) 1 Langside Avenue, Glasgow G41 2QR for a follow up to Mr Tapa’s visit and quest to set up structures here. 
Scottish Union Trades Union Congress (STUC) is holding its annual anti-racist march on 29November 2008. March assembles at 1030 am at St Andrews in the Square off  Saltmarket, Glasgow,  and march off at 1100hrs and wind off with at 1200hrs at Glasgow Film Theatre on Ross Street in Glagow
Vigil Diary - 15th November 2008 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 16 November 2008 18:35

Bitter disappointment at the failure of SADC to help Zimbabweans and, at the same time, relief at the refusal by the MDC to cave in to Mugabe’s unreasonable demands: these were the main reactions at a large and boisterous Vigil.


The Vigil hopes that SADC countries will provide aid to Zimbabwe to replace the Western assistance that was promised if SADC’s power-sharing agreement had been honoured by Mugabe . . . but we doubt it.  They seem prepared to see us die – an African solution for an African problem. 


The Vigil decided to revive our petition aimed at spelling out the consequences of inaction to the SADC region.  The petition reads “A Petition to European Union Governments. We record our dismay at the failure of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to help the desperate people of Zimbabwe at their time of trial.  We urge the UK government and the European Union in general to suspend government to government aid to SADC countries until they abide by their joint commitment to uphold human rights in the region. We suggest that the money should instead be used to feed the starving in Zimbabwe.” 


We have sent a first tranche of signatures to the EU and will continue to press it until it takes action. Our other petition, now gathering thousands of signatures also seeks to put pressure on the region to face up to their responsibilities. It reads: “A Petition to the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA). With the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe and the likelihood of unrest spreading to South Africa we call upon FIFA to move the 2010 World Cup from South Africa to a safer venue. By the time the World Cup takes place the Mugabe regime will have made the whole region unsafe because millions more refugees will flee Zimbabwe prompting further xenophobic violence in neighbouring countries. FIFA must ensure that World Cup teams and their supporters are not endangered.” 


The Vigil has always felt that only our neighbours can help Zimbabwe and we want to put pressure on them to do this.  We find it dispiriting that our African brothers seem to blame the situation in Zimbabwe on the victims.


A few snapshots:

* A passer-by brought a Zimbabwean 100,000,000,000 dollar special Agro-cheque. We would like a steady supply of these useless notes to sell as a joke to passers-by.  
Thanks to Lovemore Mukeyani and Jenatry Muranganwa for leading the exuberant singing and dancing. The Vigil was also happy to be joined by Batman in his full costume! 
 After the Vigil, the Management Team met to discuss the way forward. Apart from deciding to coontinue the petition to the EU, it was agreed to have carol singing at the Vigil just before Christmas – 20th December.
Vigil supporters were heartened to hear that a group of 3 elder statesmen (former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former US President Jimmy Carter and Mandela’s wife, Graca Machel) are visiting Zimbabwe at the weekend. We know that they will:

1. Stay at the Rainbow Towers
2. Dine at Meikles
3. Swan around Borrowdale Brook
Well, the Vigil wants them to see:
1. The rivers of sewage in Chitungwiza 

2. The dying cholera victims at the run-down Parirenyatwa Hospital 
3. The scavengers rooting for food in the rubbish in Mbare 


Once again, grateful thanks for David McAllister for his hard work on our website. We think he has done an imaginative and intelligent job.


For latest Vigil pictures check the Flickr link in the right hand column.


FOR THE RECORD: 157 signed the register. 



Central London Zimbabwe Forum. Monday, 17th November at 7.30 pm. Innocent Chofamba, the former editor of the Mirror, and Mqondobazi Magonya, the former treasurer general of Imbovane, will discuss ‘what next’ for Zimbabwe after the failure of the recent SADC meeting.  Venue: Downstairs at the Bell and Compass, 9-11 Villiers Street, London, WC2N 6NA, next to Charing Cross Station at the corner of Villiers Street and John Adam Street. 

Next Glasgow Vigil. Saturday, 22nd November 2008, 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Argyle Street Precinct. For more information contact: Patrick Dzimba, 07990 724 137. This will be followed by the ROHR launch in Scotland. Saturday, 22nd November 2008, 6 – 9 pm. Venue: Langside Hall (reception room) 1 Langside Avenue, Glasgow G41 2QR. Very close to Glasgow City Centre. (Buses 23; 38,38A,B,C; 45; 47; 5734; 90). Contact P Dzimba on 07990724137, C Samas 07799156802 or P Mapfumo on 07932216070 or 07533831617. 

 Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays). 
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