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Mugabe strikes at activists – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 11th June 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 12 June 2016 14:34

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’ (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/788-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

 
Protest ‘against black oppression’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 4th June 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 06 June 2016 09:53

Check https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-rgLB-sAuw&feature=youtu.be for video taken at the vigil expressing solidarity with #ThisFlag campaign. 

 

 

The Vigil salutes the activists who are staging a sixteen-day round-the-clock protest in Harare’s Africa Unity Square against Zimbabwe’s worsening economic and political situation.

 

The protest was launched on Wednesday when eleven people from the Zimbabwe Activist Alliance and other civil society organisations bedded down in the square. They said they wanted to raise a number of issues for public debate. Lynette Mudehwe, coordinator of the Activist Alliance, called for the rejection of the bond notes to be introduced by the Reserve Bank in October and said people should also not accept bank withdrawals being limited to only $50 a day.

 

Lynda Masarira, leader of Zimbabwe Women in Politics Alliance, said the government had shown it did not care for the needs of the people especially women. She complained of ‘black oppression’. The Secretary-General of the National Students’ Union, Makomborero Haruzivishe, also joined the protest, saying they were tired of watching while the fruits of Zimbabwe’s independence were being squandered by just a few individuals. (see: Camping Zimbabwe Protesters Vow to Push for Social, Economic Reform – http://www.voazimbabwe.com/a/zimbabwe-activists-16-days-of-activism/3359085.html).

 

The Occupy Africa Unity Square facebook page today said they had come under attack early on Saturday morning by fourteen men. It said Lynette was grabbed and her ID taken out of her wallet. After inspecting it, they wiped their fingerprints off and returned it, holding it with what they had wiped it with, clearly indicating that they were trained. One disabled woman, Naspar Manyau, was indecently assaulted and tipped from her wheelchair towards the stove at which she had been warming her feet.  The men grabbed blankets and other possessions and several activists were attacked and injured. Patson Dzamara, brother of the missing activist Itai, who was sleeping nearby managed to recover the blankets (see: https://www.facebook.com/Occupy-Africa-Unity-Square-386483044833537/ and for a video of the activists outlining their concerns / demands, see: https://youtu.be/4vEOwCzBzMk).

 

A meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil passed a resolution of solidarity with the demonstrators: ‘The Zimbabwe Action Forum salutes the activists taking part in the sixteen-day round-the-clock protest in Africa Unity Square in Harare. We have demonstrated outside Zimbabwe House in London for fourteen years in support of human rights and free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. Only by reclaiming our human rights as guaranteed by the constitution can we achieve change and rebuild our country. Your action encourages us to continue the struggle for justice, equality and a better future for our children.’

 

Patson Dzamara on Monday 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: ‘Some individuals from within the evil establishment volunteered information regarding who abducted Itai Dzamara, why and where he was kept. The heinous act was executed by state security agents, in particular the military intelligence.’ He went on: ‘We can’t allow Mr Mugabe’s Mafia to continue abusing us like this. This is abnormal and we are not going to normalise the abnormal.’ (see: http://nehandaradio.com/2016/05/30/first-ever-picture-itai-dzamara-custody/).

 

Even Zanu PF’s Minister of Higher Education, Professor Jonathan Moyo, has changed his tune and now admits that Dzamara was abducted. But he says he hasn’t a clue who did it . . . Clearly the professor is not as bright as he thinks he is!

 

The revived Occupy Africa Unity Square protest, together with Pastor Evan Mawawire’s #ThisFlag campaign with its  ‘hatichada, hadichatya’ slogan, reflects widening unrest at the government’s failure to turn around the economy. Some fifty civic organisations under the banner of the Zimbabwe National Agreement Platform have also urged the public to reject bond notes. Spokesman Bishop Ancelimo Magaya said that following the illegitimate 2013 elections Zanu PF wanted to reintroduce the Zimbabwe dollar to fund their 2018 election campaign. ‘The decision to print bond notes will not help anyone but the political leaders. There is no positive to bond notes and we are certain they are externalising their money. They are making massive withdrawals to relocate their wealth outside the country.’ See: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-reject-bond-notes-civil-society-groups/).

 

A different picture was not surprisingly given by the Chief Secretary to the President Dr Misheck Sibanda who said the country was on the verge of economic recovery (http://www.herald.co.zw/economy-on-the-mend-says-govt-2/).The Vigil notes that his optimism flies in the face of all evidence, including indications from China that it will suspend the so-called megadeals involving energy and infrastructure investment in protest at the booting out of the Chinese from the Chiadza diamond fields. The Chinese have taken the government to court over the matter and have complained of a lack of respect for property rights (see: http://www.theindependent.co.zw/2016/06/03/china-zim-clash-diamonds/).

 

Other points

·      The Zimbabwe Action Forum decided to present our current petition to the Botswana High Commission in London at 11 am on Tuesday 14th June. The petition reads: 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.’

·      Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla, Cephas Maswoswa, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha and Mduduzi Ndlovu. Thanks to Roseline, Eletha and Nancy for looking after the front table. Thanks to Phillip, Cephas and Mduduzi for putting up the banners. Once again delicious food was cooked by members of ROHR Central London Branch: Elector Zvorwadza and Mavis Chisvo. The food was served by Mavis and Eletha. Cephas provided paper plates and serviettes and Elector brought spoons.

 

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: 27 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 11th June from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark fifteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 11th June from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       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: 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.

·       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
 
The big stink – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 28th May 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 29 May 2016 14:37

Photolinks: https://www.zimeye.net/in-pictures-mdc-t-march-in-bulawayo/, https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/26706267133/sizes/m/

Caption: MDC T demonstrate in Bulawayo and at the Vigil

 

Fresh from his ‘million man’ charade in Harare, Mugabe flew off on Air Mugabe to enjoy being the only President from the 79 members of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States to attend a meeting in Papua New Guinea. Apparently not even the Papua New Guinea President was attending.

 

Papua New Guinea? If you consult the atlas you will find it is part of an island east of Indonesia and north of Australia. A spokesman for PNG (as it is known to those who have consulted the atlas) said his country was keen to raise its international profile because not many people knew where it was. ‘They think it is part of Africa’. He said (see: http://www.zimeye.net/mugabe-humiliated-in-paupa-new-guinea/).

 

Well, Air Mugabe knows where PNG is: conveniently close to Mugabe’s doctors in Singapore. It’s been more than a week since he last saw them so surely more injections are due – apart from changing the nappy of his grandson.

 

Mugabe was accompanied by the usual large delegation which included Grace of course, Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha and Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi. Permanent secretaries Ambassador Joey (yet another) Bimha and George Charamba, among the usual flunkies, helped fill the Air Mugabe plane.

 

The PNG is popular for its diving and other leisure facilities. But the Vigil is worried that Mugabe’s insatiable trips abroad are believed to have cost the country $80 million this year. How come he is squandering this money when thousands of hungry, deluded Zanu PF youth were left to make their own way home from the ‘million man’ march?

 

MDC T spokesman Obert Gutu said Mugabe never passed an opportunity to escape from the country. ‘Mugabe is wasting this money at a time half the country is facing starvation due to a severe drought’. He said.

 

Jacob Mafume, spokesman for Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party, added: ‘Mugabe suffers from an excessive attention seeking sickness. He is like a man who messes up his own house with his waste and keeps leaving the house because the house smells’ (see: http://www.newzimbabwe.com/news-29405-Bob+alone+at+Papua+New+Guinea+summit/news.aspx).

 

This struck a chord with us because an article has appeared in the London Times on this theme, even mentioning Mugabe. The article about dictators talked of the overpowering stench at the French King Louis XIV’s palace at Versailles. The palace had 700 rooms but no functioning lavatories for nearly 200 years. Even then the soon to be executed Queen Marie Antoinette was said to have been drenched by the contents of a chamber pot emptied from an upper window. The place apparently stank more than Chitingwiza. The writer of the article noted ‘eventually people cease to be awed by dictator display and start to laugh at it . . . beneath every showy dictatorship lies a secret cesspool. When the smell becomes overpowering the revolution starts’. Mugabe must be aware of the big stink at home.

 

Other points

·       While thousands of MDC T supporters in their red T-shirts protested in Bulawayo at Mugabe’s looting of Zimbabwe, we were joined by a large contingent of MDC members including many familiar faces. There was agreement that we need to work together for change in Zimbabwe.

·       At the same time, Dr Grace, in a message from Papua New Guinea to a ZimAsset Bulawayo conference, said  ‘Bulawayo is on a path to robust re-industrialisation, having survived the devastating effects of economic sanctions that led to the collapse of many companies and loss of jobs’ (see: Zimbabwe: Bulawayo to Regain Super Industrial Status, Says First Lady – http://allafrica.com/stories/201605280111.html).  Fantasy sanctions and fantasy re-industrialisation!

·       On Wednesday 25th May – Africa Day – 17 people from the Vigil (Alfredy Mukuvare, Cephas Maswoswa, Chipo Kamhunga, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Dennis Benton, Eletha Mpofu, Fungayi Mabhunu, Fungisai Mupandira, John Burke, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Michelle Makoni, Nancy Makurira, Patricia Masamba, Rashiwe Bayisayi, Rose Benton, Rosemary Maponga and Sally Mutseyami) went to a performance of a play about Zimbabwe ‘After Independence’ at the Arcola Theatre in London. The play examined the land question in Zimbabwe and the theatre was packed. Our group danced, sang and drummed afterwards to an appreciative audience in the theatre bar including members of the cast. The producer Chris Foxon sent us this email afterwards: ‘Just a quick note to express an enormous thanks for joining us last night. It was a fabulous event and I hope it helped raise awareness of your work. Certainly the audience loved it, and our cast were blown away. We plan to come down and visit the Vigil in a week or two, once the show is closed and settled.’

·       Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Isabell Gwatidzo, Deborah Harry, Etines Kapiya, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phillip Mahlahla. Mary Mandizha, Rosemary Maponga, Cephas Maswoswa, Nomsa Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Casper Nyamakura, Chipo Parirenyatwa and Eva Sanyahokwe. Special thanks to: Roseline, Isabell and Etines for looking after the front table, Chipo for selling the wristbands and Alfredy, Cephas, Casper and Deborah for putting up the banners and posters.

·       ROHR Central London branch brought delicious food cooked by Fungayi, Rashiwe Bayisayi, Chipo and Rosemary and served by Rosemary, Sharon Moyo, Rashiwe, Nancy Makurira and Eletha Mpofu. Thanks to Etines for her £10 contribution to the food costs.

·       For videos of last week’s dancing at the Vigil check: https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos/10154153865577836/ and https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos/10154153412097836/.

 

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: 75 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 4th June 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 4th June 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.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 11th June from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark fifteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 11th June from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       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.

·       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

 
Waving the flag – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 21st May 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 22 May 2016 14:51

Photos caption: British Ambassador Catriona Laing shares a joke with Vice-President Mnangagwa while Vigil shows support for #ThisFlag.

Photolinks:
http://www.herald.co.zw/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/2005-1-1-VP-MNANGAGWA-MEETS-BRITISH-AMBASSADOR-3.jpg

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/27087406901/sizes/m/

 

The suggestion that the Zimbabwean government is looking at ways of ‘taxing’ the diaspora may be fanciful but it is clear that both Zanu PF and the opposition are looking hungrily at the money earned abroad by the millions of Zimbabweans who have fled Mugabe’s economic Armageddon.

 

The government, we were told this week, has drafted a Diaspora Policy which seeks to tap into exiles’ remittances estimated at $1.8 billion a year – way more than the country is attracting in foreign direct investment (see: Zim Citizens Working Outside The Country To Be Taxed – http://zimmetro.net/index-id-front+page-zk-19691.html).

 

It is typical of the Zanu PF mentality that the government should think it has a claim to any of this money. It’s bad enough that hundreds of thousands of family members in Zimbabwe have become so dependent on remittances – indeed appealing for ever more help.

 

We now learn from a prominent opposition member that their attempt to raise money from the diaspora for an election war fund has met with little response. Can they be surprised given their dismissive attitude to the diaspora down the years? To them the diaspora has only ever been a cash cow.

 

If the government does try to ‘tax’ the diaspora we must consider how we can pay in ‘bond’ notes. After all they are apparently good enough for the people of Zimbabwe. We will have our notes made by the same German printer.

 

We note that so many have fled Zimbabwe that Mugabe can’t even get good cooks. The Vigil laughed at an article about this in NewZimbabwe, and particularly at this comment on the story: ‘It seems that this report is inaccurate. Both Robert Mugabe and Grace Mugabe are excellent cooks. They have been cooking the books on the diamond sales and the Printing Press for years now. There is nothing that they cannot cook with the help of Gono and Scoones – from the money supply and the wild success of the Land Reform Programme to the report on the massacre of 20 000 civilians in Matabeleland. The numbers and facts are always exceptionally well cooked. The latest dish from Master Chef Bob was to tell Patrick Anthony Chinamasa to tell the people that the Bond Notes are going to happen. The Bond Notes will flood the market – again – and then the close inner circle of Zanu will dupe the people of Zimbabwe to swap their genuine US dollars (held by the people) for some Zanu Bond Toilet Paper that Mugabe, Gono, Chinamasa and Scoones will sell as a worthy form of currency! If 10 million Zimbabweans have an average of US$100 each in their mattress – then these cooks (or crooks?) want to get their greasy little paws on it – to the tune of $1000 million US Dollars. The Diasporans need to be careful about feeding the Zanu Fat Cats in their quest to feed the families and friends. The new marketing line for Bond Notes will be “Zanu Bond Toilet Paper – the luxury you cannot afford to pay for in US$.” Once Bob has the US$ he needs he will then use the bond toilet paper to wipe his *#*# and be done with it, like the Matabeleland Massacres.’  (See: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-mugabe-complains-about-graces-cooking/).

 

At the Vigil supporters wrapped themselves in Zimbabwean flags to express their support for the campaign for freedom  launched by Pastor Evan Mawarire which has captured public imagination (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2016/05/20/thisflag-idea-whose-time-come/).

 

Other points

·       We were pleased to be joined by two Danish students, one of whom Anna Bestle spent six months working for the Women’s Resource Centre in Harare.

·       A large group from the Vigil is marking Africa Day on Wednesday 25th May by going to see the play ‘After Independence’ set in Zimbabwe. We are taking our drums and are having a collaborative event at the theatre afterwards. See ‘Events and Notices’ for more details.

·       Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Isaac Chawasarira, Benjamin Chigamba, Mavis Chisvo, Isabell Gwatidzo, Barbara Kachidza, Etines Kapiya, Fungayi Mabhunu, Phylis Magejo, Phillip Mahlahla, Nancy Makurira, Rosemary Maponga, Cephas Maswoswa, Sharon Moyo, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Edward Murota, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Eva Sanyahokwe, Benjamin Semwayo, Michael Sirewu and Elector Zvorwadza. Thanks to those who looked after the front table during the Vigil: Roselone, Elitha, Sharon and Nancy. Thanks also to the team that put up the high banners and tarpaulin: Phillip, Cephas, Alfredy and Mduduzi.

 

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: 45 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       Play: ‘After Independence’. 4th – 28th May at the Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL. The play is by May Sumbwanyambe and tackles the issues of independence and government in Zimbabwe. Tickets are available from the Box Office: 020 7503 1646 or online from: http://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/after-independence/2016-05-04/.

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 28th May from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       ROHR South Yorkshire Launch. Saturday 28th May from 1.30 – 8 pm. Venue: Christ Church, Armley Ridge Road, Leeds LS12 3LE. Contact: Patricia Nyawo 07443897919, Gladys Muduve 07956430115, Oscar Ndlovu 07474185307 and Rosemary Mupunga 07446380110.

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 4th June 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 4th June 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.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 11th June from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark fifteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·       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.

·       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
 
Facing reality – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 14th May 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 15 May 2016 13:31

Exiled Zimbabweans in the UK welcomed remarks this week by US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Peter Harry Thomas Jr, who called for full implementation of the constitution, an up-to-date voters’ roll, the elimination of corruption and a ‘reliable’ court system.

 

Speaking to journalists in Harare, Mr Thomas said this was critical if Zimbabwe is to have free and fair elections in 2018. He added: ‘We don’t want to see violence; we don’t want to see intimidation. We want to see people who are given the opportunity to campaign without fear of harassment and the start is full implementation of the 2013 constitution’ (see: http://www.theindependent.co.zw/2016/05/13/finalise-political-reforms-us-envoy/).

 

So far so good. But the Vigil would like clarification of Mr Thomas’s assertion that the US is ‘in support of Zimbabwe’s re-engagement with the international financial institutions’. What exactly does this mean?

 

Zimbabwe desperately needs money, sure. The reason is clear: Mugabe and his cronies have stolen everything. There is pervasive corruption at all levels as well as institutionalised incompetence.

 

An example: Health Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa says his ministry needs $65 million urgently to buy drugs. He said the Treasury approved a budget of $450,000 for Midlands province but it was given only $3,000 – and that was also to cover patients’ food and utility bills . . . Vice-President Mphoko of course blamed Western sanctions (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-health-sector-needs-65m-for-drugs-the-herald/).

 

The Vigil’s fear is that ‘re-engagement’ with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank means approval of some creative bookkeeping to deal with Zimbabwe’s debt to these institutions allowing the imploding regime to access more loans to enable it to steal yet another election.

 

Having been turned down by his ‘all-weather friends’ Mugabe has been left with no option but to try to con money from the enemy and has come up with a plethora of promises from dealing with corruption to a land audit and compensation for white farmers, from halving the state wage bill to reforming bankrupt parastatals. All this is fantasy as there is no real will or capacity to achieve these goals.

 

The IMF has recently toughened its hitherto craven language about the regime. We want it to get even tougher and tell Mugabe that new money will only come if the West is at long last allowed in to observe the elections and judge whether they have been free and fair.

 

As we have pointed out before, the stakes are high. Zanu PF has long been a malignant influence in the region as is shown clearly by recent developments in South Africa. Witness the paranoia of ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe, facing growing opposition to the party, parroting the line that the West is pushing for ‘regime change’ in South Africa. Where did we hear that before? (See: http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/regime-change-claims-reflect-ancs-paranoia-2020528).

 

Other points

·       More than 30 Vigil and ROHR supporters staged another demonstration on Friday outside the clinic in Nottingham run by Dr Sylvester Nyatsuro and his wife Veronica who have seized a farm belonging to a white Zimbabwean. We are campaigning for Nyatsuro’s British passport to be withdrawn. A local journalist there to report the demonstration asked for an interview with Nyatsuro but was turned down. Some of the protesters approached Veronica as she entered the clinic but she refused to say anything – even when asked for advice on who to contact to get a stolen farm. A Kenyan lady arrived at the clinic in a Mercedes said she didn’t understand why we were protesting against a black person taking over a farm and that we were embarrassing her doctor. We replied that his greed was embarrassing us. A more positive response came from a local nurse who took a bundle of our leaflets to hand out to patients. One the organisers of the demonstration Sally Mutseyami was interviewed by the journalist for a radio broadcast the day before about the protest. Two videos of the protest have been posted on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YxsI9RXADs Campaigners against Zimbabwe born doctor and wife and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vwobfmp8pc Campaigners against Zimbabwe doctor over land grab.

·       People worried about the back door moves to introduce a bogus Zimbabwean currency might be interested to read a story in the UK Guardian newspaper which reports that the old Zim$100 trillion note is fetching up to $40 dollars each (see: http://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/may/14/zimbabwe-trillion-dollar-note-hyerinflation-investment).

·       We are looking forward to our excursion on 25th May (Africa Day) to see the play ‘After Independence’ with a collaborative event afterwards. It has had excellent reviews including in the Guardian, Times and Telegraph. See ‘Events and Notices’ for details.

·       Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Cyrus Sangare, Eletha Mpofu, Esther Munyira, Etines Kapiya, Fungayi Mabhunu, Isabell Gwatidzo, Kevin Gondo, Nduduzi Patrick Ndlovu, Phillip Mahlahla, Roseline Mukucha, Rosemary Guveya and Rosemary Maponga. Thanks to Roseline, Isabell and Etines for looking after the front table, to Esther and Eletha for handing out flyers to the public and to Chipo Parirenyatwa for continuing her successful selling of the Vigil’s poetry book ‘The revolution will be televised’. Thanks also to Phillip, Kevin and Nduduzi for putting up the banners and packing up at the end of 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 THE RECORD: 32 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       Play: ‘After Independence’. 4th – 28th May at the Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL. The play is by May Sumbwanyambe and tackles the issues of independence and government in Zimbabwe. Tickets are available from the Box Office: 020 7503 1646 or online from: http://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/after-independence/2016-05-04/.

·       ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 21st May from 12 noon – 2 pm. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.Contact: Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899, Mavis Chisvo 07944612944 and Esther Nyambi 07446210391.

·       ROHR Reading branch community outreach and general meeting. Saturday 21st May 2016. Community outreach from 11.45 am – 1.30 pm: Venue: Broad Street. Awareness campaign on ‘Mugabe must go’. General meeting from 2,30 – 5 pm:  Venue: RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. For further enquiries contact: Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Charles Mararirakwenda 07964731721, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Shylette Chipangura 07828929806, Deborah Harrry 07578894896, Sihle Sibanda 07985712749.

·       ROHR Middlesbrough branch general meeting. Saturday 21st May from 1.30 – 5 pm. Venue: Teesside University, Student Centre, Clarendon Building, 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 Slough branch general meeting. Saturday 21st May from 11 am – 1 pm. Venue: Manor Park Community Centre, Villiers Road ,Slough SL2 1NP.   For further information contact Patricia Masamba (Chair) 07708116625, Fungisai Mupandira (Organising Secretary) 07758958803, Sharon Zimuto (Secretary) 07950837841.

·       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 28th May from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 4th June 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 4th June 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.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 11th June from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark fifteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·       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.

·       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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