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Chinamasa trapped in London – Tuesday 5th July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 05 July 2016 21:37
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Zimbabwean demonstrators lay down in the road outside the conference in London addressed by Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa preventing him from leaving for more than an hour.
 
The minister had hoped to escape in an ordinary taxi after his arrival in the ambassador’s car ZIM 1 was ambushed by Zimbabwean exiles picketing Zanu PF’s fundraising conference in the heart of London’s financial district.
 
The minister’s taxi was backed up by other cars so was unable to escape the one way road and he had to wait until the demonstrators were lifted bodily by the police to clear the way.
 
The demonstration at the conference began before 8 am and ended at about 7 pm. Chinamasa was expected back for the last session but did not reappear, having failed by diplomatic car and taxi and declining a bicycle on grounds of corpulence,
 
Sources at the conference told the Zimbabwe Vigil that Chinamasa had been challenged by Professor Stephen Chan of the School of Oriental and African Studies: ‘Why are you begging money from the British government’.
 
Tendai Biti, the coalition’s finance minister who expressed support for our demonstration when he arrived, is said to have told Chinamasa bluntly that he was lying.
 
Zimbabwe Vigil supporters and others from ZAPU and MDC agreed to hold another demonstration outside the Zimbabwe Embassy from 10.30 – 12 noon on Wednesday 6th July in response to the myflag call for ‘Shut Down Zimbabwe. They are calling for everyone to stay at home but in our case we won’t stay at home but will be outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in solidarity with our families at home.
 
For videos of today’s protest check:https://www.facebook.com/www.rohrzimbabwe.org/videos?fref=photo

A full report on the week’s events will be given in the diary on Saturday.
 
Chinamasa confronted again – Tuesday 5th July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 05 July 2016 12:39
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Zimbabwean demonstrators confronted Mugabe’s Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa for the second time in two days when he arrived for a money-raising conference in London on Tuesday.
 
Chinamasa was driven up at about 8 am to a side door of the conference venue in the financial district. If he thought he would evade Vigil protesters he was mistaken.
 
Vigil co-ordinator Fungayi Mabhunu spotted ZIM 1, the Ambassador’s car, and when Chinamasa got out Fungayi demanded to know what he had done with the $15 billion Mugabe says has disappeared from diamond revenues. ‘He was really shaken’, said Fungayi.
 
The Vigil was congratulated on its work by former coalition finance minister Tendai Biti. ‘Well done guys you are doing a good job’, he said when he arrived for the conference. He was happy to be photographed with us and took a bundle of our leaflets to hand out at the meeting.
 
Congratulations also came from Zimbabwean journalist Peta Thorneycroft who was covering the conference which Zanu PF hopes will help get loans and investment to make up for the $15 billion it has looted.
 
The Vigil hears that at Monday’s meeting at Chatham House international affairs think tank in London  Chinamasa had no answers to questions put to him. ‘He was arrogant and rude’, our source said.
 
As the protest got underway Fungayi received the following WhatsApp message:
 
‘05/07/2016, 11:13 MESSAGE FROM ZRP OFFICER:
I am a member of the security forces at a very high level. I want to assure Zimbabweans that the generality of the security forces are all with you. We have seen our bosses panicking. We are having a lot of pressure coming from the first family more than from our bosses. The security forces resources are too little and the personnel resources are too demotivated to be in the street fighting the same people who didn't only kept us going but also give us accommodation. Who are we without the masses. We rent your houses. We use your free transport to go to work. Our teargas banks are very dwindled and the government knows that we cannot last a week, Our cars are broken down, we only have a few and we all know you will burn them down soon, We have no reason to be fighting the people whom we are meant to be protecting. Please don't beat these young police officers unless they threaten or beat you up. Personally I urge you to continue protesting peacefully, return violence where u are provoked.  Target minister private businesses. The few police officers injured will make it clear to others that they should stop hitting people. We will need nurses to look after us yet we are beating them and harassing. We need teachers to teach our children well in class yet we are beating and harassing us. We know we only got paid before you because we are used to protect this corrupt government. The terrible corruption going on in the roadblocks is a disgrace for most of us in police, but it's a enrichment tool for few bosses. We want to be a respectful force. We need this reform the masses of Zimbabwe have initiated. Zimbabwe Republic Police force can not control Harare if you the people of Zimbabwe decide to protest from all Harare locations, how can we control the whole country on protest--- the bosses know. Politicians are not sleeping. Mpoko is afraid he is the easiest target. Mnangagwa is very reluctant to advise because Mugabe does not listen. Grace have started preparing for exile, they are afraid and they know the sooner they run away the better. Keep going out brothers and sisters. The country has no money. The security forces will not be paid this month because chinamasa could not get loans from Europe. And chinamasa coming empty handed will make Mugabe and his family start shaking. Trust me. Don't lose hope. Genuine police are all behind you. I am one of them. Don't kill us we love you. We are part of you. Yes return fight for those who are assaulting civilian. Watch the situation, you will realise that some police officers will not beat people even when some are beating. Do not loot private businesses. Don't let police take some protesters easy, fight and get them free. Thank you. Please share this messages. From a high rank ZRP’
 
For video of the Vigil confronting Chinamasa at Chatham House check: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xz9L0dL9aUs. There will be a fuller report on today’s events later.
 
 
Chinamasa besieged in London Monday 4th July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 04 July 2016 14:48
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/27800644980/sizes/m/
Police protect Chinamasa and friends from Vigil protesters.
 
Zimbabwean Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa was besieged in London by angry Zimbabwean exiles and had to be rescued by a vanload of police.
 
Chinamasa was speaking at the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House on a desperate visit to Europe to try to raise money for the bankrupt Zanu PF regime.
 
Protestors from the Zimbabwe Vigil and its sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe picketed  Chatham House with posters reading: ‘No to Mugabe’s lies’, ‘Don’t prop up the Mugabe regime’, ‘Don’t lend money to thieves’ and ‘Zimbabweans reject odious debt’. While the meeting was under way an impassioned Cephas Maswoswa sang protests songs.
 
It became apparent that Chinamasa and his companions were afraid to come out and face the music. The demonstrators deterred an attempt to exit from a side door of Chatham House and eventually the police arrived and provided a safe corridor for Chinamasa and his friends to access the Zimbabwean Ambassador’s car amid jeers from protestors, fired up by messages from home of  mounting unrest in all urban areas.
 
Other points
  • We were not impressed by the Chatham House official who refused to allow our supporter, young journalist David Wilkins, to sit on the steps.  David is blind and has hearing difficulties. Part of his condition is that he has weak ankles. They said he could sit in the park across the road but he wanted to stay with us. We are always so encouraged by his support.
  • Thanks to those who attended who made such a spirited protest: Alfredy Mukuvare, Cephas Maswoswa, Chipo Kamhunga, David Wilkins, Deborah Harry, Dennis Benton, Eldridge Culverwell, Emmaculate Tshuma, Fungayi Mabhunu, John Burke, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Rose Benton and Sandra Kudenga.
  • The Vigil and ROHR will confront Chinamasa again tomorrow when he speaks at a conference in the financial heart of London to announce that Mugabe is now prepared to allow the reviled West to lend him money as long as they never expect to be repaid. 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. For more information: http://africa-confidential-meetings.com/.
 
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Mugabe’s vultures descend on London – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 2nd July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 03 July 2016 12:07
Mugabe’s Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa has admitted that Zimbabwe is broke. ‘Right now we have nothing’, he said on a visit to France to beg for money. Asked in an interview with Radio France International how much credit he was looking for he said ‘there is no limit’ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-we-dont-have-a-penny-minister-tells-paris/).
 
Chinamasa was in Paris on his way to London where he will speak at the Chatham House foreign relations think tank on Monday. The Vigil has sent the following notice to its supporters:
 
Zanu PF are descending on London in a desperate plea for money. Please come and join the Vigil in two demonstrations.
 
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa speaks at Chatham House from 12 noon – 1 pm on Monday 4th July
Chinamasa will talk about Zanu PF's economic agenda and no doubt promise to stop looting, act against corruption and observe the rule of law. The Vigil and ROHR will hand out leaflets to people attending explaining why Zanu PF cannot be believed.
 
Chinamasa will be joined by billionaire Obert Mpofu and other Zanu PF gangsters at a conference in London on Tuesday 5th July
The Vigil and ROHR are picketing the conference at which Zanu PF will try to persuade the world that it is reforming and should be bailed out with Western loans. We are being joined by the MDC in the UK. We will be outside the meeting to tell any prospective investors the real reasons why Zimbabwe has run out of money and why the world should be sceptical about any assurances given by the likes of Chinamasa, Minister of Macro Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Obert Mpofu (unaccountably one of the richest men in Zimbabwe) and Mike Bimha, Minister of Industry and Commerce. They are listed to speak at the conference along with Reserve Bank governor John Mangudya.
 
We will hand out the following leaflet at Chatham House:
 
No to Mugabe’s lies
 
Exiled Zimbabweans are picketing this Chatham House meeting at which Mugabe’s Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa will try to persuade you that the ruling Zanu PF party is reforming and should be bailed out with Western loans and investment. He is part of a larger Zanu PF delegation touring Europe in a desperate attempt to raise money. The meeting comes as the bankrupt regime hopes to convince the International Monetary Fund that it is serious about implementing the constitution adopted in 2013.
 
The Zimbabwe Vigil is here to explain the real reasons why Zimbabwe has run out of money and why the world should be sceptical about any assurances given by the likes of Chinamasa.
 
The opposition MP Eddie Cross says Mugabe’s actions have made it clear he has no intention of observing the constitution and points out ‘the leopard that has been courting the IMF and the International Community in the past three years has not changed its spots in any way. The consequences for the country are disastrous. They are again taking money out of our accounts and replacing it with a worthless form of virtual money. Their economic policies are destroying what little is left of a once diversified and sophisticated economy. They are clearly not going to allow a democratic election any time soon and the wholesale theft of resources by a tiny, military and civilian clique is continuing.’ (See: http://www.politicsweb.co.za/opinion/zanupf-the-leopard-has-not-changed-its-spots)
 
We draw your attention to this recent article by the Times correspondent in Harare.
 
‘Shopkeepers struggle with ‘multicurrency’ Mugabenomics - Jan Raath, Harare June 27 2016, The Times
 
Having had triple heart bypass surgery two years ago, Stelio Haralambos, who runs a little store, ought to avoid stress. He came to what was Rhodesia in 1966 as a barber from Lesbos but switched to running a shop.
 
Mr Haralambos has endured a series of economic crises since independence in 1980 but nothing quite like the one now. After Zimbabwe’s currency vanished in hyperinflation in 2009, the US dollar became the official money. But seven years later, and with the country importing twice as much as it exports since President Mugabe destroyed agriculture and industry, there is a shortage of greenbacks, so the central bank has introduced a “multicurrency” system.
 
Customers entering Mr Haralambos’s store for a morning scud, Zimbabwe’s soupy traditional beer, can offer payment in up to seven currencies — US dollars, sterling, Chinese yuan, Japanese yen, Australian dollars, South African rand, Indian rupees and the Botswanan pula. In the store the day’s exchange rates will not have arrived so Mr Haralambos has to do the calculations. You can just about pick up the fibrillation of his heart from the other side of the scratched old glass-topped counter.
 
The banks have tried to ration cash at ATMs but the daily withdrawal limit dwindles steadily. Slow, winding queues are the order of the day. It is the latest absurdity created by Mugabenomics. Other countries borrow but Zimbabwe cannot. Mr Mugabe once borrowed unsustainably and, worse, he doesn’t pay back.
 
Country people, who long for the days of the Zimdollar, have to deal with notes carrying Chinese or Japanese characters. And the township con-artists revel in the opportunity to profit from the confusion. It gets worse. The central bank governor has announced that he will introduce a “bond note”, equal to the US dollar, in October. Economists are trying to find out if it will be currency, money, legal tender, negotiable instrument, treasury bill or promissory note — but the governor is not saying. The only conclusion economists can reach is that it is a piece of paper.
 
The reaction has been a collective nationwide, “No.” The bond note is seen as a government attempt to solve the cash crisis by issuing another form of the Zimdollar, whose value will plunge instantly on appearance. No one has forgotten the instant impoverishment caused by hyperinflation as the value of hard-earned wages, income and investments shrank. Police do their best to boost national outrage. They have become a force of uniformed highwaymen. Anywhere you go, you risk being stopped at a roadblock. On the 275-mile stretch between Bulawayo and Victoria Falls last week, there were 16. At each one police search for faults to fine you — for not having the latest stamp on your fire extinguisher indicating its last service, for example. Zimbabwe must be the only country where you can be fined $20 for a dirty car. I hide my cash so I can say that I can’t pay.
 
Government coffers are nearly empty. Civil servants’ paydays have been repeatedly postponed since late last year and the 40,000-strong army, as well as the police and prison service, were told last week that paydays had been pushed back by two weeks.
 
This week the government was due to present its plan to repay $1.8 billion to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, which would, theoretically, have allowed Zimbabwe to start borrowing again. However, Algeria, which was to have lent $1 billion, has backed off. Not that Mr Mugabe seems to care. He said last week that the cash crisis, “is a temporary problem which should be behind us soon”,
 
Mr Haralambos would best be advised to retire to Lesbos.’
 
Don’t prop up the Mugabe regime
 
Other Points
  • A meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil agreed that any loans to the Mugabe regime should be regarded as ‘odious debt’ and repudiated by any legitimate Zimbabwean government.
  • The meeting congratulated our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe for their protest at Beit Bridge against the import ban. They said police permission had been refused but we advised them to go ahead anyway as the constitution only required the police to be informed of a demonstration.
  • There were celebrations at the Vigil today. Emmaculate Tshuma who was so nearly deported was back with us and Chipo Parirenyatwa brought a magnificent cake to share for her birthday. Other food contributions came from Beauty Nyandoro (drinks and crisps) and Zenzo Siziba (doughnuts). Praisego Moyo contributed chocolates and mini-cheddars to the lucky dip.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Kevin Gondo, Isabell Gwatidzo, Barbara Kachidza, Etines Kapiya, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Tafadzwa Allen Madzivadondo, Phillip Mahlahla, Patricia Masamba, Cephas Maswoswa, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Mduduzi Patrick Ndlovu, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Tawanda Rusape, Benjamin Semwayo. Alice Shimika and Emmaculate Tshuma. Thanks to Roseline for looking after the front table, thanks to Phillip, Alfredy, Cephas and Mduduzi for putting up the high banners and to Chipo P for selling the wristbands. Chipo along with Isabell and Barbra sold raffle tickets for the ROHR fundraiser.
 
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: 43 signed the register.
 
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
  • Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa speaks at Chatham House. Monday 4th July from 12 noon – 1 pm. Venue: The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, 10 St James's Square, London SW1Y 4LE. Join us at 11.30 to hand out flyers to those attending the meeting.
  • 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. For more information: http://africa-confidential-meetings.com/.
  • Zimbabwe Play: Workshop Negative by Cont Mhlanga. Wednesday 6th July to Saturday 9th July at 7.30 pm + 3 pm performance on Saturday. Venue: Gate Theatre, 11 Pembridge Road, Notting Hill, London W11 3HQ. The play is a response to the aftermath of Zimbabwean independence. Its comic and controversial approach led to it being banned by the Mugabe government in 1986, a challenge to artists’ freedom of expression. For more information and tickets check: www.gatetheatre.co.uk/events/all-productions/tangle_presents_workshop_negative.
  • 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.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 9th July from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 16th July from 11 am – 1 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 16th July from 1 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
  • ROHR Slough fundraiser. Saturday 16th July from 6 pm till late. Venue: Sharks Bar, Wexham Road, Slough SL2 5HS. Tickets £15. Money raised will go to books, food and school fees for Zimbabwean children in rural areas. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Fungisai Mupandira (07721383165 and Iline Manhunzi 07824886092.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 16th July from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and a shop. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • ROHR Reading branch summer national fundraiser. Saturday 30th July from 2 pm till late. Venue: Pakistani Community Hall, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA. Contact: Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Charles Mararirakwenda 07964731721, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Shylette Chipangura 07828929806, Deborah Harrry 07578894896, Sihle Sibanda 07985712749.
  • Vigil and ROHR Brighton to London Walk. Friday 12th August to Saturday 13th August. The theme of our fundraising walk is ‘Mourning the death of democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe’. The walk will end around 3 pm at the Vigil. If you wish to participate or sponsor the walkers contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . More information to be provided as plans develop.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2015 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/746-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2015. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF-490257051027515/?fref=ts
    OHR: https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835
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picketing Zanu PF meetings in London - 4th / 5th July 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 01 July 2016 00:11
Zanu PF are descending on London next week in a desperate plea for money. Please come and join the Vigil in two demonstrations – details below. These will count as Vigil attendances.


Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa speaks at Chatham House from 12 noon – 1 pm on Monday 4th July

Chinamasa will talk about Zanu PF's economic agenda and no doubt promise to stop looting, act against corruption and observe the rule of law. The Vigil and ROHR will hand out leaflets to people attending explaining why Zanu PF cannot be believed.

Protest details
Date and time: Monday 5th July from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm.
Venue: The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, 10 St James's Square, London SW1Y 4LE
Directions: nearest station: Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines) and Green Park (Piccadilly and Victoria lines). From Piccadilly outside Lillywhite's sports shop go south down Regent Street, take first right into Jermyn Street then second left into Duke of York Street. Chatham House is at the end of Duke of York Street on the the corner with St James's Square. From Green Park, go towards Piccadilly Station along the right side of Piccadilly, take the second right into St James's Street, then first left into Jermyn Street and third right in Duke of York Street.


Chinamasa will be joined by billionaire Obert Mpofu and other Zanu PF gangsters at a conference in London on Tuesday 5th July

The Vigil and ROHR are picketing the conference at which Zanu PF will try to persuade the world that it is reforming and should be bailed out with Western loans. We are being joined by the MDC in the UK.

We will be outside the meeting to tell any prospective investors the real reasons why Zimbabwe has run out of money and why the world should be sceptical about any assurances given by the likes of Chinamasa, Minister of Macro Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Obert Mpofu (unaccountably one of the richest men in Zimbabwe) and Mike Bimha, Minister of Industry and Commerce. They are listed to speak at the conference along with Reserve Bank governor John Mangudya.
 
We will hand out leaflets to delegates as they arrive for the Conference which starts at 9 am. There will be a break for lunch from 1 – 2.30 pm and the conference will continue till 7.15 pm.

Supporters can join us at any time during the day but we think we have the best chance of making an impression when they arrive.

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. For more information: http://africa-confidential-meetings.com/

Directions: nearest stations are St Paul's (Central line) and Barbican (Circle, Metropolitan, Hammersmith and City lines). From St Paul's go north up St Martin's Le Grand, right into Gresham Street and left into Noble Street. From Barbican go south down Aldersgate Street then turn left into London Wall at the Museum of London. Noble Street is the next right. Buses are 4, 56 and 76 – get off at stop 'Museum of London'.

For both protest we will bring banners, flags, leaflets, posters, drum, register and camera.

More information: Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899, Rose Benton 07970996003.
 
 
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