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The land issue won’t go away – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 1st September 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 02 September 2018 15:23

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/43422157915/sizes/m/
Photo caption: Rose and Dennis with Rose and Dennis and Mum Etines

Fears of a land grab in South Africa have spooked investors. The ailing rand took another tumble when President Trump said his administration was closely watching the proposed seizure of land from white farmers.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, on her whirlwind visit to Africa, was forced to comment on the matter after meeting President Ramaphosa in Cape Town. She conceded that the acquisition of white-owned land might be ok – provided it didn’t turn into a policy of ‘smash and grab’.

It’s a delicate line which has eluded Zanu PF since Mugabe encouraged land invasions at the turn of the century, sending the Zimbabwean economy into a sharp downward spiral from which it has been unable to escape.

President Mnangagwa insists he is no Mugabe but he will have trouble convincing the outside world of this unless he moves quickly with reforms. He could start by dealing with the unresolved issue of Mugabe’s rapacious greed. Despite Mugabe’s insistence that no one should own more than one farm, he himself is said to own fifteen. He must be stripped of fourteen of them. 

The big problem is that everyone in the government or holding senior public positions seems to be in a similar situation. If you want to speak to a Zanu PF leader you might have to go and see them on their ‘farm’, really their country retreat as little serious agriculture seems to go on – hardly surprising when the workers often go unpaid.

There have been new calls for a land audit but this exercise has already been carried out and the outcome kept secret. The extent of the problem is seen by revelations that seven of the nine constitutional court judges who heard the MDC’s election case have a tainted history of benefitting from land invasions (see: https://twitter.com/PacheduZW/status/1035474681716002816).

Other points

  • The Vigil urges the MDC to prioritise the provision of a vote for the diaspora. This week Botswana showed how it could be done, announcing that Batswana residents in the UK were being asked to register to vote in the country’s general election next year.
  • The Vigil marked the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, remembering in particular our friend Itai Dzamara who was abducted in March 2015. The new regime must disclose what it knows about the outrage.
  • Our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe arranged an outing to the seaside at Frinton on Monday. It was a lovely warm day and most of the 20 or so people who came ventured into the water after a braaivleis. Vigil co-ordinators Rose and Dennis were particularly glad to be joined by the twins named after them, now a year old.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up the table and put up the banners: Daizy Fabian, Josephine Jombe, Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa, Tarisai Matambanadzo, Esther Munyira, Jennifer Senzere and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks also to Josephine for looking after the front table and to Heather for extra photos.

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: 20 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 15th September from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. Contact: Daizy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 6th October from 11 am. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
  • 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.
  • Mike Campbell Foundation – Zimbabwe: rising from the ruins? Tuesday 9th October from 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6 .30 pm). Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. Speakers include: Kate Hoey MP (Chair), Ben Freeth MBE, Fergal Keane OBE, Archbishop Sentamu, Chief Felix Ndiweni and Gift Konjana. To book, visit: https://event.bookitbee.com/18402/my-first-event-1347?preview=y
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded over the past 15 years as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil for £10. All proceeds will go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Facebook pages:
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
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Zimbabwe Trek – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 25th August 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 26 August 2018 17:15

To boldly go where we have gone before: that is the trajectory we appear to be on for the next five years of Zanu PF rule. Bon voyage! 

The Vigil is, of course, sorry at the failure of the MDC’s court challenge to the presidential election. We are convinced it had a good case but believe the result was sadly predictable. The Vigil has already expressed our disquiet that the MDC went into the elections without getting the reforms it had been insisting on.

Some respected voices suggest that a corner has been turned since Mugabe was overthrown and that the new regime is somehow more democratically inclined. The Vigil is skeptical. It’s still a Zanu PF government, whether or not the military is in charge.

It will now no doubt explain that the shootings in Harare were really by unknown, probably opposition elements and try to persuade the West that really all is well.

Judging by the statement by Britain’s Africa Minister Harriett Baldwin after the constitutional court hearing, London will go along with that (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/statement-on-the-zimbabwean-elections).

Some observations by the Zimbabwean wildlife painter Larry Norton.  

In the midst of the confusion there are things I am certain of:

  • That when hundreds of thousands of people marched in November 2017 it was not in support of Mnangagwa or Chiwenga or ZANU or Chamisa or MDC. It was to rid the country of the despotic Mugabe. It was with a deep hunger for relief from tyranny, corruption and economic hell.
  • That when soldiers opened up it was an attempt to bring back the fear that lurks beneath the sunlit skin of the country. A vicious and desperate attempt at reminding us that there are consequences for daring to believe that this country can be free of the people and things we have come to despise.

There are a few things I wonder about:

  • If someone wins a national election, even with a narrow margin, how is it that there is barely a sign of celebration or cars hooting in the streets of the entire country? Personally, I saw nothing. The day after the midnight announcement by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s Chairperson Chigumba, of a Mnangagwa victory, a dark depression seemed to pervade the land.
  • How does the opposition get blamed for what happened with the unrest in Harare and no one is publicly charged, as yet, for instructing the army to open fire with live rounds on unarmed civilians? The elephant in the room remains. Who ordered this?
  • How is it, that since the events of November and promises of uprooting of corruption in 100 days, we have had a cabinet which includes the ex-minister of mines Obert Mpofu, who was interrogated by parliament over the disappearance of $15 billion of diamonds, (a figure confirmed by Mugabe’s own admission) who is now acting minister of Home Affairs. How does a minister of mines not know where $15 billion of diamond revenue went? How has the same minister been able to acquire so many properties, reported to be in his name, in Victoria Falls and Bulawayo? This would be an incredible fiscal achievement on a ministerial salary.
  • Why was it so difficult for Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, if they were balanced, to provide full information before the election, on the voters roll and polling stations. Why was this of so little importance to observers?
  • Why does Chigumba, the ZEC Chairperson, assume that we will simply believe what she says without full evidence of the results including all V11 forms?
  • What prompted the circus, when the MDC Alliance were about to address to the world’s press at the Bronte Hotel and the occasion was shattered by the sudden appearance of Riot Police in full gear. It broke up in panicked disarray . . . only for the participants then to be reassembled and told its all fine, carry on?

Thanks to those who came early to help set up the table and put up the banners and the tarpaulin in the rain: Deborah Harry, Josephine Jombe, Selina Kudita, Marian Machekanyanga, Rosemary Maponga, Margaret Munenge and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks also to Josephine, Margaret, Deborah and Rosemary for looking after the front table, to Marian for handing out flyers and to Selina and Nyarai Masvosva for taking pictures and Beverley, Sipho and Chido for drumming and leading the singing. It was good to joined by Jean-Francois Mercier, one of the founders of the Vigil who now lives in south Africa.

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: 17 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR beach barbecue. Monday, 27th August. Venue: Frinton Beach CO13 9DN. Food and transport provided. Bring your own drinks. Tickets: £20 adults, £5 children. For more information, contact: Daizy 07708653640, Max 07397809056 and Esther 07492058107.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 1st September from 11 am. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 15th September from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. Contact: Daizy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • 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.
  • Mike Campbell Foundation – Zimbabwe: rising from the ruins? Tuesday 9th October from 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6 .30 pm). Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. Speakers include: Kate Hoey MP (Chair), Ben Freeth MBE, Fergal Keane OBE, Archbishop Sentamu, Chief Felix Ndiweni and Gift Konjana. To book, visit: https://event.bookitbee.com/18402/my-first-event-1347?preview=y
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded over the past 15 years as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil for £10. All proceeds will go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Facebook pages:
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
LAST_UPDATED2
 
British MP says elections rigged – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 18th August 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 19 August 2018 13:26

The British MP Kate Hoey, one of the observers at the Zimbabwe elections, says the international community should not accept the result. She said: ‘the UK government must take a lead to ensure that the Zimbabwean government is seen for what it is: a mark 2 Mugabe regime and one that deserves no support whatsoever.’

Ms Hoey’s voice carries extra weight because she is the long-time chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Committee on Zimbabwe.

She said elections in Zimbabwe since 2002 had been both violent and rigged. ‘Without doubt the election has been cleverly rigged but even worse is the fact that it is the military that is behind the regime and they are now unleashing a similar fear and terror campaign on leading opposition activists and curbing all protests by killing and arresting innocent Zimbabweans.’ (See: http://www.allnetafrica.com/2018/08/11/u-k-not -recognise-zimbabwe-election-result-kate-hoey/).

Ms Hoey’s comments will not be welcomed by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office which has been eviscerated by the Economist’s Africa editor Xan Smiley in an article in the weekly magazine the Spectator. He says Mnangagwa will almost certainly be given the benefit of the doubt by the British government (see: https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/08/britain-should-spend-more-on-diplomacy-in-africa-and-less-on-aid/).

With the constitutional court due to hear the MDC’s rigging complaint on Wednesday, the Vigil can’t be optimistic. We share the mood eloquently captured by the Zimbabwean writer, Cathy Buckle who writes: ‘It was the words of the Southern African correspondent for the Financial Times, Joseph Cotterill, who best summed up the current, tragic irony of Zimbabwe when he tweeted on 3rd August: “On Wednesday I had a soldier raise his AK at me and threaten to shoot; on Friday a riot policeman moved to shove me with his shield. …I’m sensing you’d be absolutely f****** crazy to come and invest here. It’s just a hunch.”’ (See: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/selfies-with-soldiers-no-one-shot-at-us-then/.)

Zimbabwe, desperate for foreign investment, is facing a grave solvency crisis according to Newsday. It says the government had a budget deficit last year of $2.6 billion – about 59% more than it collected in revenue (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2018/08/govt-in-deep-sovereign-crisis/).

Other points

  • The Zimbabwean human rights campaigner Ben Freeth says the key to understanding why Zanu PF keep winning elections lies in the deep fear the party inspires in the rural areas (see: http://www.politicsweb.co.za/opinion/zimbabwe-elections-why-zanupf-keeps-on-winning).
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up the table and put up the banners: Viola Chihota, Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Alice Majola, Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa, Margaret Munenge, Beverley Mutandiro, Sipho Ndlovu, Jennifer Senzere and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks also to Josephine, Alice, Margaret and Chido for looking after the front table, to Heather and Viola for handing out flyers, to Jonathan and Heather for taking pictures and Beverley, Sipho and Chido for drumming and leading the singing.

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: 23 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR beach barbecue. Monday, 27th August. Venue: Frinton Beach CO13 9DN. Food and transport provided. Bring your own drinks. Tickets: £20 adults, £5 children. For more information, contact: Daizy 07708653640, Max 07397809056 and Esther 07492058107.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 1st September from 11 am. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 15th September from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. Contact: Daizy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • 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.
  • Mike Campbell Foundation – Zimbabwe: rising from the ruins? Tuesday 9th October from 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6 .30 pm). Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. Speakers include: Kate Hoey MP (Chair), Ben Freeth MBE, Fergal Keane OBE, Archbishop Sentamu, Chief Felix Ndiweni and Gift Konjana. To book, visit: https://event.bookitbee.com/18402/my-first-event-1347?preview=y
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded over the past 15 years as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil for £10. All proceeds will go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Facebook pages:
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
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Strangled by his own scarf – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 11th August 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 12 August 2018 16:31

With the new Zanu PF regime pulling in different directions, there is a growing belief that it is the army that is now in charge in Zimbabwe – and that it is ready to pull the trigger at any provocation. 

Whatever the outcome of the MDC’s legal challenge to the microscopic lead declared for Mnangagwa in the presidential election, the army is considered unlikely to allow a handover of power.

The chair of the British all-party parliamentary committee on Zimbabwe, Kate Hoey MP, has called for the dismissal of the Vice-President, General Chiwenga. Ms Hoey, who has been observing the elections, urged the West not to soften its policy towards Zimbabwe in the light of the bloody scenes in Harare.

The Americans, for their part, have been equally outspoken, alarmed by the violence and the treatment of the MDC’s Tendai Biti, illegally bundled out of Zambia, where he had appealed for political asylum.

Is it not strange at this juncture that General Chiwenga has flown to Moscow on a ‘special mission’ to deliver a message to President Putin? What could that be – except help!

Meanwhile Mnangagwa, in an interview with the British Daily Telegraph blames it all on the NGOs and the trouble-making independent press. No doubt he is supported by his fellow travellers in the gutless Southern African Development Community where the Zanu PF virus is increasingly poisoning their own politics. 

Thanks to those who came early to help set up the table and put up the banners: Viola Chihota, Enniah Dube, Jonathan Kariwo, Marian Machekanyanga, Patricia Masamba, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Esther Munyira ,Sipho Ndlovu and EphraimTapa. Thanks also to Marian, Patricia and Enniah for looking after the front table and to Enniah, Joyce and Viola for handing out flyers.

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: 14 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 18th August from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. Contact: Daizy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • ROHR beach barbecue. Monday, 27th August. Venue: Frinton Beach CO13 9DN. Food and transport provided. Bring your own drinks. Tickets: £20 adults, £5 children. For more information, contact: Daizy 07708653640, Max 07397809056 and Esther 07492058107.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 1st September from 11 am. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
  • 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.
  • Mike Campbell Foundation – Zimbabwe: rising from the ruins? Tuesday 9th October from 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6 .30 pm). Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. Speakers include: Kate Hoey MP (Chair), Ben Freeth MBE, Fergal Keane OBE, Archbishop Sentamu, Chief Felix Ndiweni and Gift Konjana. To book, visit: https://event.bookitbee.com/18402/my-first-event-1347?preview=y
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded over the past 15 years as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil for £10. All proceeds will go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Facebook pages
    Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil
    ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/
    ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
LAST_UPDATED2
 
Mnangagwa’s deadly ‘festival’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 4th August 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 05 August 2018 13:24

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/29977727858/sizes/m/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/42944072565/sizes/m/ 

Britain’s unctuous policy towards Zimbabwe has been embarrassed by tanks on the streets of Harare and civilians randomly gunned down by soldiers.

Among the dead was Sylvia Matambo Maphosa, aunt of Vigil activist Daizy Fabian, shot in the back on her way home from work. Daizy was at the Vigil today to speak to the media. She will be among Vigil representatives at a meeting at the Foreign Office on Monday at which we will express our opposition to Mnangagwa’s military regime. 

At least Daizy can speak openly in London. ZWnews.com says the family in Harare were visited by the military and told to keep quiet about it (see: https://zwnews.com/military-gags-shooting-victims-family/).

Mnangagwa described the elections as a ‘festival of unfettered freedom’ and a ‘celebration of democracy’. Some celebration . . . some democracy . . .

Apart, predictably from Zimbabwe’s compliant neighbours, most foreign observer missions, including the EU and Commonwealth, expressed reservations about the elections, which MDC President Chamisa described as a sham, although the independent Zimbabwe Election Support Network stopped short of backing this up.

But it certainly jarred to hear the US State Department blithely exhorting Zimbabweans to ‘show magnanimity in victory and graciousness in defeat’. (See: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-zimbabwe-election-usa/us-says-reviewing-results-of-zimbabwe-election-idUSKBN1KO2LO.) The Vigil had always regarded the US as one of the more scrupulous critics of the Zanu PF regime. Are they now adopting Mnangagwa’s ‘forgive and forget’ mantra?

The big question for the MDC was why it repeatedly takes part in elections it cannot win. It keeps threatening to boycott them and then, buoyed by popular support, leads its valiant supporters to yet another rigged election.

Rallies by Chamisa were packed out while Mnangagwa had to rely on the security forces to stop people leaving his. But Mnangagwa remained confident despite his lack of appeal. We know why. And so does everyone who understands how tyranny works: fixing the vote is now a well-established international practice (see our diary of 31/03/2018: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/931-snivelling-bullies-zimbabwe-vigil-diary-31st-march-2018).

How can you fight a party that has unlimited state funds, controls the state media, the electoral commission, the judiciary, the army and the police, which locks down people in the rural areas with intimidation, threats and bribes?

In last week’s diary we referred to an article by Zimbabwean political analyst Simukai Tinhu. He concluded: ‘If Chamsa takes part in the presidential election, he will have demonstrated that he has learnt nothing from his party’s previous bitter experiences.’ His article is worth another look (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/boycott-presidential-poll-chamisa/).

But Mnangagwa now faces a bigger problem: how is he to convince the world that he and not the army is in charge. The Vigil thinks that rampaging soldiers in Harare have revealed the truth. No amount of flamboyant Zimbabwean scarves will help rebrand his regime.

Other points

  • We were greeted by BBC reporters when we arrived at the Vigil. They filmed our protest against army brutality and the rigging of the elections and interviewed Daizy about the death of her aunt. Daizy can be heard on this link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bd6xzh for the next 29 days. Her interview is 17.50 minutes into the recording.
  • It was good to have Vigil founder members Bonny Adams and Dumi Tutani with us.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up by setting up the table and putting up the banners: Daizy Fabian, Julian and Jamie Fischer, Babula Gwatiringa, Jonathan Kariwo, Patricia Masamba, Cephas Maswoswa, Bianca Mpawaenda and Margaret Munenge. Thanks also to Bianca, Patricia and Margaret for looking after the front table and to Babula, Tawanda Chitate, Casper Nyamakura, Rosemary Maponga, Heather Makawa and 7-year-old Victor Munenge for handing out flyers. Thanks also to Heather for printing Vigil flyers and taking extra photos.

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: 49 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 18th August from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. Contact: Daizy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
  • ROHR beach barbecue. Monday, 27th August. Venue: Frinton Beach CO13 9DN. Food and transport provided. Bring your own drinks. Tickets: £20 adults, £5 children. For more information, contact: Daizy 07708653640, Max 07397809056 and Esther 07492058107.
  • 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.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded over the past 15 years as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil for £10. All proceeds will go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Facebook pages:
LAST_UPDATED2
 
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