Zimbabwe Vigil PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 May 2022 14:01

Zimbabwe Vigil

Every Saturday from 14.00 - 18.00 since October 2002

Zimbabwe Vigil Mission Statement:

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, London, will take place on 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month from 14.00 to 17.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights by the current regime n Zimbabwe. The Vigil will continue until internationally - monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.

Looking for Vigil pictures? See them on Flickr Click here

 
US softens Africa policy – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 13th August 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 14 August 2022 19:39

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/52283569494/sizes/m/

 

The United States is changing its policy towards Africa in an attempt to counter the growing influence of China and Russia. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that in future the US ‘will not dictate Africa’s choices’, adding ‘neither should anyone else’.

 

Blinken was speaking on an African tour taking in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and South Africa. He said ‘African nations have been treated as instruments of other nations’ progress rather than the authors of their own’. He added: ‘Time and again, they have been told to pick a side in great power contests that feel far removed from daily struggles of their people.’

 

Blinken outlined two pillars of the new US strategy: ‘Openness, by which we mean the capacity of individuals, communities, and nations to choose their own path and shape the world we live in’,  and ‘working with African partners to fulfil the promise of democracy’.

 

Bob Wekesa, deputy director of the African Centre for the Study of the United States at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, described the move as a ‘paradigm shift’. It came from a realisation that in a multipolar world African countries now have many more opportunities to choose from. As well as Russia and China, middling powers like Turkey and the United Arab Emirates had built African relationships in recent years.

 

Michael Shurkin, a former west Africa analyst for the CIA and now working for a consultancy based in Dakar, said US officials had realised that ‘it’s counterproductive to be hectoring countries about relations with China and Russia. The best way to compete is to shut up about it.’ He added: ‘Putin is probably snickering because he knows this is hard and he also knows he has some advantages over us. He can act like a spoiler. He’s not doing anything constructive in Africa, he’s just doing destructive things.’

 

Nick Westcott, director of the Royal African Society and a former British ambassador in Africa, said: ‘It’s an acknowledgment that Russia and China have gained influence, and it’s an attempt to counter that in a more intelligent way than saying, “you’re for us or against us”’. He added: “Africans wish not to be seen as subordinate to anybody.’ (See: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1233-into-africa-softly-softly-as-us-seeks-to-counter-global-rivals-influence.)

 

Other points

  • Crisis Coalition, which groups civil society organisations, has accused Mnangagwa of being hypocritical and unfair for describing non-governmental organisations as subversive and abusive (see: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-local-byo-222293.html). The EU has urged the government to have further consultation with the people on the controversial Private Voluntary Organisations’ Amendment Bill because it would restrict freedoms of civil society organisations (see: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-local-byo-222285.html).
  • Zimbabwe is hardly known for its wine but nothing keeps Zimbabweans back. Four men who fled as refugees to South Africa have emerged as celebrated wine tasters. A film (called Blind Ambition) about how they rose to the top of their new profession, competing against the best sommeliers in the World Blind Tasting Championships has just opened in London (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1234-blind-ambition-the-refugees-who-conquered-the-wine-world).
  • ROHR activists enjoyed a fundraising beach picnic / BBQ at Frinton-on-Sea today. This is a continuation of the efforts to raise funds for voter registration, mobilisation and education to ensure all eligible citizens exercise their right to vote without fear or manipulation to help ensure free, fair and credible elections in Zimbabwe. Those attending were: Enniah Dube, Daizy Fabian, Delice Gavazah, Isabell Gwatidzo, Etines Kapiya, Jonathan Kariwo, Chido Makawa, Ishmael Makina, Philip Maponga, Patricia Masamba and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to those who contributed to the fundraising even though they were unable to attend: Simbarashe Jingo, Esther Munyira and Joyce Mbairatsunga. For photos, see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720301269686.
  • For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Events and Notices:

  • Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe  Embassy. Saturday 20th August from 2 – 5 pm. We will continue meeting on the first and third Saturdays of every month. On other Saturdays we will continue the virtual Vigil.
  • The Zimbabwe Vigil’s 20th Anniversary. We will mark this at the Vigil on Saturday 15th October. 
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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 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. All proceeds 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.
  • 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

 
Election forebodings – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 6th August 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 07 August 2022 10:40

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/52267925591/sizes/m/

 

Following the latest political violence in Zimbabwe, the CCC Vice-President Tendai Biti has predicted that things are going to get worse than they were after the last elections in 2018 when the military was unleashed to put down demonstrations. Six people were killed and dozens injured.

 

Biti said the failure to implement the recommendations of the commission of enquiry headed by former South African President Motlanthe and to deal with perpetrators of political violence had encouraged a culture of impunity. ‘Only last week, we had activists who were thoroughly beaten up in Mutoko for just putting on yellow t-shirts,’ he said. ‘A week ago, my car was stormed in Muzarabani. We have had the murder of Moreblessing Ali last month. We have the incarceration of the Nyatsime 13, that of Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole. It is quite clear that things are going to be worse than 2018.’

 

Biti continued: ‘We urge the SADC leadership to intervene. The situation in Zimbabwe is abnormal, the situation in Zimbabwe needs international intervention.’ He added that violence was in the DNA of Zanu PF and now that social and public services had collapsed there was likely to be a greater acceleration of closure of the political space as the election approached (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/biti-urges-international-intervention-in-abnormal-zim-situation-warns-that-things-are-going-to-be-worse-than-2018/).

 

The Zimbabwe Election Commission has rejected a request by CCC for a bilateral dialogue on alleged electoral malpractices. It said it did not have meetings with individual stakeholders to the exclusion of others. CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said there was no law prohibiting ZEC from engaging bilaterally on electoral concerns (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/08/zec-shuts-out-ccc/).

 

These concerns have worsened with the appointment to ZEC of more relatives of Zanu PF leaders. The latest is former Vice-President Kembo Mohadi’s daughter, Abigail Millicent Mohadi Ambrose, as one of its electoral commissioners. She joins at least two other children of ZANU-PF stalwarts on the commission like Cathrine Mpofu, the daughter of former mines minister Obert Mpofu and Kudzai Shava, son of current foreign affairs minister Frederick Shava.

 

Civil society groups have warned of a conflict of interests. ‘The fact that Abigail Ambrose’s father Kembo Mohadi is an interested party in Zimbabwe’s elections is enough to dismiss her appointment as part of a patron-client relationship which is detrimental to the conduct of credible elections,’ a report by the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute says.

 

‘The credibility of ZEC has been thrown into question,’ Harare-based political analyst Rashwhit Mukundu told Al Jazeera. ‘The nomination of individuals who have notable conflict of interest demonstrates the lack of commitment to genuine electoral reforms by Emmerson Mnangagwa.’ Stephen Chuma, CCC interim spokesperson was even more scathing. He said ZEC was now the ‘Zanu PF Electoral Commission and called for a wave of protests to press for electoral reforms (See: https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2022/8/1/zimbabwe-electoral-appointments-spark-controversy-ahead-of-2024.)

 

Other points

 

Events and Notices:

  • ROHR Beach Party. Saturday 13th August at Frinton-on-Sea, Essex. Frinton’s railway station’s post code is CO13 9JT. For more information, Contact: Chido Makawa 07413024807, Enniah Dube 07367504747, Esther Munyira 07492058107 and Delice Gavaza 07752653891.
  • Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe  Embassy. Saturday 20th August from 2 – 5 pm. We will continue meeting on the first and third Saturdays of every month. On other Saturdays we will continue the virtual Vigil.
  • The Zimbabwe Vigil’s 20th Anniversary. We will mark this at the Vigil on Saturday 15th October. 
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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 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. All proceeds 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.
  • 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 Vigil Highlights of 2010
Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights of 2009
Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights of 2008
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