Crying for bread – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 30th April 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 01 May 2022 13:23

 

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A Zanu PF leader in Kariba has appealed to the immigration authorities to allow local people to cross into Zambia to buy basic commodities. The request follows sharp rises in the price of essentials such as mealie meal, cooking oil, salt and sugar. The situation has been blamed on the collapsing Zimbabwean dollar. The exchange rate is now about Zim $400 to the US dollar (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/cost-of-living-crisis-zanu-pf-members-feel-pinch-plead-for-permits-buy-basics-in-zambia/).

 

Voice of America quotes a high school English teacher Christine Kayumba as saying she can’t afford to buy bread for her family because of rising prices, she said that she cooks a bland, thin porridge three times a day and rarely serves rice because it is too expensive as well. ‘This price increase of bread has reduced me to nothing,’ she told VOA. ‘I don’t feel I am still the mother figure, the bread winner for my family. Because I am failing to provide, each and every morning they wake up crying for porridge, crying for bread.’

 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, one of the largest exporters of wheat, is blamed for this soaring rise in prices. The chairman of the Grain Millers’ Association, Tafadzwa Musarara, said Ukraine was one of his main suppliers but a consignment of wheat for Zimbabwe had been stuck in the embattled city of Mariupol because of the war (see: https://www.voanews.com/a/zimbabwe-loaf-of-bread-now-costs-2-a-100-increase-since-russia-invaded-ukraine-/6545373.html).

 

Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has urged President Mnangagwa to abandon the Zimbabwe dollar as a matter of urgency. Mnangagwa reintroduced the local dollar in 2019 after a decade of relative stability but it quickly lost value, triggering a wave of price rises (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/04/forget-the-zimdollar-chamisa/).

 

Mnangagwa, a supporter of Russia’s psychopathic President Putin. has insisted his policy will not change and accused businesses of sabotaging the government despite publicly professing support for its policies. In a speech at the International Trade Fair in Bulawayo on Friday, he said: ‘Business cannot purport to support government by day and sabotage it by night and thereafter play victim.’ (See: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/mnangagwa-accuses-businesses-of-sabotaging-his-government-as-economy-reels-from-inflation/.)

 

The Vigil is not surprised that Zimbabwe’s aspiration to re-join the Commonwealth has not been embraced by the UK. As the world increasingly divides between democracies and autocratic regimes, Zimbabwe could hardly hope to be welcomed back by the UK, given Mnangagwa’s support for Russia and China and other undemocratic regimes. The British minister dealing with the Commonwealth Zac Goldsmith told parliament that the human rights situation and rule of law were pivotal to the readmission of Zimbabwe (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/uk-minister-says-zimbabwe-not-ready-for-commonwealth-re-admission-cites-rule-of-law-and-rights-abuses/).

 

Other points

 

Events and Notices:

  • Next ROHR Meeting. Saturday 7th May at 11 am. For information, contact: Margaret Munenge 07379764249, Casper Nyamakura 07577666912 and Patricia Masamba 07708116625.
  • Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe  Embassy. Saturday 7th May 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.
  • ROHR Fundraising Walk. Saturday 18th June. More information as plans develop.
  • 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
 
Zimbabweans in South Africa alarmed by new xenophobic violence – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 23rd April 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 24 April 2022 15:07

 

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Fearing further xenophobic violence in South Africa, an increasing number of Zimbabweans there are sending their valuables back home for safekeeping. Companies operating border crossings says there has been a huge increase in unaccompanied baggage being repatriated by bus.

 

NewZimbabwe quotes Farisai Nyamadzawo, a domestic worker who lives with her husband and two children, who said they had spent R6,000 to have two refrigerators, a stove, a set of couches and a washing machine transported to Zimbabwe. ‘I was afraid I would end up losing everything’.

 

Recent attacks on immigrants by members of the Operation Dudula Movement and PutSouthAfricaFirst have alarmed many foreign residents. Recently a Zimbabwean, Elvis Nyathi, was beaten and set alight outside his home. He was buried last week in Bulawayo (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/sa-xenophobic-attacks-terrified-zimbabweans-sending-their-possessions-home/).

 

The question of xenophobia in South Africa was discussed on Thursday in an online debate organised by the Zimbabwe organisation Sapas Trust. Dale McKinley of Kopanang Africa Against Xenophobia said that since 1994 South Africa had presented itself as a leader of the African continent but had not produced any leadership. ‘The South African state, when confronted with economic and political situations in Zimbabwe in 2000, 2005 and 2008 kept silent, with “silent diplomacy”’ McKinley said.

 

Another speaker Chipo Dendere, assistant professor of African Studies at Wellesley College in the United States, said the crumbling Zimbabwe economy had seen an exodus of unskilled Zimbabweans who settled in South African townships which were already disadvantaged (see: https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2022-04-22-is-sa-xenophobic-and-why-are-zimbabweans-rejected-experts-discuss/).

 

In a withering account of President Mnangagwa’s speech at the 42nd Independence Day celebrations in Bulawayo on Monday, Newsday noted that he asked the diaspora for investment but said nothing about the diaspora vote. It says ‘It is not rocket science to know why the diaspora vote is not top priority. Zanu PF thinks they are angry with the party and they would overwhelmingly vote for the opposition. Zanu PF does not countenance being out of power. It thinks it has a messianic role to lead Zimbabwe.’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/04/ed-dithers-on-policy/.)

 

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s biggest industrial lobby group, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, has warned that the local currency is on the ‘brink of rejection’. President Mnangagwa said the government would take stern action against companies allegedly sabotaging the Zimbabwean dollar to fuel an uprising. He alleged that companies were working with outsiders (see: https://thestandard.newsday.co.zw/2022/04/24/zimdollar-collapse-ed-fears-uprising/).

 

Other points

 

Events and Notices:

  • Next ROHR Meeting. Saturday 7th May at 11 am.
  • Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe  Embassy. Saturday 7th May 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 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

 
Chamisa confident of election victory – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 16th April 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 17 April 2022 14:16

 

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The leader of the Citizens Coalition for Change, Nelson Chamisa, says the fog has cleared and the party’s success in the recent by-elections had shown that it can win the 2023 election and form the next government of Zimbabwe.

 

Chamisa said the new party’s success came despite ‘state-sponsored machinations’. The CCC had won 19 out of the 28 parliamentary seats at stake and 75 of the 120 contested seats in local authorities. ‘We won against all the odds, including very controversial conduct and blatant partisanship by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’.

 

He added that the voter turnout had been poor and it was critical that, to defeat authoritarianism, people must vote in large numbers. ‘I was pleased to see that we fielded polling agents at all polling centres and that communities rallied around them, providing food and comfort during those many long hours keeping an eye on the process.’

 

Chamisa appealed to every eligible person to register to vote, particularly young people who should take advantage of the opportunity now available to get national identity cards. ‘It is your future that is at stake, but right now it is being decided by older generations’. (See: https://www.zimeye.net/2022/04/13/chamisa-the-fog-has-cleared-in-zimbabwe-full-text/.)

 

Meanwhile, NewZimbabwe says secret talks are underway between Chamisa and President Mnangagwa over a possible coalition.  Quoting ‘highly placed’ sources in Zanu PF, the government and intelligence services, it says under discussion is the formation of a seven-year government of national unity.

 

NewZimbabwe says that, according to the sources, both Mnangagwa and Chamisa are keen to avoid next year’s general election. Mnangagwa has a legitimacy problem and the intelligence services apparently do not give him a good chance of winning the election with the economy in bad shape. For his part, Chamisa is said to fear that, although he may win the election, he may be blocked by the security services (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/exclusive-mnangagwa-chamisa-in-secretive-gnu-talks/).

 

The need for a change of government in Zimbabwe is underlined by the plight of the angry villagers in Maramba-Pfungwe who are complaining about the failure to rehabilitate roads in the area. It is a traditionally Zanu PF stronghold but local MP Tichaona Karimazondo said that, despite state claims, it had been many years since the roads were given any attention. The chairman of a parliamentary committee Oscar Gorerino admitted after visiting the area that government officials had given false reports on progress. Certainly, local people are quick to talk of corruption (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/04/zanu-pf-supporters-blasts-government-over-lies/).

 

Against this, one piece of good news is that the Auditor-General Mildred Chiri has reversed a decision to stop naming those accused of involvement in corruption. The Auditor-General was threatened with legal action by some of the accused but Chiri now says that people who do business with the government should realise that they are exposing themselves to public scrutiny. Her reports have exposed massive corruption (see: https://thestandard.newsday.co.zw/2022/04/17/auditor-general-to-name-and-shame-corrupt-bigwigs/).

 

Other points

  • The Vigil met outside the Embassy today and marked the 42nd anniversary of Zimbabwe Independence. Our posters read: 42 years of Zimbabwe Independence, 42 years of hell under the Zanu PF regime, 42 years of suffering for the people of Zimbabwe, 42 years of corruption, 42 years of misgovernance, 42 years of economic mismanagement and 42 years of human rights abuses by Zanu PF.
  • For the moment we are meeting on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month. There will be a virtual Vigil on the other Saturdays. Thanks to those who came on a day when travel was really difficult, with train cancellations and massive traffic jams: Enniah Dube, Delice Gavazah, Babula Gwatiringa, Thandi Mabodoko, Philip Maponga, Rosemary Maponga, Amina Matewele, Margaet Munenge, Gladys Muduve, Ephraim Tapa and Rose Benton. For photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720298162504.
  • 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 7th May 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 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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