Police State – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 24th August 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 25 August 2019 10:12
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Within days of President Mnangagwa lecturing the West about how ‘the rule of law is sacrosanct’ in Zimbabwe, the police in Harare arrested representatives of rural teachers for trying peacefully to present a petition to the Finance Ministry complaining about their poor pay.


Also arrested was their legal representative Doug Coltart who was thrown on the ground, kicked and handcuffed by riot police. His father David Coltart, a leading opposition figure and former cabinet minister, said ‘only police states detain and assault lawyers for representing their clients’.


President Mnangagwa’s comment – a virtuoso demonstration of hypocrisy – was part of the angry government response to Western condemnation of the suppression of opposition demonstrations over the deteriorating economic situation.


The European Union, as well as representatives from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Sweden and Romania individually, together with the United States, Canada and Australia, called on the Zimbabwean authorities to respect the constitutional right to freedom of assembly and ‘to peacefully demonstrate and petition’.


Meanwhile the popular comedian Gonyeti was abducted, beaten, stripped and made to drink sewage by masked gunmen after making a joke about police brutality.


The writer Petina Gappah has now had enough of the Mnangagwa regime and has resigned from the trade and investment role she was given when ‘the new dispensation’ was announced at the end of 2017.


Dr Gappah, who previously worked for the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, accused the Zanu PF leader’s close lieutenants of pursuing personal wealth accumulation at the expense of genuine reforms to turn around the country’s fortunes.


Other points

  • A comment article in the UK Times newspaper is headlined ‘Zimbabwe’s hope is devoured by the Crocodile’. The article by Ian Birrell puts the boot into the British Foreign Office,to asserting ‘Britain’s complicity in backing another tyrant to replace Mugabe has betrayed a suffering people’. You can read the article on our campaigns page:
  • More congratulations to those who raised funds from their sponsors for the fundraising walk on 27 July: Abigail Chidavaenzi £240.25 (this in addition to £483 already contributed making a total of £723.25), Pamela Chirimuta £40 and Josephine Jombe £76.
  • Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Josephine Jombe, Alice Majola, Dambudzo Marimira, Lucia Mudzimu, Hazvinei Saili and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Alice, Josephine and Chido Makawa for looking after the front table, to Hazvinei and Heather Makawa for handing out flyers, to Dambudzo for drumming and to Hazvinei and Heather for photos.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.


FOR THE RECORD: 11 signed the register.



  • ROHR Beach Barbecue. Sunday 25th August. Venue: Frinton-on-Sea, Essex CO13 9DN. Tickets: adults £20, Kids £10. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Heather Makawa 07716391800, Esther Munyira 07492058109 and Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
  • ROHR Reading branch outreach and general meeting. Saturday 21st September. Community outreach from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Broad Street, Reading. Awareness campaign on deteriorating human rights in Zimbabwe. General meeting from 2-5pm: Venue: The RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. Contact Nicodimus 07877386792, Josephine 07455166668, Shylette 07828929806, Josh 07877246251.
  • 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 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.
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The Zimbabwe Vigil exists entirely on donations from the public and well wishers. You can help us by donating via a deposit into our account Thank you.