Sinking ship – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 9th November 2019 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 10 November 2019 18:01

With almost half the population now registered for food aid, the government is taking decisive action to deal with the threat – not by providing food for the people but by fattening up the army and police.

As the ship of state, Zanu PF Zimbabwe, slips like the Titanic beneath the waves, the call goes out at the lifeboats: soldiers and police first!

While doctors get fired for striking for more money for the health service, and teachers protest they don’t earn enough to go to work, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube announces that the security services are to get the lion’s share of the new budget.

The Zimbabwe Independent reveals the reason in their story ‘Hungry soldiers spark government fears’. The essence is that the economic situation has become so bad that the Mnangagwa regime is in danger of rebellion by its dissatisfied foot soldiers.

The problem is that the president seems to have no idea what to do beyond hiring a plane to fly him to his next destination, Zimbabwe Airways having apparently been sacrificed to pay for the renovation of a house belonging to a relative of government minister Joram Gumbo.

Foreign diplomats in Zimbabwe are said to be increasingly disturbed by Zimbabwe’s lack of direction. A senior British Foreign Office official Harriet Matthews, accompanied by the British Ambassador and a senior official from Britain’s Department for International Development, had a meeting with Mnangagwa this week. Mrs Matthews said afterwards they had frank discussions. ‘The first thing I think is a call for a step up in reforms, in particular human rights and on corruption’.

This week also saw the dismissal by the constitutional court of a petition by the MDC leader Nelson Chamisa contesting the legitimacy of the last elections. MDC Treasurer-General David Coltart, himself a lawyer, said ‘It is hard to believe that trained, experienced, judicial officers could have written this judgment.’

For his part, Chamisa said Zimbabwe was now in a de facto state of emergency. It was in reality a police state and Mnangagwa’s days were numbered. He was speaking after police blocked civil servants from marching to government offices with a petition demanding better salaries, although the protest had earlier been approved. 

Other points

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FOR THE RECORD: 28 signed the register.


  • ROHR Reading Christmas Party Fundraiser. Saturday 30th November from 6.30 – 11 pm. Venue: The Spice Oven Buffet Restaurant, 2 – 4 Church Street, Reading RG4 8AT. Theme: to restore dignity to the suffering people of Zimbabwe. Tickets: £20 per adult, free entry for children under 5 years. For more information, contact: Deborah Harry 07578894896, Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Josephine Jombe 07455166668.
  • ROHR fundraising dinner dance in aid of women living with HIV/AIDS in rural Zimbabwe. Saturday 7th December from 7 pm till late. Venue: Lee Chapel South Community Centre, The Knares, Basildon SS16 5SA. Formal dress code. Tickets £30. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Hazvinei Saili 07857602830, Margaret Munenge 07384300283, Pamela Chirimuta 07762737339.
  • 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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