Vigil Diary - 6th December 2008 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 07 December 2008 20:20

British opposition leader demands action on Zimbabwe


The leader of the UK Liberal Democrat Party, Nick Clegg MP, visited the Vigil and called for international action to oust Mugabe.  Addressing Vigil supporters, Mr Clegg condemned the brutality of the Mugabe regime. He said it was a stain on the conscience of the world. The UN, he said, must take any measures necessary to remove Mugabe.


Mr Clegg criticized the ‘softly softly’ approach of former President Mbeki and called on South Africa and China to stop supporting the regime.  He was referring to their opposition to any action against Mugabe by the Security Council.  


The Lib Dem leader paid tribute to the persistence of the Vigil and declared ‘you will prevail in the end’.


Many prominent people have visited the Vigil over the past 6 years but Mr Clegg was the first party leader to address supporters. He was filmed by Channel 4 and we all gathered in our local pub, the Theodore Bullfrog, after the Vigil to see the broadcast report.  It carried horrendous pictures of the cholera epidemic as well.  


Despite Mr Clegg’s hopes of a change of attitude by South Africa, the Vigil remains skeptical.  Fungayi Mabhunu, of the Vigil Management Team, attended a function at South Africa House on Friday and spoke to the High Commissioner, Ms Lindiwe Mabuza.  Despite the world attention on the Zimbabwean ‘non-crisis’, Ms Mabuza said it was an African problem and the West should not stick its nose in (presumably so they couldn’t sniff something being swept under the carpet). The Vigil expects that, if it follows her line, the forthcoming fact-finding visit to Zimbabwe by a South African delegation will conclude that everything in Zimbabwe is ok. After all South Africa has endorsed all the rigged and violent elections in Zimbabwe for the past decade. 


Our partners, the Zimbabwe Association, are to join us next week to sing Christmas Carols. The Vigil’s own carol day will be on 20th December.  There will be more details of this next week and we promise a big surprise.  


Some points:
Vigil supporter Simon Mambonga is speaking for a second time to the Caribbean Labour Solidarity Group on Sunday, 7th December.
David Dinnell, a Zimbabwean who has written a play about Zimbabwe, ‘How to Cook a Country’, came and talked about his play.  He is planning to bring the whole cast next week.
Another visitor was Margaret Milort-Holland, a Zimbabwean living (appropriately) in Holland. She thinks there should be protests at The Hague (where we want Mugabe to stand trial) and will be sending us her ideas about this. 


It was a welcome change to have bright sunshine in place of the rain we have been having. 


For latest Vigil pictures check the pictures page.  


FOR THE RECORD: 104 signed the register.


* Central London Zimbabwe Forum. Monday 8th December at 7.30 pm. Elliot Pfebve, former MDC candidate for Bindura, and Jabulani Brian Zengeni, a lawyer, will be discussing Amendment 19 of the Constitution. Venue: The Cole Room, Fabian Society, 11 Dartmouth St, London SW1H 9BN (020 7227 4900). Nearest station: St. James’ Park.
* ROHR meeting in
Leicester. Saturday, 13th December, 12.00 – 1 7.00. Venue: Referencing and Lending Library, Bishop Street opposite the Town House in Leicester city centre. Speakers invited from ROHR in London and community groups in Leicester. Local media have been alerted. The ROHR meeting will be followed by Zimbabwe Association christmas carols at the town house.
* ROHR members’ meeting in
Huddersfield. Saturday 13th December from 13.30-17.00. Venue: 118 Walpole Road, Huddersfield, HD4 5ET. Contact: Donnah Mugoni 07533259373, Prudence Chikozhere 07533703043, Patience Karuwa 07908075149.
Wolverhampton Christmas Party. Saturday 20th December. Venue: Heath Town Community Centre, 208 Chervil Rise, Wolverhampton WV10 0HP. Contact: Colleen Maredza 07733394648, Nancy Mangwandu 07727019329, Tendai Sithole 07966381953.
Brighton Christmas Fundraising Party. Saturday 20th December. Venue: St Leonard Church Hall, 12 Glebe Villas, Hove, Brighton BN3 5SL. Admission £5 (one plate of Isithwala/Sadza and two drinks free). Contact: Sinikiwe Dube 07824668763, Seph Mpofu 07786164808, Phyllis Chibanguza 07535936460.
* Next
Glasgow Vigil. Saturday, 20th December 2008, 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Argyle Street Precinct. For more information contact: Patrick Dzimba, 07990 724 137, Tafadzwa Musemwa 07954 344 123 and Roggers Fatiya 07769 632 687
Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and Thursdays).

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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.