Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 23rd May 2009 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 24 May 2009 15:27

The Vigil has been protesting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy every Saturday for going on 7 years – come rain or shine. Today it was shine but, despite the formation of the government of national unity 3 months ago, the Vigil is agreed that we must continue our weekly demonstrations. 

Many passers-by stopped to look at our display of photographs. As always, people were horrified. They saw a pageant portraying a society degenerating into savagery: torture and starvation victims, the grotesque torched bodies of victims of election violence, the bloody faces of victims of farm invasions, the emaciated victims in the holocaust jails – victims of a regime that still shows no sign of respecting the rule of law. 

The Zanu / MDC government says it would like to normalise relations with the donor countries – meaning the West. Who else is there? Thanks China for US $5 million. But can the coalition government deny the reality of what our photo gallery is telling the world every week? 

A large group gathered after the Vigil for the first of our planned monthly forums to discuss the way forward. The overwhelming message was: we will continue until there is real change. Sadly, the general view was pessimistic. Many people thought the MDC should pull out of this government.   

The forum discussed the asylum question. Many were concerned that some people were using the Vigil to get help with asylum claims and once they were successful they disappeared.  Supporters at the meeting reaffirmed that we were about human rights in Zimbabwe. 

Supporters were given explanations from Vigil Co-ordinator Rose Benton about the message of the Vigil and from Luka Phiri of the Vigil management team about the role of our partners, the Zimbabwe Association. Ephraim Tapa, President of Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe, arrived in time from a meeting in Milton Keynes to explain the position of ROHR. 

It was an auspicious start for our monthly meetings.  Thanks to the following who signed the register: Batson Chapata, Chipo Chaya, Fungayi Mabhunu, Moses Kandiyawo, Francesca Toft, Patson Muzuwa, Dumi and Gugu Tutani, Arnold Kuwewa, Luka Musaka, Luka Phiri, Kimpton Samkange, Reginald Gwasira, Addley Nyamutaka, Dennis and Rose Benton, Ephraim Tapa, Judith Makonza, Edward Mhangwa, Judith Mudzamiri, Perkins Matereke, Charles Gasa, Hazvinei Kanyowa, Edwick Office, Stewart Chikwature, Annah Zinhuka, Luke Chinopfukutwa, Ritha Chitapi, Audrey Ntoto, David Kadzutu, Jennifer Hukura, Orpah Mkandhla, Thelma Madzimbamuto, Sarak Makedenge, Ian Pocock, Maxwell Muganhiri, Corsini Togaraseyi, Rugare Chifungo, Chido Brighton Mbwizhu, Tapiwa Chakare, Lynnet Bororwe, Aggrey Gazi, Succeed Mutandwa, Josefina Deka, Molly Mujati, Edna Mdoka, Opah Gwashavanhu, Peter Sidindi – and to others who had to leave for far-flung places before the register was passed round.  

We are planning Vigil forums on a monthly basis. Upstairs at the Theodore Bullfrog is booked for Saturday 27th June and Saturday 25th July. 

Finally three members of the Vigil management team are celebrating their birthdays this week – happy birthday to Chipo Chaya, Luka Phiri and Addley Nyamutaka. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: 

FOR THE RECORD: 223 signed the register. 

*    Central London Zimbabwe Forum. Monday 25th May, No forum because it is a public holiday.
*        ROHR Northampton and Kettering general meeting. Saturday, 30th May from 1.30 – 5.30 pm.  Venue: St Mary's Church, Abbey Road, Northampton, NN4 8EZ. Rohr President and Executive plus a well known lawyer present. Substantive committee to be elected. Contact: Norian Chindowa 07954379426, A Chimimba 07799855806, Willard Mudonzvo 07591686724, Marshall Rusike 07884246888, Hazvineyi Masuka 07795164664, P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
        ROHR Brighton general meeting. Saturday 30th May from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: The Community Base, Queens Road, Brighton. Some committee gap fillings to be done. Contact: Sinikiwe Dube 07824668763, Phyllis Chibanguza 07908406069/07535936460, Seph Mpofu 07786164808 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070. 
        ROHR West Bromwich launch meeting. Saturday 6th June from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: West Bromwich Town Hall, High Street, B70 8DT. Contact: Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Rejoice Moyo 07884126754 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
        ROHR Bournemouth general meeting. Saturday 6th June from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: East Cliff Reformed Church, Holdenhurst Road, BH8 8AW. Come in numbers lets make it our Zimbabwean Day soon after Africa Day. Zimbabweans lets Roooooh together in this Struggle for ROHR. Contact: Mike Mhene 07774521837, Abigail Nzimba 07917458873 or Gift Pfupa 07909831158
*     ROHR
Liverpool general meeting. Saturday 6th June from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue:  Prescot Lodge, 52-56 Prescot Road, Liverpool L7 0JA. Contact: Desire Chimuka 07917733711, Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688 0r Patrick Kushonga 07900857605
*         Service of solidarity with the torture survivors of Zimbabwe.  Friday 26th June from 7 – 8 pm. Venue: Southwark Cathedral. This is the 8th year the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum has marked UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. For more information, visit:
         Zimbabwe Vigil Forum. Saturday 27th June at 6.30 pm. Upstairs at the Theodore Bullfrog, John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL. 
        Zimbabwe Vigil Forum. Saturday 25th July at 6.30 pm. Upstairs at the Theodore Bullfrog, John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.
        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.