Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 8th August 2009 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 09 August 2009 18:04

Supporters were disappointed to learn that Lovemore Madhuku, Chair of the National Constitutional Assembly, was not coming to address our next Vigil as we had hoped. Zimbabwean activist Givemore Chindawi told the Vigil that Dr Madhuku’s passport had been seized at the airport as he was about to leave for the UK. There were suspicions that this was an attempt to muzzle an alternative view of the situation in Zimbabwe to that presented in June in London by Morgan Tsvangirai. 

MDC UK Chair of Southend Branch, Stanford Biti (brother of Tendai), condemned what he described as efforts by the MDC in the UK to blame the Vigil and ROHR for the booing of Tsvangirai in Southwark Cathedral. He expressed his support for moves underway to challenge the leadership of the MDC in the UK. He said it had moved away from the people and had become a corrupt, self-serving patronage system.  Mr Biti said the MDC in the UK must work with the Vigil and ROHR and he urged Vigil supporters to take this message back to their MDC branches.   

The wonderful singing at the Vigil on a brilliant sunny day provided good material for our new friends Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News who interviewed supporters (including Fungayi Mabhunu, Dumi Tutani and Simon Mambongo) on the question of the new constitution.  One message we wanted to get through was that we feared the whole process was being prolonged to delay the promised ‘free and fair’ elections. The ZBN team first visited us last week and coverage of the Vigil is on their website: 

It was good to have with us former MDC UK Chair Washington Ali. He said “people are still dying in Zimbabwe. The way we can express our support is by our singing.” The singing and ululating drew many passers-by to stop at the Vigil, where they could see pictures of the holocaust conditions in Zimbabwean prisons and of the beaten and tortured victims of Zanu PF violence.   

The Vigil was hopeful that Mrs Clinton’s meeting with President Zuma would break the political stalemate in Zimbabwe. Our supporters were appalled that the mayor of Harare has been voted US$150,000 for a car. We urge a delay while the Vigil sources a combined ambulance / fire engine / hearse / garbage truck so it can be usefully employed while the mayor is not swanning around in it. Come to think of it, the mayor of London goes to work on a bike. If his counterpart in Harare did the same the money saved could help out the Water Ministry whose minister, Sam Sipepa Nkomo (MDC), has said his ministry is being ripped off by Zanu PF middlemen so that the price of imported chemicals to treat water is ten times higher than it should be.  Mr Nkomo says he is not doing anything about it because his officials have told him it would cause trouble! 

The Vigil noted that Tsvangirai’s uncle, Hebson Makuvise, until now his representative in the UK, is undergoing training to be Ambassador to Germany. He certainly needs a lot of training in diplomacy. Be warned Germany  

There was passionate fervour at the end of the Vigil when we declaimed the slogan ‘To save Zimbabwe (His Excellency, Commander-in-Chief, Head of State and Government) Mugabe must go’. 

Thanks to Patience Thutani who generously brought cool drinks for our thirsty supporters. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: 

FOR THE RECORD: 168 signed the register. 

·         ROHR Milton Keynes general meeting.  Saturday 15th August, 1.30 – 5 30 pm. Venue: Old Bath House Community Centre, 205 Stratford Road, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5RL (near Tesco and 2 mins from Wolverton train station). Contact: Punish Mandere 07883071990, Martha Jiya 07727016098, Josephine S Phiri 07853572982, Diana Satumba 07737879653.
·         ROHR Cambridge general meeting. Saturday 15th August, time tba. Venue: The Odd Fellows Hall, 131 Newmarket Rd, Cambridge, CB5 8HA. Contact: Jospheth Hapazari 07782398725, Stewart Sheshe 07551546918, Locadia Mugari 07717374383 or Margret Jenkins 07894064600.
·         ROHR Swansea launch meeting. Saturday 22nd August  1.30 – 6 00 pm. Venue: Morriston Memorial Hall, Heol Gwernen, Morriston, Swansea SA6 6JR. Present ROHR President and some members of the ROHR Executive. Contact: Kudzai Ruzwidzo 07824967317, Israel Ncube 07789814159 or P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·         ROHR Derby general meeting. Saturday 5th September, 1.30-5.30pm. Venue: The Community Block, Pear Tree Community Junior School, Pear Tree Street, Derby DE23 8PN. ROHR Executive present and a substantive committee to be elected. Contact: Tsitsi Razawe 07773649330, Wonder Katurura 07858699224, Phenias Tutayi 07825524519. FREE PARKING AVAILABLE.
·         ROHR Coventry party. Saturday 5th September from 4 pm till midnight. Venue: St Paul's Church, Foleshill Road, Coventry CV6 5AJ. Food, drinks, ne Doro available. Admission £3.50. Contact (Chairman) E. Nyakudya 07876796129, (Secretary) Pauline Makuwere 07533332306, (Organizer) Matambanashe Sibanda 07886660392, (Treasurer) V.J Mujeye 07534034594.
·         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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