Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 22nd August 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 23 August 2009 14:08

An alarming picture of life under the ‘unity’ government has emerged in the wake of a mention in the Vigil diary about ‘people’s poet’ Brian Sibanda. We reported (see diary of 1st August) how he had brought along a banner expressing skepticism about the ‘3 days of national healing’. His take was ‘3 days peace. On day 4 bullet sent via post’ – a reference to the bullet sent to Tendai Biti.  Brian says that within days of our report (accompanied by a picture of him) appearing in the Zimbabwean, his family home in Zimbabwe was raided by 3 policemen. They compared photographs of him there with his picture in the newspaper (6-12 August) and spoke angrily about Zimbabweans in the UK.   

Here is the text of an email that was sent to Brian: ‘Bhudi Tha.i hope i find you well.ndoda things arent happening doen this side.your picture appeared on one of our local newspapers this week and it has caused commotion in Lobengula even uDube usaBen saw it. Izolo emini 3 policemen were at home again yesterday. They were asking questions about our family most of them about you. They searched the house and took the copy of your Birth and also isithupha sako sezenge. They wanted to know where u stay in UK, what you do there and when your next visit diwn this side wa scheduled, and a whole lot more. They took a look at your pictures around our living room, and the post cards u sent last. Kadekusethuisa bhudi. They were saying bad things about zimboz living in the Britain. Ngiya koNjabu call me on his landline I will tell yoi more. Take care bra and uzinanzelele.’ 

On a lighter note, the Vigil was amused to see long-term supporter Priscilla Chakanyaka arrive in a London rickshaw.     We had a good attendance despite rival factions of the MDC UK calling meetings today in Oxford and Midlands North.  Most of the people who attend the Vigil are MDC supporters but we try to maintain a non-party political stand, concentrating on fighting for human rights in Zimbabwe 

Talking about human rights, today we launched a new petition aimed at the SADC meeting in Kinshasha next month which is due to review the Global Political Agreement: ‘A petition to Zimbabwe’s neighbours: We call upon the Southern African Development Community – as guarantors of the Zimbabwe power-sharing government – to put pressure on President Mugabe to honour the agreement.  More than six months into the unity government, Mugabe is still resisting a return to the rule of law, deterring essential foreign development aid and investment.’  

We will be sending it to SADC Executive Secretary Dr Tomaz Augusto Salomão along with a petition on the prison holocaust. ‘A petition to Zimbabwe’s neighbours: We call upon the Southern African Development Community – as guarantors of the Zimbabwe power-sharing agreement – to put pressure on the new Zimbabwean government of national unity to stop the blatant abuse of human rights of prisoners in Zimbabwe who are dying of starvation, disease and torture.’   

We are not holding our breath. Dr Salomão has never acknowledged anything we have sent to him and we have no illusions that Mugabe’s SADC cronies will ever do anything to help the people of Zimbabwe. What matters is that – at a time when Zimbabwe has dropped from the headlines – we continue to attract the attention of the thousands of people who pass by the Vigil. Many of them express their support by signing our petitions – which include one to the UK Government: ‘A petition to the UK government: We welcome the UK’s humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe but call on the UK government to withhold development aid until it is confident that the money will benefit the people rather than the corrupt Mugabe regime.’ 

The Vigil has been going for nearly 7 years and we will be marking our anniversary on 10th October – see below ‘For your Diary’ for details. 

For latest Vigil pictures check: 

FOR THE RECORD:  166 signed the register. 

·         ROHR Chelmsford general meeting. Saturday 29th August, 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: Springfield Parish Hall, Chelmsford, CM1 6GX
. Transport from train station to the venue provided.  Contact: Faith Benesi 07958650670, Tobokwa Malikongwa 07533660621, Robert Mafigo 07944815190, Christina Zanji 07535791464, Matha A Magwaza 07748644911.
·         ROHR Brighton general meeting. Saturday 29th August from 2 – 4 pm. Venue: The Community Base, Queens Road, Brighton (5mins walk from Brighton train station). Contact: Sinikiwe Dube 07824668763, Sehlaphi Mpofu 07786164808, Wellington Mamvura 07956870547 or Phylis Chibanguza 07534626040 / 07535936460.
·         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.
·         ROHR Northampton and Kettering general meeting. Saturday 12th September from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Mary's Church Abbey Road, Northampton, NN4 8EZ. ROHR UK Executive present.  Contact: Norian Chindowa 07954379426, A Chimimba 07799855806, Willard Mudonzvo 07591686724, Marshall Rusike 07884246888, Hazvineyi Masuka 07795164664. P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070.
·         Zimbabwe Vigil – 7th Anniversary. Saturday, 10th October at 6.30 pm.  The Vigil started on 12th October 2002 and we are marking this anniversary on the nearest Saturday to that date.  There will be a social gathering after the Vigil, downstairs at the Bell and Compass, 9-11 Villiers Street, London, WC2N 6NA, next to Charing Cross Station at the corner of Villiers Street and John Adam Street
·         ROHR West Bromwich general meeting. Saturday 31st October from 1.30 – 5.30 pm. Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall
Road, West Bromwich B70 0HF. ROHR Executive and a well known lawyer present. Contact Pamela Dunduru 07958386718, Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo 07817096594 or P Mapfumo 07915926323 / 0793221607.
·         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).


How can you help?

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.