Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 12th March 2011 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 13 March 2011 18:32

The tsunami sweeping everything before it after the Japanese earthquake made a haunting picture but the Zimbabwean image of the week for Vigil supporters was Tsvangirai storming off to complain to Mugabe about the arrest of MDC Minister Mangoma – only to find that the old man had tottered off to some AU meeting to defend fellow tyrants Gaddafi and Gbagbo. Foreign investors gathered in Harare to hear Tsvangirai tell them of Zimbabwe’s wonderful economic potential were left wondering what was going on: they had already been snubbed by Mugabe who chose instead to attend a politbureau meeting to decide how the government could steal their money.  

We were not surprised that ZBC did not report either the Japanese earthquake or Tsvangirai’s angry outburst. The contradictions abounded: Tsvangirai inviting investors while bemoaning the violence, corruption and compromised judiciary – and at the same time telling a Financial Times journalist how ‘humane’ Mugabe is (see:  – Dinner with the FT: Morgan Tsvangirai - 

Vigil supporters could observe the same strange unreality here in the UK. A well-informed debate on Zimbabwe in the House of Lords, compassionate and thoughtful, ended in a nebulous cloud of ill-founded hope. Speaking for the government, Lord Howell condemned the increasing violence and spoke of ‘highly sinister developments’. He said the role of SADC as guarantors of the Global Political Agreement will be a key to the future of Zimbabwe and went on to say ‘we are encouraged by the recent increased diplomatic activity in working to create an environment conducive to holding free and fair elections’. He went further in an interview with the Voice of the People in which he said ‘SADC is already playing a remarkable role which is closely related to the hands on approach that South Africa is playing’. ( – Top UK govt officer and former Mandela lawyer urges Zim to respect rule of law).  

Lord Howell gave no details and the Vigil sees no evidence of this ‘remarkable role’. Any ‘remarkable role’ played by SADC is more likely to be of the type played by Gaddafi in Northern Ireland.  

The Vigil noted the comment in the debate by Baroness Bonham-Carter: ‘As major providers of aid to Zimbabwe and to its neighbours, the people of the United Kingdom – and, indeed the EU as a whole – have a right to expect serious engagement on these issues’. Vigil supporters want to see the British government and the EU in general take the gloves off and put pressure on SADC to force Mugabe to honour his undertakings. We believe that they should withhold aid to SADC governments if they do not meet their obligations to Zimbabweans.  

Other points
·         Vigil team members Dumi Tutani and Luka Phiri featured in interviews on the internet this week. Dumi gave an interview to a US radio station in Portland Oregon which also featured Jenni Williams of WOZA – check: Luka was interviewed on a video documentary by Antonio Cardoso which includes footage of the Vigil – Check:
·         Glad as always to have Beverley Mutandiro with us. She led the Vigil in prayer and singing. She said how singing releases stress and talked to us about the virtue of patience (Hebrews 11 /12).
·         Supporters came from far and wide today. Angeline Mukoti caught the overnight coach from Edinburgh and was returning home overnight. She plans to come again next week. Anna Mutunzi came from Newcastle and had to leave her new baby (born premature) in others’ care. Gladys Mapanda joined us from Cardiff and took care of the register and merchandise.  Sandra Madenyika once more brought her three young children from Sheffield. Her children plus David Kadzutu’s sons David Jnr and Jones (newly arrived from Zimbabwe) were a great help handing out flyers and selling the Zimbabwean newspaper.  

For latest Vigil pictures check: For the latest ZimVigil TV programme check    

FOR THE RECORD: 138 signed the register.  

·           The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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.
·           ROHR North London general meeting. Saturday 19th March from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, Tottenham N17 6QN. Station: Seven Sisters. Buses 123, 149, 259, 349, 341, 476 towards Tottenham – third stop. Contact: V Chengaose 07956586377, Bernard Hukwa 07835323174, Ruby Chitiyo 07886998102, B Nyahwa 07534905348, Velempini Moyo 07960863128, P Mapfumo 07932216070.
·           ROHR Manchester Vigil. Saturday 26th March from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Cathedral Gardens, Manchester City Centre (subject to change to Piccadilly Gardens). Contact: Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi  07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353, Charles Nenguke 07925146757, P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070 or P Chibanguza 07908406069. Future demonstrations: 30th April, 28th May. Same time and venue.
·           ROHR Manchester meetings. Saturday 16th April: (committee meeting from 11 am – 1 pm, general meeting from 2 – 5 pm). Venue: The Salvation Army Citadel, 71 Grosvenor Road, Manchester M13 9UB.  Contact: Delina Tafadzwa Mutyambizi 07775313637, Chamunorwa Chihota 07799446404, Panyika Karimanzira 07551062161, Artwell Pfende 07886839353, Charles Nenguke 07925146757, P Mapfumo 07915926323/07932216070 or P Chibanguza 07908406069. Future meeting: 14th May. Same times and venue.
·           Vigil Facebook page:
·           Vigil Myspace page:
·           ‘Through the Darkness’, Judith Todd’s acclaimed account of the rise of Mugabe.  To receive a copy by post in the UK please email confirmation of your order and postal address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and 0send a cheque for £10 payable to “Budiriro Trust” to Emily Chadburn, 15 Burners Close, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 0QA. All proceeds go to the Budiriro Trust which provides bursaries to needy A Level students in Zimbabwe
·           Workshops aiming to engage African men on HIV testing and other sexual health issues. Organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust ( Please contact the co-ordinator Takudzwa Mukiwa ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you are interested in taking part.


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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.