A New Broom – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 24th September 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 25 September 2011 17:37

From where the Vigil gathers each week outside the Zimbabwe Embassy it is not far to Victoria Station where the new Zambian President Michael Sata used to sweep the platforms. To mention this implies no disrespect to sharp-tongued ‘King Cobra’ who told an interviewer ‘I want to sweep my country even cleaner than I swept the station’. 

Zambia – so long scorned as backward by Zimbabweans – gives the Vigil new hope by the civilized handover of power by President Rupiah Banda after a narrow election defeat. ‘The people of Zambia have spoken’, he said. ‘We will listen’. 

Whatever the failings of the new broom – and he has shown alarming ignorance on Zimbabwe – Sata has pledged to make the rule of law and justice the cornerstone of his government and to tackle the scourge of corruption, which he linked with poverty. If he doesn’t he might end up back at Victoria Station . . .  

Vigil supporters think Zimbabwe might have been better off if Mugabe had spent time cleaning Victoria Station instead of sneering at Zambia, Malawi, Botswana etc. When Mugabe came to power these neighbours were economic pygmies compared to Zimbabwe. Latest figures show they are now all better off despite our country’s abundant resources.   

We at the Vigil were amused by the self-serving and hypocritical rant by Mugabe at the UN explaining why the Libyan government he is about to recognize shouldn’t be recognized because of the ‘blatant, illegal, brutal and callous NATO’s murderous bombings’ in response to ‘unfounded allegations of destruction of civilian lives by Gaddafi’. North Korea, Burma, Syria, Russia, Iran etc must have applauded madly.  

We don’t know the hotel costs for Mugabe’s hundred-strong entourage in New York but were appalled to learn that Ruanda’s President Kagame spent $18,000 a night on his hotel suite for the UN meeting. Donor countries please note . .   

Other points
 ·         Vigil supporters will be aware that there has been an attempt to undermine our sister organisation ROHR (See: To counter this, ROHR President Ephraim Tapa and ROHR account administrator Rose Benton attended a meeting on the sidelines of the Vigil to share details of ROHR’s finances with representatives of the ROHR UK executive. Save for two small errors, which were to be clarified with ROHR Head Office, there were no financial irregularities in the accounts. One of the members quipped afterwards: 'this smacks of a smear campaign. If I were you (Ephraim Tapa) I would sue these people'. Rose Benton took the opportunity to remind the meeting how consistent, selfless and committed a human rights activist Ephraim Tapa had been since his arrival in the UK after a near death experience of torture in Zimbabwe. Tapa encouraged members to be wary of detractors and all CIO-engineered divisions and to remain focused on fighting the dictatorship.
·         Vigil supporters were happy to be joined by ‘the shortcut’, Japhet Mparutsa, who was goalkeeper of the Zimbabwe Dynamos. Vigil management team member Fungayi Mabhunu recounted how he used to stand behind the goal and cheer Japhet on – Japhet laughed when someone suggested that Fungayi’s cheers might have caused missed goals.
·         Shamiso Kofi, one of our regular supporters, is in detention and threatened with deportation. We are working to prevent this but are alarmed at news from the Zimbabwe Association that several people have been detained in the past week. ZA advises everyone to get their papers in order and make sure they have good legal representation.
·         We were glad to have with us Arnold Magwanyata and Givemore Chandawi from the Organising Department of the Zimbabwe We Can Movement which has now been officially launched (see: Arnold has received an invitation from the Botswana High Commission to join their independence day celebrations.

For latest Vigil pictures check: Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.  

FOR THE RECORD: 70 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. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.
·         ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.
·         The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: and to watch the video check: To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: and
·         ‘The Rain that Washes’ – Zimbabwean theatre production. Performances: Thursday 29th and Friday 30th September at 7.30 pm, Saturday 1st October at 6 pm, Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th October at 7.30 pm, Saturday 8th October at 6 pm. Venue: Studio Theatre, Chickenshed Theatre, Chase Side, Southgate, London N14 4PE. Tickets £8 (£6). To book, call 020 8292 9222, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or book online at Chickenshed is between Oakwood and Cockfosters tube stations, and on bus routes 298, 299, 307 and N91. Free parking is also available.
·         ROHR Woking general meeting. Saturday 1st October. Venue: The Old Ford Pub, Lynchford Road, North Camp, Ash Vale, Surrey GU12 5QA. Contact, Isaac Mudzamiri 07774044873, Sithokozile Hlokana 07886203113, Saziso Zulu 07861028280 or P.Mapfumo 07915926323/0793226070.
·         ROHR Manchester meetings. Saturday 8th October (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. Future meetings:  12th November, 10th December. Same times / venue.
·         ROHR Manchester Vigil. Saturday 29th October 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. Future demonstrations: 26th November, 31st December. Same time 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 send 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.


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