Tsvangirai should ‘consider his position’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 3rd December 2011 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 04 December 2011 15:23

With the sun setting as early as 4 pm and our unusually warm autumn weather giving way to winter, we at the Vigil need everything we can get to cheer us up as we stand out in the cold. One of the posters in the Embassy window did the trick. Part of the ‘Wonders of Zimbabwe’ tourist promotion campaign, it read ‘Wonder what our cultural ceremonies are like?’ We couldn’t help but think of Tsvangirai’s on-off wedding.  

But a canvass of opinion among Vigil supporters showed that the affair was more than a laughing matter. People were alarmed that Tsvangirai appears to have walked blindly into a Zanu PF trap and has become a laughing stock. There were nods of agreement when someone said ‘Angagotonga seyi nyika ari mumagumbeze?’ (How can he rule the country when he’s always in bed?) 

Although there is respect for the Prime Minister’s heroic work leading the MDC for the past twelve years, it was felt that he should – as the saying goes – consider his position. Zanu PF has been paralysed by its inability to renew its leadership. The MDC should not make the same mistake. We believe there is no shortage of talent in the MDC and, with elections unlikely in the foreseeable future, there would be time for a new leader to make his mark.  

But somehow we doubt Tsvangirai will make way. One of the Prime Minister’s characteristics was suggested in another poster in the Embassy’s advertising campaign: ‘Wonder what an elephant’s skin feels like?’ . . . 

Other points
·         Thanks to Abdul Conteh from the Gambia who spent the afternoon (in the Embassy doorway) restringing and tuning our drums with great skill. The resultant sound was a revelation. It attracted a member of the anti-bankers protest group which has been camping outside St Paul’s Cathedral, who joined in the dancing and said she wished we could go drumming at St Paul’s.
·         The Vigil was joined by an activist from the DRC carrying a placard reading ‘Stop the rape in the DRC’. He said he supported us because Mugabe supported President Kabila. ‘He is a killer like Mugabe,’ he said.
·         Vigil co-ordinator Dumi Tutani was interviewed this week on ‘Beyond Protest, by Tererai Karimakwenda of SW Radio Africa. To listen to the interview, check:
·         Representatives of the Vigil were invited to attend an event in London this week to launch a new book on Zimbabwe ‘Catastrophe – what went wrong in Zimbabwe?’ The author, Richard Bourne, is senior research fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London University. He said he followed our activities through reading the Vigil diary. As for the book, Professor Stephen Chan, an authority on Zimbabwe, said ‘there will not be a better account of Zimbabwe for some time to come’.
·         Vigil supporters were reminded of a special event at the Vigil on Saturday 10th December. We are to be joined by the Zimbabwe Europe Network to mark UN International Human Rights Day.  Two speakers from Zimbabwe civil society will be coming: Gideon Shoko, Deputy Secretary General, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, and Fadzai Muparutsa of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe.

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: 64 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  
·         Human Rights Day at the Zimbabwe Vigil. Saturday 10th December from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, London.  We will be joined by the Zimbabwe Europe Network (ZEN) who will be bringing two speakers from Zimbabwe civil society: Gideon Shoko, Deputy Secretary General, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, and Fadzai Muparutsa of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe.  
·          ROHR Manchester Meetings.
Saturday 10th December (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.
·         ROHR Manchester Vigil. Saturday 31st December 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.
·         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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