Wrong despot – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 7th April 2012 PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 09 April 2012 00:09

Zimbabweans in the diaspora were disappointed to hear of the death of Malawi’s President Mutharika. Everyone had heard of the prophecy of TB Joshua that an aging leader in Southern Africa was to pass on and people were building up their hopes – heightened when Mugabe suddenly shot off to see his doctor in Singapore again.


Another disappointment for us at the Vigil was the MDC’s Minister of Information Technology Nelson Chamisa who apparently spoke at a recent function of Mugabe’s ‘visionary’ leadership. The Herald quotes him as saying ‘The President has provided leadership from the cockpit and we are prepared to be the passengers . . .’  He went on to say that Mugabe’s ‘wisdom’ makes sure the plane does not crash.


Chamisa was presenting a new Apple Ipad to Mugabe at the launch of a national e-learning programme at Chogugudza Primary School in Goromonzi. He said: ‘When Moses descended from Mount Sinai, he had with him two tablets that had the 10 Commandments, however, today, your Excellency, we will provide you with one tablet . . . This tablet will ensure that you are wiser than all the kings we have known.’ (See: MuckRaker: Chamisa outdoes Mugabe’s apologists –


We at the Vigil had hoped to see some denial of this abject fawning from Chamisa – especially since he was singing a different tune when he visited the UK recently as part of an MDC delegation which urged the British government not to send home failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers. Their appeal was made despite claiming that most would like to go home and not have to do ‘cleaning’ work in Britain. We think that if the MDC had more respect for cleaners Zimbabwe wouldn’t be in such a mess.


The death of Mutharika should make Zimbabweans reflect on what is going to happen when Mugabe goes: no accepted successor and the likelihood of fierce infighting. It was sad to note that Mutharika’s body was immediately dispatched to South Africa because he had run down the economy to such an extent that the hospital had no refrigerator to preserve it long enough for an autopsy (see: Malawi's President Mutharika dead –


Other points

·        We have heard from Downing Street that we can present our petition at 4.15 pm on Saturday 21st April. The petition calls for UN peacekeepers to be sent to Zimbabwe for the elections. For more information about the petition check for an interview with Dennis Benton of the Vigil on SW Radio Africa’s Diaspora Diaries:.

·        The Chairman of our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe, Ephraim Tapa, spoke at the Vigil about the attempts to undermine the organization. He said the Police had dropped the investigation into allegations of fraud against him after concluding they were without foundation. Vigil Co-ordinator Rose Benton said that ROHR was founded by the Vigil and people shouldn’t allow themselves to be misled by those pursuing their own interests.

·        Vigil supporters were saddened by the news that Father Bernard Elliott of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has died. He often visited us at the Vigil (latterly with the help of his zimmer frame) and we were always happy to see him. David Rhys Jones of JRS said There cannot be a detention centre or prison housing refugees that he had not attended with diligence, warmth, charm and patience for refugees (and not a little impatience for ‘the system’).” There will be a funeral Mass at Sacred Heart Church, Edge Hill, Wimbledon, London SW19 4LU at 12.30 pm, Tuesday 17th April.  

·        Sister Beverley led prayers for David Moyo who has been served with a third deportation order.  His mother and aunt were with us at the Vigil.

·        Our Swazi friends joined us after a passionate Vigil outside the Swaziland High Commission. They said there is to be a mass demonstration on 12/13 April in Mbabane against the excesses of King Mswati III. They feared there would be violence given the intolerance of the regime. The Vigil noted an article in the UK’s Sun newspaper that King Mswati has demanded a cow from every family as a 44th birthday present. Since the average daily income in Swaziland is only around $2 this is a ludicrous demand. The Swazi Vigil gives warning to Mr Mswati III that they will be waiting for him when he comes to London to pollute the Queen’s birthday celebrations in June.


FOR THE RECORD: 48 signed the register.


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.



·        ROHR North East general meeting. Saturday 14th April from 3 - 6 pm. Venue: Windmill Centre, Chester Place, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE8 1QB. For directions please contact Susan Ndlovu 07767024586, Tapiwa Merrymore Semwayo 07722060246 or Colin Matongo 07865691347.

·        Zimbabwe@32: Reflections: Wednesday 18th April from 2.30 – 5 pm As part of the new Zimbabwe Unwound Project you are invited to Oxford House, Derbyshire St, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG for an open discussion on what independence means to you. RSVP: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it as space is limited.

·        Fourth 21st Movement Free Zimbabwe Global Protest organized by the MDC diaspora. Saturday 21st April. We meet at the Vigil at 2 pm and move to the South African High Commission at 3 pm. On this day the Vigil will also mark Zimbabwe’s 32nd Independence anniversary by presenting our petition asking the UN to monitor the next Zimbabwean elections to 10 Downing Street at 4.15 pm.

·        Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 21st April from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.  Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria.

·        Canadian Perspectives on Current Events in Zimbabwe. Tuesday 1st May from 9 – 10 am. Venue: Chatham House, 10 St James’s Square, London SW1Y 4LE.   Speaker: Lisa Stadelbauer, Ambassador-Designate of Canada to Zimbabwe. Ambassador Stadelbauer will offer her personal view of the current situation and prospects for Zimbabwe. To apply email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

·        Zimbabwe Action Forum. Saturday 5th May from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. Directions: The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent.  Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

·        Two Gentlemen of Verona Shona Production at the Globe Theatre, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT. Dates / Times: Wednesday 9 May, 2.30pm. Thursday 10 May, 7.30pm. Tickets £5 - £35 (700 £5 tickets available) from 020 7401 9919 and A two-man Zimbabwean riot of love, friendship and betrayal. From Verona to Milan, via Harare and Bulawayo, two great friends, Valentine and Proteus, vie for the love of the same woman. In a triumphantly energetic ‘township’ style, Denton Chikura and Tonderai Munyevu slip into all of the play’s fifteen characters – from amorous suitors to sullen daughters, depressed servants and even a dog – in this new, specially commissioned translation.

·        Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2011 can be viewed on this link:  Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2011 Highlights page.

·        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

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