No sense of urgency – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 30th June 2012 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 01 July 2012 15:22

A clear sign that President Mugabe is now past it came this week when the United Nations General Assembly agreed to observe an ‘International Day of Happiness’ at the prompting of a group of countries led by Iraq. (
 - The United Nations General Assembly today adopted by consensus, the ‘International Day of Happiness.’)

Iraq and the rest of the world must have wondered where Mugabe and his 100-strong contingent were. The Rio summit was over and no UN meeting could be complete (let alone happy) without Mugabe shaking his fist before falling asleep.. After all, he had dutifully gone to the Youth Summit, the Technology Summit . . .


True it might cost Zimbabwe another $5 million or so in expenses– but that has never been a problem in the past. And it would make Mr Mugabe’s companions so happy to be in New York again. After all, it must be at least a month since they were last there.

Then it dawned on the Vigil: the UN meeting must have slipped Mugabe’s aging mind. He could not possibly have been detained at home by urgent business. Now that SADC has said there is not going to be an election this year nothing seems urgent in Zimbabwe.

Jonathan Moyo says that, if SADC insists on proper elections, there is not time to hold them even next year. Judging from the history of the GPA he is absolutely right. A process which was expected to take two years has got nowhere in four.

Anyway, there appear to be very few politicians in Zimbabwe who want to risk an election and eviction from the gravy train. We are told that when the UK converted from pounds, shillings and pence to decimal coinage, someone wrote to the Telegraph newspaper saying ‘Can’t they delay this change until all the old people have passed on?’ The Zimbabwe Vigil suspects this is the feeling of Zimbabwe’s politicians: ‘Shouldn’t elections be postponed until we have all (happily) passed on’. This could be included in the new constitution: probably the only point they will agree on.

The monthly Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) met after the Vigil to discuss what we could do as activists to get change in Zimbabwe. The meeting adopted a cartoon as a symbol for ZAF with the caption ‘The people don’t know their true power . . .’ showing a dictator pontificating at the end of a plank suspended over a precipice – only kept from falling by subservient people standing on the other end of the plank and listening to him. It was felt this was particularly appropriate for a group that wanted to act (

We were told that some detainees in the UK complained that the Vigil did not help them.  We explained that the Vigil was set up to fight human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and was not an organization to help Zimbabwean asylum seekers in the UK.  However the Vigil works very hard to help Vigil supporters who end up in detention and are threatened with deportation. The Vigil is not a charity and the only money we have is from the generosity of people passing by our protest and the sale of some merchandise (shirts, flags and bangles).

A full report of the meeting can be seen here:  


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:59 signed the register.


·        Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 14th July 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.

·        Zimbabwe Action Forum. Saturday 5th August 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.

·        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

·        Vigil Facebook page:

·        Vigil Myspace page:

·        Useful websites: which reports on Zanu PF abuses and where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.


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