‘Biti in love’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary – 7th July 2012 PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 09 July 2012 19:53

On international Gay Pride day in London, VigilBlockbusters are proud to present our new production ‘Biti in love’.


The scene: Spring approaches in Zimbabwe and young Tendai’s thoughts turn to romance . . .


‘He is very calm and seductive. I am sure every woman is in love with him’, simpers Biti.


‘What I have come to realise is that if I have a difficult issue he will unblock it’ . . . ‘I sit with him and talk for hours. You will be surprised at what we talk about. We talk about everything: girls, politics, everything (giggles)’.


A flutter of eyelashes: ‘We find counsel and wisdom in him. His importance in this country will be seen once he is gone. When he is gone then you will see that this man was Zimbabwe’.


Tendai went on to gush that President Mugabe is ‘a fountain of knowledge and, most importantly, a fountain of stability.’ (See: Mugabe seductive, calm, unflappable: Biti –


But he admitted that there were other suitors for the hand of Mugabe. ‘I think Prime Minister Tsvangirai naturally respects President Mugabe and that is very important. And he also understands that there are certain decisions that have to be made by the President. . . I do not think anyone in government denies the invaluability (sick) of his wisdom and experience.’


‘Every Monday at 3 pm the President and Prime Minister have meetings. They have pancakes, tea in expensive chinaware . . . ‘


Finance Minister Biti gave no details of the ‘expensive chinaware’.  It might be a state secret or perhaps he doesn’t want to embarrass cherished Robert. But he was eloquent about ‘Zimbabweanhood’:  ‘I think’, he panted, ‘in the long term the sacrosanctity of the identity of Zimbabweanhood must not be compromised under any circumstances because it is almost like your birthright; you cannot change it. So the sooner we accept that the better.’


Biti and Tsvangirai are not the only MDC people who have succumbed to the ‘charms’ of Romeo-in-chief Mugabe. There has been a dispiriting succession of them. While we protest outside the Zimbabwean Embassy in London every Saturday year after year we get Quislings stabbing us in the back . . .


Other points

·        The Vigil was encouraged to receive the following email from Ben Freeth: ‘You at the vigil are all doing such a great job. Well done for your perseverance through the rain and dark and frustration. I think we all are becoming particularly concerned with the MDC’s apparent sanitization of the regime by persistently calling for the lifting of the travel and financial restrictions on the few – for what benefit except for those that are inconvenienced?  MDC is not speaking out to the world human rights bodies. It is not visiting police stations where there are wrongful arrests.  It is not pursuing court cases regarding crimes against humanity.  It is not exposing the massive diamond wealth which has bypassed the people. It is not doing or saying anything regarding the farms that are now idle or the ethnic cleansing that persists. It has not done much regarding trying to change draconian laws. It is not going around the world bodies with dossiers of what has happened in past elections – and calling for internationally supervised elections. No the MDC appears to be fast being swallowed – like Joshua Nkomo was . . . Unless we all see some action from them there will not be a great deal of confidence in people wanting to risk their lives again by supporting them and voting for them.’ We are pleased to say that Ben is planning to visit the Vigil on 10th November and afterwards will address a meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum.

·        It was good to be joined by two South Africans, Andea and Chantelle, from Solicitors International Human Rights Group who are particularly involved in issues to do with sub-Saharan Africa. They plan to come again.

·        Among other visitors to the Vigil were several Sudanese who asked for our help to mount a similar protest against their President Omar Bashir who is wanted by the International Criminal Court.

·        A less welcome visitor was a Westminster Council traffic warden who comes from the Ivory Coast. He complained about our opposition to ousted President Laurent Gbagbo who is now facing trial at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

·        We were glad to have with us our supporter Caroline Witts from faraway Devon who braved floods there to make her way to Charing Cross where despite all predictions we were spared the threatened deluge. She reports that the new Dean of York Minster was brought up in Zimbabwe. The Dean is the Very Reverend Vivienne Faull now the most senior woman cleric in the Church of England.

·        The Zimbabwean play ‘The Rain that Washes’ is now moving to the West End. A number of people from the Vigil have been to see it and thoroughly recommend it.  It is Christoper Maphosa’s story – he is someone who has come to the Vigil in the past. For full details, see ‘Events and Notices’.


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: 57 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.

·        Sixth 21st Movement Free Zimbabwe Global Protest. Saturday 21st July. Meet at the Vigil at 2 pm. There are plans to target the Russian Embassy because of their sale of military helicopters to Zimbabwe. More information as arrangements firm up.

·        Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 28th July 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.

·        Relaunch of ROHR Nottingham Branch: Saturday 4th August starting at 2 pm. A fundraising do will follow till late. Zimbabwe traditional food, music and dance. Venue details to follow. 

·        ROHR North East Fundraising Event. Saturday 18th August from 2 – 7 pm. Venue: Longbenton Methodist Church Hall, Chesters Avenue, Longbenton, Newcastle upon Tyne NE12 8QP. Directions: from Four Lane Ends Metro Station, start out on Benton Road.  At roundabout take the first exit onto West Farm Avenue. Turn left onto Chesters Avenue. For more information contact Tapiwa Merrymore Semwayo on 07412236229, Catherine Tshezi on 07428189705 and Susan Ndhlovu on 07767024586.

·      The Rain that Washes showing at The Lounge, Leicester Square Theatre, from Monday 17th September – Saturday 6th October at 7 pm. For specific dates and to book tickets, check: or phone the booking line: 08448733433. ‘Instantly plunged into a young man’s compelling story of growing up in turbulent Zimbabwe, we live and breathe his extraordinary journey from innocence to escape, finally returning to his homeland to witness the greatest betrayal of all . . . Inspired by a series of interviews between Zimbabwean Christopher Maphosa and writer Dave Carey, The Rain That Washes is a true story that is poignant, political and, most of all, personal’. 

·        Future special ZAF meetings: Saturday 13th October when we mark the 10th anniversary of the Vigil and Saturday 10th November when our special guest will be Ben Freeth.  These two meetings will take the place of the regular ZAF meetings in October and November. Both events at 6.30 pm at Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see entry above.

·        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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