Disappointment with MDC – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 1st September 2012 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 02 September 2012 17:41

Vigil supporters gathered after our weekly protest outside the Embassy for a wide-ranging discussion of the threatening situation in Zimbabwe and the Vigil’s role in the fight for freedom and democracy. Our monthly action forum, held at the famous India Club down the road from the Embassy, concluded almost unanimously that the MDC was unlikely to be in charge after the next election.


There are many reasons for this, of course, not least the prospect of Zanu PF skullduggery, but speakers felt that the MDC had lost the trust of many people whose support it had taken for granted – partly because its leaders were tainted by corruption. The expulsion from the party of the Harare Deputy Mayor, Emmanuel Chiroto, and disciplinary action against a number of councillors from other local authorities was welcomed but, at the same time, confirmed the perception that many party officials had joined the Zanu PF looting frenzy (see: MDC-T jumps on Zanu PF gravy train –


There was puzzlement why the MDC had simply given up on what it had said were key issues three and a half years ago: the positions of Gono and Tomana and Mugabe’s refusal to swear in Roy Bennett and MDC governors etc. Their main interest now seemed to be how much money they could make (see: Another windfall for MPs –


Questions were asked why the MDC had allowed itself to be seduced by the ludicrous constitution-making process while nothing had been done to ensure free and fair elections: a new voters’ roll, an independent electoral commission, security reforms, fair access to the airwaves, international observers etc. Instead we have Tendai Biti

confessing that the constitution deadlock had left him ‘confused’ (see: Draft derails govt planning: Biti –


We at the Vigil don’t doubt the confusion of the MDC. After all Mr Biti has been touring the world expressing his admiration for Mugabe and saying how the economy is poised to power ahead. Yet now he tells a luxurious conference at the Victoria Falls that Zimbabwe has a per capita income of about $320 – scarcely half the amount considered to be the poverty line. He went on to point out that 37% of the population had no clean water, 45% no access to lavatories and less than 50% access to electricity (see: Economy needs complete overhaul - Biti –


Our meeting noted that Professor David Hulme of Manchester University had told the Victoria Falls conference that Zimbabwe had seen one of the biggest declines in human and economic development recorded among countries not in a war situation.

The meeting was chaired by Ephraim Tapa, one of the founders of the Vigil and President of ROHR and the Zimbabwe We Can movement. He said politics in Zimbabwe was not working and it was up to people in the diaspora to help. He called for more regular meetings, bringing in other groups under a neutral framework. Ephraim said the Vigil should continue its job of telling the world the truth about 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: 59 signed the register.



·        Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 8th September 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.

·        ROHR Doncaster Branch Launch; Saturday 8th September from 1 – 4 pm. Venue: St Paul's Church, 21 Goodison Boulevard, Cantley, Doncaster DN4 6BT. Contact: Chairlady Linet Moyo: 07943169953, Secretary Isabel Chirimuuta 07717529369, Organising Secretary: Sitshengisiwe Mkhwananzi 07849462688.

·        The Rain that Washes showing at the Lounge, Leicester Square Theatre from Monday 17th  September – Saturday 6th October at 7 pm. 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 an series of interview 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.’

·        ROHR Cambridge Branch Relaunch: Saturday 29th September from 1 – 4 pm. Contact: Memory Simbi 07584759284, Deon Matora 077866674066, Richard Zvinoira 07810592390. Venue: to be advised.

·        10th Anniversary of the Zimbabwe Vigil / Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 13th October 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. Future special ZAF meeting: Saturday 10th November when our special guest will be Ben Freeth.  This meeting will take the place of the regular ZAF meeting in November at 6.30 pm at Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see 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:

·        To sponsor the Mike Campbell Foundation expedition ‘Sailing across the Makgadikgadi Pans’ which will raise money for the work of the Foundation, go to

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


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The Zimbabwe Vigil exists entirely on donations from the public and well wishers. You can help us by donating via a deposit into our account Thank you.