Vigil reply to MDC – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 29th September 2012 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 30 September 2012 18:05

The Vigil is not allied to any political party although most of our supporters are MDC members. Indeed, we have happily worked with the MDC in the UK, most recently during last week’s demonstrations of encouragement outside the Tanzania and Botswana High Commissions in London.


After reading our last diary, a leading MDC figure in the UK, while thanking us for our help over the demonstrations, complained that we were again criticizing the MDC. Here is our reply:


‘We would like to assure you that we are not against the MDC. But we feel an obligation to be critical when the leadership is failing the party’s members. To do otherwise would be following the example of Zanu PF.


If you were thinking of our criticism in the diary of Tsvangirai’s romances, we would point out that many people have expressed disappointment at his judgment – not least because of the Zanu PF connections of some of the ladies in question.


If you were thinking of our comments about the Youth Assembly’s infantile toadying up to Tsvangirai (see:, we feel strongly that this reflects a type of ‘big man’ politics which surely has no place in a modern democracy.


 We readily acknowledge that we have criticized the party’s leadership over a range of issues: principally for their failure to see that the four-year-old GPA has been implemented and the alacrity with which some have jumped on the gravy train (see: – Politics a stepping stone to gravy train).


The Vigil believes that our leaders must be held to account and if they are found wanting they must be replaced. This is a common experience in the UK: we think most recently of Tony Blair and before that of Margaret Thatcher – both very successful politicians who were dumped by their parties.


Despite all this, the Vigil applauds the many MDC members working bravely and unselfishly for change. Without the support of these members the party would not exist. They and you have every right, if not a duty, to criticize the leadership when it fails.


Yours in solidarity – Vigil Co-ordinators’


Despite our comments about the Youth Assembly, the Vigil would like to express our admiration for its imprisoned Chair, Solomon Madzore, who writes: ‘The Zanu PF machinery can only imprison our bodies and never our spirits. We are free inside ourselves. They are the ones shackled in a perpetual prison of fear, guilt and shame. Sizafika Nomakhanjani!!!’ (see: – Solomon Madzore Message from Chikurubi Prison).


The Vigil wishes it could share brave Solomon’s confidence that Tsvangirai will lead Zimbabwe to a better future.


Other points

·        Vigil supporters were entertained by the analysis of Mugabe’s UN speech by UK-based lawyer Alex Magaisa (see: – Mugabe’s alternative UN General Assembly speech).

·        Today saw the relaunch of ROHR’s Cambridge branch. ROHR has been steadily recapturing ground lost when subversive elements claimed ownership of the organization.

·        We were happy to be joined by Patson Muzuwa from Leicester. Patson was a vibrant founder member of the Vigil after he fled Zimbabwe following torture for his support of the MDC. It was wonderful to hear his distinctive voice singing again after his health problems.

·        Patson brought with him a traumatised young woman who had just arrived in the UK after being raped by members of a Zimbabwean youth militia.

·        This the last week you can see ‘The Rain that Washes’, which has had excellent reviews. See ‘Events and Notices’ for details.


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: 48 signed the register.



·      The Rain that Washes showing at the Lounge, Leicester Square Theatre, until Saturday 6th October at 7 pm. Check: or phone the booking line: 08448733433 for specific dates and to book tickets, ‘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’.

·        'Let's do lunch – Zimbabwean style'. Saturday 6th October, 12-2.30 pm. Venue: All Saints Centre, Vicarage Road, Kingsheath, B14 7RA. A meeting for anyone interested in joining ROHR will follow the lunch.  The event is organized by Birmingham Community Housing Network (BIRCH).

·        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.


How can you help?

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.