Slap in the face – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 30th March 2013 PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 02 April 2013 20:00

Britain’s conciliatory overture to Zanu PF was rudely rejected by Justice Minister Chinamasa on his visit to London for talks with the international donor group known as the Friends of Zimbabwe.

People were stunned when Chinamasa lunged at Kate Hoey, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Committee on Zimbabwe, at a Foreign Office reception on Monday for the visiting ministerial delegation. The blustering bully had to be restrained by Zimbabwean Ambassador Machinga, who apologised profusely to the British MP. ‘Entirely in keeping with what I would expect from Zanu PF’, said Hoey.

If donor countries thought that by lifting most sanctions (including the exclusion of Chinamasa) it would be reciprocated by Zanu PF concessions their illusions were dispelled by Chinamasa’s intransigence. Despite the Friends of Zimbabwe donating $2.6 billion to Zimbabwe in the last four years they are still the enemy, as Chinamasa made clear in a communique after the talks on Tuesday.

He said there was nothing to show for this aid ‘in terms of development at grass roots level except high rise and expensive houses for staff of the NGOS’ and insisted the aid should go direct to the government. He said the donors in any case would not be allowed to observe the elections as they were not ‘objective’ and that there would be no security sector reforms as this would just be a means of ‘effecting regime change’. Chinamasa added that the international community must understand that SADC’s role was just to facilitate and not supervise or impose a solution in Zimbabwe and that foreign radio broadcasts to Zimbabwe must be stopped (see: Zim-Britain talks Full Communique –

Not many concessions there – not that the Vigil expected anything but North Korean-type paranoia. Our supporters, gathered outside the Tuesday meeting in the bitter cold, shouted ‘thief’ and ‘murderer’ when Chinamasa emerged from the talks.

Thanks to the valiant Vigil activists who gathered at short notice for the demonstration. They were: Cephas Moswoswa, Ishmael Makina, David Takundwa, Kelvin Kamupira, Peter Sidindi, Jonathan Kariwoh and Rose Benton. Behind the Vigil banner reading’ End Murder, Rape and Torture in Zimbabwe’ they displayed posters such as:Britain don’t give in to Mugabe’, ‘No money unless rule of law’, ‘International observers for free and fair elections’, ‘EU bought by diamonds’, and ‘Restore rule of law in Zimbabwe’.

We took photos of a suspected CIO agent who was photographing us. He didn’t like it. Present at the talks was Wayne Ives, Head of the Foreign Office’s Zimbabwe Desk, who suggested a meeting to discuss our concerns, which we welcome.

The Friends of Zimbabwe in their communique on the talks insisted on the implementation of the GPA reforms ahead of elections and said a wide range of international observers would enhance the credibility of the poll (see: Friends of Zimbabwe Communique –

One of the Vigil founders, Patson Muzuwa, managed to smuggle himself into the Zimbabwe Embassy for a meeting on Friday attended by the three person Zimbabwe delegation representing the GNU partners. Patson said that by allowing Chinamasa into the country the UK had done us a favour: the whole world would now see at first-hand what a bigoted thug he is. Patson said it was clear that the delegation only wanted to meet selected members of the diaspora and people had tried to shut him up when he insisted on asking questions. When Chinamasa asked whether people had been ill-treated by Zanu PF, Patson dismayed everyone by standing up and saying ‘Yes, I have been tortured’. Patson added that Chinamasa made racist remarks, saying Zimbabweans didn’t want whites, and also made it clear that he didn’t want Zimbabweans returning home.

It was another bitterly cold Vigil with flurries of snow but we were protected against Chinamasa by a silver soldier: a ‘living statue’ performance artist, standing immobile covered in silver paint.

It was good to be joined by so many of our own old soldiers. Apart from Patson, they included: Tawanda Spicer, Moses Kandiyawo, Bee Tapa and Lovemore Mukeyani.

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: 41 signed the register.


·         Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 6th April from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. 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. Next ZAF: Saturday 20nd April at which ROHR President Ephraim Tapa, recently back from Southern Africa, will talk to us about his trip.

·         Launch of ROHR Leeds Branch. Saturday 6th April. Venue: Middleton Community Centre, Middleton Park Avenue, Leeds LS10 4HU. 11 am Executive meeting. 2 pm Branch launch.

·       Official Launch of Betty Makoni story: Never again, not to any woman or girl again. Saturday 13th April from 5 pm – 12 midnight. Venue: Thurrock Hotel, Ship Lane, Purfleet, Essex RM19 1YN. For more information email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or phone: 07427 774 415 / 07951 522 790.

·         Round 16 of the Free Zimbabwe Global Campaign (FZGC). Saturday 20th April when we will also mark Zimbabwe’s Independence Day.

·         Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2012 can be viewed on this link:  Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2012 Highlights page.

·         The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization 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.

·         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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