Cockroach culture – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 13th April 2013 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 14 April 2013 12:20

That prosecutors have now charged civil rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa with calling police ‘cockroaches’ shows an unexpected sensitivity. Mind you, the police do seem to be all over the place, scuttling away as soon as the light shines on them, only to regather in the dark.


But their boss Patrick Chinamasa shows more than sensitivity. He says the UN cannot visit Zimbabwe to discuss funding the elections. To check if things are ok would, in his paranoid mind, be furthering the regime change agenda. The UN must instead just hand the money over. The cockroaches will look after it (see: Chinamasa blocks UN election assessment team –


The Vigil believes that Zanu PF is putting every obstacle in the way of fair elections and we will mark the 16th monthly 21st movement diaspora protest next Saturday by appealing to SADC to stop Zanu PF foot dragging and, in particular, its determined efforts to prevent MDC supporters registering to vote while itself engaging in vote rigging (see: PF in massive rigging jamboree).


At the same Vigil we will mark the 33rd anniversary of Zimbabwe’s Independence, joined by activists from Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA), the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement. Not that many Zimbabweans have much to celebrate, as Herbert Moyo made clear in an article on cockroach-infested Mbare (see: Zim Independence: Betrayal of hope – After the Vigil there will be one of the bi-monthly Zimbabwe Action Forums at which Vigil Founder member Ephraim Tapa will talk about his recent undercover trip to Southern Africa (For details see ‘Events and Notices’).


It was yet another sodden Vigil, raining from beginning to end. Water dripped through our tarpaulin making it difficult for people to sign our wet petitions. This winter has been particularly difficult weatherwise: freezing winds, snow and rain!


During the week a Vigil delegation (Ephraim Tapa, Fungayi Mabhunu, Rose and Dennis Benton) had a useful meeting with the Zimbabwe Desk at the UK Foreign Office. We told them that we expected rigged elections and Ephraim Tapa spoke of the tangible fear he detected during his undercover visit to Zimbabwe (see: Diaspora Diaries of 09/04/2013 – Ephraim said that Mashonaland East had effectively been sealed off. He found a cowed nation that had accepted its fate and predicted that disillusionment with the MDC would produce apathy during the elections.


We were assured that the British government’s only aim was to see free and fair elections resulting in a government of the people’s choice. The Foreign Office expressed confidence in the facilitation of SADC. They categorically dismissed allegations that Britain was softening its approach to Zimbabwe to reclaim economic ground lost to the Chinese. They pointed out that, in the recent easing of sanctions, the measures had only been suspended and not lifted and this was well understood by Zanu PF. 


For our part we explained the activist role played by the Vigil together with our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement, both led by Ephraim. We told them all three organisations participate in our bi-monthly Zimbabwe Action Forums where we discuss ways to help those back home fight oppression and achieve true democracy. We also cautioned the Foreign Office about Zanu PF infiltration in the UK.


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: 39 signed the register.



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

·         Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 20th April from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. ROHR President Ephraim Tapa, recently back from Southern Africa, will talk to us about his trip. 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.

·         ROHR Leicester Branch meeting. Saturday 20th April from 12.30 – 4.30 pm. Venue: The Brite Centre, Braunstone Ave, Braunstone LE3 1LE. For more details please contact Christopher Kamuzonde 07449150041, Pardon Gurupira 07914641784, Enniah Dube 07403439707 and Bryne Mashonganyika 07450547313.

·         ROHR Milton Keynes Branch Re-launch. Saturday 27th April from 2 – 5.30 pm. Venue Coffee Hall Meeting Place (Coffee Hall Community Hall), 60 Garraways, Coffee Hall, Milton Keynes MK6 5E. For more information please contact: Casper Nyamakura (07577666912), Epiphania Phiri (07426 136 124) and William Muchayi (07826311731).

·         ROHR Executive meeting. Saturday 4th May from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For full directions check entry for Zimbabwe Action Forum.

·         ROHR Birmingham Branch meeting. Saturday 11th May from 12.30 – 3.30 pm. Venue: All Saints Centre, Vicarage Road, Kings Heath B14 7RA. For more information, contact: Zenzile Chabuka 07951418577, Anne Chikumba 07857528546, Petronella Mapara 07903644612, Jane Mary Mapfumo 07412310429, Pedzisai James 07428180518 and Tecla Bandawe 07450507650.

·         ROHR Southampton Branch meeting. Saturday 11th May from 12.30 – 4 pm. Venue: Swaythling Neighbourhood Centre off Broadlands Rd, Southampton SO16 3AY.  For more information contact: Wellington Mukucha 07450264733, Sally Mutseyami 07969029752, Manfred Mambo 07774538359 and Taylor Madondo.

·         ROHR Central London Branch meeting. Saturday 18th May from 12 – 1.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. Contact Fungayi Mabhunu 07746552597. For full directions check entry for Zimbabwe Action Forum.

·         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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