A Zim Asset – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 13th September 2014 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 14 September 2014 14:10

In these difficult times for Zimbabwe the Vigil is awed by the academic triumph of the First Lady – now to be known not just as Mother of the People but also as Doctor.


Her new title is not a mere honorary doctorate such as the dozens showered on President Mugabe. Those ceremonial honours are mere ornaments compared to a real doctorate earned after original scholarly research. Grace’s degree is such a doctorate and our ailing people, in their time of need, can now call for help on a real doctor.


One could see the pride on Mugabe’s face as he gently conferred the Doctor of Philosophy degree on his young bride at a ceremony at our premier university. There was not the slightest sense that he felt outdone by Dr Grace’s superior academic qualification; just a contented feeling that he was handing over the baton to someone academically qualified for the highest office.


And what could be more appropriate than the subject of her learned thesis ‘The changing social structure of the family: the case of children’s homes in Zimbabwe’. What could be of greater importance than the future of our millions of orphans? They must be the worst-affected of the 72% of the population which, according to a recent report by the World Food Programme, are living below the poverty line.


Few could deny that Dr Grace is qualified on such a subject. She may have only achieved 7% in her BA English course ‘Approaches to Text’ and 9% for ‘Explorations in Literature’, but that was at a British university and before she acquired her vast and ever-expanding orphanage holdings in Mazowe. As the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe Professor Levy Nyagura suggested at the graduation ceremony ‘illegal sanctions have a lot to answer for’.  


What must be acknowledged is that her mastery of orphanages is extraordinary and it is no surprise that she was able to complete her doctoral dissertation in the two months since she registered for the degree. While the President slept, she would have burnt the midnight oil thinking philosophically after putting the orphans safely to bed.


Other points

  • ROHR President Ephraim Tapa, just back from 12 days in Zimbabwe, said the use of Grace, possibly hand in hand with former Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono, was a ploy by Mugabe to play off the rival Mujuru / Mnangagwa factions. Ephraim was speaking at a lively meeting of the bi-monthly Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil, which was attended by the Chair of Zapu Europe Christopher Maphosa and Zapu activist Arthur Molife. Ephraim said he had found a dispirited people who had lost faith in politics but were ready to respond to human rights issues in a country with a vast disparity between the rich and poor. He said MDC Renewal leaders had told him they were working towards unity with other groups such as Zapu, Welshman Ncube, the NCA and Makoni. 

  • The Vigil exchanged flyers with a group of Kurdish exiles who passed by in a demonstration against the Islamic psychopaths ISIS.

  • Thanks to Joseph Chivayo and Fungayi Mabhunu for arriving early to help set up. Once again we had delicious sadza and stew, this time provided by Iline Manhunzi, Tendai Chadehumbe, Patricia Masamba and Fungisai Mupandira of ROHR Slough branch.


    For latest Vigil pictures check: Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.


    FOR THE RECORD: 33 signed the register.



  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 20th September from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 20th September at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • ROHR Southampton Branch at the 3rd Eastleigh Mardi Gras. Saturday 20th September from 10 am – 7 pm. Venue: Eastleigh Recreation Ground, Leigh Road, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO50 9DE. Well-wishers welcome to help raise funds for a charitable cause. Dancers, stalls, food,  games, workshops, music, talent show final, bands, kids competitions and Mardi Gras. Procession starts at 4:30 pm.

  • ROHR Middlesbrough Fundraising Event. Saturday 20th September from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Humanah CIC, Unit 5 BBC Broadcasting House, Brentnall Street, Middlesbrough TS1 5JA. Enjoy delicious food and amazing entertainment. All inclusive for £5. Raffle tickets with good prizes. For more information please contact: Masimba Musodza (Chairman) 07581887359, Ndumiso Ncube (Organizing Secretary) 07532080247, Xoliso Sithole (Treasurer) 07476558655, Helen Sibanda (Secretary) 07799574994 & Tapiwa Semwayo (North East Info & Pub Secretary) 07412236229.

  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 27th September from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. 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 sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and Pizza Express. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

  • ROHR Central London Branch general meeting. Saturday 27th September from 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • ROHR Reading Branch general meeting and outreach. Saturday 27th September from 10:30 am to 5 pm. Venue: RISC 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS. Contact: Information & Publicity Officer: 07532021348.

  • Zimbabwe Vigil’s Twelfth Anniversary. Saturday 11th October.

  • Hope for Zimbabwe’. Tuesday 4th November from 7 – 9 pm. Venue: the Royal Geographical Society, London. Hosted by the Mike Campbell Foundation with Ben Freeth, MBE, Christina Lamb, OBE, Dame Linda Dobbs (Chair). Tickets: £15. For more information, check:

  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2013 can be viewed on this link: Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2013 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.

  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.

  • The Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets twice a month after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy


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