Lies and hypocrisy – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 22nd November 2014 PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 22 November 2014 23:41



Vigil founder member Ephraim Tapa, speaking outside the South African High Commission in London, appealed to South Africa to reverse its policy and stand with the people of Zimbabwe and support our demand for democracy and human rights.


He was speaking as Vigil supporters delivered a letter to the High Commission about the findings of the South African Judicial Observer Mission sent to report on the 2002 Zimbabwe elections. This report has now been released on the instructions of the South African Constitutional Court after having being suppressed by the Pretoria government. As long suspected, the report concludes that the election could not be considered free and fair.


Ephraim Tapa said he had personal experience of the abuses during the 2002 elections. At the time of the vote he was being held in a Zanu PF torture base before he managed to escape from Zimbabwe.


‘If the report had been published at the time perhaps the international community would have insisted on a new election under international supervision’, he said. ‘The farm evictions, Murambatsvina, the 2008 meltdown would not have happened. We would have got rid of Mugabe a long time ago.


‘South Africa was part author of the Zimbabwe crisis’, he added. ‘They must now acknowledge that there is a crisis in Zimbabwe and treat refugees better.’


The demonstrators pushed the Vigil’s letter under the iron gates of the High Commission, as it does not open on a Saturday. The letter read:


Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

c/o South African High Commission


Dear Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane


Zimbabwean exiles in the UK wish to express our pain at reading the findings of the South African Judicial Observer Mission about the 2002 elections in Zimbabwe.


The final paragraph of the report could not be clearer: 99. However, having regard to all the circumstances, and in particular the cumulative substantial departures from international standards of free and fair elections found in Zimbabwe during the pre-election period, these elections, in our view, cannot be considered free and fair.


Given that the South African Presidency has consistently proclaimed the opposite, we can understand its persistent attempts to suppress the report. Zimbabweans owe a debt of gratitude to the Mail and Guardian for its brave campaign to expose the truth and to the Constitutional Court for upholding it.


We draw your attention to the following observation by Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC(T): Zimbabwe’s problems could have been solved in 2002 if this damning report had not been swept under the carpet (see:


As our country spirals down to the abyss, we appeal to the South African government to end its support for the Mugabe regime.


The letter was covered with signatures of those present. Among the posters displayed were: ‘South Africa betrays Zimbabweans’, ‘South African hypocrisy’ and ‘South African lies exposed’. The demonstrators included Dr Clifford Mashiri, a former Zimbabwean diplomat, who brought his own double-sided poster: ‘Mbeki, Motlanthe and Zuma apologise. Mugabe stole 2002 elections / President Zuma apologise for misleading the world re 2002 report’.


Returning to the Vigil outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, Dr Mashiri said: ‘The South African government has been living a lie. Since 2002 they have argued the Zimbabwean elections were free and fair while they knew all along that MDC supporters were being murdered. The international community was putting pressure on Mugabe but Mbeki said “Leave it to my quiet diplomacy”, hiding the truth. Asked about the Zimbabwe crisis, Mbeki said: “Crisis, what crisis?” The ANC was simply paying back support they had been given during their liberation struggle’.


In a comment on the enthralling Zanu PF cat fight, Ephraim Tapa said: ‘We have secret information that Dr Grace once wore a short skirt!’ His remark follows the sensational allegation by First Doctor Grace that she had evidence that sell-out Vice-President Mujuru had shown her thighs. ‘I trapped Mujuru and I now have recording of her in a mini-skirt, speaking ill of me and the President’ (see: Filmed Mujuru Having Sex, Grace Mugabe Admits).


Other points

  • Thanks to those who were there at the beginning to help set up: Patricia Masamba, Grace Munyanyi, Mary Muteyerwa, Tendai Chadehumbe, Fungisai Mupandira, Lucia Mudzimu, Clifford Mashiri, Mlini Dhledhlu and Tafadzwa Chigwende. Thanks also to Epiphania Phiri for once again bringing tea and cakes for cold Vigil supporters.

  • Vigil supporter Joseph Chivayo reports that the Sanctuary Summit in Birmingham last Saturday 15th November was a success (see:

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


    FOR THE RECORD: 29 signed the register.



  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 29th November at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

  • ROHR Southampton general meeting. Saturday 29th November from 1.30 – 5 pm. Venue: Age Concern Building, 20 Romsey Road, Eastleigh S050 9AL.  Speakers include Ephraim Tapa, ROHR Founder and President, and Tony Noyce, Mayor of Eastleigh. Contact: Sally Mutseyami (Chair) 07448730581, Wellington Mukucha (Vice-Chair), 07450264733, Sekayi Mwenye (Secretary) 07428570134, Chipo Mtetwa (Organising Secretary) 07403341214.

  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 29th November from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

  • ROHR Executive Committee meeting. Saturday 6th December from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: RISC 35-39 London St, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 4PS.

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

  • 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 us.


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