Deluded Mugabe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 10th September 2016 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 11 September 2016 17:48  

A thousand years ago the Danish ruler Cnut became King of England. He is remembered today for sitting on a throne on the seashore, surrounded by courtiers, and ordering the tide to retreat. 

King Canute, as he is better known, was not mad. He was making the point that – however powerful he was – some things were beyond him. In the words of his first biographer he was showing ‘how empty and worthless is the power of kings’. He was not deluded like Mugabe, who believes he can stop the clock and avoid change.

Some foreign diplomats and MDC politicians have reported that Mugabe can apparently be ‘charming’. You could even, after his ‘resurrection’ remark last week, say there is an embryonic sense of humour. But it is clear that he does not have an imagination.

Mugabe’s rebuke to the judiciary for allowing demonstrations against his misrule illustrated his belief that the constitution is his to interpret. He is the law. He is the state. His powers are unlimited.

The Vigil waits with interest to see how he reacts when he wakes up and hears about Chinamasa’s sacking of 25,000 state workers, cuts in pay and allowances – and even scrapping the sacred bonuses. Last year Mugabe ordered the tide to retreat – and Chinamasa duly complied and restored bonuses. This year there simply isn’t the money to do this again. 

Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu who appeared at the Vigil in Mugabe mask and judge’s wig to demonstrate with the help of a ‘button stick’ the reality of power in Zimbabwe. He was surrounded by Vigil supporters carrying posters saying: ‘Chief Injustice Mugabe’, ‘Mugabe says protest is treason’ and ‘Mugabe: I am the law’.

Other points

  • Today we marked 18 months since the human rights activist Itai Dzamara was abducted. We also called for the release of ROHR member Linda Masarira who has been incarcerated for over two months on trumped-up charges relating to protests. At the Vigil we received some disturbing news about Linda. She has been accused of fanning riots in the female section of Chikurubi prison and transferred to solitary confinement in the male section where she will be in considerable danger. Rebecca Mafikeni, another activist, who was held in these cells, fell very ill and later died. People at the Vigil were angry at this spiteful persecution.
  • On Friday 16th September there will be a ‘Mugabe must go’ demonstration outside the Embassy from 11 am – 2 pm.  This has been organised by Zimbabweans from many different groups, including the Vigil.
  • Next Saturday 17th September the Vigil will be showing solidarity with Zimbabweans in the United States who are planning a protest to coincide with Mugabe’s scheduled visit to the UN. For more information check ‘Events and Notices’.
  • The Vigil was saddened to hear of the sudden death of Alan Wilkinson. Alan helped start the Vigil and was a tireless human rights campaigner for Zimbabwe, gay rights and other causes. Fellow campaigner Peter Tatchell writes: ‘I remember Alan as a great friend and human rights colleague. We worked together, and with you and many others, for democracy in Zimbabwe – doing protests at the 14-year-long Vigil outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. Alan was also a much-valued trustee of the Peter Tatchell Human Rights Fund and the Peter Tatchell Foundation. His support for our human rights work was wonderful.’ Alan’s funeral is at 3 pm on Thursday 15th September at the Golders Green Crematorium, Hoop Lane, London NW11 7NL (nearest station: Golders Green). There will be a wake for Alan at 5.30pm at the People's Tavern, 360 Victoria Park Road E9 7BT. For information, check:¬if_id=1473239534881291.
  • The Mike Campbell Foundation is celebrating its fifth anniversary this October in London. The event 'Taking Effective Steps to Fight Dictatorship — Restoring Justice, Restoring People' will be held at the Royal Geographical Society. Speakers will include MCF Executive Director Ben Freeth MBE, alongside Bishop Ancelimo Magaya and Gift Konjana who are flying in from Zimbabwe for the event. Ben and his father-in-law Mike Campbell rose to prominence when they successfully sued the Mugabe regime in an international court of law after they were abducted, tortured, and nearly killed in Zimbabwe over the right to their farm. For details see ‘Events and Notices’.
  • Thanks to those who came early today to help set up: Rashiwe Bayisayi, Benjamin Chigamba, Audrey Chihoho, Mavis Chisvo, Flemming Diza, Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Prosper Karuru, Jean Kawara, Nancy Makurira, Cephas Maswoswa, Gladys Meck, Sharon Moyo, Eletha Mpofu, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Simbarashe Mutero, Mduduzi Ndlovu, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Anna Pfende, Tawanda Rusape and Emmaculate Tshuma. Thanks to Roseline and Sharon for looking after the front table, to Chipo P and Simbarashe for selling ‘Mugabe must go’ wristbands and to Isaac Chawasarira for handing out flyers. It rained all afternoon so it was good that there were many helpers to put up the tarpaulin and banners. Thanks to Alfredy, Mduduzi, Phillip Mahlahla, Benjamin, Simbarashe, Flemming and Tawanda for this.

For latest Vigil pictures check: Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. For videos of Vigils and other events, check the ROHR facebook page:

FOR THE RECORD: 49 signed the register.


  • Mugabe must go demonstration. Friday 16th September from 11 am – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The messages are: ‘No to poverty, police brutality and corruption’, ‘Free and fair elections’, ‘Where is Itai Dzamara’ and ‘Release Linda Masarira’. All Zimbabweans and supporters are welcome to attend.
  • Solidarity demonstration with protest at the UN in New York. Saturday 17th September from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. Zimbabweans in the USA (MDC-USA together with #thisflag and #tajamuka) are planning a big protest to coincide with Mugabe’s scheduled visit to the UN General Assembly.  They are lobbying the UN to ensure comprehensive electoral reforms are implemented before the 2018 elections.  
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 17th 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 another shop. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
  • 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.
  • ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 17th September from 12 noon – 2 pm. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL. Contact: Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899, Mavis Chisvo 07944612944.
  • ROHR Reading branch general meeting, summer BBQ and foodbank donation. Saturday 17th September from 12 noon to 9 pm. Venue: Pakistani Community Hall, London Road, Reading, RG1 3PA. For further enquiries contact: Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Charles Mararirakwenda 07964731721, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Saziso Zulu 07780067899, Deborah Harrry 07578894896, Sihle Sibanda 07985712749.
  • 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.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 17th September from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 8th October. From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark nineteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Mike Campbell Foundation fifth anniversary: Taking Effective Steps to Fight Dictatorship – Restoring Justice, Restoring People.  Wednesday 26th October at 6.30 pm. Venue: the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. For tickets:
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2015 can be viewed on this link: Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:

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