Everything must fall? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 22nd October 2016 PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 23 October 2016 15:25

To paraphrase the famous observation by the German pastor Martin Niemöller: ‘First they came for Rhodes, then they came for Isaac Newton, next they’ll come for the constitution itself’.

The Rhodesmustfall campaign which started at Cape Town University calling for the removal of a statue of the nineteenth century imperialist was seen by many to be rather silly but nevertheless understandable.

Then students took their reforming mission further, seeking to scrap what they see as a ‘Eurocentric’ science curriculum in favour of traditional African theories. In particular, they dismissed Newton’s work as colonial. (see:

The students have stopped short of calling it a ‘Newtonmustfall’ campaign perhaps realising this might validate Newton’s law of gravity.

Zimbabwean students have rather more pressing problems to face than removing Rhodes from his grave in the Matopos. And as far as decolonising science is concerned, they learnt to be sceptical of assertions that diesel comes from rocks in Chinhoyi.

But that doesn’t seem to apply to Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao who seems ready to reject not only Rhodes and Newton but the constitution itself, asserting that Zanu PF is the state and it can use state resources to fund party projects. 

Zhuwao is not alone among Zanu PF leaders with this mindset. Vice President Mnangagwa, addressing a Zanu PF rally ahead of the Norton by-election, said the electorate should not waste their votes on an opposition candidate as that person would not access state resources to develop the constituency. He added that, after doling out agricultural  land, Zanu PF was now providing residential stands to its supporters.

More ominously, Social Welfare minister Prisca Mupfumira told starving Norton residents that they risked losing out on food aid if they were not Zanu PF members. So much for the constitution . . .

Other points

  • Few people are persuaded by South Africa’s explanation of its decision to leave the International Criminal Court. They believe the real reason is that South Africa’s ruling elite – like ours – don’t want to end up in jail.
  • The extra photos that were taken on 1st October with a superior camera are now on the Vigil flickr page: There are some good pictures of Vigil regulars.
    The extra photos that were taken on 1st October with a superior camera are now on the Vigil flickr page: There are some good pictures of Vigil regulars.
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Isaac Chawasarira, Audrey Chihoho, Nelson Dauramanzi, Nomusa Dube, Munyaradzi Garikayi, Deborah Harry, Vimbayi Karumbidza, Honest Madondo, Emmanuel Magarira, Phillip Mahlahla, Cephas Maswoswa, Marlon Nyamakanga, Sharon Nziramasanga, Tawanda Rusape, Jennipher Sabe, Maureen Tavengwa and Portiah Tobaiwa. Thanks to Deborah and Maureen for looking after the front table, to Portiah, Sharon and Nancy Makurira for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Phillip, Munyaradzi, Cephas, Tawanda and Prosper Karuru for putting up the banners. 

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: 29 signed the register.


  • 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:
  • Special Prayer Vigil. Saturday 29th October from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 29th October from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 5th November from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
  • 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.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 5th November 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. 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.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 12th November. From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark twenty months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • 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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