The wrong direction – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 11th June 2022 Print
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Sunday, 12 June 2022 14:33

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/52137908141/sizes/m/

 

Almost three-quarters of Zimbabweans believe the country is going in the wrong direction: 94% of people in Harare and 82% in the Bulawayo area say they are not happy with the country’s continually deteriorating economic situation.

 

The figures come from AfroBarometer, an African research organisation, and the work on the ground was carried out by Zimbabwe’s Mass Public Opinion Institute over the last 5 years. According to the survey, nearly half of citizens report that they were sometimes without food during the previous year. A majority have gone without enough clean water at times.

 

By large majorities Zimbabweans say the government is performing ‘fairly badly’ or ‘very badly’ on key economic issues, including keeping prices stable (87%), creating jobs (86%) and narrowing the gap between rich and poor (79%). (See: https://cite.org.zw/zim-headed-in-the-wrong-direction-survey/.)

 

Despite these negative findings,51% of the population as a whole apparently still trust President Mnangagwa! But the Vigil doubts that any political leader would be happy going into an election with a margin so narrow – and built on the 64% of the respondents with only primary or no formal education (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/06/51-zimbos-still-trust-ed-afro-barometer/).

 

Especially when all signs are that things will get worse, given the war against Ukraine launched by President Mnangagwa’s Russian patron President Putin. Many people in the third world are suffering from this. Russia has stolen what it can of Ukrainian grain but millions of tons in one of the world’s greatest grain producers will rot while this mindless war continues, Africans, as usual, are the worst victims.

 

Take for instance, the case of Zimbabwe’s teachers who say their monthly salary can now only buy them 20 loaves of bread. The Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union President Obert Masaraure said teachers are starving and can’t even afford education for their own children, let alone healthcare and accommodation (see: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-219920.html).

 

The social justice activist Tendai Ruben Mbofana commented that continued belief in the broken promises of the Zanu PF regime is akin to madness. In a coruscating article in the Zimbabwean, he says: ‘Were we not assured of free health and education for all by the 2000? After having dismally failed on this, has the so-called “new dispensation” not repeatedly regurgitated the same “free education next year” drivel since the coup d’état of November 2017 – when fierce Zanu PF factional infighting ended up roping in the military? How many times have civil servants been reassured that their salaries would be “increased” to their pre-October 2018 levels of around US$540 a month – with both the finance and public service ministers having the audacity of even proffering dates – yet, these phenomenal employees’ earnings remain stagnant at nearly a third of their contractually-obligated remuneration, if not worse.

 

‘Can anyone remember the countless times Zimbabweans have been promised a higher standard of living – through, numerous economic revival programmes, whose number I have understandably lost count, with all manner of weird and wonderful names, such as ESAP, ZIMASSET, ZIMPREST, and now NDS1 – but, not even one of these lofty programs coming anywhere near fulfilling even a quarter of the expected outcomes? Oh yes, and the houses – what so ever happened to the 1.5 million homes promised to be built between 2018 and 2023 – with only a few months to go? Can anyone, please, show me just a thousand of these! How many times have inflation targets not been met – certainly not by the acceptable margins of error, but by huge discrepancies which showed that these were nothing more than brazen lies?’ (See: https://www.thezimbabwean.co/2022/06/isnt-continued-belief-and-celebration-of-zanu-pf-regime-promises-akin-to-madness/.)

 

Other points

  • Reports from Zimbabwe say the body of a senior member of the Citizens’ Coalition for Change, MoreBlessing Ali, a single mother, has been recovered from a well in Beatrice. The body was said to have been cut into two. She disappeared on 24th May amid allegations that she was abducted by Zanu PF activists. The police say they are investigating the matter. Our condolences go to her UK-based brother Washington Ali who was a founder member of the Vigil. (See: https://nehandaradio.com/2022/06/12/they-have-killed-moreblessing-ali/ and  https://www.voazimbabwe.com/a/6613503.html.)
  • Information and Publicity Deputy Minister Kindness Paradza has threatened to seize resettled farmers’ land if they associate with the opposition and fail to attend Zanu PF meetings. He said: ‘“A lot of farmers think it was because of their cleverness that they secured the farms they have. Those who think that way are misguided. You got that farm because the ruling Zanu PF party allocated it to you.’ Paradza added that Zanu PF would introduce an attendance register at its meetings (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/06/axe-hangs-over-resettled-farmers/).
  • Our virtual Vigil activists today were Charles Mararirakwenda, Joyce Mbairatsunga and Henry Makovere  who all kindly contributed to Vigil funds. See: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720299712509 for today’s photos.
  • For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Events and Notices:

  • ROHR Fundraising Walk for a Free, Fair and Credible Election in Zimbabwe. Saturday 18th June. ROHR UK chapter will embark on a 13-mile sponsored walk, starting at Leytonstone at 9 am and ending at the Vigil, to raise funds for voter registration mobilisation and education to ensure all eligible citizens exercise their right to vote without fear or manipulation.
  • Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe  Embassy. Saturday 18th June from 2 – 5 pm. We will continue meeting on the first and third Saturdays of every month. On other Saturdays we will continue the virtual Vigil.
  • Next ROHR Meeting. Saturday 2nd July at 11 am.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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 http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe’s work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Facebook pages :

Vigil : https ://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

         ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/

         ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
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