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Drab Glasgow is a warning on levelling down PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 30 October 2021 19:54

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/drab-glasgow-is-a-warning-on-levelling-down-rpjgtn2w3

Drab Glasgow is a warning on levelling down

Iain Martin 27/10/2021

 

The city hosting Cop26 offer a lesson in how poor leadership and bad decision can trigger decades of sharp decline.

 

When all the talk from ministers is of levelling up, it is ironic that the government is about to take 30,000 climate change delegates from around the world to the city that stands as a textbook example of long-term decline and what could be termed “levelling down”. Welcome to Glasgow.

 

Other comparable cities have their problems, but Manchester and Birmingham have leadership and momentum, with powerful city and regional mayors. Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, is entering another of its boom phases. Fifty miles away, Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, has the look of a place that is falling apart.

 

You may have heard that the city is in terrible shape before Cop26. There is rubbish in the streets thanks to industrial action by refuse workers. There are reports, some of them perhaps true, of attacks by rats. Either way, take a long walk around the city and what you see is unavoidable: the fabric is in a state of advanced and accelerating disintegration. The public realm is tatty, the poverty worsening.

 

Data compiled by the Centre for Cities from the Office for National Statistics reports that in 2018 Glasgow’s economic output per worker was £54,310. For Edinburgh it was £75,130 and for London £91,300. Glasgow remains stubbornly poor and the only sustainable answer long-term is for it to somehow become wealthier.

 

It’s Glasgow, so it is possible to treat this disaster as a joke. A Glaswegian friend says that at least the degradation means Cop26 delegates from the developing world will feel at home. He said that, not me. Such is Glaswegian sensitivity and low mood right now that the city that gave birth to Billy Connolly can no longer take a joke about itself.

 

Personally, I find its decline upsetting. Those of us from Paisley, my home town, have long looked down on Glasgow, regarding our neighbouring big city as distinct, apart. Truth is, though, if you’re from the west of Scotland, Glasgow is the hub, the centre. It’s about belonging too. Going to Glasgow University was the natural choice for me. When I say “home” I still mean greater Glasgow.

 

Not only is it a human disaster, with hundreds of thousands of Glaswegians living this decline daily, the city’s plight is also a highly instructive case study, a warning that should be studied by policymakers trying to understand why some places, through a combination of poor leadership and missteps, go backwards.

 

Glasgow’s fall can easily be turned into a simple game of blaming the SNP. The Nationalists have been in power in Scotland for 14 years. Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister, represents a Glasgow seat containing some of the worst deprivation in western Europe. But the story is much more complex and interesting than any “SNP bad and always to blame” narrative.

 

Its roots lie in the 1960s and 1970s, when Glasgow and the wider west of Scotland went through epic deindustrialisation. Arguably, no single metropolitan area and surrounding population experienced anything quite as all-encompassing, so rapidly, as here.

 

In the early 1960s, Glasgow could credibly still call itself the Second City of Empire, although the empire had gone. It appeared to be a commercial colossus, although in shipbuilding, manufacturing and services it was old-fashioned and under-invested. Still, it was an upwardly mobile, confident city. Watch the black and white footage in the Netflix documentary on Sir Alex Ferguson for a glimpse of that spirit, and see how sharply the locals dressed.

 

The dramatic shifts in trading patterns wreaked by early globalisation brought the edifice crashing down. Margaret Thatcher is blamed for this still in Glasgow, although it started well before her. (Such is Glasgow’s political culture that people will be blaming Thatcher when the bins are not collected in 2121.) It was actually during her era that an exciting revival began. The city underwent a highly successful regeneration in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when a handful of Labour politicians with foresight rebranded it as a cultural capital. There was the Garden Festival, and it was the European City of Culture in 1990. This was combined with the sandblasting of the buildings that had survived the modernist cull. The aim was to lure private investment.

 

Then something strange happened. Infuriatingly, under New Labour and in a mood of self-congratulation, Glasgow stopped heading in the right direction. The reinvention slowed, as though it had been a one-off sprucing up project. A complete rethink on economics, how the city should make its money and improve the lives of its citizens, was discussed but never happened. A friend who lives in Glasgow says: “It’s deeper than decades of unimaginative, stodgy politics, a disgracefully tiny tax base and lack of Holyrood vision. It’s as if the whole city energy generated by the Garden Festival and City of Culture years has slowly leaked away.”

 

The narrow tax base is a serious issue. Some of the more monied areas sit outside the city boundary but use the facilities, similar to American “doughnut cities” deemed hollow at the centre and affluent in the suburbs.

 

Even so there are signs of life. The expansion of the University of Glasgow campus is impressive. Barclays has been growing and its new centre by the River Clyde will have 5,000 employees. There are local entrepreneurs battling away and always interesting restaurants. These developments look like oases in a desert, though.

 

It largely comes down to an absence of leadership. The creation of a Scottish parliament in Edinburgh robbed Glasgow of attention, and secretly many non-Glaswegian Scots will be happy about that. To respond, Glasgow needs its own mayor, or elected provost, someone to fight for it and start restoring confidence. Most of all it needs new commercial energy and as much entrepreneurship as it can get. That’s what made Glasgow a great city in the first place.

 
Zimbabwe ‘burning’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 23rd October 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 24 October 2021 16:11

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/51625341788/sizes/m/

 

Amid violent attempts by Zanu PF to disrupt campaigning by opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, there are growing demands for real freedom of expression in Zimbabwe. The American Bar Association Centre for Human Rights accused President Mnangagwa of ‘abusing the criminal justice system to persecute government critics’ and called for the repeal of repressive laws.

 

It urged the government to drop charges against the prominent journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and generally stop prosecuting human rights defenders, in line with the constitutional provisions for freedom of expression and association. Chin’ono has received numerous threats from suspected state agents and been arrested and jailed many times. He is currently facing three separate criminal proceedings (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/stop-persecuting-journos-activists-ed-told/).

 

Human Rights Watch says an outspoken street preacher and critic of the government, Apostle Talent Chiwenga, has fled his home because of increased surveillance by people in unmarked vehicles. He said he believed the authorities wanted to kill him for his activities.

 

Chiwenga has campaigned in street sermons in Harare and on social media against human rights abuses and last year Home Affairs Minister Kasembe Kasembe accused him of being part of an ‘illegal and subversive bandwagon under the control of certain diplomatic missions’ (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/critic-of-zimbabwes-government-fears-for-his-life/).

 

The question of freedom of expression in Zimbabwe was discussed by Zimbabwean author and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga, who has now been honoured by the German Book Trade with its Peace Prize. In an interview with the German media company Deutsche Welle, she said every day in Zimbabwe it is such a grind to find the basis for survival that this itself limits freedom of expression (see: https://www.dw.com/en/tsitsi-dangarembga-there-is-no-freedom-of-expression-in-zimbabwe/a-59423526).

 

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network says the electoral environment has already been rigged in favour of Zanu PF ahead of the 2023 elections. Its monitoring and observation manager, Ian Goredema, said Zimbabwe had reverted to politically motivated violence. In a reference to the troubled tour by Chamisa he said there were tell-tale signs that 2023 would see a very different election.

 

‘You can clearly see that the space for the opposition to be able to connect with their own base is already being shut using Covid-19 regulations, where you see Zanu PF is the only party allowed to hold meetings and rallies. We saw many videos of legislators meeting huge crowds at a time when people were being restricted to 50 persons at a gathering yet they were in the hundreds.’ (See: https://allafrica.com/stories/202110200439.html.)

 

The MDC Alliance Vice President Tendai Biti called on the international community to examine the recent attacks on the party’s supporters and Chamisa, claiming that there was a plot to assassinate the party’s leaders. ‘I want to send a message to the international community in particular SADC that Zimbabwe is burning’. He said the only thing that could create a soft landing was a genuine dialogue between the MDC and Zanu PF.

 

Biti said no one was safe from attacks by security forces and Zanu PF agents. ‘There are massive attacks on the people of Zimbabwe . . . As I am talking to you right now Makomborero Haruzivishe has been languishing at Chikurubi Maximum prison for months. Vendors, activists, no-one is safe but it’s not just physical violent attacks, it’s also economic attacks. As I am talking to you right now the parallel exchange rate is almost 200 to the US dollar and there is no question before the end of November 2021 it would have reached 400.’ (See: https://www.thezimbabwean.co/2021/10/mdc-alliances-tendai-biti-calls-for-sadc-mediation-in-zimbabwe/.)

 

Other points

  • We were happy to be joined at the Vigil by the Washington Times journalist and author Geoff Hill, a long-time friend of the Vigil and determined campaigner for Zimbabwe. Geoff, who has written several recommended books on Zimbabwe, endears himself to our activists by his fluent Shona.
  • Today we met outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. For the moment we are meeting outside the Embassy every other week and our next gathering will be on 7th November 2021. On the alternate Saturdays we will continue with the virtual Vigil. To be recorded as participating in a virtual Vigil your photo, taken with a poster with a message reflecting the situation in Zimbabwe, must be taken at one of the actual Vigils. There will be a small charge to cover admin costs, the ongoing upkeep of the Vigil and our support for the human rights work of ROHR, our sister organisation in Zimbabwe. The photos will then be labelled with your name, uploaded on our website, Flickr site and Facebook pages.
  • Thanks to those who came early today to help set up: Anna Chikoti, Delice Gavazah, Babula Gwatiringa, Chido Makawa, Jacob Mandipira, Dambudzo Marimira, Amina Matewele, Margaret Munenge, Esther  Munyira, Casper Nyamakura and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to those who handed out flyers: Cynthia Chibanda, Babula, Chido,  Rosemary Maponga, Patricia Masamba, Amina and Gladys Muduve.  Thanks to Margaret Delice and Chido for drumming, to Casper and Patricia for phots and to Chido for refreshments. Photos of today’s Vigil can be accessed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157720062698193.
  • For all Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

For the record: 18 signed the register.

 

Events and Notices:

  • The next Vigil. Saturday 7th November from 2 – 5 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London.
  • 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

 
Zim dollar ‘in death spiral’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 16th October 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 16 October 2021 18:37

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/51596744080/sizes/m/

 

There are mounting fears for Zimbabwe’s currency, with the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries warning that the Zimbabwe dollar is ‘in real peril’. In a letter to its members, it said that the greatest risk facing the economy was ‘an inappropriate response’ by the government.

 

Many currency traders have been arrested in recent weeks accused of manipulating the Zimbabwe dollar in trading on the black market. The Zimbabwe dollar has been changing hands for as much as 200 for one US dollar while the official rate is about 90 (see: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-12/zimbabwe-business-warns-currency-in-peril-urges-policy-response).

 

The American economist Steve Hanke, who has been tracking the Zimbabwean economy for many years, said the Zimbabwe dollar had depreciated by 93% since it was brought back into circulation two years ago. ‘President Emmerson Mnangagwa is not only corrupt but when it comes to economics is totally ignorant’, he said. ‘Zimbabwe’s currency is in a death spiral. Now the corrupt government is threatening to suspend all businesses using black market exchange rates to price goods. I’ve seen this movie before. It has a tragic ending.’ (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/10/mnangagwa-ignorant-of-economic-issues-us-economist/.)

 

The decline of the Zimbabwe dollar was not the only thing worrying the outside world. There has also been an anxious reaction to the Zanu PF violence against the MDC Alliance.

 

Senator Jim Risch of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee said the Zimbabwe government should take concrete steps to respect human rights if sanctions were to be lifted. ‘Political violence by Zanu PF against the opposition is unacceptable. There must be accountability’, he said. In the UK similar observations were made by Jonathan Oates of the House of Lords and Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe, who said he was deeply worried to hear of an attack by Zanu PF activists on opposition leader Nelson Chamisa’s convoy in Masvingo where Chamisa was to meet local leaders (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/10/mdc-alliance-claims-more-attacks/).

 

For his part, Chamisa appealed to Mnangagwa to ‘stop dividing people and destroying this beautiful country’. (See: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/stop-violence-chamisa-tells-mnangagwa/.)

 

Other points

  • The acquittal of former Health and Child Care Minister, Obadiah Moyo on corruption charges has been greeted with derision. He was accused of illegally approving tenders of US$60 million for the procurement of Covid 19 personal protective equipment and test kits. Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, who was arrested for reporting on the case, tweeted: ‘As I told you when Obadiah Moyo was charged, the case by the State was made deliberately weak so that it failed. Even a first year law student would have told you that.’ (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/zimbabweans-fume-over-obadiah-moyos-acquittal/.)
  • Unvaccinated government workers will not allowed to work from Monday according to an official announcement (see: https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/zimbabwe-bars-unvaccinated-civil-servants-work-2021-10-15/).
  • Headline of the week: ‘Can mopane worms save us?’ Fortune Moyo wrote a lovely piece about the value of these creatures which apparently are not worms at all but ‘leaf eating caterpillars of emperor moths’. Anyway, they are a valued food resource (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/10/can-mopane-worms-save-us/).
  • Today was a virtual Vigil. For the moment we are meeting outside the Embassy every other week and our next gathering will be on 23rd October. On the alternate Saturdays we will continue with the virtual Vigil. To be recorded as participating in a virtual Vigil your photo, taken with a poster with a message reflecting the situation in Zimbabwe, must be taken at one of the actual Vigils. There will be a small charge to cover admin costs, the ongoing upkeep of the Vigil and our support for the human rights work of ROHR, our sister organisation in Zimbabwe. The photos will then be labelled with your name, uploaded on our website, Flickr site and Facebook pages. For today’s photos, see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157720077709780. Our virtual Vigil activists today were Delice Gavazah, Babula Gwatiringa, Dambudzo Marimira, Amina Matewele, Joyce Mbairatsunga and Esther Munyira who all kindly contributed to Vigil funds.
  • For all 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 Bi-annual Conference. Saturday 23rd October at 11 am. Venue Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. Among agenda items is 1) leadership renewal, 2) 2022 activity calendar, 3) immigration matters and 4) campaign strategy. For more information contact: Casper Nyamakura 07877666912, Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Rangarirai Chivaviro 07378429599 and Cynthia Chibanda 07449494539.
  • The next Vigil. Saturday 23rd October from 2 – 5 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London.
  • 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

LAST_UPDATED2
 
Virtual President – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 9th October 2021 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 10 October 2021 12:14

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/51568887122/sizes/m/

 

President Mnangagwa’s State of the Nation Address was delivered virtually from the comfort of State House. Everything is going well, he said, the economy is flying. (As to where it’s flying, read on.)

 

Zimbabwean exiles, gathered outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London to mark the nineteenth anniversary of the Vigil, were glad to be there in person today. We were not convinced by Mnangagwa’s virtual speech and were pleased to hear that the MDC T leader Douglas Mwonzora was critical, saying that Mnangagwa’s government had failed to address issues affecting the people.

 

Mwonzora complained that Mnangagwa had not talked about electoral reforms: ‘He did not speak on issues of corruption.  Zimbabwe is losing about US$3 billion per year because of illicit financial flows’, he added.

 

In this virtual parliamentary fiasco, where the MDC of Nelson Chamisa has been virtually excluded, it was encouraging to hear someone raising the key questions of corruption and electoral reform (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/10/mnangagwa-speech-hot-air/).

 

The massive leak of financial documents known as the Pandora Papers has exposed dodgy offshore transactions by powerful people all over the world. Among them of course are Zimbabweans.

 

They include what NewZimbabwe describes as ‘massive diamond plunder’ by Mnangagwa’s relative Martin Rushwayo, deputy chief secretary to the president and cabinet. Apparently he set up an offshore shell company in the Seychelles to trade in diamonds while serving as defence secretary (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/massive-diamond-plunder-exposed-in-leak/).

 

Mnangawa’s attempts to persuade the world that he is not just another tinpot dictator and Chinese lackey have failed, judging by the brush-off Foreign Affairs Minister Frederick Shava received from the European Union’s Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen.

 

The Commissioner insisted that Zimbabwe should fully implement political and economic reforms, including the recommendations made by the EU’s 2018 Observer Mission, before the next elections in 2023 (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/10/eu-demands-zim-reforms/).

 

Other points

  • We had a good turnout at our nineteenth anniversary Vigil including Ephraim Tapa and Rose Benton who had been at the first Vigil in October 2002. There was a lot of interest from passers-by, drawn by the singing and drumming. They couldn’t help see our posters such as ‘Nineteen years of fighting for freedom for Zimbabweans’. It was stressed that we do not celebrate Vigil anniversaries - 19 years of human rights abuse and lack of democracy in Zimbabwe is not something to be celebrated. However we marked the occasion because we are proud of 19 years of committed protest against the oppression of the Zimbabwe people by the Zanu PF regime. Thanks to those who came today to help set up, look after the front table, hand out flyers and pack up at the end: Amina Matewele, Babula Gwatiringa, Casper Nyamakura, Dambudzo Marimira, Delice Gavazah, Dennis Benton, Ephraim Tapa, Esther Munyira, Jonathan Kariwo, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Kevin Wheeldon, Margaret Munenge, Mary Muteyerwa, Philip Maponga, Richard Munyama and Rose Benton,  Photos of today’s Vigil can be accessed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157719984176898.
  • The Zimbabwe Peace Project says a woman, Sharai Mukaro, was tortured and killed by the police in Chivhu, Mashonaland East. She was being interrogated accused of concealing money stolen by her sister (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/10/female-suspect-succumbs-to-police-torture/).
  • The widow of Robert Mugabe is challenging a fine of five cows and two goats imposed by a traditional leader for allegedly burying her husband’s body improperly (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1172-grace-mugabe-fined-five-cows-and-two-goats-for-improper-burial-of-zimbabwe-dictator).
  • Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, George Guvamatanga, is not short of money. He hired two South African entertainers to perform at his lavish 50th birthday celebrations and was so pleased with their performance that he promised to pay then five times the agreed amount (see: https://iharare.com/top-zimbabwe-govt-official-pays-south-african-artists-5-times-their-bill/).
  • Next Saturday (16th October) will be a virtual Vigil. For the moment we are meeting outside the Embassy every other week and our next gathering will be on 23rd October. On the alternate Saturdays we will continue with the virtual Vigil. To be recorded as participating in a virtual Vigil your photo, taken with a poster with a message reflecting the situation in Zimbabwe, must be taken at one of the actual Vigils. There will be a small charge to cover admin costs, the ongoing upkeep of the Vigil and our support for the human rights work of ROHR, our sister organisation in Zimbabwe. The photos will then be labelled with your name, uploaded on our website, Flickr site and Facebook pages.
  • For all Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Events and Notices:

  • Virtual Vigil. Saturday 16th October.
  • ROHR Bi-annual Conference. Saturday 23rd October. Among agenda items is 1) leadership renewal, 2) 2022 activity calendar, 3) immigration matters and 4) campaign strategy.
  • The next Vigil. Saturday 23rd October from 2 – 5 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London.
  • 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

 
Grace Mugabe fined five cows and two goats for improper burial of Zimbabwe dictator PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 10 October 2021 11:50

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/grace-mugabe-fined-five-cows-and-two-goats-for-improper-burial-of-zimbabwe-dictator-wmdhzwl6x

Grace Mugabe fined five cows and two goats for improper burial of Zimbabwe dictator

Fred Harter – 07/09/2021

 

The widow of the former Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe is challenging a fine of five cows and two goats imposed by a traditional leader for improperly burying her husband’s body.

 

Grace Mugabe is also seeking to overturn an order, issued by the same leader in May, to exhume her husband’s body and rebury it at a purpose-built mausoleum in the capital, Harare.

 

Mugabe, who died in September 2019 aged 95, was buried at his home village of Kutama, 55 miles west of Harare, following weeks of wrangling over where his remains should be laid to rest.

 

President Mnangagwa had planned for Mugabe to be interred at Hero’s Acre, a national shrine, and members of the ruling Zanu-PF party claimed at the time that the late tyrant’s remains “belong to Zanu-PF first, not the family”.

 

However, the Mugabe family said that he had wished to be buried at his ancestral home. They also claimed that Mugabe gave orders that Grace should watch over his body until it was buried out of fears that superstitious Zanu-PF members might use his remains “for rituals and witchcraft”.

 

Since then, senior ruling party officials have repeatedly called for Mugabe to be dug up and reburied at the national site. Some sources have claimed that traditional elders have been offered cars and cash bribes to intervene in the dispute.

 

Mugabe’s nephew has claimed the real reason Mnangagwa wants to exhume his predecessor’s body is to lay his hands on a mystical sceptre believed to have been buried with Mugabe, which “he [Mnangagwa] believes will give him the authority to be the leader of Zimbabwe”.

 

After Chief Zvimba fined Grace five cows and two goats and ordered the exhumation in May, Mugabe’s children lodged an appeal against the decision. However, a magistrate upheld the traditional chief’s order last month, prompting Grace to step in with a fresh appeal to the High Court.

 

Mugabe died in a private clinic in Singapore nearly two years after a military coup ended his 37-year rule. His downfall was prompted by a feud between Mnangagwa and Grace Mugabe, 56, who many ruling party members believed exercised undue influence over her ailing husband.

 

Mugabe was buried in a steel coffin topped with heavy rectangular blocks and his grave was filled in with concrete. A spokesman for his family said that they wanted to ensure that the casket was “tamper-proof” to prevent grave-robbers from digging it up.

 
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