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Mystery of the missing toes – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 4th June 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 05 June 2022 12:56

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/52124020820/sizes/m/

 

A rumour about Zimbabweans allegedly selling their toes because of poverty has gone viral in Nigeria and a number of other African countries. People are said to get as much as US$40,000 for a big toe, US$25,000 for a middle one and US$10,00 for a small toe.

 

The BBC says a tongue-in-cheek Zimbabwean blog suggested the trade was happening at the Ximex shopping mall in Harare. Zimbabwean tabloid H-Metro posted an interview with black market currency traders at the mall who said the issue had been blown out of proportion after a few of them shared it as a joke. While Zimbabweans are mostly amused by the story it has gained a toehold in Nigeria, particularly. There has already been an upsurge there in money rituals – a belief that using body parts can bring riches. In January three people were arrested in Nigeria for killing a teenage girl for ritual purposes (see: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-61650455).

 

The president of the Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers’ Association, George Kandiero, said they were disturbed by reports of people selling toes for ritual purposes. He said it tarnished the image of traditional practitioners, adding ‘if you hear of the amounts being spoken about, I don't think there's a single traditional healer to pay for toes at that amount.’

 

The police in Zimbabwe have taken the matter seriously. National Police spokesman Paul Nyathi said they were investigating possible trafficking in human body parts as this was illegal in Zimbabwe. Anybody found soliciting, selling or buying human body parts would be arrested (see: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-219696.html).

 

We in the diaspora comb the media for any news of Zimbabwe. Most of it is negative. This week we came across a blog post by Michelle Gavin on the website of the Council of Foreign Relations, an American thinktank, in which she says conditions in Zimbabwe continue to go from bad to worse. ‘Triple digit inflation shows no signs of slowing.  Over half of the country lives in poverty.  Its corrupt government lurches from disinterest in the population’s pain to rosy projections for growth based on pure fantasy to clumsy interventions like the recent short-lived edict banning banks from lending. 

 

‘Politically, the merger of the ruling party and senior military leadership has long been complete, and they have become inextricable from the state itself. But because Zimbabweans, in the form of independent journalists, opposition politicians, and local activists, refuse to give up on their efforts to hold government accountable for its actions, state-sponsored campaigns of repression and political violence continue. In an effort to give the intimidation a veneer of legality, the country’s leaders are now working to dismantle civil society, pursuing draconian legislation aimed at private, voluntary organizations (PVOs) that would, in the words of a network of mostly African human rights defenders, provide government with “unrestricted power to deregister, target, and harass PVOs deemed critical of the government.’

 

The article concludes that ‘there will be nothing remotely resembling a level playing field as the 2023 elections draw near.’ (See: https://www.cfr.org/blog/trouble-ahead-zimbabwe.)

 

The opposition leader Nelson Chamisa is more optimistic, saying the army is fed up with President Mnangagwa and is ready to ditch him in next year’s elections. Chamisa said: ‘Everywhere we are going in the country, people are speaking about change. Change is on the horizon and the country is ready for change. Civil servants are saying I must take the reins of power. The students, ordinary citizens, and the army are saying the same.’ (See: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-local-byo-219710.html.)

 

Other points

  • Zimbabwean musician Thomas Mapfumo has accepted an offer of land by Chief Livhuwani Matsila of Matsila village in Limpopo. Mapfumo is regarded as a hero of the liberation struggle and went on to oppose the Zanu PF government (see: https://www.sabcnews.com/sabcnews/zimbabwean-musician-mapfumo-to-relocate-to-sa/).
  • It was good to be joined by Deborah Jandles of Twoco Woja, Women of Justice Arise. They are campaigning for opposition activist More Blessing Ali who has been missing since 24th May when she was bundled into a car by a Zanu PF mob and for Marry Chiwenga, the wife of Vice-President Constantine Chiwenga, who has been abused by her husband during their divorce case.
  • The Vigil met outside the Embassy today. For the moment we are meeting on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month. There will be a virtual Vigil on the other Saturdays. Thanks to those who came today: Charles Mararirakwenda, Deborah Jandles, Ephraim Tapa, Henry Makovere, Jonathan Kariwo, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Kevin Wheeldon, Mary Muteyerwa and Rose Benton. Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720299542037.
  • 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

 
Ukraine war hits Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 28th May 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 29 May 2022 13:57

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/52107712940/sizes/m/

 

President Mnangagwa’s Russian idol President Putin has done Zimbabwe no favours by invading neighbouring Ukraine. The unprovoked war has helped boost Zimbabwe’s inflation rate to 132% with sharp rises in the cost of imported food, fuel and fertilizer (see: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-26/currency-slump-132-inflation-no-cause-for-panic-in-zimbabwe).

 

The faraway war is also causing lost jobs. Elina Ncube, a former housekeeper at one of the prime lodges at Victoria Falls, now survives by getting up at 4 am to go to the municipal dump in the hope of scavenging food and anything to sell. She said: ‘The war in Ukraine has made the situation even more desperate because most of the tourists that booked at our lodge were from Russia and we were told that most of them had cancelled their bookings.’ (See: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/campaigns/giantsclub/ukraine-conflict-economic-crisis-zimbabwe-b2087743.html.)

 

Zimbabwe’s financial crisis has not stopped Mnangagwa paying US$30,000 a flying hour for a luxury jet to take him to the Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland. His spokesman, George Charamba, has said the President will continue to use hired private jets for his  trips until Air Zimbabwe has planes that are reliable enough to fly in! (See: https://news.pindula.co.zw/2022/05/26/president-mnangagwa-hires-us30-000-per-flying-hour-plane-to-davos/).

 

His attendance at Davos is waste of time and resources says the Fight Inequality Alliance, a network of Zimbabwean organisations seeking a fair distribution of resources. It said: ‘History tells us that Zimbabwe's participation at such forums will be driven by the need to attract foreign direct investment under the Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra. What is however worrisome is the quality of investors we attract since we have had cases of multinational corporations violating the basic principles of business and human rights with impunity.’

 

It went on: ‘Furthermore, the World Economic Forum has proved to be a platform to consolidate financial and corporate power at the expense of the suffering masses worldwide. We therefore contend that Davos is yet another congregation of elites meant to share ideas and propose policies which favour the corporate world and maximise profits.’ (See: https://www.263chat.com/zimbabwes-participation-at-davos-summit-questioned/).

 

The Herald boasted of success at the summit and pictures showed a number of Zanu PF supporters greeting the President at Davos. Simba Mavaza, a Zanu PF ‘programme co-ordinator’ who is based in the UK said he was confident that Mnangagwa’s efforts to attract foreign investment would have tangible results – presumably enough to pay him and the other Zanu PF supporters (see: https://www.voazimbabwe.com/a/6589461.html),

 

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition describes the Zanu PF regime as shameful saying that, through state-owned media, it was accusing them of attempting to destabilise the country and effect regime change. ‘The malicious allegations contained in the state’s propaganda pieces are but a desperate attempt to find a scapegoat for the ZANU PF government’s inability to run the country and its economy,’ it said. (See: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/shameful-crisis-in-zimbabwe-coalition-says-in-damning-response-to-zanu-pf-onslaught/.)

 

Other points

  • The Masvingo Mirror says Zanu PF supporters have been brought in by school bus at night to get the documents needed to vote. They have their pictures taken and get birth certificates and IDs and are added to the voters’ roll. CCC Vice President Tendai Biti said bringing in government workers at night and in secrecy was illegal (see: https://masvingomirror.com/zanu-pf-buses-supporters-to-get-ids-at-night/).
  • We will be joined at next week’s Vigil (4th June) by members of Twoco Woja, Women of Justice Arise. They are campaigning for Marry Chiwenga, the wife of Vice-President Constantine Chiwenga who they say has been abused by her husband during their divorce case.
  • Our virtual Vigil activists today were Enniah Dube, Charles Mararirakwenda and Esther  Munyira who all kindly contributed to Vigil funds. See: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720299336621 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:

  • Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe  Embassy. Saturday 4th 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.
  • 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 staring 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 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

 
Zanu PF threatens terror – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 21st May 2022 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 22 May 2022 15:14

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/52091531315/sizes/m/

 

Zanu PF’s strategy to win next year’s general election, despite the government’s abject failure to fix the economy and save the poor from starving, has been exposed by the paranoid ravings of the party’s Secretary for Finance, Patrick Chinamasa.

 

Basically he warned that Zanu PF would not leave office without bringing the whole country down with them. Chinamasa bluntly claimed that voting for the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change would bring war and instability to the country. He said the CCC leader Nelson Chamisa and deputy Tendai Biti were working for the American Central Intelligence Agency which, he claimed, was preparing to establish a military base in Zimbabwe.

 

Chamisa and Biti and all the USA sponsored NGOs USA sponsored so-called Civil Society Organizations, USA sponsored so-called Human Rights Organizations and USA sponsored Social Media Trolls are the USA Change Agents and force multipliers to remove Liberation Movement Parties from power so as to establish AFRICOM Military Bases on our African Continent and in our SADC region and country, the objective being to establish neocolonial states which are amenable to exploitation.’ (See: https://news.pindula.co.zw/2022/05/16/voting-for-ccc-will-bring-war-instability-to-zimbabwe-says-chinamasa/.)

 

The Zimbabwe Peace Project blames Zanu PF for the majority of human rights violations. In a report titled ‘The Wall’ it speaks of Zanu PF torture camps being set up in rural areas to crush dissent. It says Zanu PF supporters were hounding people they suspected of supporting the CCC in the 26th March by-elections.

 

Zanu PF’s director of information Tafadzwa Mugwadi dismissed the report, saying ‘We don’t respond to lies deliberately cooked by desperate donor-driven outfits led by laptop activists such as Jestina Mukoko. Who needs schooling on what ZPP and its scandalous activists stand for in Zimbabwe’s political market? Zanu PF actually holds ZPP and Jestina Mukoko responsible for the sporadic needless orgies of violence that she hatches working with paid opposition activists targeting security officers, government buildings, businesses and individual citizens.’ He concluded: ‘Zanu PF as an organisation is a party of peace-loving doves.’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2022/05/zpp-report-exposes-zanu-pf-violence/.)

 

The European Union doesn’t seem convinced that Zanu PF are peace-loving doves judging by Friday’s remarks by the head of the EU electoral mission, Elmar Brok. Speaking to the Voice of America, he said Zimbabwe must amend its electoral laws so that all parties have a chance a winning at the polls. Brok spoke of the need for a level playing field, with impartiality of the media, equal treatment of the parties, a proper voters’ registration and transparency to give the election credibility (see: https://www.voanews.com/a/eu-calls-for-zimbabwe-to-implement-electoral-reforms-ahead-of-2023-polls-/6582152.html).

 

Other points

 

Events and Notices:

  • Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe  Embassy. Saturday 4th 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.
  • 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 staring at Leytonstone 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 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

 
Next step: electoral reforms PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 21 May 2022 10:38

Next step: electoral reforms

By Deborah Harry 21/05/2022

 

The recent by-elections have shown us that we are still a long way from a free and fair election. Days and weeks before the actual election itself, there were several reports of CCC supporters being attacked, intimidated, and arrested on false criminal charges. Even more tragic news was the killing  of a man from CCC in Kwekwe by Zanu supporters. Weeks after the by election,  we continue to receive news of CCC campaigners being rounded up by police and arrested for campaigning. This is not right. This leopard doesn’t seem to have changed its spots. Electoral reforms are needed.

 

Rigging an election is an act that shows just how much a government does not care about its people’s views, preferences or needs. It is one thing that proves without a doubt that we are not a democracy. We, the people want democracy,  that is obvious; but the few men in charge and their clans are opposed to democracy the way evil is repelled by good. Since we are the only ones who want democracy, we should campaign for electoral  reforms because our lives depend on this.

 

As people we need to all start talking about electoral reforms in a big and consistent way. The strong CCC MPs in parliamentary will definitely raise the issue, and I think we should support them by putting light on the issue on social media and via demos around the world so that the international  community can see for themselves that Zanu are doing their best to rig elections again.  Its simple. The more we talk about the need for electoral  reforms  especially on social media, the more likely the international community will get to know about our problems. Not only that, but we also need to expose the things that Zanu are doing right now towards rigging the election. All the culprits involved in vote rigging should be named and shamed in public.

 

The 2023 general election is not far away. We are all fed up of the situation in Zimbabwe. But we can’t just keep saying we are fed up, we have to do something  about it, starting with the small things like raising awareness of problems to the world and pushing for solutions.

 
Zimbabwe wants to sell ivory stash to fund elephant conservation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 21 May 2022 10:27

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/zimbabwe-wants-to-sell-ivory-stash-to-fund-elephant-conservation-gx3vh7lkn

Zimbabwe wants to sell ivory stash to fund elephant conservation

Jane Flanagan 18/05/2022

 

Zimbabwe has opened vaults containing 135 tonnes of ivory and rhino horn as it called for the guarded stockpile to be sold to fund the conservation of its growing and “dangerous” elephant population.

 

A “one-off sale” of the cache, seized from smugglers and poachers, and harvested from carcasses found in the country’s national parks, would raise £500 million, and all of the proceeds would go towards wildlife management, the government said.

 

The sale of ivory has been banned since 1989 by Cites, the international body that monitors endangered species.

The Zimbabwean government has warned that it may resort to culling its 100,000-strong elephant population, which it claimed is double the capacity of its overwhelmed parks.

 

“Where do we get the money to look after the resources?” asked Fulton Mangwanya, head of the parks and wildlife agency, as he showed the towering piles of ivory to a group of visiting ambassadors. He told them there was a “great market” for the ivory.

 

Lockdowns during the pandemic and bans on international travel have hammered Zimbabwe’s tourism industry, the parks chief said, leaving little budget for anti-poaching costs and supporting communities “bearing the brunt” of living near destructive elephants.

 

“We need assistance. These elephants are multiplying at a dangerous rate: 5 per cent per annum,” Mangwanya said, attempting to convince diplomats from Britain and Europe to back an easing of restrictions. He added that each adult elephant eats about 300lb of fruit, grasses and bark a day, and the burgeoning population was making it harder for other animals to find food.

 

Zimbabwe will host an “elephant summit” for officials from 14 African countries, as well as China and Japan, this month to discuss strategies to manage wildlife and lobby for continental support to make money from ivory stocks.

Its neighbour Botswana, where elephant tusk trophy hunters were recently allowed to return, has also argued that it is overpopulated with elephants and selling its ivory stocks is necessary for conservation. The two countries are home to 230,000 elephants — more than half of Africa’s total population.

 

Despite the bans, the illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn continues, mostly driven by demand in Asia, where tusks are turned into trinkets and rhino horn is used in a range of remedies. The criminal trade is responsible for the slaughter of an estimated 50 elephants a day. Rising poverty and a loss of tourism jobs and income has made it easier for international smuggling gangs to recruit local poachers, conservationists say.

 

A previous attempt to overturn the Cites trade ban failed, exposing differences in opinion between Africa’s elephant-holding states. Gabon, Mali and Kenya were among many of the continent’s dissenters and Kenya’s decision in 2016 to burn stockpiles of ivory and horn, gathered from 6,000 elephants and 343 rhinos, was its attempt to show that only tusks carried by a living elephant had any value.

 
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