The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Return to INDEX page
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage

ZRP hits back as cop killer gunned down

http://www.newzimbabwe.com/

13/01/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Republic Police lived up to its promise of “a life for a life”
on Saturday after a suspected cop killer was gunned down in Mt Darwin.

Takesure Dumba, himself an ex-cop, sought refuge in a small village in Mt
Darwin after last Wednesday’s cowardly shooting to death of Detective
Assistant Inspector Thadius Chapinga who was trying to arrest him for car
theft.

During a memorial service for the slain cop at Morris Depot on Friday, CID
chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Simon Nyathi stormed: “Armed robbers are
starting a war they can’t finish, they will never win.

“We have orders to shoot and kill such perpetrators. Those who live by the
sword will die by the sword.”
Just hours later, detectives had Dumba pinned down in a small village in Mt
Darwin. In the ensuing gun fight, he was shot in the shoulder but managed to
escape.

More CID detectives were brought in from Harare, including a dogs unit and
by Saturday morning they had closed the net on Dumba who was hiding on a
river bank.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said:
“Our officers ordered him to surrender, but he opened fire, leaving them
with no option but to fire back. Dumba was shot all over the body.”

Charamba said the suspected cop killer was discharged from the ZRP last year
for corruption.

Dumba shot and killed Detective Chapinga after he cornered him with a stolen
Toyota Raum reported missing last October.
Dumba later drove the vehicle with Chapinga’s body and abandoned it after
crashing into a ditch in the Sunningdale neighbourhood of Harare. He
hijacked another vehicle at gunpoint and sped off – but detectives knew
their suspect and immediately tightened the noose.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mugabe challengers bonkers: Mujuru

http://www.newzimbabwe.com/

13/01/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s challengers are bonkers, Vice President Joice
Mujuru has claimed.
Speaking at a church convention in Mhondoro on Saturday, Mujuru claimed
Mugabe knew by the age of 10 that he would rule Zimbabwe through a
“prophecy”.

She added: “People are wasting their time by opposing President Mugabe. It
was prophesied way back in 1934, when he was only 10 years old, that he was
going to lead this country.

“How can a normal person challenge such a leader?”

Mugabe, 88, has led Zimbabwe since 1980 when the country got its
independence from white colonial rule.
Mujuru, elevated to be Mugabe’s deputy following the death of Simon Muzenda,
is touted as one of Mugabe’s likely successors but her comments while
opening a new building for the Apostolic Faith Church suggest she is ruling
out an open challenge.

“There is nothing wrong in people having ambitions and discussing political
issues with their wives,” she told thousands of congregants gathered for the
opening of the new church hall.

“But they should not tamper with the presidency; it is sacrosanct. These
positions come from God, they do not just come!"


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Villagers wary over Zanu PF sincerity

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

Sunday, 13 January 2013 12:55
MUZARABANI - When the past is one of political violence and repression,
attempting to suture past wounds and raptures is never easy.

Many folks in rural Muzarabani in the Zambezi Valley are nervous over
attempts by Zanu PF to spread the gospel of peace and non-violence in the
build-up to polls set for this year.

Zanu PF has toned down on violence calls, encouraging its supporters to
maintain and ensure violence-free polls this year.

After the 2012 Zanu PF Gweru annual conference, the party leadership in
Muzarabani district has been out in villages reinforcing the message of
peace and violence-free elections.

This new peace drive has surprised many villagers who are sceptical of Zanu
PF’s sincerity in preaching violence-free elections. What is surprising
villagers is the sudden shift to peace by a party known for a history of
violence and intimidation.

The 2008 political violence was the worst episode of violence that is still
fresh in the minds Muzarabani villagers.

And now, those who have been busy addressing meetings include Zanu PF
provincial youth chairperson Gilbert Kanhutu.

In an interview in Harare recently, Kanhutu admitted that they were
spreading the message of peace in the whole of Mashonaland Province,
stressing that Zanu PF wants to go to elections without violence tags.

“People are going out saying Zanu PF is violent, so we want to show that we
understand the importance of peace,” said Kanhutu.

“We want to take people from the opposition and show them the good things
done by Zanu PF, there is no need to deny them food aid and they should know
that Zanu PF is the best party.

“We don’t have to campaign intimidating people, we are promising peace,”
Kanhutu said.

The party has a culture of addressing and briefing its membership on the
resolutions and proceedings from the annual conference or congress.

Villagers in Muzarabani said previous annual conferences resulted in
increased violence targeted at MDC supporters in the area.

“Each time they came from the conference or congress, they would be on the
high and would promise to deal with MDC supporters and we are surprised at
the sudden toning down of such calls,” Freddy Matonhodze, a villager in
Muzarabani said.

Matonhodze added that the Zanu PF annual conference had the power to shape
the flow of politics in Muzarabani.

“Previously they would start from the time they disembark from buses and for
us, it was one of the most challenging moments as we would be forced to
either disappear or seek refuge in some secret places waiting for them to
cool down,” Matonhodze added.

At one of the feedback meetings held last year, Zanu PF leadership told
villagers that if ever any of their members was going to assault an MDC
supporter, he/she would face justice without support or help from the party.

“We say no to violence, but we don’t want you to interact with them. It is
not allowed to engage in violence but we will find ways of dealing with
them,” Kanhutu was heard saying at the feedback meeting at Muzarabani Growth
Point.

Kanhutu is also reported to have appealed for non-politicised distribution
of food aid in all villages.
Kanhutu told villagers that they were prepared for peaceful elections and
will not engage in acts of violence.

In Ward 7, Hwata area, the local leadership addressed a feedback meeting
encouraging party members to give food to everyone regardless of political
membership.

One of the villagers who attended the meeting said the party leadership,
including Kanhutu, said everyone was supposed to get seed regardless of
their political affiliation.

Some villagers said this was a major climb-down because it was the first
time Zanu PF leadership in Muzarabani had campaigned for peace.

“We were surprised, it had become common that after their annual conference,
violence threats would escalate.

“We could not believe it, when we heard them preaching peace throughout
their address, we thought they were going to resort back to their usual
song.

“We wish these could be genuine calls because it helps us settle down,” a
villager said.

At Hoya Business Centre in Ward 17, Faiton Mupinga who is the district
chairperson together with Tafira Mahau and James Chibau addressed a feedback
meeting urging party supporters to maintain peace and share Grain Marketing
Board (GMB) grain loan scheme with MDC members.

The same message of peace was delivered to Muringazuva area Ward 8 and
Dambakurima area Ward 5.

In these areas, the Zanu PF local leadership told villagers that the
referendum was going to be yardstick for the party’s popularity.

However, in Kaerezi village Ward 23, Amon Mavedzenge a Zanu PF youth
addressed a meeting warning MDC supporters that “zvakaitika 2008 zvishoma”.

Villagers who quizzed the sincerity of Zanu PF calling for peace said it was
hard to tell if the calls were genuine because there were still incidents
where MDC supporters were being intimidated and harassed by Zanu PF members.

Itai Charumbuka, MDC Muzarabani District chairperson, said on October 27,
2012 he was forced out of a commuter omnibus by touts believed to be Zanu PF
members.

“A tout came and told me to get off the kombi as the driver was
uncomfortable taking off with me
“After I refused to disembark, all the other passengers were told to change
into another kombi leaving me alone,” Charumbuka said.

Charumbuka added that the kombi driver finally came himself and instructed
that I should leave the kombi, in the process inciting other passengers to
force me out.

“My crime was that I was going to attend an MDC rally where the party
president was due to address at Chaona Growth Point,” Charumbuka added.

Villagers also raised allegations that Zanu PF was interfering in the
recruitment of workers at cotton companies operating at Muzarabani Growth
Point.

But a party member who did not want to be named dismissed the allegations
saying that all the people in Muzarabani were Zanu PF supporters.

“If you ask any person you meet here in Muzarabani, they are Zanu PF
supporters, so as long as those employed at the cotton companies are from
Muzarabani, they are Zanu PF supporters,” he said.

Commenting on the reports of partisan recruitment of workers at cotton
companies, the soft spoken Kanhutu said he is a worker at the company and
has every reason to employ those he likes.

“As a worker of Cottco and as a leader in Zanu PF I will take advantage
because it’s sort of campaigning, if Tendai Biti is to have a company he
cannot employ a wrong person because he may be looking for support.

“I am a leader in Muzarabani and this is an opportunity to give back to the
people who made me a provincial youth chairman,” he said.

Kanhutu added that he does not recruit Zanu PF members arguing that they
make announcement on days of recruitment.

“I only announce that on this day we are recruiting workers and people come
and we employ them, we recruit from as far as Chadereka, Kanyemba Chiwenga,”
said Kanhutu.

Muzarabani district is still regarded as a “one-party state” continues to
rally behind Zanu PF and the party controls most rural district councils
with the MDC having only one councillor.

The district is volatile as MDC supporters claim that Zanu PF systematically
monitors virtually all institutions from council, cotton companies,
teachers and agricultural extension services workers to touts. - Thomas
Madhuku


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

No hope for displaced voters

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

Sunday, 13 January 2013 12:50
HARARE - As heavy rains pound Muzarabani, many who used to call this place
home can only read about the situation in newspapers or from the radio.

Those who fled here in 2008 after an upsurge in political violence are
losing hope they will ever return to their old homes.

Hundreds of MDC supporters displaced as a result of political violence that
characterised the June 2008 presidential run-off in Muzarabani have not
returned home since the time they fled for safety.

Their fears range from further victimisation by perpetrators of violence who
still hover around unscathed to fractured relations with fellow villagers.

Muzarabani, in Mashonaland Central Province, is one of the known Zanu PF
strongholds and political hot spots in Zimbabwe.

In 2008, the area was hit by unprecedented levels of political violence
which among other things displaced hundreds of villagers. The area has an
estimated population of 60 000 and is largely a cotton farming district.

According to locals in the area, Muzarabani means a frequently flooded area.
In an almost similar style the area was flooded by political violence which
left trails of destruction and deserted homes across the district.

According to a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
(IDPMC), the displacement of MDC activists and ordinary voters in 2008 was
not merely a by-product of violence, but was part of a systematic attempt to
change Zimbabwe’s political landscape by driving people away from the wards
they were registered to vote in and to ensure that those affected by the
abuses cannot return home.

An investigation into the issue of displaced voters in Muzarabani revealed
the majority of people who were displaced in the 2008 political violence
never returned to their homes and there is no hope they will return before
an election is held.

President Robert Mugabe’s call for elections in June 2013 indirectly means
the political environment is conducive for an election to be held.

Parties are gearing up for an election, but the question remains, are people
ready for an election?
The environment in Muzarabani proves otherwise as there is no hope that
those who fled will return to vote for fear of a repeat of the 2008
violence.

Itai Charumbuka, a victim of political violence who later returned home
after the 2008 terror campaign said he is still living in fear of a repeat
of the madness.

“As of now the Zanu PF youths who terrorised us are on a low profile but
they will be monitoring our movements. When the talk of elections intensify
they will ravage like fire.

“I am always in fear of what may befall me if elections come. I was once a
victim and villagers were warned not to associate with me,” he told the
Daily News on Sunday.

Medium Chidhindi, a 56-year-old displaced voter from Machaya Ward 3 who is
still being haunted by the experiences she had in 2008 expressed no interest
of going back home before an election is held.

Her homestead was destroyed by Zanu PF youths who were terrorising people in
the area.

Her property was burnt down and her herd of cattle was taken to the Zanu PF
base to feed the youths.

“I loved my rural home but I don’t think I have the guts to go back there, I
am rather safe here in the city. I had invested a lot in building my
homestead but I lost everything I worked for in a few minutes,” she said.

Chidhindi went back to try and settle after the run-off but she was attacked
again and left her rural home for good.

Her son Josphat Chidhindi, 22, was attacked by an axe when he had gone to
check on a few beasts they had left.

Chidhindi’s homestead has dilapidated and there is no hope of resurgence.

The house was destroyed to the ground. Remains of property destroyed five
years ago are scattered around the yard.

Norman Chamunorwa, 40, also from Machaya Ward fled in May 2008 after his
houses were burnt by Zanu PF youths.

In March 2012 he would have wantecd to go back and start over but was told
by his headman Bernard Chibaya that he no longer had a place in the village
because he was a trouble causer.

“I was told by the headman that my field and stand were given to someone
else because I was causing havoc in the village by supporting the MDC,” he
said.

Norman was a registered voter in Muzarabani but he is now living in Harare
where he found refuge after escaping death threats in his village.

Sitembile Chinzou (65) and her family fled from their homestead in July 2008
after being severely beaten and accused of creating a Harvest House in
Muzarabani.

Her homestead was burnt and an engine for one of their grinding mills was
thrown into a well.

With experience being the best teacher, Sitembile said she will not go back
and be a voter in Muzarabani.
Sitembile said her husband, Freddy Chinzou, passed on in February 2012 due
to stress and the injuries he sustained from the beatings.

“My husband was the MDC chairperson in our ward. The Zanu PF youths said
they had come to destroy the MDC Headquarters, Harvest House; we had created
in the area. We were told to go and live in Britain with Tsvangirai,” she
said.

Since 2008, Sitembile said she was unable to enjoy her conjugal rights with
her husband who is now late because she sustained severe injuries after she
was assaulted on her private parts and back.

“I was forced to open up my legs and was beaten with a baton stick on my
private parts,” she said.

Villagers who were displaced in Muzarabani have not come to terms with the
experiences they had in 2008.Without assurance that a recurrence of the 2008
terror campaign will not see the light of day many have vowed not to go back
to their homes.

Their lives have changed for the worst, their cattle, goats, chickens were
slaughtered during the 2008 madness.

They all confirmed that life is terrible in their new locations.

And, hopes are fading fast that they will ever return to their old homes.

No hope of return for displaced votersRegistrar General Tobaiwa Mudede has
been accused of oiling the Zanu PF election rigging plots in the ensuing
elections. - Gamuchirayi Masiyiwa


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mtshabezi water finally reaches Bulawayo

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

Sunday, 13 January 2013 12:39
HARARE - The much-awaited Mtshabezi Dam water is finally coming to the city
of Bulawayo in a move likely to bolster water supply, a Cabinet minister has
said.

This comes at a time when the project, which has been under construction for
years, has missed several deadlines.

“I am happy to say that finally water has reached Bulawayo,” minister of
Water Resources Management Samuel Sipepa Nkomo told a news conference in
Bulawayo.

Nkomo said the engineers were finally able to release water into the Lower
Ncema Dam.

“As of today we were able to address the issue of leaks. The engineers have
also released water into Lower Ncema,” an upbeat Nkomo said.

Assistant director of Engineering in the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) Ian
Mthunzi said: “I was there and I saw it with my own eyes. It is a great day
for Bulawayo and we are very grateful.”

Erratic power supply at the pump station had put the project in limbo, but
has since been resolved, according to Nkomo.

“We are using synchronised generators and they are working as I speak. To
bolster power supply, poles and wiring for electricity have already reached
the pump house,” he said.

However, Nkomo said Mtshabezi water was not going to significantly reduce
the water shedding which was increased last to 96 hours per week.

“The reduction of water shedding is up to BCC. But we are hoping that water
from Mtshabezi will reduce the water rationing,” Nkomo said.

Bulawayo residents have been subjected to 96 hours of water shedding every
week which has caused many to go for days without water, while fears of
disease outbreak grips the city.

But with Mtshabezi water coming to the “City of Kings”, Bulawayo residents
are hopeful that water problems will be a thing of the past. - Nyasha
Chingono


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Masvingo MDC youths demand 10 parly seats

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

Sunday, 13 January 2013 12:34
MASVINGO - Youths in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC Masvingo
Province have demanded 10 of the total 26 parliamentary seats.

The youth assembly resolved at a provincial youth executive meeting held at
the party offices yesterday that youths should be actively involved in the
political field.

Masvingo youth wing provincial chairperson Oliver Chirume said the seats
would be reserved for youths, even in the forthcoming primary elections.

“We held a youth executive meeting here and we resolved that the party
leadership should reserve 10 seats for the youths on the total 26 seats in
the whole province,” Chirume said. “We want the youth to be given this quota
because of late they have been sidelined.

“And in these 10 seats only youths will contest against each other in
primaries. We do not want to see the elderly guys coming to challenge us in
the seats.”

He added that by reserving the seats, the move would guarantee increased
youth participation in Parliament and national processes.

“Youths should be more involved in national processes and nation building
hence the need for a chance to participate in politics.”

Chirume said gone were the days when youths would be used as running dogs
and tools of political violence by the elderly politicians.

In the meeting, the youths agreed that they would be moving into
constituencies to carry out massive voter education programmes to persuade
young people to participate in elections and support their counterparts
seeking political office.

With the 10 seats, he said the MDC will be able to wrestle the 12 seats that
were won by Zanu PF in the previous general polls held in 2008.

MDC won 14 seats and the youths believe that their participation in the
forthcoming elections could whitewash Zanu PF.

“If we are given the chance to have the ten seats, we assure the party that
the 12 seats in the hands of Zanu PF will be ours and we will whitewash the
ageing party,” Chirume said. “We have the energy and vitality to go into the
constituencies and convince the electorate that real change is coming.” -
Godfrey Mtimba


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Minister in $1,2bn mess

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

Sunday, 13 January 2013 13:03

HARARE - An international consortium of investors has said it was suspending
R10 billion (approximately $1,2 billion) investment in southern Zimbabwe,
apparently because of pervasive corruption and demands for bribes by Cabinet
ministers.

The announcement came after a rare statement by the consortium, represented
by the Cape Town-based businessman Peter Kohler that he had decided not to
solve problems by slipping money under the table.

The international investment consortium had raised the cash to establish a
huge tourist facility in the arid Matabeleland South, one of the poorest
areas of the country boasting of a bird sanctuary and game reserve.

President Robert Mugabe has acknowledged that corruption is a national
problem, and curbing official corruption is one of the goals of his tenure
if he wins re-election.

At his party’s conclave in Gweru last month, Mugabe railed against his
officials often used to extort prospective investors, and said the problem
had been brought to his attention by former South Africa president Thabo
Mbeki.

Beyond embarrassing Mugabe’s administration, the international consortium’s
stance could mark an economic turning point if it leads to more foreign
businesses speaking out against corruption here.

The decision is particularly damning for Zimbabwe as the consortium, which
declined to be named, runs businesses in dozens of countries around the
world and is hardly thin-skinned when it comes to dealing with
bureaucracies.

Simon Spooner, a spokesperson for the consortium, said they had decided to
keep the matter under wraps hoping to rescue the R10 billion deal that could
have immensely benefited Matabeleland South.

According to Spooner, the project would have created 10 000 jobs and
provided huge infrastructural development for the local people; electricity,
new villages, feedlots, irrigation, an international airport, power station
and a large number of exclusive lodges and a 400 unit condominium complex on
the Shashe River.

It was based on four memorandum of understandings (MoUs) with the local
people and communities of Matshatshuta, Hwali and Tuli Circle and the
National Parks, hence the consent of Environment and Natural Resources
minister Francis Nhema was required.

“Things stumbled along and it would seem that underhand dealings were
demanded,” Spooner said.

The talks were said to have involved Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi and
Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa, an ex-minister of Home Affairs, to persuade
Nhema to get the money invested ahead of the November 2012 deadline.

Mohadi was unreachable for comment yesterday.

But Dabengwa said he had advised the investor where to go and did not get
involved beyond that.

“I advised him how to go about it,” Dabengwa told the Daily News on Sunday
yesterday.

“I don’t know how far he had gone. But it was certainly a huge project. It
was also going to open a short cut to Johannesburg on the Kezi road.”

Under the deal, the communities were going to be granted ownership of the
whole investment and benefit from about 10 000 jobs.

“From that point on (in 2010), much transpired until finally Nhema put a
stop to it by stating, ‘If you think that people will be given title, you
can forget it’,” Spooner said.

“Five MoUs needed to be signed and minister Nhema stood in the way,” he
said.

“He vehemently objected to title of the infrastructure being given to the
four local communities.

“The discussion to unlock the process involved none other than Dabengwa and
me at one stage and Mohadi. It was scuppered.”

Nhema yesterday insisted he had nothing to do with the deal, which he said
should have been handled by the Zimbabwe Investment Authority.

“I don’t have anything to do with that. Did he go through the Zimbabwe
Investment Centre?

“They are approved there. We deal with policy issues,” he told the Daily
News on Sunday yesterday.

The consortium cited the unpredictability of administrative processes in
Zimbabwe as the basis of the decision to pull out the R10 billion
investment.

It is just the latest case of bribe-taking and shakedowns by Zimbabwean
officials that had become intolerable.

The consortium’s announcement came after exhausting all channels, but took a
principled decision not to pay bribes in Zimbabwe.

Foreign executives have complained privately for decades that bribery is an
integral part of Zimbabwean business culture, often tolerated or silently
rebuffed.

In fact, foreign companies retain legions of lawyers so they can adhere
scrupulously to regulations in hopes of avoiding providing an opening for
bribe-seeking officials.

Zimbabwe has fared badly on Transparency International’s corruption
perception index (CPI), ranked 163 in 176 countries polled worldwide,
according to the December 5, 2012 CPI.

The corruption has become so endemic that traffic police routinely take cash
bribes.

However, it is the next level of official venality, so-called administrative
corruption that is most harmful to business and authorities with the power
to halt business activity are blatantly demanding bribes, a move that has
riled even Mugabe. - Gift Phiri, Political Editor


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Marange diamond fields in Zimbabwe: Zanu–PF’s enrichment project?

http://www.newstimeafrica.com

Bernard Chiketo

JANUARY 13, 2013

Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond mining fields are being governed by a predatory
Zanu – PF elite using its access to state power to enrich itself, against
the interests of the people as a whole, acting in collusion with the mining
companies.

At least this is South Africa’s former President, Thabo Mbeki confessed fear
during Zimbabwe’s Diamond Conference in Victoria Falls early last November.

“The country’s political leadership, including all parties which serve in
the current inclusive Government established because of the GPA (Global
Political Agreement), must absolutely ensure that the diamond mining
industry is not governed by a predatory elite which uses its access to state
power to enrich itself, against the interests of the people as a whole,
acting in collusion with the mining companies,” Mbeki advised.

For Finance Minister, Tendai Biti, who is Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC – T) Secretary General the reality could even be worse! Revenue
accruing from Marange fields is essentially unknown amid fears that it could
as well be evading treasury to fund a ‘parallel government’ under President
Robert Mugabe’s Zanu – PF party.

“There are challenges of opaqueness. As Ministry of Finance, we fear that
there might be a parallel government in respect of where the revenue is
going and not coming to Treasury. This economy needs every resource it can
get including diamond revenue,” Biti had said earlier in the year.

Tafadzwa Musarara, Resources Exploitation Watch Director, a pro-Zanu – PF
civic organisation told a Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG)
convened diamond conference held in Harare late in November that mining
firms were protected by law not make public their balance sheets as they
were registered as private limited companies hence the nation had no reason
to complain of any ‘opaqueness’.

Musarara further noted that Treasury ought to be more realistic in its
expectations of revenue flow from Marange saying the firms were still
recuperating their infrastructural investments adding that the firms must
even be commended for their current contributions.

Presenting his Mid-Term Fiscal policy in July, Biti again blamed poor
revenue inflows from diamonds from the Marange fields noting that of US$600
million he had expected from diamond sales this year, only US$41, 6 million
had been received during the first half of the year, forcing him to cut his
2012 national budget from US$4 billion to US$3, 4 billion.

Biti even protests that due process was not followed in awarding the
concession prejudicing the country of millions of dollars and has been
pushing for the cancellation of all existing claims through a Diamond
Control Revenue Bill of 2011 which seeks to place the fields under the joint
supervision of the finance and mining ministries.

Section 4 (1) (a) of the draft Bill states: “Any mineral right, which was in
force under the Mines Act immediately before the fixed date (date of
commencement of Act) and which authorised the grantee or holder to prospect
for additionally, or alternatively, to mine or work any alluvial deposit of
diamonds, shall, to the extent of such authorisation, be void.” Section 6
(4) (b) of the Bill adds that “The minister, with the approval of the
minister responsible for mines, may, by written notice to the (claim)
holder, fix appropriate terms and conditions subject to which mining
operations may continue on the holder’s mining location.”

Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) owns the 80,000 hectares
diamond fields which geologists estimate to contain two to seven billion
carats of raw diamonds and currently contributing up to 25 per cent of the
global diamond output.

While ZMDC wholly owns Marange Resources Ltd it has 50 – 50 joint ventures
foreigners in the other three companies — Diamond Mining Corporation (DMC),
Mbada Diamonds and Anjin Investments. According to human rights group,
Global Witness, Mbada Diamonds’ board is chaired by Zimbabwe’s former Air
Vice Marshall Robert Mhlanga while Anjin Investments, is a joint venture
between a little-known Zimbabwean company, Matt Bronze, and a Chinese
construction company. Anjin’s board also Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Defence
permanent secretary, two commissioners of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, and
current and former officers of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

Of all the companies Biti is particularly critical of Anjin which he accuses
of not remitting anything to Treasury despite being the largest diamond
producer on the Marange diamond fields.

However, the Chinese- owned diamond producer —which has ventured into the
hospitality and aviation industries — says it has discharged its statutory
obligations and had remitted US$30 million to Treasury adding that the
finance minister was scapegoating them for over-estimating possible diamond
revenue by basing his US$600 million projection on the assumption that a
carat of diamond was worth US$1,300 when, in fact, its average value is
US$60.

“It is either he is untruthful, incompetent or illiterate. He made the
blunder and miscalculated. He must be man enough and admit that he made a
mistake,” Anjin board member Munyaradzi Machacha said.

Mines Minister Obert Mpofu also maintains that the mining industry was
contributing enough and was the biggest contributor to Zimbabwe’s economy.
“Biti is a liar. The mining industry is the largest contributor to the
country’s economy,” Mpofu a Mining, Engineering and Transport (Mine Entra)
conference in Bulawayo following Biti’s mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review.

Mpofu is also accused of directly benefiting from the Marange diamond fields
and is famed to own half of Zimbabwe resort town of Victoria Falls.

Zanu – PF politburo member, former Minister of Mines and current
Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy chairperson, Edward Chininga, in
a government local daily the Chronicle, blamed the current sanctions regime
for the limited revenue flow from Marange as they are ‘creating loopholes
for illegal trade and fiscal leakages,’ a muted confirmation of shadowy
diamond deals in the sector. All four firms were slapped with US sanctions
as they are under ZMDC a primary target of the financial restrictions.

In Chininga’s call for the removal of the US sanctions recently he said
since the four companies are now fully compliant with the Kimberly Process
Certification Scheme (KPCS) which the US itself chaired until recently
should lift the restrictions.

“Therefore,” Chininga said of the US, “it should not at the same time create
an environment that promotes illegal sale of diamonds through financial
sanctions that force companies to circumvent normal export channels. These
financial restrictions and sanctions create loopholes for illegal, fiscal
leakages and loss of revenues to Zimbabwe.”

This explains why perhaps the balance sheets of the firms operating in
Marange remain so opaque.

Eddie Cross a Bulawayo South Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Member of
Parliament speaking at the CNRG conference also claimed the Minister of
Mines was covering up Zanu – PF’s illicit diamond deals in the past five
years.

Cross said Mpofu misrepresented to Parliament that Zimbabwe had realised
only $200 million from the sale of raw diamonds over five years in which
time total payments to Treasury had been over $174 million imputing that the
miners had paid out most of the money earned from the sale of diamonds
something he said was patently false.

Cross even argues that Zanu – PF strategically positioned the current mining
firms to secure the Marange fields to assure the party of funding on the eve
of its entry into a government of national unity (GNU) in which they were to
lose control of Treasury and the social welfare ministry which has the
National Social Security Authority (NSSA) – a cash cow, to his party.

He said there was no hope that there could even be transparency in Marange
for as long as the current actors retained their licences which forms his
party’s support for the nationalisation of the fields which Biti has been
pushing for. “In 2011, the Parliament of Zimbabwe adopted a motion without
dissent, that the Marange diamond fields be nationalised. It is pleasing to
see that the Minister of Finance has announced that that is exactly what is
intended under the new Diamond Act and that we can expect action shortly,”
he said.

While Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) a key civic organisation in the KPCS
in a report published last month claim that Zimbabwe may have lost up to
US$2 billion over the past three years Cross claims that this year alone
more than 37 million carats of diamonds worth over $4billion have been
extracted from Marange.

Cross, an economist said while his estimates appeared outrageous they were
in fact conservative arguing that they were based on actual figures he
obtained during his own private investigations. However his colleague in MDC
and Mpofu’s deputy in the ministry of mines, Gift Chimanikire told Voice of
America that while he was unsure of the source of Cross’s figures they
seemed “too exaggerated.”

Cross said in 2011 he got copies of actual daily production figures for
Marange Resources (Pvt.) limited which showed that in 2009, the company
processed 25000 tonnes of ore/sand producing an average of 19.86 carats per
tonne which he then used to generate his estimates.

Evidence of income that is not being accounted for strongly indicating it is
emanating from Marange includes a deficit on imports of an excess of US$4
billion; 2012 motor vehicle imports of US$1,4 billion; significant
expenditure by individuals and firms linked to Marange including luxury
apartments and houses, even high rise buildings in South Africa; expenditure
of perhaps $300 million via the Presidents Fund on free crop inputs,
scholarships and bursaries (64 per cent of students at Fort Hare University
in South Africa is paid for by this scholarship); purchase of two new long
range Airbus Aircrafts (to be hired out to Air Zimbabwe); and expenditures
on military equipment and facilities that are not provided for in the
national budget, among other things.

CNRG Executive Director Farai Maguwu expressed fears at that the diamond
revenue Treasury is failing to account for could be used by Zanu – PF to
subvert the country’s democratic processes.

Speaking at the same conference Deputy Minister for Justice and Legal
Affairs, Obert Gutu, an MDC –T senior official, called on civic
organisations to gather forensic evidence on any irregularities in the
sector for his ministry to act on. Gutu cast doubt on the effectiveness of
the recently unveiled diamond policy because of rampant corruption.

Cross, Maguwu and Gutu however made it clear that Zimbabweans could not
possible expect KPCS to help address the national quest for greater
transparency in the sector due to its limited definition of ‘conflict
diamonds’ which does not cover the current scenario unfolding in Zimbabwe.

In June 2009, Ian Smillie, the research coordinator for PAC who helped draft
the KPCS, quit his post, saying, “[The Kimberley Process] is in danger of
becoming irrelevant and it’s letting all manner of crooks off the hook.”

The debate surrounding the capacity of the KPCS to clean the market of blood
diamonds while it hung on to a limited definition of “conflict diamonds” led
to the withdrawal of founding member Global Witness from the process in
December 2011.

“The Kimberly Process does not take into account human and legal rights
abuse in the exploitation of diamonds, it only adopts a stance if it can be
demonstrated that diamond production is being used to promote and fund armed
attacks on civilians. It does not take into account the use of such funds to
destabilise countries or political systems. It therefore cannot be taken as
a suitable measure to define what has and is happening in Zimbabwe,” Cross
said.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Boasting Biti – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 12th January 2013

On a bitterly cold day the Vigil kept warm by laughing at the reported remarks by Finance Minister, Tendai Biti, at a Zimbabwe investment conference here in London.

‘Reported’ remarks because we couldn’t afford to go to the meeting to hear for ourselves at a cost of 90 for the cheapest ticket (http://www.zimdiaspora.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10632:biti-announces-election-date-in-london&catid=38:travel-tips&Itemid=18 – By 29.10.2013: Biti announces election date in London).

Biti apparently said that Zimbabwe had become ‘a safe and lucrative place to come and invest in’ and was ‘pregnant with opportunities’. The Minister was also quoted as saying Zimbabwe was on course to have a new constitution – oblivious to the irony that the latest meeting of the cabinet committee appointed to deal with the constitution deadlock had to be postponed because of his absence on one of the expensive overseas visits which he criticized his government colleagues for when he delivered his last budget.

His trip also took him to Canada where he pleaded unsuccessfully for the lifting of sanctions on Mugabe’s friends. If Biti wanted to justify the expense of his trip and the delay it occasioned to the never-ending constitution making process he should have gone to Germany to apologise for the seizure of German property in Zimbabwe in contravention of a bilateral protection agreement. He might have got the Germans to withdraw their threat to boycott the tourism jamboree planned for the Victoria Falls in August.

Better still he could have come and shivered with us at the Vigil where we tell all who pass by not to invest in Zimbabwe until Biti says something sensible about selective indigenization, rampant corruption and general institutional freeloading that has become the hallmark of the unity government.

If Biti had come he would at least have enjoyed the spectacular dancing of Consolata Ngwenya, a member of the Siyaya Arts Group which has been touring the UK with their show ‘Zambezi Express’. There are lots of videos on youtube of this group.

Away on his travels, Biti probably missed the article in the Zimbabwe Independent by the veteran journalist Iden Wetherell. He paints a rather different picture of the situation in Zimbabwe. ‘Zimbabwe, I am sorry to report at the beginning of 2013, is a mess’, he says. ‘It must be evident to even the most simple-minded observers that very little has changed on the ground. The farms audit remains a mirage, senior civil servants are still blatantly partisan, broadcasting is the fiefdom of the former ruling party as it attempts to claw back its electoral losses, while local government has sunk into a state of anarchy as Zanu PF supporters build wherever they like. In the midst of this chaos we have the sad prospect of a party hoping to win power that is asleep at the wheel. They are reluctant to tell us what they stand for, slow to respond to the mendacious claims of our erstwhile rulers, and only too keen to learn from their mistakes. Meanwhile their leader is pressing for a motorcade which is the last thing the motorists of Harare want to see on their roads’ (http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/jan12a_2013.html#Z14 – Let’s prove ‘detractors’ wrong).

Other points

26 Vigil supporters went on to a meeting of the Central London branch of our sister organization Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR). The Chair, Fungayi Mabhunu said they must intensify their efforts for peace, justice and freedom. It was agreed that the branch would organize a demonstration to hand over ROHR’s petition to the UK Border Agency asking them to stop deportations until after the elections in Zimbabwe.

Our first Zimbabwe Action Forum of 2013 will be next Saturday after the Vigil (see Events and Notices for details). We are holding these forums more frequently to focus more closely on our activism. Forums will now be held on the first and third Saturdays of every month.

Round 13 of the Free Zimbabwe Global Campaign (FZGC) will take place next Saturday when we will demonstrate outside the South African High Commission to urge President Zuma take a more robust approach to Mugabe to ensure a level playing field for the coming elections (see Events and Notices for details).

Today we conclude our summary of Vigil highlights of 2012, covering the second half of the year (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/465-vigil-highlights-july--december-2012). We note the Vigil diary of 1st September says: ‘We have Tendai Biti touring the world expressing his admiration for Mugabe and saying how the economy is poised to power ahead. Yet now he tells a luxurious conference at the Victoria Falls that Zimbabwe has a per capita annual income of about $320’.

Vigil supporter, musician Kudaushe Matimba (formerly of the Bundu Boys), is performing in a concert ‘Mwalimu Express’ in London on Sunday 20th January. There will also be a showing of the film ‘Robert Mugabe . . . What happened?’ For details see Events and Notices.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.

FOR THE RECORD: 54 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

Round 13 of the Free Zimbabwe Global Campaign (FZGC). Saturday 19th January. Meet at the Zimbabwe Embassy at 2 pm. Move to the South African High Commission at 3 pm.

Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 19th January from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The meeting will take place straight after the Vigil. Directions: The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. 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 big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

Mwalimu Express Concert. Sunday 20th January from 2 – 6 pm. Venue: Richmix, 35 – 47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA. Featuring Kudaushe Matimba.

ROHR Birmingham Branch Meeting. Saturday 26th January from 1 – 4 pm. Venue: All Saints Centre, Vicarage Road, King’s Heath, Birmingham B14 7RA. Contact: Anne Chikumba 07857528546, Lorraine Manenji 07854801250, Petronella Mapara 07903644612, Jane Mary Mapfumo 07412310429.

Launch of the ROHR Coventry Branch. Saturday 2nd February. Further details as they become available.

Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 2nd February from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB. Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.

Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2011 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/363-vigil-highlights-2011. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2011 Highlights page.

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 http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.

ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.

Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.

Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.

Useful websites: www.zanupfcrime.com which reports on Zanu PF abuses and www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.

Vigil Highlights: July – December 2012

Saturday 21st July

Russian diplomats peeping out from behind the curtains of their London Embassy must have been surprised to see President Mugabe at a demonstration against Moscow’s reported plans to supply helicopter gunships in return for Zimbabwean platinum deposits. Mugabe – in the form of Vigil management team member Fungayi Mabhunu wearing our Mugabe mask – was carrying a poster reading ‘I want a Russian helicopter’. The demo caused quite a security stir as the embassy is in a sensitive location near Kensington Palace. There was a heavy police presence with appropriately enough a helicopter overhead.

It is with great sadness that the Vigil reports the death of Bernard Hukwa, a faithful supporter who was also a member of our sister organization ROHR and the MDC. His body was found in the Thames. We know he was worried about being unable to support his family in Zimbabwe.

Saturday 4th August

The European Union’s new friend Robert Mugabe popped up at the Vigil on Olympic ‘Super Saturday’ to display his array of gold medals. Mugabe was given a ‘wild’ card entry to the Games following the EU’s announcement that sanctions were being eased. But he was still not satisfied with his haul: gold medals for Men’s Skulls, Rowing (backwards), Shooting, Torture, Genocide and Looting – as well, of course, as the COPAC marathon, which involves 3.5 years going nowhere. Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu for sporting our Mugabe mask.

Tuesday 21st August

Zimbabwean exiles demonstrated outside the Mozambique High Commission in London to urge the new SADC Chair, Mozambican President Guebuza, to keep up pressure to secure free and fair elections in Zimbabwe next year. The demonstration was part of the 21st Movement Free Zimbabwe Global Campaign which has seen protests around the 21st of each month since January. A letter was handed over to a Mozambican official by nine year old Leslie Nkanyezi representing the demonstrators from the MDC, the Vigil, ROHR and the Zimbabwe We Can (ZWC) movement. The letter noted: ‘We are pleased to see that the summit in Maputo reaffirmed the decisions already taken on Zimbabwe but we see little evidence of urgency in the summit resolutions, particularly in preparing the ground so that the elections will be free and fair.’

Saturday 1st September

Vigil supporters gathered after our weekly protest outside the Embassy for a wide-ranging discussion of the threatening situation in Zimbabwe and the Vigil’s role in the fight for freedom and democracy. Our monthly Action Forum thought almost unanimously that the MDC was unlikely to be in charge after the next election. Questions were asked why the MDC had allowed itself to be seduced by the ludicrous constitution-making process while nothing had been done to ensure free and fair elections. We have Tendai Biti touring the world expressing his admiration for Mugabe and saying how the economy is poised to power ahead. Yet now he tells a luxurious conference at the Victoria Falls that Zimbabwe has a per capita annual income of about $320. Our meeting noted that Professor David Hulme of Manchester University had told the Victoria Falls conference that Zimbabwe had seen one of the biggest declines in human and economic development recorded among countries not in a war situation.

Wednesday 5th September

Vigil members attended a meeting at Parliament called to discuss the deteriorating situation in Swaziland. We were there to support the Swaziland Vigil during a week of activism coinciding with Swaziland’s Independence Day on 6th September.

Saturday 8th September

On the second last day of the Paralympics, Vigil supporters saw off President Mugabe in the Marathon. He only agreed to take part if he was promised the gold medal and he insisted that we give it to him before the race to make sure. He also demanded to start a day before the opposition, given that he is about the oldest contender in the dictator stakes. Furthermore, he insisted on starting at the Embassy which is only a short distance to the finishing line in the nearby Mall. Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu for playing Marathon Mugabe wearing our mask.

Saturday 15th September

Mugabe’s intolerant comments about Jamaican Rastafarians (as our poster put it ‘Mugabe’s message to Jamaica: stop da ganja man and da strong drink and cut the hair’) opened the eyes of Caribbeans to his true character. We have had endless discussions with our brothers in the British Caribbean community over the past 10 years but they have been firmly fixed on an unreal picture of Mugabe as a warrior for African liberation. Now they have been kicked in the groin by their hero’s feet of clay. A dreadlocked mask of Mugabe puffing a giant spliff featured prominently at the Vigil, where he welcomed the arrival of Tsvangirai’s rival brides by rickshaw. Mugabe then handed them to a kneeling Tsvangirai with a placard reading ‘Morgan’s Zanu PF brides’.

Saturday 22nd September

As the Vigil’s contribution to the Zimbabwe Diaspora 21st Movement’s Global Campaign, we took letters to the Tanzanian and Botswana High Commissions in London. Our letter to President Kikwete of Tanzania noted:’ Your predecessor, Julius Nyerere, told Mugabe that he was inheriting the jewel of Africa. At that time Zimbabwe had the second most advanced economy in sub-Saharan Africa. Now after 32 years of Mugabe’s misrule it is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries.’ The letter to President Khama of Botswana said: ‘We applaud your comments at a recent banquet in Gaberone for President Zuma that “nothing less than free and fair elections in Zimbabwe should be acceptable to the international community”.

One of our members has contacted her relatives in Bulawayo to find out how they are getting on with synchronized toilet flushing. We have asked them to let us know when it’s happening so we can flush our toilets in sympathy.

Saturday 29th September

After reading our last diary, a leading MDC figure in the UK, while thanking us for our help, complained that we were again criticizing the MDC. Here is our reply: ‘We would like to assure you that we are not against the MDC. But we feel an obligation to be critical when the leadership is failing the party’s members. To do otherwise would be following the example of Zanu PF . . . the Vigil applauds the many MDC members working bravely and unselfishly for change. Without the support of these members the party would not exist. They and you have every right, if not a duty, to criticize the leadership when it fails.’

Saturday 6th October

Thanks to the BBC and others picking up our Bulawayo lavatory ‘scoop’, we have helped launch the prospective Olympic sport of ‘synchronised toilet flushing’.

Zimbabwe Vigil’s 10th Anniversary – Saturday 13th October

Today marked the beginning of our 11th year outside the Embassy in line with the mission statement we adopted in 2002: ‘The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.’ Today was certainly no celebration as our objectives are far from being achieved.

The protest has been described by the Observer newspaper as the largest regular demonstration in London. Attendance has ranged from a handful to more than 300. Petitions signed by hundreds of thousands of passers-by have been submitted to the UK government, the UN, the EU, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community etc.

We went on after the Vigil down the road to the India Club in the Aldwych where, Ephraim Tapa, one of the founder members of the Vigil, chaired a meeting to discuss the way forward. He mentioned the BBC interview this week given by the Zanu PF Justice Minister Chinamasa in which he made it clear that Zanu PF will never hand over power. Many people expressed despair at the situation at home. The meeting ended troubled and uncertain but with determination to continue the Vigil until our objectives are achieved.

Saturday 20th October

On the eve of the 2nd Stakeholders’ Meeting on the new constitution, Zimbabweans exiled in the UK gathered outside the Zimbabwe Embassy to underline our fears that this ludicrous process would again be hijacked by Zanu PF. The gathering was part of the 10th round of monthly demonstrations by the Free Zimbabwe Global Diaspora 21st Movement. A petition was drawn up on the spot and signed by participants, including many MDC members as well as Vigil and ROHR supporters, and slipped under the Embassy’s front door. It said: ‘We deplore the upsurge in political violence and the arbitrary arrests of opposition members and warn you that we will continue our campaign until there are free and fair elections.’

Saturday 27th October

ROHR Central London Branch was launched today. An interim committee was elected with Fungayi Mabhunu of the Vigil as Chair. Participants felt that ROHR Central London would have a pivotal and challenging campaigning role in the UK capital where government headquarters and foreign embassies are based.

Saturday 3rd November

A UK daily newspaper The Independent asked the Vigil to write a blog explaining what has kept us going for the past decade. Here it is: http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2012/11/06/the-zimbabwe-vigils-10th-anniversary-is-no-cause-for-celebration/.

Tuesday 6th November

Several Vigil management team members attended a meeting in Parliament addressed by Ben Freeth who, together with his father-in-law Mike Campbell, successfully took Mugabe to the SADC International Court after they were evicted from their farm. The Tribunal was then suspended after pressure from Mugabe. The meeting was also addressed by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, and the exiled MDC T Treasurer Roy Bennett who said ‘There needs to be a clean break with the past in Zimbabwe very soon or the country will be a permanent basket case like the Democratic Republic of Congo or Somalia.’

Saturday 10th November

Ben Freeth joined us at the Vigil and urged us to keep up the struggle: ‘We are encouraged because every week we see you are still there’, he said. After the Vigil Ben attended the monthly meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum where he said huge problems continue at home and no real reforms were taking place. He said our partner organization Restoration of Human Rights was part of the answer.

Saturday 17th November

In the past week the Vigil received a sudden surge of calls from Zimbabweans in detention facing possible deportation.

Wednesday 21st November

Vigil and MDC supporters delivered a petition to the Zimbabwe Embassy demanding transparency in Zimbabwe’s diamond sales. It was part of the monthly demonstrations held by the diaspora around the world. Although it was a working day, the Embassy’s front doors were closed so we slipped our petition under the door.

Saturday 1st December

Vigil management team member Josephine Zhuga had happy news for us today. After a long battle – when she was told her papers had been lost – she has finally been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Lindy Bare and Philip Maponga, who played the roles of Tsvangirai and his new wife Elizabeth in our mock wedding on 15th September, announced that they are to get married. They had never met before our event.

Saturday 8th December

Our sister organization the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) met in Birmingham to elect a new executive. Vigil founder member Ephraim Tapa, who set up ROHR in 2007, was confirmed as Chair. The conference resolved to relaunch programmes in Zimbabwe and start operations in South Africa. Signatures were collected for a petition to the UK Border Agency protesting at the treatment of Zimbabwean deportees.

Saturday 22nd December

On the shortest Saturday of the year, with darkness falling before 4 pm, and floods reported from many parts of the UK, we gathered in the rain to sing and dance outside the South African High Commission to petition President Zuma for tough action against Mugabe. The demonstration was part of the 21st Movement Global Protest launched in January which has seen monthly demonstrations by the diaspora under the banner ‘Reclaim Zimbabwe’. The petition to President Zuma had been signed by 5,000 people who have stopped at the Vigil outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in recent months.

Vigil co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.


Back to the Top
Back to Index