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blasts UN Human Rights Chief
By Staff Reporter 3 hours 10 minutes
HARARE - Zanu-PF supporters have castigated the UN High
Human Rights, Ms Navi Pillay for calling for the inclusion
of gay rights
into the Bill of Rights, saying these are Western machinations
to dismantle the solid cultural values of African
In her final report after a five day fact finding mission on the
human rights situation, Ms Pillay stirred a hornet’s nest by
calling on the
country to legalise homosexuality.
President Mugabe's party Zanu-PF says Ms Pillay is an agent of
neo-colonialisism, who wants to clandestinely smuggle immoral values which
are detested by God.
Ms Pillay’s three paged report was not entirely
negative as she acknowledged
that Zimbabwe is amongst the top African states
to have ratified human
However, her call for the
inclusion of gay rights has been widely condemned
by President Mugabe and
his loyalists and some Zimbabweans, saying the
country is conservative and
has firm foundations embedded in cultural and
has irked most Mugabe's supporters is that the Westerners are trying to
force African people to accept what they say are immoral practices which are
even being resisted in their own countries.
women in Zanu-PF says they are surprised at Ms Pillay’s
claims that the
country’s laws are not gender sensitive, after the UN chief
women need their husbands’ authority to acquire passports.
five days in the country on a fact finding mission on human
Pillay on Thursday told journalists in Harare before her
departure that she
had been surprised that Zimbabwe’s laws require a woman
to get consent from
her husband to get a passport.
Apparently, the country has no such laws
and Zimbabwean women say they have
no clue as to where the UN envoy got such
false information from.
The women say they are accorded the rights to
access travel documents
without need for their husband’s permission, adding
that Ms Pillay might
have ulterior motives to tarnish Zimbabwe by misleading
Ms Pillay was in the country last week
on a five day fact finding mission
where she met representatives from
government and the civil society on the
prevailing human rights situation in
tests commitment to reforms before polls
ZOLI MANGENA | 27 May, 2012
AHEAD of Friday's summit of the Southern African Development
(SADC) in Luanda, Angola, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is
all the stops to lobby regional leaders on his plans to call for
election, with or without the new constitution.
developed an elections road map, albeit one with disputed issues,
the country to credible, free and fair elections.
Mugabe is anxious to
have the elections this year, while he is still fit to
campaign, and wants
to secure consensus and backing for his plans in
He told UN human rights commissioner Navi Pillay that he
soon because the coalition government is dysfunctional. He
drawn-out constitution-drafting process was being used by his
delay the polls.
Mugabe this week intensified his bid to
get regional leaders to back him in
his plans. He dispatched a number of
envoys in the SADC region to South
Africa, Zambia and Tanzania - a powerful
troika on politics, defence and
security - as well as Namibia, Botswana and
other countries to test their
resolve to insist on the full implementation
of the global political
agreement and the elections road map before the
Presient Jacob Zuma is SADC's chief facilitator and his team will
Harare this week, ahead of the Luanda summit, for an update on
security issues .
targets Tanzania in SADC campaign
STATE Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi met Tanzanian
Kikwete Saturday as President Robert Mugabe steps up his
campaign to win
SADC backing for elections he wants held this
Sekeramayi travelled to Tanzania with a special message from Mugabe
meeting Zambia’s Michael Sata in Lusaka last Tuesday.
him, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa had also travelled to Angola
deliver a special message to President José Eduardo dos Santos.
to local reports, Sekeramayi also briefed the Tanzanian leader on
made in the implementation of reforms agreed under the Global
He said although progress had been made in ongoing
efforts to write a new
constitution, discussions continued over issues such
as devolution of power
and dual citizenship.
Kikwete said he would
continue to support Zimbabwe’s efforts to resolve its
“I would like to assure President Mugabe that Tanzania will
support Zimbabwe to secure a permanent political settlement,” he
Mugabe needs the backing of the SADC region as he faces down his rivals
demands for fresh polls this year.
SADC, whose point-man in
Zimbabwe is South African leader Jacob Zuma, helped
negotiate the GPA and
the coalition government following the violent but
Presidential ballot. Zuma is now facilitating dialogue
over key reforms
expected to lead to new elections.
Parties to the coalition government agree
the administration is no longer
workable because of policy and other
But Mugabe’s rivals, with the tacit backing of Zuma, want
implemented before new elections can be held to ensure a
MDC-T leader and Prime Minister, Morgan
Tsvangirai has since said new
elections are only viable in March next
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has also warned against
“The ultimate deadline (for new elections) March
2013,” Mutambara said
“(But) we must go through these
reforms very carefully; the Constitution,
media reforms, political reforms,
electoral reforms, national healing, and
security sector alignment, economic
“This means seven types of reforms. These reforms require time
time will determine when our elections will take place.”
Kikwete Pledges Political Support for
Daily News (Dar es Salaam)
27 May 2012
Tanzania will continue to support Zimbabwe's
efforts towards finding a
permanent political solution to its internal
problems and has promised to
work hand in hand with the citizens of that
President Jakaya Kikwete made the promise at a meeting with a
of President Robert Mugabe in Dodoma on Saturday.
president is participating in a retreat for regional and district
commissioners. The envoy, Mr Sydney Sekeremayi who is Zimbabwe's Minister of
State in the President's Office, is on a tour of Southen African Development
Community (SADC) states, aiming to explain about his country's political
latest developments and the fulfilment of political settlement of Global
Political Agreement (GPA) in Zimbabwe.
He told President Kikwete
about the development of writing a new
constitution which is now being
discussed by the main stakeholders who form
GPA, before it is presented in
the parliament. He also told the president
about the main areas of the
constitution including government system, power
distribution to the public,
sexual freedom and the issue of citizenship of
more than one
President Kikwete congratulated Zimbabwe for maintaining the GPA
despite various challenges. "I would like to assure President
Tanzania will continue to support Zimbabwe to achieve a
settlement," said President Kikwete.
president also insisted that consultation and consensus were very
for any country, citing the political settlement that took place
where the government of national unity (GNU) was achieved. He
the visiting minister that Tanzania is also on the process of
writing a new
constitution and that he did not see any reason for a
political stand off in
a country that respects its constitution.
JAMA MAJOLA | 27 May, 2012 00:25
trying to hijack the constitution-making process by imposing
unilateral amendments to the hotly contested draft constitution
the select committee of parliament (Copac).
ZANU-PF is trying to hijack
the constitution-making process by imposing
amendments to the hotly contested draft constitution
produced by the select
committee of parliament (Copac).
The party wants to protect President
Robert Mugabe and further its political
agenda ahead of elections it wants
Copac has been riddled with infighting, chaos and endless
process has so far gobbled up $45-million, with an additional
still needed. About $30-million has been set aside for the
referendum on the
Zanu-PF has formed a team led by
Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa to
supervise the Copac process and try
to force wholesale chances to the draft
constitution. The party also has a
technical committee working with its
caucus of MPs involved in the
After fierce battles over the draft constitution, political
in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and the coalition
retreated for inter-party consultations.
through Mnangagwa's team, came back with a long list of
which would fundamentally change the document to suit
the interests of
Mugabe and their party.
This has created a new impasse, further
jeopardising the process already on
the brink of collapse.
stalemate emerged after Zanu-PF came back from their inter-party
consultation process with substantive amendments that would change the draft
constitution in a significant way," said Dr Alex Magaisa of Kent Law School
in the UK, who is involved in Copac.
"This comes after months of
negotiations in which all parties, including
Zanu-PF, participated and
agreed on the substance of the draft
decision-making politburo recently rejected the
draft constitution, claiming
it was not based on people's views and hence
the party's attempt to revamp
The party is mainly worried about reform of the country's
presidency, devolution of power and dual citizenship, which
would reduce its
control and influence.
Zanu-PF politburo members
have accused their party officials in Copac of
collaborating with MDC
leaders to come up with provisions on term and age
limits to stop Mugabe
from seeking re-election.
Senior politburo member Jonathan Moyo has hit
out angrily at Copac leaders,
describing them as a "mafia" and their process
as a "national disaster".
Mugabe has demanded that Copac finish its
process quickly or else he would
call for elections unilaterally.
MDC-T this week attacked Zanu-PF for trying to hijack the
"Just a few weeks ago, Copac produced
its first draft constitution and
everyone was happy that the long-awaited
constitution was slowly becoming a
reality. Unfortunately Zanu-PF and its
military junta have started making
determined efforts to derail this
programme," the MDC-T said. "Methods
employed by Zanu-PF to derail the
programme include massive propaganda
against the process channelled through
the state media, unwarranted attacks
on the donor community and the
intimidation of the parliamentary select
committee members by some sections
of the military."
The MDC said Zanu PF was making "outrageous demands",
including that the
military should be allowed to play an active part in
national politics; the
president should appoint commissions without
parliamentary approval; there
should not be a constitutional court ; there
should not be devolution of
power to the provinces; executive authority must
only vest in the president;
the president shall not be answerable to
parliament on deploying troops and
there shall be no proscription of
violence in elections.
classical music presenter arrested in Zimbabwe had been there as charity
Petroc Trelawny, a BBC classical music presenter imprisoned
authorities for allegedly 'working without a permit' was in
doing charity work for underprivileged children when he was
friends have said.
By Mark Hughes, Peta Thornycroft and
7:30PM BST 27 May 2012
Petroc Trelawny, a Radio 3
presenter, was charged yesterday following his
arrest on Thursday.
Sunday, on his 41st birthday, Mr Trelawyne was in a hospital ward under
police guard receiving treatment for a dislocated shoulder. He is understood
to have slipped on water and fell while in a police cell.
acting for Mr Trelawny said that they hoped he would be released,
deported, as early as Monday. But friends in Britain spoke of
frustration that he had been arrested while trying to help young local
musicians in the country. Mr Trelawny was not working for the BBC while in
Zimbabwe, but he travelled to the country on behalf of The British Friends
of the Zimbabwe Academy of Music, a charitable organisation he
President Robert Mugabe regularly tells Zimbabweans that British
operating in the country to effect what he calls "regime
Mr Trelawny was appearing at a festival run by the Bulawayo
Music Academy, a
music school which struggles to survive. He was acting as a
compère when he
was led offstage by immigration officials.
Berkeley, a friend of Mr Trelawny, said that he had travelled to
about a week ago.
"Whether someone is trying to exploit the situation for
I don't know," he said. "But as far as I know,
everything he was doing over
there was to assist the charitable
"I understand he was apprehended because they wanted to see
whether he had
the necessary papers but as he was not working he would not
it necessary to have a work permit as he was not there in a
"It is very unfortunate that someone who was
trying to do something to help
the country should suffer misfortune of this
kind because the only reason he
was there was to provide charitable
assistance and so it is ironic that it
has rebounded in this
The Bulawayo festival is supported by The British Council. He is
have travelled with others from Britain although he is
understood to be the
only one to have been arrested.
One of the
event's organisers, Bruce McDonald, said Mr Trelawny was injured
fell accidentally at the police station and dismissed suggestions
was beaten. Zimbabwean police stations are notorious for their poor
conditions. Allegations of beatings and torture are common.
McDonald said Mr Trelawny had aggravated an existing shoulder injury
the fall. X Rays reveals he suffered a hairline crack.
Mr Trelawny has
denied the charges against him. If the case against him
proceeds Monday he
will appear, in bandages, at the Bulawayo Magistrate's
Court, and if found
guilty, will be returned to police cells and then
deported, probably to
His lawyer Munyaradzi Ngaraypenga said: "We are hoping for
resolution of this case and will be first checking with the
General's office to ask for an opinion on whether it is even worth
court, as Mr Trelawny was leaving Zimbabwe on Monday anyway. This
could have been handled differently."
Mike Lander a committee
member of the music festival said: "Petroc has been
a regular visitor and
has done so much to help keep classical music alive in
Bulawayo. He was
telling stories to about 500 children when they arrived to
A neighbour of Mr Trelawny, who lives alone near London's Regent's
said she had been expecting to have lunch with him this
"He's involved with a lot of things with music. It's just one of
passions, and to help them out," she said.
"That's why he always
went as a tourist because the BBC aren't allowed.
"[The Academy] is the
only reason he goes there."
A BBC spokesman said: "We are aware of the
situation and hope it will be
‘State operatives disrupt students’
Newsday27 May 2012
operatives, police and soldiers should be ejected from institutions of higher
learning in Zimbabwe – unless they are students – as their heavy presence on
campuses is infringing on academic freedom, a student representative has said,
writes Everson Mushava for Newsday.
National Students Union president Pride Mukono told the parliamentary portfolio
committee on tertiary education that security agents, who had flooded
universities and colleges, should be flushed out as they have compromised the
quality of education.
“Lack of academic freedom is a demon that has
paralysed the educational system in the country. Security agents have infested
universities and colleges and they limit our academic freedom...Even lecturers
have been threatened with death if they talk a position believed to be
anti-government,” said Mukono.
Full report on the Newsday
under renewed siege over foreign funds
JAMA MAJOLA | 27 May, 2012
Just two months after the Zimbabwean government grabbed
Zimplats from South
Africa's Implats under the guise of indigenisation and
locals, the company has come under renewed siege from
for refusing to repatriate millions of dollars stashed
in offshore accounts.
The move would further reinforce the negative
sentiment engulfing the
company after it was seized in a deal widely seen as
Implats - which controlled 87% of Zimplats - was forced to
surrender 51% of
its shareholding to the Zimbabwe government, although
authorities have not
made any commitment to pay for their
Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere said after the deal
the government was not going to pay because the platinum
Zimplats owned belonged to the state, although by law they are
owned by the
Implats has warned that unless the government
released the money, estimated
at about $500-million, it was not going to
transfer its shareholding to the
bankrupt state-run National Indigenisation
and Economic Empowerment Fund
The 51% shareholding in
Zimplats comprised 10% shares given to the
community, 10% to employees and
31% to NIEEF.
Implats had only recently announced it would embark on a
expansion programme on its mines. To date, the firm has invested
$700-million in Zimplats and was in the process of establishing the second
phase of its expansion plan, which would cost about $500-million.
Zimplats was still trying to recover from the shock of seizure, the
Bank of Zimbabwe this week pounced on it over funds it is holding in
offshore accounts against its directive. In a backlash, the central bank
directed financial institutions to stop their banking services to
This followed a policy implemented in February which compelled
to close offshore accounts and transfer the funds to accounts
Zimplats defied the order.
The Reserve Bank said
Zimplats and other companies "behaving like that"
would not be allowed to
get away with it. It warned that banks, which
collaborated with Zimplats
risked "severe penalties".
Reserve Bank senior exchange control division
chief Morris Mpofu said due to
the failure by Zimbabwe Platinum Mines to
adhere to the provisions to
transfer its offshore funds to a bank onshore,
exchange control had taken
corrective administrative measures to enforce
star in tourism
MARK SCOFIELD | 27 May, 2012 00:25
Zanu-PF colleague Saviour Kasukuwere, Walter Mzembi, the Minister
and Hospitality, is a darling of Western countries, foreign
businesspeople as he trots across the globe seeking to restore
Zimbabwe's tourism sector.
On the other hand, Kasukuwere, the Minister of
Indigenisation and Empowerment, has done the exact
opposite to Mzembi and is
the embodiment of plans to seize foreign-owned
companies under the country's
51% indigenisation law.
common between Zanu-PF ministers and their MDC counterparts,
but are unusual
among Zanu-PF-linked ministers.
Economist Eric Bloch said: "Those are the
internal contradictions of this
government. There is no policy cohesion
because some policies like
indigenisation are being pursued for political
expediency rather than
long-term inclusive economic growth.
Mzembi is trying to lure investors into the tourism industry,
threatening the same potential investors with expropriation of
capital. This is also the same dilemma that Minister Tapiwa Mashakada
himself in as he tries to promote foreign and domestic investment."
so far, Mzembi appears to have weathered the storm caused by
He fired a salvo at his Zanu-PF colleagues last year after
they invaded a
bird sanctuary under the excuse of indigenisation, telling
them to back off,
as the tourism sector was sufficiently indigenised.
The main players in
the tourism sector are the Rainbow Tourism Group, where
government is the
majority stakeholder, and African Sun, which is largely
owned by the
country's emerging black elites.
Mzembi has a knack for speaking candidly
against elements that make his job
mored ifficult - among them the failed
airline, Air Zimbabwe. He has called
for its privatisation to ensure
However, he has not lost his lighter side, and at
President Robert Mugabe's
88th birthday celebrations, he said it would be
easier to convince tourists
to visit Zimbabwe as they would want to see
Mugabe whom he called a "tourist
three-year-old watch, Zimbabwe's tourism is slowly turning
around after a
decade-long battering induced by the country's economic
decline. Mzembi this
week celebrated the latest figures from the World
Travel and Tourism
Council, which confirmed Zimbabwe's newly found return to
"Zimbabwe is now the second fastest-growing tourism industry
in the world,
second only to China. It is a favourable rating by any
standard but we have
to work hard to maintain those figures as the test of
the pudding is in the
eating," said Mzembi.
Tourism is set to
contribute an average 8.2% to the country's gross domestic
product over the
next 10 years. It slumped to less than 5% under the
Meanwhile, Mzembi was elected president of the African Travel
for a two-year period at the association's recently ended
conference last week.
Tourism industry players say the
post is an acknowledgement of Mzembi's
contribution to tourism, not only in
Zimbabwe but also on the African
The icing on the cake,
however, is set to come next year when Zimbabwe
co-hosts with Zambia the
United Nations World Tourism Summit in Victoria
Falls and Livingstone. This
is certain to be Mzembi's career highlight.
But political observers
caution that elections could undo Mzembi's efforts.
Charles Mangongera said: "Mzembi has managed to project a
of a pragmatic realist that is not fundamentally partisan.
Sometimes he has
contradicted party positions, particularly on
indigenisation, and I believe
this might have ruffled some feathers within
his Zanu-PF party. It will be
interesting to see how he will emerge after
the next elections, which indeed
will be the biggest test of his political
sought for Tsvangirai's wife
JOHN NQINDI | 27 May, 2012
Elizabeth Macheka will be up against Grace Mugabe when her new
Morgan Tsvangirai, runs for the top job in the next
The prime minister tied the knot with Macheka after months of
and a botched marriage to Lorcadia
Tsvangirai officially introduced his wife to
President Robert Mugabe and
Vice-President Joyce Mujuru on Monday. Last week
a traditional ceremony was
carried out at Tsvangirai's homestead in
Tsvangirai's spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka, said his boss's new
expected to take up the role fulfilled by his late wife, Susan, who
"She is the new mother figure for our struggle. She
will guide the prime
minister through the difficult times ahead," he
Senior members of the MDC-T, speaking on condition of anonymity,
were concerned that Macheka had close links with Zanu-PF. They
Karimatsenga-Tembo had Zanu-PF links.
"Maybe she is Zanu-PF
at heart. It is dangerous to lie with the enemy,
especially now that this is
the greatest chance ever to unseat Mugabe. But
since love has no boundaries,
there is nothing we can do but to hope that
she will stay loyal," said a
member of the MDC-T's women's league.
Macheka has yet to find her feet
within the party. Her opposite number,
Grace Mugabe, is largely viewed as a
mother figure by Zanu-PF members. They
refer to her as Amai , Shona for
Grace Mugabe has managed to stay away from factional politics.
to earn respect within the MDC-T.
When election time
approaches, the two leaders will go on their nationwide
Mugabe usually conducts his "star rallies" with his wife by his
usually wear identical Zanu-PF regalia, with Mugabe giving his
speech and Grace portraying a closely knit family. Their children
make a guest appearance .
Political analyst Trevor Maisiri
of the International Crisis Group said it
was too early to judge what effect
Macheka would have on Tsvangirai's
"As Africans we
value the marriage institution. It is one way of showing
when one gets married one is expected to make informed
is up to the MDC-T and Tsvangirai to find a role for his new wife in the
political matrix. There are some women who choose to be behind the scenes
and there are some who want to take an active role. If she is to be active
in politics she first has to study how the First Lady conducts herself,"
Macheka is the daughter of Zanu-PF stalwart Joseph
Macheka, a former mayor
of Chitungwiza. She is also the widow of a former
Air Force wing commander,
Mabasa Guma, who died in a car crash in
She runs a beauty salon and a clothing boutique in the Avenues area
Tsvangirai paid a bride price of $36,000 and 15 cattle to
Karimatsenga-Tembo in a customary marriage. However, he called off the
wedding in November, citing the alleged involvement of state security
Masvingo, May 27, 2012 – Higher Minister of Education,
Stan Mudenge, tied
the knot for the third time at his Bawa rural homestead
in Chief Zimuto on
Saturday, which was snubbed by Zanu (PF) big
Mudenge's second marriage was witnessed by Preisdent Robert Mugabe
Gokomere mission together with a large crowd. But this time around only a
handful of people witnessed his marriage to Mildred Kada together with
Masvingo provincial governor Titus Maluleke, two Members of Parliament and
top ally senator Josiah Hungwe.
The visibly ill Mudenge had to be
helped to walk by his best man, at a
ceremony presided by Catholic Father
Close sources from Zanu (PF) said although wedding invitation cards
circulated a few weeks ago, party carders said they were now fed up by
“People have other things to do; they can’t keep
going to Mudenge’s
weddings. Zanu (PF) members support each other but on
this one, people
thought it was wiser for Mudenge to hold a secret wedding
Magistrate's court,” said the source.
Mudenge’s first and
second wife died in 2001 and 2004 respectively.
Villagers in Bawa told
Radio VOP that some Zanu (PF) youths spent Friday
night trying to force
ordinary people to grace the Minister’s wedding.
Alert : MDC Ward
1 chairperson murdered in Mudzi
Sunday, 27 May
Cephas Magura (67), MDC ward 1 chairperson in Mudzi North was
seven party members were injured after an attack by Zanu PF
afternoon. They were on their way from a district rally at
The people’s struggle for real change –
What’s the point of Pillay? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 26th May 2012
Vigil supporters were dismayed by the
presumptuous conclusion of the UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay that sanctions against Mugabe and his
cronies should be lifted. Ms Pillay asserts that sanctions have worsened
Zimbabwe’s economic problems with ‘quite serious ramifications’ for the poorest
and most vulnerable.
She cites no evidence for this, and the EU and the
United States and others who have imposed sanctions argue
Ms Pillay also says ‘There seems little doubt that the
existence of the sanctions regimes has, at the very least, acted as a serious
disincentive to overseas banks and investors. It is also likely that the stigma
of sanctions has limited certain imports and exports’.
‘Little doubt’? As far as we can see there is ‘little
doubt’ that Mugabe’s populist economic policies such as indigenisation are the
main cause of the economic challenges facing Zimbabwe, together with rampant
corruption and incompetence and the dishonouring of debts.
We wonder why Ms Pillay, a South African, hasn’t devoted
as much attention to the reasons why the sanctions were imposed in the first
place and challenged Mugabe on why he has refused to implement the Global
Political Agreement signed nearly four years ago. She could also have asked him
where the diamond money is going and why, after 12 years of land reform,
Zimbabwe imports 80% of its food.
To us these are the real questions. And we doubt whether
lifting sanctions will make any difference whatsoever. On the contrary, unless
there is more pressure on Zanu PF there will be no free and fair elections . .
Thanks to contacts in
Bulawayo, the Vigil was first to break the news of the arrest of the BBC
classical music producer Petroc Trelawny who is accused of working there without
Since King Mswati’s visit to
London, more details have emerged of his extravagance while his people starve.
Apparently his children are given an allowance of one million rand a year each
while his many wives each receive 1.6 million rand from the state coffers. It’s
rather like the Bulawayo City Council where senior officials get luxury cars
while ordinary workers go unpaid.
A wedding party on an open
top double-decker bus passed by, the bride and groom dancing to our
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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
RECORD: 51 signed the
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
2nd June 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.
2nd June from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first
floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. 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.
North East Meeting. Saturday
16th June from 12 - 3pm. Venue: Gateshead Council Civic Centre, Regent
Street, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE8 1HH. 3mins walk from
Gateshead Interchange and Metro station before Gateshead Central Police Station.
Free parking available.For directions please contact Tapiwa Semwayo 07722060246
/ 07412236229, Susan Ndlovu 07767024586 and Catherine Tshezi
Highlights 2011 can be viewed on this
Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2011 Highlights
The Restoration of
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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
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views and opinions of ROHR.
News. The Vigil
management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not
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control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.
The Zim Vigil
(Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our
Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video
check: http://ourvigil.notlong.com. To watch other
Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: http://Shungurudza.notlong.com and http://blooddiamonds.notlong.com.
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
UN’s Navi Pillay failed to press Mugabe on key issues
Mashiri, 27 May 2012
One would be excused for feeling short-changed by
the UN human rights chief
Ms Navi Pillay after she ‘failed’ to press Mugabe
on key issues let alone
travel beyond Harare.
and analysts fear that Robert Mugabe is trying to steal
another election by
among other things disenfranchising an estimated 3
million exiles whom he
cannot manipulate through violence and politicised
therefore a very big disappointment that Ms Navi Pillay hardly
‘Diaspora Vote’ as a human right that Mugabe was violating with
Zimbabweans expected the UN rights chief to get a firm
Mugabe to an election roadmap, transparency and UN
supervision of the
planned elections. But, there was no indication the issue
monitoring or peacekeeping was ever put to him.
the missing human rights activist Paul Chizuze and the Gokwe 7 or 8
missing during the 2008 election violence, it was very
disheartening to note
that the UN rights chief Navi Pillay maintained
silence on something within
Similarly, Ms Navi Pillay’s lack of mention of the
outstanding issue of
compensation (a basic human right) for Zimbabwean
commercial white farmers
whose properties were seized by the Mugabe regime
under the guise of land
reform was very untypical of a human rights
It is an undeniable fact that land reform is yet to be conducted
transparently in Zimbabwe after a up-to-date land audit.
Mugabe’s land reform programme was more than a ‘Robin Hood’ style
(Mugabe) and his inner circle became the main beneficiaries –
owning on average half a dozen farms each, while the poor still
Pillay ‘acquiesced’ to what is tantamount to
restrictions and possibly a ‘curfew’ on her visit
resulting in her
unprecedented five day visit being confined to Harare
There was no valid reason for her failing to travel beyond Harare-
to Bulawayo, the country’s second largest city given the long
It is fair to conclude that contrary to the
regime’s claims that it had
nothing to hide the securocrats kept Navi Pillay
under very close
surveillance and “banned” her from visiting the
diamond fields where proceeds are not reaching
It remains to be confirmed whether Pillay’s omission of
“Diaspora Vote” and
“Chiadzwa” from her 7-page lecture at UZ and also 7-page
‘end of mission
report’ on Friday 25 May, 2012 was deliberate or
Zanu-pf ensured the rights chief committed herself on the
subject of “sanctions” to the point that she put her
credibility on the
line after being ‘fed’ on unempirical evidence of the
effects of targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe’s maternal
mortality rate for 2011
despite the inclusive government.
How one can
draw a link between a travel ban on Mugabe, his wife and 122 of
from e.g. visiting the UK to a high death rate of expecting
outbreaks of typhoid and cholera defies logic. Western diplomats
It will be recalled that when cholera first began rampaging
2008, Robert Mugabe and his ministers tried to play down the
said it was a “biological warfare” waged by Britain after
about 800 people
Touched by news of the tragedy the UK
government released funds but Mugabe’s
regime failed to account for proceeds
from Chiadzwa diamond mining which had
Demographic Health Survey 2011 is not credible as it suffers
of reliability and validity given the hostile survey
environment that is
By adopting Zanu-pf’s loose definition of sanctions to describe
a travel ban
and asset freeze on specific individuals Pillay put her
Zimbabwe is under no sanctions at least in
the UN context or meaning of the
word because South Africa with the help of
Russia and China blocked their
imposition in the Security Council in July
What we have in Zimbabwe at the moment are travel restrictions and
freezes imposed by some Western countries on specific individuals as
punishment for their roles in human rights abuses and vote
Zanu-pf might have scored an own goal on its so-called sanctions
against the EU through extensive hype and solicited commentary on
media that make a fair hearing almost impossible.
is ‘Was Navi Pillay’s 5-day visit worth it?’ The answer depends
on what one
would have wanted her to do. In view of the foregoing
discussion, just an
email could have been enough.
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri is reading for a
higher degree in International
Relations and is due to commence a full time
study for a PhD focusing on
Forced Migration at the London South Bank
University in September.