via A choice of frauds – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 14th December 2013 December 15, 2013
The man hired by South Africa to interpret the Mandela memorial proceedings to the deaf turns out to be a schizophrenic fraud. His gestures were apparently as meaningless as those of President Zuma, whom the Vigil remembers as a man who betrayed his promise to deliver free and fair elections to Zimbabweans.
The Vigil was not surprised that Zuma was greeted with boos by the audience – or that Mugabe’s arrival was met with applause. To the disillusioned South Africans in the stadium, Mugabe’s populist politics were far more appealing than the ANC’s arrogance and unchecked corruption.
From the Vigil’s point of view, it was interesting to witness the humiliation of Zuma’s advisor Lindiwe Zulu, famously described by Mugabe as ‘a street walker’ when she dared to suggest that he should honour his undertaking to SADC to introduce electoral reforms. Reined in by Zuma, she dared make no comment on Mugabe when she appeared in a BBC televised debate about the memorial ceremony broadcast from Johannesburg (see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03ltbjt/Question_Time_Question_Time_Special/). Long gone was the alluring ‘street walker’. The now sour-faced Zulu resorted to the ANC’s default authoritarian mode, threatening that those who had booed her boss would be ‘dealt with’.
It was left to another member of the ‘Question Time’ debating panel to explain the attraction that Mugabe has for many South Africans. Looking like a plump parody of Che Guevara in a rakish red beret, the ‘black consciousness activist’ Andile Mngxitama promised: ‘We are going to do what Mugabe did’. Strangely enough, this didn’t seem to cheer up the street walker, even though her master had ordered her to support Mugabe.
Ironically, it seems to the Vigil that Mugabe will have performed a great service to South Africa. When, as we expect, the EU’s few remaining targeted sanctions against him are removed in February, he will lose the fig-leaf for his calamitous rule. We will see then how attractive a bankrupt, starving Zimbabwe will be to the South African red berets.
- We were joined by a group from the Swaziland Vigil who had gone to the nearby South African High Commission to pay their respects to Mandela. They were angry that there had been a clamp down at home on any sign of respect for Mandela because of his campaign for democracy (see: http://za.news.yahoo.com/swaziland-mandela-memorial-broken-royal-police-125907007.html – Swaziland: Mandela Memorial Service Broken Up By Royal Police).
- Vigil supporter Wilbert Mukori has written an article on the EU and sanctions which can be seen on our campaigns page: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/553-the-eu-and-sanctions-.
- We note that, although Parliamentarians had been sent home until the end of January because there is no money to pay them, they have been summoned back for the delayed budget on Thursday 19th December. Presumably Finance Minister Chinamasa will announce that the country’s financial problems have been solved by a decision to tax street vendors (see: Informal sector to pay tax –http://www.thezimbabwean.co/news/zimbabwe/69737/informal-sector-to-pay-tax.html). Or he might have good news about the ‘revival’ of Zimbabwe’s industry detailed in the Herald (see: Celebrating local industry – http://www.herald.co.zw/celebrating-local-industry/).
- Thanks to Danai Magidhi, Bridget Zhakata, Rosemary Maponga, Ishmael Makina and Fungayi Mabhunu for coming early to help set up.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.
FOR THE RECORD: 34 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
- Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 28th December from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
- Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 18th January 2014 from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. 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.
- Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2012 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/467-vigil-highlights-2012. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2012 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.
- Facebook pages:
- Zimbabweans United for Democracy (ZUNDE). For more information about this organisation, check: www.zunde.org.
- Useful website: www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.
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.