via Betraying the Future – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 10th May 2014 May 11, 2014
Everyone who wishes Zimbabwe well must be worried at indications that Zanu PF, desperate for money to keep afloat, is preparing to mortgage the country’s natural resources to secure a Chinese takeaway.
We at the Vigil urge the many MDCs to at least unite on this one platform: warn China that when a democratic government comes to power, as it eventually must, any such deal will be repudiated under the internationally recognised principle of odious debt. This basically means that the debt was not incurred to benefit the people but only the regime.
China, which has lent $1.5 billion to Harare over the last three years, is now insisting on serious collateral for loans of the size required to keep Zanu PF in power. There is talk of a financial package of 10 billion dollars – small change for China but big enough for Beijing to demand big concessions in return. This could involve giving China virtually sovereign powers over their operations in Zimbabwe. After all, China will have to invest billions more to exploit the resources because of Zimbabwe’s dilapidated infrastructure.
(To put this into perspective: an American company is trying to buy Britain’s SECOND biggest pharmaceutical company and its current unacceptable offer is more than $100 billion. Mugabe acts as if he is a power in the world; the reality is that he is a mere tick.)
But Zanu PF is desperate for any money they can get hold of. The Vigil believes that little of this will trickle down to the people and we will see, if they get this Chinese bailout, two parallel economies in Zimbabwe: an extractive one entirely run by the Chinese with no interference by the ‘indigenous’ and an ‘indigenous’ one bearing increasing resemblance to that of North Korea, long a model for Mugabe, cowed and brainwashed and desperately poor.
It is to prevent this national betrayal that the Vigil urges resistance to the mortgaging of our resources. After all, there is an alternative: ditch the crazy indigenisation policy, honour agreements, promote the rule of law and end the rhetoric of hate. Transparent foreign investment is the only way the country can be rebuilt. This is the true win-win option.
- The Vigil was amused that Zanu PF thought the bogus tourism ‘award’ would not be exposed. A simple check on the internet showed that the dubious organisation involved had nothing to do with the European Union. We are surprised that Mzembi had the funds to buy them . . . but perhaps he got the money from EU aid. To make up your own mind look at the website of the European Council on Tourism and Trade – http://ectt.webs.com/home.htm.
- We were grateful to Joseph Chivayo for being at the Vigil at the start to help set up in blustery rain. He had got up at 4 am to set off from Derby. He is an inspiration to everyone. Thanks also to others who were there are the start, namely: Helen Rukambiro, Isaac Chatikobo, Mary Muteyerwa, Kelvin Kamupira, Francesca Toft and Elizabeth Mathe, and special thanks to Helen who looked after the front table throughout the Vigil and Isaac who tirelessly climbed up and down to get our tarpaulin 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: 22 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
- Zimbabwe’s International Re-engagement: The Long Haul to Recovery. Wednesday 14th May from 10 – 11 am. Venue: The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, 10 St James’s Square, London SW1Y 4LE. To register interest in the meeting, check: http://www.chathamhouse.org/events/view/199120.
- Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 17th May from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. 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 sign at street level. It’s between a newsagent and Pizza Express. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
- Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 17th May from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
- Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 17th May at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.
- ROHR Slough general meeting. Saturday 17th May 2014 from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: Upton Lea Community Hall, Wexham road, Slough SL2 5JW. For further information please contact Patricia Masamba (Vice Chairperson) 07708116625, Sharon Zimuto (Information and Publicity) 07988165394 and Tichaona Mafokosho (Secretary) 0793969652.
- ROHR Reading Branch outreach and general meeting. Saturday 24th May. Times: outreach 11 am – 2 pm, general meeting 2:30 – 5 pm. Venue: RISC, 35-39 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS. For further enquiries contact: Charles D Ndlovu (Organising Secretary) 07413879590, Mary Eluwasi (Vice Organising Secretary) 07888310582, Nicodimus Muganhu (Chair) 07877386792, Shylette Chipangura (Secretary) 07828929806.
- ‘The Rain that Washes’ national tour: Sat 24, Sun 25 & Mon 26 May – Brighton Fringe Festival, Marlborough Theatre, 4 Princes Street, Brighton BN2 1RD. Booking details can be found at www.chickenshed.org.uk/whatsson.
- Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2013 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/560-vigil-highlights-2013. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2013 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:
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.