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Never trust whites, says Mugabe

Sunday, 29 July 2012 10:29

Cape Town - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has castigated Western
leaders, saying that they could use Zimbabweans to fight against each other
in their endeavour to "exploit" the country, according to a report on

According to the Herald online, Mugabe urged Zimbabweans to be "cautious of
Western leaders who praise them as good leaders while arming them to work
against their people".

"There are some among us who are leaning a lot against the whites. If you
lean on these people and fail to see that you are being used, then you are a
fool," he said in Zimbabwe's Shona language.

Mugabe was speaking a few days after Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai hailed
the European Union's decision to suspend most of the sanctions that were
imposed on Zimbabwe in 2002.

"Some of us have scars inflicted by the colonial settlers during the period
we were fighting against them. But some of us choose to ignore this... They
are called good leaders and are equated to Mandela [Nelson Mandela]. And yet
they are being used to fight against their own," he said.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard early this week equated Tsvangirai
to former South African president Nelson Mandela.

Mugabe also urged Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to return home and benefit
from Zimbabwe’s indigenisation and empowerment programme for the development
of the country.

He said the country’s struggle had moved to the economy since Zimbabweans
took over the land.

"We have the knowledge and we are saying now we can mine our minerals," he

Mugabe and Tsvangirai were forced into a coalition government three years
ago to avoid a tip into fully-fledged conflict following a bloody
presidential run-off election. - News24

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Goche’s Ministry Responsible for Air Zim Woes: Kaseke

Harare, July 29 ,2012-ZimbabweTourism Authority Chief Executive Karikoga
Kaseke says Transport and Communications Ministry is responsible for the
total collapse the National Airliner, Air Zimbabwe which is now grounded.

Nicholas Goche of Zanu (PF) is in charge of the Transport and Communications

“What can we say about problems which our national Airliner is facing? This
is what we see if companies are not being properly managed. Air Zimbabwe
became relaxed, like a kid whose father doers not want him to play with
others, the kid becomes proud of himself. Air Zimbabwe does not want to be
competed against.

“It has been protected by the Ministry of Transport and Communications; even
if they are here they are hearing me saying our Airliner should not have
competitors,” Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Chief Executive Kaseke told
business people witnessing the launch two state of art coaches by a local
transport company Pathfinder in Harare, at the end of the week.

Problems continue at the state-run airline, Air Zimbabwe with reports saying
it is now operating obsolete aircraft equipment which warrants the shutting
down of the airline.

Out of the remaining four airplanes which Air Zimbabwe is left with one is
operational and is currently servicing the Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria
Falls routes while all of the three Chinese-manufactured planes are

Kaseke said it was shocking to note that a national airliner is failing to
fly domestic routes.

“How can a national Airliner flies between the Capital city of the country
and the tourism city of Southern Africa Victoria falls which is in the same
country three times a month? It should be flying three times a day as a
minimum,” Kaseke added.

Workers at the national Airliner said the company is suffering as a result
of undercapitalisation, massive looting and commandeering of planes by

As a result has suffered declining bookings, rolling strikes and staff
exodus. The national airliner owes millions of dollars to its workers in
salary arrears.

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Principals fail to attend prayer meeting

Written by Ivan Zhakata and Kaleen Gombera
Sunday, 29 July 2012 13:54

HARARE - The much-talked about Harare Peace Prayer rally turned into a dumb
squib as Zanu PF, fingered in most reported violent incidences, boycotted
the event despite having confirmed attendance.

Deputy President John Nkomo and other Zanu PF officials who were invited and
had confirmed attendance even as late as yesterday morning never turned up
according to Reverend Watson Furayi.

“Nkomo said he is on his way, while the other officials also confirmed their
attendance just a few hours ago. It is just unfortunate they did not come,”
an exasperated Furayi said.

In his speech, Furayi said Zimbabweans should pray for everything.

“Our country has leaders who believe they are God-ordained so we want to
pray for them so that Zimbabwe will be a country of peace.

“We want to pray for the police, army, the Prime Minister and the President
so that we can have peace in this country, kwete kuti kana tava kuita
maelections vanhu vorovana, vhotai nerunyararo,” said (We do not want people
to fight over elections, vote in peace) Furayi.

On the other hand, the MDC for which Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was
supposed to attend, instead sent Information Communication Technology
minister and party organising secretary Nelson Chamisa.

Chamisa encouraged Zimbabweans to be peaceful particularly during the
much-anticipated watershed elections set to be held next year.

“There is no country which runs without peace and Jesus, even when there is
no electricity we have to pray hard. If we pray for Zimbabwe, we can have
peace and prosperity in the country,” said Chamisa.

He urged the people at the campaign to pray for peace no matter what
situations they are involved in.

Chamisa denounced violence and bloodshed saying differences in opinion
should never translate into enmity.

“Father we pray that there will be no short sleeves and long sleeves in the
country,” said Chamisa in his prayer that drew applause from nearly a
thousand people.

Other MDC officials who were present at the prayer meeting include chief
secretary to the Prime Minister, Ian Makone and Glen View South legislator
Paul Madzore among others.

The peace prayer meeting, hosted by Zimbabwe Pastors’ Fellowship, has seen
prayer meetings held across the country.

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Deadlock over Mugabe successor

Written by Richard Chidza, Staff Writer
Sunday, 29 July 2012 13:34

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe was forced into a nerve-wrecking 15-hour
marathon politburo meeting on Friday as warring Zanu PF factions battling to
replace the 88-year-old leader fiercely quarrelled over the octogenarian
leader’s successor.

Mugabe, who has held on to power since the country attained independence and
has in the past few years battled ill-health and advanced age, has failed
to appoint a successor and reportedly wants to die in office.

So sticky is the succession issue in Zanu PF that the special politburo
meeting on Friday spent time discussing the issue of running mates as the
dog-eat-dog fight to replace Mugabe turned fierce.

A close in the new draft constitution stipulates that every presidential
candidate would be required to nominate two persons to stand for election
jointly with him or her as vice presidents — running mates — and must
designate one of them as his or her candidate for first vice president and
the other as the second vice president.

This is the clause that torched a storm in Friday’s meeting and reports
indicate that Mugabe was cornered to an extent that he promised to discuss
the issue with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai at their meeting tomorrow.

The Daily News on Sunday has been told that the meeting was so fierce that
at one point Mugabe almost lost control amid reports that Zanu PF
heavyweights are against the idea of having the veteran leader appoint a
successor through the running mate clause in the new constitution.

Already Zanu PF is divided into five factions, one led by Mugabe himself and
the others by Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, Vice President Joice
Mujuru, the military side and a group of young politicians calling
themselves Generation 40. Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo confirmed the
stormy meeting but refused to talk about the succession issue:

“We had a long discussion on the constitution that ended around 1:30am this
morning (yesterday). It was a robust debate, very candid; we have set up a
committee headed by our negotiators that is looking at issues raised by

“The party has not taken a position on the draft constitution but should be
able to communicate a position by Wednesday next week,” Gumbo said.

However, highly-placed insiders told the Daily News on Sunday the situation
was more than candid.

“It was hot, rather boiling and at times inconsiderate to ageing members
like the President but it had to be done although really nothing came out of
it. The sticky issue of running mates took most of the time.
“The clause runs against Zanu PF’s constitution because congress decides on
who leads the party while according to this new constitution, Mugabe has the
chance to decide on who should succeed him,” said the insider.

He said an air of uncertainty now pervades leading factions in the former
ruling party including Mujuru, who benefited from Mugabe’s move to disband
District Coordinating Committees (DCCs) after being trounced by Mnangagwa.

“It is a pear-shaped situation in which nobody knows who will benefit from a
Mugabe nomination of running mates so those who thought they had grassroots
in the bag (Mnangagwa) are now demanding that congress should be allowed to
choose the running mate."

“Mnangagwa feels his chances are safer that way, while Mujuru seems to have
little trust that Mugabe will nominate her. Mugabe is a wily old fox who
could spring a surprise,” the source said.

Zanu PF disbanded the DCCs to stop Mnangagwa’s influence as the succession
battle rages on.

The disbandment of DCCs has met with dogged resistance particularly from
Midlands Province where Mnangagwa comes from.

Mnangagwa, a close ally of the 88-year-old leader, has been tipped as Mugabe’s
heir apparent but the “running mates” clause in the constitution might put
him at a disadvantage because of his position in the party.

The matter was put on hold as the “running mates” clause in the new draft
constitution took centre stage.
The meeting ran into the early hours of yesterday as factions jostled to
impose their authority on the contents of the draft constitution.

But Gumbo tried to circumvent the issue when asked and could neither deny
nor confirm if Mugabe would discuss the issue with Tsvangirai.

“No, those are some people who want to complicate matters. I cannot disclose
the finer details of our discussions. Suffice to say our discussions were
amicable, there was nothing untoward. If anyone gives information saying
Zanu PF has taken a position they are taking you up the garden path,” Gumbo

Mugabe’s leadership succession battle has now become one of the biggest
political questions in Zimbabwe, intertwined as it is with the fate of Zanu
PF and the nation.

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Lodgers vote in the sewer

Written by Staff Writer
Sunday, 29 July 2012 13:47

HARARE - Police last week arrested our correspondent Thomas Madhuku for
investigating anomalies appearing on the voters’ roll.

The Registrar-General’s office, after receiving queries from Madhuku,
invited him to their offices only to detain him before calling the police.

Madhuku, who was detained at Harare Central Police Station on Monday was
freed on $50 bail on Thursday.

As part of efforts by the Daily News on Sunday to scrutinise the voters’
roll and the voter registration process, our other correspondent, Jeffrey
Muvundusi in Bulawayo shares a story of how a section of the population
risks losing out in the next election.

They are some of the most abused people in the urban set up.

Yet having their voices heard is proving a far cry.

Suffering some of the worst abuses-from difficult landlords and
non-delivering councils that have made water shortages and free flowing
sewer a part of nearly every resident’s daily part of life, lodgers are at
the receiving end of the stick.

With elections nearing and desperate to have their voices heard, lodgers,
despite making the biggest urban population are likely to come out
muted-thanks to a government that cares little about people who do not own

In Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo, they are finding it hard to
register as voters. Some are even unaware voter registration is underway.

A date for elections is yet to be set but it is almost certain they will
happen by the end of next June and with the Supreme Court insisting on
President Robert Mugabe gazetting election dates for vacant parliamentary
constituencies by the end of August, a mini general election can be held any
time soon.

The Daily News on Sunday visited voter registration offices in Bulawayo and
discovered that registration is going on amid a sluggish response from

The Registrar-General’s offices visited by this paper were recording at
least 10 people per day, according to officials manning the offices.

However, some of the first time voters were turned away for failing to meet
the requirements.

The few voters going for registration do so through mobilisation by either
civil society groups or political parties.

Residents gave different accounts concerning their response to the on-going
voter registration exercise.

“There is lack of prioritisation of voters by the Registrar General’s office
in Bulawayo where voters are made to stand in long, winding queues together
with those who want to apply for national identity cards,” said Makokoba
resident Makhosi Nyoni.

“That alone is a major setback as some give up because the whole set up is
tedious and time-consuming.”

Mandla Mguni of Emganwini suburb said: “I am a lodger in Emganwini but the
problem is my wife and I have since failed to register because clerks
demanded that I should bring my landlord’s Identity Card."

“My landlord is based outside the country and I do not have a proof of
residence and his ID.”

Bulawayo has 12 constituencies. Lodgers in the city face problems when it
comes to proof of residence as some have lease agreements obliging rates to
be settled through estate agents.

Due to the apparent tedious process to get the much needed documentary
proof, many potential voters have either abandoned the idea of registering
or are simply ignoring the exercise.

Registration points in Bulawayo include Pumula, Emakhandeni, Nketa, Mpilo,
UBH, Drill Hall and Tredgold building which houses the Magistrates Court.

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Coventry reaches women’s 100m backstroke semis
2008 silver medalist finished 4th in her heat and will now fight for a spot in the finals 2008 silver medalist finished 4th in her heat and will now fight for a spot in the finals

Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry has progressed into tonight’s semi- finals of the 100m backstroke at the Aquatics Centre of the London 2012 Olympics.

The 2008 silver medalist finished fourth in her heat and will now fight for a spot in the finals against the world’s best.

Around 10,500 athletes from 204 nations are participating in the London 2012 Olympics over the coming weeks and none are probably more important to their country than Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe.

The swimmer competed in all three Olympics of the previous decade, winning a gold, a silver and a bronze in Athens and three silvers and a gold in Beijing four years later.

Now at 28 she enters her fourth Olympics in London as Zimbabwe’s second-ever Olympic medallist since the country was recognised as an independent state in 1980, three years before Kirsty’s birth.

In one of the world’s most divided nations, Kirsty’s success and demeanour have shone like a beacon of pride for all Zimbabweans, regardless of colour, social-standing or political affiliation. President Robert Mugabe has christened her the nation’s “Golden Girl” post her 2008 success. She’s also white. It’s complicated.

Sport can be dangerous in Zimbabwe whatever your background. Henry Olonga and Andy Flower were black and white respectively, but were effectively exiled in the wake of their protest against Mugabe’s rule in 2003. White cricket captain Heath Streak’s father’s farm was seized for redistribution as part of the forceful repossession of land by Mugabe’s government.

Mugabe will associate himself with successful sports people, while punishing any sports star that voices opposition to his reign.

Outside of sport, things have quietened down since the near-civil war between Mugabe’s Zanu PF and current Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC in 2008. The country has experienced over 90 per cent unemployment in the past few years and hyperinflation has seen the introduction of such extreme measures as the Zimbabwean trillion dollar bill.

In short, things have been very difficult but in Coventry they have possibly the only unifying force in the country.
On a pedestal

When I speak to Kirsty she is in peppy form, bright and engaging, I immediately ask her a downer question – it must be a lot of pressure being seen in that way and being put on a pedestal?

“Yeah I think being somewhat removed from it on a daily basis,” she answers before pausing to consider her next word as she is careful about this sensitive subject, “I’m maybe put on a pedestal and lot of people look up to me, but that’s what’s driving me and encouraging me.

“So I’ve been very lucky with the community in Zimbabwe being behind me and backing me up, it’s such an honour...such a great honour,” she says.

“I’m very proud to be Zimbabwean and to represent Zimbabwe. I’ve always tried not to read too much or involve too much politics in my’s not ignorance, I mean I know exactly what’s going on...” she says saliently, before offering a nearby and immediate vision for what sport can do in Zimbabwe.

“You know if you look at other countries like South Africa and what a rugby game can do to unify a country and that’s how I kind of want to look at and approach my sport in swimming,” referring to the 1995 World Cup win for Zimbabwe’s neighbours that healed some rifts leftover by apartheid a few years previously.

It’s a positive, yet non-confrontational approach that Kirsty evidentially wants to adopt, you mention her words after the 2008 World Short Course Championship, the closest she came to making a political statement in the past: “I know that's part of why I'm doing what I do. I hope it makes a difference and gives people back home hope that things will change for the better. People have to remain positive and believe in those dreams. It's really important."

Her tone turns from peppy to serious for a moment when you repeat these words to her, it’s clear that this is an important point. “It is really important. You have to believe in yourself and each other."

London 2012

It was at the Olympics in 2004 that Kirsty first broke onto the scene, winning three medals (a bronze in the 200m Individual Medley, a silver in the 100metres backstroke and a gold in the 200metres backstroke. Beijing brought more medals but it sounds like she is taking London 2012 in her stride.

“I’m going to be swimming three events, the 100metre backstroke, the 200m backstroke and the 200m Individual medley, I decided to drop the 400m after dislocating my knee and getting pneumonia a couple of months ago.

“I’m looking to go to London to have fun and enjoy it and I’m confident with my training and where I am and my experience. This being my fourth Olympics...I’d love to get on the podium, I know it’s going to be a lot harder than in previous years, but I’m up for that challenge.”

The future

Regardless of the outcome at these Olympics she’s taking some time off to relax before embarking on another chapter of her life. After a safari holiday at home, politics looms for Kirsty. Having worked with Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s charitable foundation Lapdesk, Kirsty hopes to become one of four new athlete representatives on International Olympics Committee.

“Yeah, you know I’d love to be involved with the IOC in the future in any way I can. I’d love to do that and regardless of when I retire I would love to stay involved in my sport and sports in general especially having seen the impact that I’ve been able to make at home and I’d love to carry that on.

“I’d love to keep that part of my life and bridge that gap between business and sports and seeing it grow because as I said sport is wonderful way to bring people together. “

Whether in the pool or in Parliament, Zimbabwe needs her. Mugabe may only be right about one thing the past few years. She is the country’s Golden Girl.

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A warm welcome for Mugabe’s cronies – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 28th July 2012

Londoners welcomed Olympic visitors from all over the world. And being in the centre of the capital we at the Vigil saw people from many different nationalities as they passed on their way to see the end of the cycling road race in The Mall, less than a mile from us. Many expressed interest in our cause and signed our petitions.

The Vigil promises an even warmer welcome for the Zanu PF people delisted from targeted sanctions under the EU’s promise to suspend some of the measures if the constitution referendum is held satisfactorily. (Even if it is rejected?) As we expected, Zanu PF has spat on the EU’s offer. Their spokesman Rugare Gumbo said: ‘It’s all nonsense . . . their decision on sanctions makes no difference’ (see: Lifting of Zim Sanctions and the Shape of Politics to Come). So much for the damage caused by sanctions!

The UK government may think these rogues are acceptable but we don’t and will try to give them a suitable reception if they come here, as we have done recently for President Sata of Zambia and King Mswati III of Swaziland. We will follow them wherever they go, broadcasting their crimes. Indeed, we are exploring ways of getting them arrested on human rights charges. THE VIGIL WILL BE GRATEFUL TO BE INFORMED OF ANY FORTHCOMING VISITS BY THESE NEW FRIENDS OF THE EU.

As far as the proposed new constitution goes, we’ve received the following email from Vigil supporter Wilbert Mukori asking our position on this: ‘ Zimvigil is an important opinion maker and many people will be looking to it to help them decide what to make of the new constitution. In my view this new constitution is not going to do anything to stop the scourge of political violence that has become an integral part of Zimbabwe political life. Zanu PF forced through all the key changes they wanted. MDC desperately need to see this constitution approved not because they think it has any good things but they need something to show for their four years in this GNU. It would be folly to vote for this constitution just to save Tsvangirai from the blushes for his blundering failures. What is Zimvigil's position as regards the new constitution?’

Here is the reply we sent him: “In our weekly diary, the Vigil has always described the Constitutional Outreach Programme as the Constitutional Outrage Programme, reflecting our view that it has been a time-wasting, self-enrichment fraud by politicians and their lackeys, including some elements in the NGOs. The 3.5 year programme could have been concluded in 3.5 months so that more attention could have been given to the real business: a cleaned-up electoral roll and reformed electoral processes. A check of our supporters could not come up with anyone who had yet read the 168 page constitution – still, no doubt, to be revised – but we have followed the debate about it. The constitution will no doubt be dumped after the elections and to us it is only as good as the will to respect it. We have no confidence that Zanu PF will do anything but subvert the law for its own purposes as it always has done. One sure way to get rich in Zimbabwe – apart from being a politician – is to bet that the election will be stolen.”

An impassioned response to the draft constitution has come from the dispossessed farmer Ben Freeth in an open letter to the parliamentarians Senator David Coltart and Eddie Cross MP. He says the constitution legitimizes land seizures and racial discrimination. Senator Coltart replied that he does not like many aspects of the draft constitution but it is the best the MDC can get (see: for this correspondence). The Zimbabwean economist Dale Dore challenges this argument head on and said Zimbabweans must not be blackmailed into accepting the unacceptable (see: What is David Coltart saying? –

For her part, Cathy Buckle in her latest letter from Zimbabwe, warns that the proposed constitution could lead to a new land grab as it legitimizes those in possession when the constitution comes in to force (see: Cathy Buckle’s Letter from Zimbabwe: Another land grab inevitable –

Other points

The Vigil continued to grieve for our departed friend Bernard Hukwa. People were invited to write their thoughts in a remembrance book for him. Some of the comments were:

- Bernard, you suffered silently. Sorry I wasn’t there when you needed someone for support. Rest in peace. – Mai Zhuga (Josephine)

- It is so sad to hear about your passing. We will miss you. – Hilda Gwesele and Esi Mbaluka from Coventry

- MDC UK, The Vigil and the Zimbabwean diaspora are not going to be the same without you. So sad you went without saying goodbye. You will be greatly missed. RIP. – Kelvin Kamipura and Fran Toft

- Bernard we will always cherish and love you. It’s all because of Mugabe. Rest in peace. – Ellen Gonyoa

- Bernard may your soul rest in in peace. We really miss you at the Vigil. – Mary Muteyerwa

- A great friend, you were an army commander against the regime. – Martin Chinyanga

- Rest in peace brother. You will be greatly missed. – T Mahachi

- Bernard you have left us speechless. Anywhere rest in peace – you will reach home. – Peter Lakatika

- Lala kuhle qhawe. – Nokutula Bhebhe

A collection was started for his family to which people contributed very generously. We will continue the collection next week. Supporters want to hold a memorial service for him but it was agreed that we should await the Coroner’s Inquest before organizing this. We received an email advising us that memorial services were being held for him at two day care centres in Southwark where he volunteered. It said ‘So many people miss him and talk about him being gentle and kind.’

A new ruling by the UK Supreme Court appears to offer new hope to Zimbabwean asylum seekers. The ruling suggests that any Zimbabwean who has been in the UK for some time and who has claimed asylum should succeed because they will find it very hard to demonstrate that they are loyal to the Mugabe regime if they are returned home (for an analysis of the ruling, see: Supreme Court makes key Zimbabwe asylum ruling).

We were pleased to hear from Vigil management team member Moses Kandiyawo about his marriage to Nancy Makawa. Nancy was recently in detention and Moses fought very hard to get her out.

We were joined by several Sudanese activists campaigning against the Khartoum government. They are studying how the Vigil works with the intention of having their own regular vigils outside the Sudanese Embassy.

For latest Vigil pictures check: 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: 53 signed the register.


Relaunch of ROHR Nottingham Branch: Saturday 4th August from 3 pm. A fundraising do will follow till late. Venue: St Saviour's Church, 6 Waldron Close, Nottingham NG2 2JU. Zimbabwe traditional food, music and dance. Contact: Chamu 07832 927 609, Nobuqe 07766 927 229, For flyer with more information, check:

Olympics Here; Oppression There features Zimbabwe musicians and writers and is hosted by Vigil supporters Hasani Hasani and Handsen Chikowore. Monday 6th August at 7.30 pm. Venue: Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX. For more information, check:

Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 11th August 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.

ROHR North East Fundraising Event. Saturday 18th August from 2 – 7 pm. Venue: Longbenton Methodist Church Hall, Chesters Avenue, Longbenton, Newcastle upon Tyne NE12 8QP. Directions: from Four Lane Ends Metro Station, start out on Benton Road. At roundabout take the first exit onto West Farm Avenue. Turn left onto Chesters Avenue. For more information contact Tapiwa Merrymore Semwayo on 07412236229, Catherine Tshezi on 07428189705 and Susan Ndhlovu on 07767024586.

Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 1st September 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. Future special ZAF meetings: Saturday 13th October when we mark the 10th anniversary of the Vigil and Saturday 10th November when our special guest will be Ben Freeth. These two meetings will take the place of the regular ZAF meetings in October and November. Both events at 6.30 pm at Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see entry above.

The Rain that Washes showing at The Lounge, Leicester Square Theatre, from Monday 17th September – Saturday 6th October at 7 pm. Check: or phone the booking line: 08448733433 for specific dates and to book tickets. ‘Instantly plunged into a young man’s compelling story of growing up in turbulent Zimbabwe, we live and breathe his extraordinary journey from innocence to escape, finally returning to his homeland to witness the greatest betrayal of all . . . Inspired by a series of interviews between Zimbabwean Christopher Maphosa and writer Dave Carey, The Rain That Washes is a true story that is poignant, political and, most of all, personal’.

Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2011 can be viewed on this link: Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2011 Highlights page.

The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is 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.

The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: and to watch the video check: To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: and

Vigil Facebook page:

Vigil Myspace page:

Useful websites: which reports on Zanu PF abuses and where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.

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.

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Zimbabwe: The crooked timber of humanity

Vince Musewe
29 July 2012

Vince Musewe on imagining the country's probable future

No country can ever progress significantly without some consensus and
collective momentum towards ideas about its future

Nandan Nilekani, the author of the book: "Imagining India: The Idea of a
Renewed Nation" left some fascinating ideas in my mind with regard to my
country Zimbabwe, and where it is going. In his video about the book, he
speaks about ideas that have arrived, ideas in contest and ideas in
anticipation. I have found it a very valuable way of imagining Zimbabwe's
probable future.

In case of Zimbabwe, despite all the intellectual capital we have, I do not
think that we have created a broad church of consensus about the future. I
noticed with interest, for example, that they were two mining conferences
going on in the same week, several investment conferences and many more on
this sector and that sector. We seem to talk a lot here in Harare! What is
further disturbing is that, each group, gathering or conference has its own
agendas and ideas about the future. This has resulted in disjointed efforts
towards creating a progressive business and socio-political environment.
Added to this, are the political parties who seem not only to have different
ideas about the future, but unnecessarily slug it out daily in public arena
creating an environment of confusion and paralysis.

If we begin to talk about ideas that have arrived, it is clear that everyone
now accepts that we must have a new constitution, that local Zimbabweans
must now play a more meaningful ownership role in shaping their own future.
Thank goodness the era of dictatorship by politicians is fast coming to an
end. The idea of a new democracy underpinned by the right of every
Zimbabweans to pursue their ambitions has now arrived.

Ideas in contest, include the extent of the deepening of a new emerging
democracy in Zimbabwe, and the role of a powerless ZANU(PF). Will it play a
constructive or destructive role in a new dispensation? Zimbabweans have
really never tasted a participative democracy and, although this is an idea
whose time has arrived, one can contest the likely nature and extent of an
open society that we seek to create. In other words, each one of us has
their own ideas about what democracy really means and it will take some
doing to attain a national consensus on what it really means despite us
having a new constitution.

Another fundamental idea in contest is, of course, on the economic front
with regard to the nature, extent and flexibility of indigenising the
country. There is a false belief within ZANU(PF) that indigenisation will
save its political fortunes. I however differ, and compare them to an
abusive husband, who continually brings home a bunch of roses after each
episode of abuse.

This time, the bunch of roses being indigenization. Zimbabweans have just
had enough; too many promises have been cleverly framed as the evil works of
imperialism while the visible avarice and selfishness of our politicians
have created wide chasm between the ordinary folk and the politicians. In my
opinion, indigenization will not turn the tide of discontent of the masses.

Another idea in contest is that of the status and role of Zimbabweans in the
Diaspora. Zimbabwe, is the only country that I know of that has not
capitalised of its citizens that are outside the country. This can be such a
competitive advantage to the country in the future. What a pity because in
those Zimbabwean brains all over the world, lies hidden so much potential
that can advance this country in a very short period of time.

Then there is what Nandan Nilekani calls "ideas in anticipation". These are
ideas that will shape the future that we must anticipate now. In the case of
Zimbabwe, the major idea in anticipation is the acceleration of economic
development through the use of new technologies and the attraction of
foreign investment.

Zimbabwe has fallen behind significantly in all areas and it will be
critical that we use new technology to take the leap into the future.
Zimbabwe has some compelling ideas in anticipation on energy, on information
and communications technology, agriculture and mining but the fundamental
problem is that, there is no national vision on what must happen, how it
must happen, when and where it must happen.

I have sadly noted that, the ideas about the future that we currently have,
have been boxed into either "the MDC strategy" and the "ZANU(PF) strategy".
We therefore do not have "the Zimbabwe strategy" about the future.. We are
not thinking as a nation but are busy scheming and protecting our political
or economic turf.

Ideas in anticipation can only become reality when there is no disconnect
between the politicians who must set the vision for the country, business
people who must invest and labour who must work to create the future."Out of
the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made" as stated by
Immanuel Kant the German philosopher, aptly describes our situation.

In my opinion, no country can ever progress significantly without some
consensus and collective momentum towards ideas about its future. We are
caught a spider's web of our own making and what we need is to begin to
build a national consensus on what Zimbabwe will look like in the future. If
we fail to do that now, we will manage this country through crisis, as has
been the case in the last ten years or so. We all know what the results will
be: confusion, chaos, corruption, greed, poverty and regression.

Vince Musewe is an independent economist currently in Harare. You may
contact him on

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