At a time when there is a shortage of virtually everything except poverty and corruption, the tale of the one-day bush bakery in an open maize field seems to sum up what is wrong in Zimbabwe.
Newsday tells the story: ‘A rudimentary bread oven that was officially opened by two ministers in Makonde amid pomp and fanfare has been closed barely 24 hours after it became operational.’
A local villager said they were not aware the project until the ministers arrived to commission the oven, which uses firewood and could produce 500 loaves a day.
‘The moment the ministers went away everything came to a halt’, he said. Not surprising as the 50 kgs of flour delivered on the day had been exhausted.
The usual Herald report hailing a pioneering government project to relieve rural poverty failed to materialize, probably because one of the ministers, Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Minister Priscah Mupfumira, was arrested on her return to Harare under new powers given to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission over an alleged $95 million corruption scandal.
Mupfumira was previously Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister in charge of the national social security authority, which looks after the tempting billion-dollar state pension fund and was the subject of a critical audit report still to be published by the government.
MDC leader Nelson Chamisa says corruption has become ‘a national anthem’ and life has become unbearable with ‘no fuel, no power, no money, no passports, no jobs and no food’.
He called for seven days of national prayer, fasting and intercession by Zimbabweans inside and outside the country beginning on Monday, ahead of what he said would be decisive steps by the party to rescue the country.
- Activists from the Vigil and our sister organization Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) walked 15 miles from Redbridge in Essex to the Zimbabwe Embassy today to raise funds for our work in Zimbabwe. Thanks to our valiant walkers: Shylette Chipangura, Daizy Fabian, Beaulah Gore, Deborah Harry, Simbarashe Jingo, Josephine Jombe, Tatenda Mandiki, Charles Mararirakwenda, Patricia Masamba, Cephas Maswoswa, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Bianca Mpawaenda, Margaret Munenge, Esther Munyira, Fungisai Mupandira, Molly Ngavaimbe, Hazvinei Saili, Ephraim Tapa and BensonTsikwa. A special thank you to Esther who organised the event and to Mary Muteyerwa who prepared snacks for the walkers and to Jonathan Kariwo who took the exhausted walkers to a well-deserved meal at Nandos after the Vigil
- The charity ZANE (Zimbabwe a National Emergency) is organising a much longer fundraising walk from Canterbury to Oxford from 28th August to 11th September. Money raised will help the poor and elderly left destitute by the crisis in Zimbabwe. If you would like to take part or contribute in some way see their website: www.zane.uk.com.
- Thanks to those who helped set up the front table today and put up the banners: Marvellous Chinguwa, Isabell Gwatidzo, Jane Kaphuwa, Jonathan Kariwo, Philip Maponga, Gloria Mudzimu, Mary Muteyerwa, Tsitsi Nyirongo and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Isabell and Tsitsi for looking after the front table, to Gloria and Marvellous for handing out flyers, to Mary and Hazvinei for drumming and to Patricia, Tatenda, Hazvinei, Daizy, Isabell and Jonathan for photos.
- For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.
FOR THE RECORD: 27 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
- ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 10th August from 11.30 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090, Patricia Masamba 07708116625.
- ROHR Beach Barbecue. Sunday 25th August. Venue: Frinton-on-Sea, Essex CO13 9DN. Tickets: adults £20, Kids £10. Contact: Patricia Masamba 07708116625, Heather Makawa 07716391800, Esther Munyira 07492058109 and Daizy Fabian 07708653640.
- 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 us.
- The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe’s work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
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