A number of reports this week exposed the worsening situation in Zimbabwe, facing hunger and malnutrition, continued abuse of human rights and a contracting economy.
On Wednesday the World Food Programme marked World Food Day with a report that 63% of Zimbabweans lived below the poverty datum line and 27% of children have stunted growth. It said up to 5.5 million people will be food insecure by January.
For its part, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, in its annual report this week, calls for an inclusive and comprehensive national dialogue to create a culture of respect for human rights and urges greater compliance with the constitution, genuine reform of repressive laws and the reform of the security sector as well as fair and impartial application of the law.
The need for reform was underlined by the murder this week of a Harare vendor while in police custody. 29 year-old Hilton Tafadzwa Tamangani died in agony after being savagely beaten with batons.
Meanwhile the International Monetary Fund has widened its estimated contraction of Zimbabwe’s economy this year to 7.2%, with endless price hikes pushing the economy into hyper-inflation.
Soaring prices have prompted Zimbabwe’s public sector unions to warn that people were simply unable to afford to go to work. The unions are demanding that government employees should be paid US dollar-indexed salaries. They want the lowest paid workers, who get Zim $1,023 (US$67) a month, to receive the equivalent of US $475.
The co-chair of the Apex Council, which groups 14 public sector unions, Thomas Muzondo, said ‘Here is a situation where one has no capacity to go to work. The person wants to go to work but has no capacity to go to work. It is a different scenario to a stayaway.’
Workers may not have the fares to get to work or food for breakfast but President Mnangagwa was able to hire a private jet from Dubai to pick him up from Harare and take him on a 35-minute flight to Bulawayo at US$30,000 per hour.
‘Once again we get a whole luxury aircraft hired from Dubai to fly Mr Mnangagwa from Harare to Bulawayo when doctors can’t even afford to catch a taxi to work,’ MDC treasurer David Coltart said. ‘The callousness and insensitivity of this regime to the appalling suffering of people is now simply disgusting.’
- Next week the Vigil will stage a demonstration in protest at the murder of the Harare vendor while in police custody (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/police-brutality-victim-dies-in-custody/).
- The streets of central London were thronging with opponents of the government decision to withdraw from the European Union. A number of people stopped by to express their support for the Vigil.
- Thanks to those who helped set up the front table and put up the banners today: Miriam Gasho, Jonathan Kariwo, Alice Majola, Rosemary Maponga, Patricia Masamba, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Lucia Mudzimu, Mary Muteyerwa, Hazvinei Saili, Rudo Takiya and Kevin Wheeldon. Thanks to Rosemary and Alice for looking after the front table, to Lucia, Miriam, Bianca Mpawaenda and Patience Chimba for handing out flyers, to Mary for drumming and prayer and to Patricia, Hazvinei 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: 21 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
- ROHR fundraising dinner dance. Saturday 2nd November from 6 pm till late. Venue tba. ROHR is hosting a dinner dance to raise funds for a Zimbabwe peace building initiative. Tickets £25. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Hazvinei Saili 07857602830, Margaret Munenge 07384300283, Pamela Chirimuta 07762737339.
- 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.
- Facebook pages: