The promises of liberation have not been met and polls show persistent discontent with the Mnangagwa government.
The Secretary-General of the Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers’ Union, Justice Chinhema, said white capitalists have been replaced by black ones and China has become the new coloniser. In a statement to mark Heroes Day, he said the country’s national heroes had fought for nothing; mining communities throughout the country were struggling while mineral resources were being looted.
‘A mine worker today is faced with a plethora of challenges. These challenges range from the pandemic of COVID-19 which has ravaged the globe, poor working conditions, poor remuneration and general poor welfare in our mines,’ Chinhema said.
‘Today a mine worker is faced with another existential threat of a new coloniser in the form of Chinese miners in the name of investors supported by corrupt indigenous people in our space.’
‘Investment must bring personal improvement, community and national development. However, that is not the case with the Chinese as well as black capitalists who are corrupt to the core. Looters and criminals are enslaving us and today we are worse off. We need each other to overcome the challenges that we face as mine workers. This is a time we must speak with one voice as a sector and backbone of our economy. The middle income country by 2030 will not be successful if workers are not united towards our own liberation from the slave wages that we are earning today,’ read the ZDAMWU statement (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/08/china-is-our-new-coloniser-zdamwu/).
The president of the pro-democracy movement Transform Zimbabwe, Jacob Ngarivhume, says he will demonstrate on Monday outside the Constitutional Court. ‘I will be starting a series of protests for political and electoral reforms, and against flagrant corruption by Mnangagwa’ he said.
‘We need to let the government know that we have had enough of their rubbish, POLAD, Drax, gold smuggling, election rigging, all of it. Fellow Zimbabweans for how long are we going to suffer? Mnangagwa and his family have amassed great wealth but they are not satisfied, they want to drain this country until there is nothing left.’ (See: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/fresh-anti-gvt-protests-loom/.)
To add to Zimbabwe’s problems, the British newspaper the Guardian says the recent surge in Covid fatalities nationwide in Zimbabwe has ‘overwhelmed undertakers resulting in delayed burials’. The Cape Town based News 24 adds that vaccination sites across Zimbabwe are struggling to meet demand.
According to the latest tracking by Oxford University only about 13% of Zimbabwe’s population have received one vaccine, with less that 7% fully vaccinated (see: https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/world-news/953776/zimbabwe-covid-cases-surge-hospitals-are-full).
We remember reporting a few months ago that the Zimbabwean government had spurned an offer of free Johnson and Johnson vaccines. Perhaps they thought the British Prime Minister owned the company? Instead Zimbabwe has been relying on Chinese vaccines which have been shown to be less effective than Western ones.
- Following the recent unrest in South Africa there has been a resurgence of xenophobia there. A target is the newly elected executive mayor of Johannesburg, Jolidee Matongo, son of a Zimbabwean immigrant and a South African woman. One critic, Advocate Ike Khumalo, already facing charges of inciting public violence, said foreigners must go back and build their own countries (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/fears-of-xenophobic-attacks-mount-south-africans-launch-campaign-to-depose-zim-joburg-mayoro/).
- Ten people gathered for our second Vigil outside the Embassy since the Covid-19 restrictions on public gatherings were lifted. They were welcomed by the sight of the annual naked cyclists ride through central London. For the moment we are meeting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy every other week and our next gathering will be on 28th August 2021. On the other Saturdays we will continue with the virtual Vigil. Thanks to those who came: Babula Gwatringa, Dennis Benton, Ephraim Tapa, Jane Kaphuwa, Jonathan Kariwo, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Kevin Wheeldon, Philip Maponga, Rose Benton and Rosemary Maponga.
- It is with sadness we report the passing away of Tendai Chigariro. Our condolences go to her family and friends. She was a Vigil and ROHR activist and also active with MDC Youth in the UK.
- For all Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.
- The next Vigil. Saturday 28th August from 2 – 5 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London.
- 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 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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