The new British Africa minister, Harriett Baldwin, will have found her visit to Zimbabwe full of the promise of change – the latest being the decision announced by Air Chief Marshal (rtd) Perence Shiri, now Agriculture Minister, to give 99 year leases to white as well as black farmers.
Ms Baldwin will no doubt have been given a beaming welcome by Lieutenant General (rtd) Sibusiso Moyo, the new Foreign Minister, before her meeting with President Mnangagwa. She will have found a totally new face to Zanu PF, apart from the participation of the military. Gone is the bombastic aggression, replaced by an apparent eagerness to mend fences. ‘Apparent’ because Mnangagwa’s recent comment that Mugabe ‘never made any mistakes’ must cause some doubt.
Comrade Mnangagwa had blindly followed his master for 40 years before the military coup and is now busy reversing all Mugabe’s policies – and yet he maintains Mugabe was always right! It doesn’t make sense.
Perhaps the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) understands it. A passer-by hurled a copy of the Party’s magazine Proletarian on the Vigil front table today. Its front page lead was ‘Tribute to Comrade Robert Mugabe’. The article started: ‘A sad end to an illustrious life in the service of the oppressed masses’ (see: http://www.cpgb-ml.org/index.php?secName=proletarian&subName=display&art=1339). The party is not to be confused with the Communist Party of Great Britain, Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), or Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) – as many factions as the MDC!
Ndebeles might be particularly interested in the article’s comment about Gukurahundi: ‘Nkomo staged a rebellion in Matabeleland, which was rightly crushed by the government. Instead of blaming Mugabe for the resultant bloodshed, as the imperialist media and politicians alike have done, the blame should be firmly placed on the shoulders of those who staged that provocation.’
- Thanks to all those who helped out today: a special thanks to David Makuyana and Casper Nyamakura for their heroic efforts in putting up the tarpaulin at the third cold and wet Vigil in a row. They were helped by Edna Mdoka, Xoliso Sithole, Constance Mbiri, Phillip Mponga, Sharon Moyo and Benjamin Chigamba. Thanks also to Sharon, Edna, Margaret Munenge and Chido Makawa for looking after the front table, to Rosemary Maponga, Racqueline Changunda and Tawanda Chitate for handing out flyers and to Heather Makawa Chitate for taking extra photos.
- Photos of today’s ROHR general members’ meeting can be viewed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157693033155775.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. The facebook page for our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) (https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835) has been hijacked by destructive elements from a group calling itself ZHRO. Please be advised that any postings on this page are not posted by ROHR.
FOR THE RECORD: 31 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
- Roy and Heather Bennett Memorial. Friday 9th February from 9 am to 2 pm. Venue: Harare Showground. The Bennett family has asked that all historical and present democratic players be invited and would want us all to benefit from the sense of unity which Roy’s ideals inspire. Vigil activists will be unable to attend but we ask that you pray for the Bennett family and for the future of democracy in Zimbabwe.
- ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 17th February from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. Contact: Daisy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
- ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 3rd March from 11 am – 1.45 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. Agenda: adoption of the ROHR 2018 programme of action and completion of appointments to the ROHR National Executive Committee.
- The Restoration of Human Rigts 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.
- Mike Campbell Foundation ‘Zimbabwe after Mugabe’. Tuesday 6th March at 6.30 pm for 7 – 9 pm. Venue: the Princess Anne Theatre, 195 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LN. The event is free and tickets will be allocated on a first come first served basis, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded over the past 15 years 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 for £10. All proceeds will 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.
- Zimbabwe Action Forum meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
- Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
- Facebook pages:
- ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/