Source: China buys more of Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 25th December 2021
It has been a happy Christmas for China which has acquired one of Zimbabwe’s main assets – a lithium mine – as it continues its worldwide search for precious metals.
Lithium is a key element in the production of rechargeable batteries to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles. The Chinese company Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt is apparently paying US$422 million for the Arcadia Mine. For the ordinary people of Zimbabwe there will be little benefit from the deal, except the prospect of providing slave labour for unpopular Chinese employers (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/12/chinas-huayou-buys-lithium-mine-in-zimbabwe-for-422-mln/).
It has, by all accounts, been a gloomy Christmas for Zimbabweans with sharply rising prices and a weakening currency. Spokesperson for the National Consumer Rights Association Effie Ncube said this had dampened the festive mood (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/12/gloomy-xmas-rising-prices-costs-dampen-spirits/),
People found it impossible to get cash from banks and bureaux de change. Many queued for days. NewZimbabwe quoted a man as saying men and women with babies had been sleeping in queues without any ablution facilities. ‘They have turned the parkade into their toilet and the car park is filled with a stench of human excreta.’ He added: ‘We see some weird smart dressed people who walk in and leave with money with no hustle at all, yet we are dirty and tattered by spending days in queues.’ (See: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/bleak-christmas-as-zimbos-spend-days-in-cash-queues/.)
In another development, the former Zanu PF MP for Mutasa South Irene Zindi spoke of corruption in the party’s provincial elections. Newsday said the allegation was confirmed by Politburo member Engelbert Rugeje who was quoted as saying: ‘The issue of rigging and intimidation is not only in Manicaland but it is serious in other areas’. (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/12/ex-zanu-pf-mp-fumes-over-vote-rigging/.)
- Four United Nations special rapporteurs have criticised the Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Amendment Bill. They said it flew in the face of international conventions on huma rights. ‘All of these provisions raise serious concerns about the ability of PVOs to function truly independently, free from State interference.’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/12/un-condemns-anti-ngo-bill/.)
- Vigil activists wish the people of Zimbabwe a happier new year. We will continue campaigning for you.
- Because of concerns about the new Omicron Covid variant, the Vigil Co-ordinators have decided to suspend the physical meetings at the Embassy until after Christmas. We will review the situation in the new year. In the meantime we will continue to run the Virtual Vigil as we did during lockdown. The Virtual Vigil shows the powers-that-be that we are still campaigning against their iniquitous behaviour and enables our activists to continue our protest and allows us to support them individually. To participate in the Virtual Vigil, activists who wish to participate virtually should pose in their Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia with a relevant poster and take a photo / selfie during normal Vigil hours (Saturdays between 2 and 5 pm). The photos will be labelled with your name and uploaded onto the Vigil website, the Vigil’s Flickr photo page and Facebook. You will also be listed on the Vigil diary as having participated in that day’s virtual Vigil. There will be a small charge to cover admin costs, the ongoing upkeep of the Vigil and our support for the human rights work of ROHR, our sister organisation in Zimbabwe.
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We all know where all that money is heading. Maybe the poor miners will be given a crust of bread. There again, maybe not.
We all know where that money is heading. Maybe the poor miners will be given a crust of bread. There again, maybe not.