This week’s diary and pictures. There were so many people outside the Embassy yesterday.
So many people attended the Vigil that we can only guess at the numbers. Certainly many hundreds, perhaps as many as a thousand – very happy and full of optimism.
It was by far the biggest Vigil in our 15 years with people jammed into the piazza outside the Embassy and spilling over into neighbouring streets. Thanks to the police for their tolerance.
For the past few days the Vigil has been fielding many calls from the media for interviews. Thanks to Ephraim Tapa, Fungayi Mabhunu, Daizy Fabian and Salani (Sally) Mutseyami among others. They explained the Vigil’s policy: ‘At the moment the coup in Zimbabwe is a dispute within the ruling Zanu PF. But it is clear that it is in support of ousted Vice-president Mnangagwa. He is known to have the support of the UK and US and maybe also China and South Africa. He apparently has plans to form a transitional authority including MDC leader Tsvangirai. This could be supported by the Vigil provided there were external controls ensuring that Zanu PF was not again allowed to sideline the opposition and continue the Zanu PF reign of corruption, violence and nepotism. Our position is that we will support any efforts that bring about a representative transitional arrangement leading to a free, fair and credible election. We are for a true and genuine democracy that respects human rights.’
- The Mugabes dropped by to say farewell to the Vigil. Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu for playing Mugabe in our mask.
- Fungayi took on Nick Mangwana of Zanu PF UK on BBC Newsnight (see: https://www.express.co.uk/
news/world/880194/zimbabwe- robert-mugabe-army-military- coup-activist-blasts-Zanu-pf- democracy-newsnight).
- Vigil Press Officer Dennis Benton was invited to write a piece for the International Business Times (see: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/
zimbabweans-watched-their- families-tortured-murdered- they-have-had-enough-mugabe- 1647891).
- Check: https://www.standard.co.uk/
news/uk/zimbabwe-latest-huge- crowds-gather-outside-londons- zimbabwe-embassy-amid-news- mugabe-will-be-a3695051.html for a story in the Evening Standard about yesterday’s Vigil.
- Check: https://www.flickr.com/photos/
zimbabwevigil/38459077306/in/ album-72157666519464919/ for a video of the big crowd outside the London Embassy yesterday.
- Thanks to those who got to the Embassy early (10 am) to set up the Vigil: Fungayi, Ishmail Makina, Rumbidzayi Sambana and Nyarai Masvosva. Thanks to the stalwarts who manned the Vigil table through a very long and wet day: Rumbidzayi, Nyarai, Josephine Jombe and Patience Muyeye. Thanks also to those who sold wristbands and promoted the Vigil book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’: Chido Makawa, Heather Makawa Chitate, Maxmus Savanhu and Abigail Chidaveyenzi.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
- ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 25th November from 11 am. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
- 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.
- Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 25th November from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
- MDC-T UK and Ireland Christmas party. Saturday 9th December from 2.30 – 11.30 pm. Venue: Redbridge Town Hall, 128-142 High Street, Ilford IG1 1DD. All Zimvigil activists are invited.
- ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 16th December 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.
- 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 on 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.
- Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2016 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/
vigil-news/campaign-news/843- zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2016 . Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2016 Highlights page.
- Facebook pages:
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.