One of Zimbabwe’s most venerated musicians, Thomas Mapfumo, has appealed to the international community to act immediately to stop what he called an ‘ever-rising crisis’ in Zimbabwe.
Mapfumo, an icon of the liberation struggle, now based in the United States, said Zimbabweans had been ‘sold a dummy’ when Mnangagwa took over after the military coup ousted Mugabe.
Mapfumo said Mnangagwa had promised to end corruption within one hundred days, rebuild the economy and promote democracy. Instead his real interest was to acquire power and wealth. ‘His family members and close friends, including Cabinet members, are at the front of most of the corruption scandals that are milking the national coffers.’
He continued: ‘Daily, the headlines are about catch and release. This is a scheme to release all fraudsters, using government power. National assets like minerals are now being parcelled among the President, his close friends and family as they divide the wealth with China.’ But, while the US, the EU and the UK were supporting Zimbabweans with aid funds, China was doing ‘very little’.
Mapfumo said the police had become corrupt and the judiciary had been captured and were now issuing partisan judgements in favour of Zanu PF. ‘It has also become clear that President Mnangagwa plans to have a one party state in Zimbabwe. He has invested into a number of mechanisms to harass members of the opposition, to infiltrate them using state resources and to disempower and intimidate them.’
‘Free speech is now out of reach as many live in fear of being followed or abducted in the open. It is a very dangerous environment now if one tries to belong or to identify with the opposition.’
Mapfumo called for the international community to supervise free and fair elections. The appeal came in the form of a letter addressed to international organisations such as the United Nations, the African Union, SADC and the European Union as well as to organisations such as the ANC and the US Congressional Black Caucus (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/mapfumo-calls-for-un-intervention-to-stop-zimbabwes-growing-crisis/).
Mapfumo’s intervention comes as the political opposition is being increasingly weakened by internal squabbles and defections to Zanu PF (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/cockpit-conflict-ravages-alliance-as-an-insider-says-we-are-now-a-twitter-party/).
- Zimbabwean refugees in Botswana have petitioned the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to prevent their deportation back ‘to hell’. Some of the hundreds of refugees are army deserters who fled during the Zanu PF political violence in 2008. A statement said the refugees were ‘true enemies’ Zanu PF and would face persecution on their return home (see: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/zim-army-deserters-fight-deportation-from-botswana/).
- Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. We ask our activists to put on Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia and take a photo of themselves holding an appropriate poster reflecting our protest against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The photos are uploaded on our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157718459806117. Our virtual Vigil activist today was Margaret Munenge who kindly contributed to Vigil funds.
- For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.
- 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: