The Zimbabwean diaspora speaking from London has rejected the 31st July elections as rigged and has demanded new elections under international supervision after promised reforms have been made. It wants the opposition in Zimbabwe to resist Mugabe at every step and challenge him on issues such as the diaspora vote, dual nationality and the position of so-called aliens.
These decisions were made at a meeting of the bi-monthly Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil. In attendance were members of a task force nominated at the ‘Restore Zimbabwe’ Conference held in London on 24th October. The Conference had been presented with the following resolutions: The Conference
1. Rejects the 31st July elections as rigged
2. Calls on the diaspora to unite in demanding new elections
3. Condemns SADC for not ensuring the GPA was implemented
4. Appeals to the AU to revisit its approach to the Zimbabwe crisis
5. Urges South Africa not to support the Mugabe regime
6. Advises the EU to continue the targeted sanctions against Mugabe and to expand them to include judges and officials of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission who have demonstrated bias for Zanu PF
7. Demands the Zimbabwean opposition resist Mugabe at every step
8. Asks the UK government not to send home failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers
Lack of time prevented them from being adopted at the Conference and so they were carried forward at the Zimbabwe Action Forum. All the resolutions were adopted with the addition of a resolution demanding that those in a position of authority should be held to account for their actions.
The meeting said options should be explored to challenge the validity of the elections and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should be taken to court if it does not release the voters’ roll.
It urged the MDC-T to publish its dossier on the election rigging and, in line with suggestions from thematic groups set up at the Conference, it was agreed that the task force would collate evidence of election abuses and submit this evidence to the African Union. The AU has now published its report on the elections (see: AU final report on Zim poll reflects ‘solidarity of the African elite – http://www.zimbabwesituation.
The protest to the AU will be followed by action on the other resolutions. This will include letters to SADC protesting at its failure to ensure that the GPA was implemented, to South Africa urging it not to support the Zimbabwe regime, to the EU calling for the targeted sanctions against Mugabe to be continued and expanded to include judges and officials of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. An appeal would be made to the UK government not to send home failed asylum seekers. For a full report of the ‘Restore Zimbabwe’ Conference (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/
- · Thanks to Wilbert Mukori, a member of the ‘Restore Zimbabwe’ task force, who made the long journey from Manchester to be with us at the Forum. He says that to say the AU’s report on the elections is a great disappointment is an understatement. Read his comments on our campaigns page: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/
vigil-news/campaign-news/540- wilbert-mukoris-comments-on- the-au-report-on-the-zimbabwe- elections.
- · The Vigil was plunged suddenly into winter darkness with the end of British Summer Time. Clocks were moved one hour backwards last week to allow people to get to work and school when it’s lighter.
- · We were happy to be joined by supporters of the Swazi Vigil which is going from strength to strength.
- · Thanks to Fannuel Wallah who put up our tarpaulin in the rain assisted by Gladys Mapanda.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/
FOR THE RECORD: 31 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
- · ACTSA annual conference ‘Southern Africa: Human Rights and Democracy’. Saturday, 9th November from 2 – 4.30 pm. Venue: The Human Rights Action Centre, Amnesty International UK, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA. Participants are leading human rights campaigners from Zimbabwe and Swaziland: McDonald Lewanika: Director, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Wandile Dludu: Coordinator, Swaziland Democracy Campaign and Swaziland United Democratic Front (tbc), Siphiwe Hlophe: Director, Swaziland for Positive Living (video message). Hear from civil society leaders about the prospects for the future in Swaziland and Zimbabwe. What are the needs, priorities and what can we do to support those struggling to uphold human rights, democracy and eradicate poverty. For further information and to register contact ACTSA: Tel: 020 71860750, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.actsa.org. See the flyer or go to http://bit.ly/1i1CZCY for more information. The conference follows ACTSA’s AGM from 11 am – 1.30pm: http://www.actsa.org/page-
- · Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 16th November from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
- · Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 16th November from 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.
- · Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 16th November from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It’s next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
- · Zimbabwe Association AGM. Saturday 16th November. Guest speaker McDonald Lewanika of Crisis in Zimbabwe. Venue: Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, London E2 6HG. Nearest station: Bethnal Green (Central line).
- · ROHR Reading Branch meeting. Saturday 30th November from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: the Pakistan Community Centre, Park Hall, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA. Contact: Charles D.Ndlovu 07413879590, Eric Eluwasi 07531853066, Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792.
- · Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2012 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-
vigil-diary/467-vigil- highlights-2012. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2012 Highlights page.
- · 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 ishttp://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.
- · Facebook pages:
- · Vigil: http://www.facebook.com/group.
- · ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/
- · ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/
pages/ROHR-Zimbabwe- Restoration-of-Human-Rights/ 301811392835
- · Useful website: www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.
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.