British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson – brimming with all the enthusiasm of a 10 year old stamp collector suddenly coming across a triangular from Tanganyika – was ready to usher Zimbabwe back into the Commonwealth on the back of a military coup in Salisbury, or Harare as it is now known. (Presumably the other 50 or so members of the Commonwealth would do what Bwana Boris told them.)
His Africa Minister Rory Stewart, equally enthusiastic, flew out to Zimbabwe to shake the hand of the Conqueror of Mugabe, holding out the promise of an open cheque book. The US, normally more sensible in these affairs, was also welcoming. A rusty tinpot Marxist lunatic dethroned: anything must be an improvement.
But something went wrong – even before modern history graduate Stewart had time to read the page on Zimbabwe. What was taken to be a day of joy and freedom, of liberation and release – the crossing of the Jordan – was nothing of the kind. It was from purgatory to purgatory. Nothing has improved. There has just been a change of guard.
The announcement of Mnangagwa’s new cabinet was a slap in the face for all – like the British Foreign Office – who had been led to believe that he was on board to save Zimbabwe – in other words that he realised that he needed Western help to turn around the economy and create jobs.
The new cabinet, packed with contaminated genocidaires from the armed forces and discredited former Mugabe freeloaders, has dashed hopes of economic recovery. We had been led to believe that under the West’s clever Baldrick-type master plan, the eager convert Mnangagwa would embrace the prospect of new money from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. After all, his mob has stolen just about everything available in Zimbabwe.
In reality, he has increased unemployment, sacking the Pschomotor Minister for a start. Just when we needed him. We know from the ground the depths of despair in Zimbabwe. But economic reality will bring down the military regime sooner rather than later.
Thanks to those who came early to set up and stayed till the end of the Vigil to help pack up: Racqueline Changunda, Miriam Gasho, Babula Gwatiringa, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Junior Madzimure, Rosemary Maponga and Hazvinei Saili. Thanks also to Patience Muyeye, Racqueline and Rosemary for looking after the front table and to Babula, Junior, Hazvinei and Miriam for handing out flyers.
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: 23 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
- Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 9th December 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 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 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.
- 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:ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/