Today was the Vigil’s first meeting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in more than sixteen months because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Vigil Co-ordinator Ephraim Tapa says there was a unique sense of excitement and positive energy from those who attended. Activists enjoyed catching up with one another while they helped set up, man the table in turns, hand out flyers and sing.
Ephraim went on to say: ‘We were encouraged by passers-by who stopped to sign our petitions and show interest in our campaign. Activists shared their sad experiences and frustration around the pandemic, as well as expressing their relief to be back at the Embassy to at least do something about the sad human rights situation in Zimbabwe.’
Comments from the activists:
- Deborah Harry – it’s great to be back to play our part in the fight for freedom as those at home cannot do so without putting their lives in danger.
- Casper Nyamakura – echoed Deborah’s sentiments and added that the absence of the Vigil protest voice could easily be misconstrued as to suggest the Zimbabwe crisis was over.
- Jonathan Kariwo – encouraged members to ensure regular attendance if the Vigil and ROHR were to remain relevant.
- Richard Munyama, Philip Maponga and others – vowed to scale up the campaign to rid Zimbabwe of its corrupt and cruel rulers. ‘A lot more needs to be done’, they agreed.
Ephraim concluded: ‘There was general agreement that the Vigil and ROHR should only stand in solidarity with its activists and asylum seekers as their lives would be in danger if returned to Zimbabwe. It was also agreed to mount the Vigil outside the Zimbabwe Embassy fortnightly while we monitor the Covid situation. Members would be free to participate virtually on the Saturdays the Vigil did not meet outside the Embassy.’
Thanks to those who met today: Mercy Bayipayi, Farayi Chikowore, Blessing Harry, Deborah Harry, Jonathan Kariwo, Philip Maponga, Richard Munyama, Casper Nyamakura and Ephraim Tapa. For photos of today’s Vigil, check: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157719625749311.
- Zimbabwe is one of the most unhappy countries in the world, according to the latest World Happiness Report. In a survey of 149 countries Zimabwe ranked lowest except for Afghanistan with its civil war (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zim-second-least-happy-country-in-the-world/).
- Another report, this time by Afrobarometer, said three-quarters of Zimbabweans would prefer a national dialogue embracing all stakeholders rather than President Mnangagwa’s Political Actors’ Dialogue, which the main MDC party of Nelson Chamisa has refused to join.
- HARARE provincial development co-ordinator Tafadzwa Muguti has banned all non-governmental organisations and private voluntary organisations which defied a directive to report to him. He said the government would unleash law enforcement officers against those that defied the ban. (See: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/govt-bans-defiant-ngos/.)
- The virtual Vigil also ran today. This was started because of the Covid-19 restrictions and 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/72157719625749311. Our virtual Vigil activist today was Dambudzo Marimira who kindly contributed to Vigil funds.
- For all Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.
- The next Zimbabwe Vigil. Saturday 14th August from 2 – 5 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London.
- The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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.
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