Whatever Mnangagwa was praying for the other day we doubt it was for a walkout by doctors and nurses and the arrest of the Health Minister. Hardly anyone seems to have paid attention to the President’s national day of prayer. Perhaps they were too busy trying to get something to eat while avoiding being beaten up by police and soldiers.
Maybe Mnangagwa was praying that there won’t be a coup? Well someone answered by sending security forces into the city centres of Harare, Bulawayo and Kwekwe to make sure. This seems to be the view of presidential spokesman Charamba though other Zanu PF sources claimed it was merely to enforce the non-enforceable Covid lockdown.
But the Good Lord has stopped short of saving the economy. We can understand why. Not even the President can be allowed to let his family and friends steal a disproportionate amount of the country’s wealth. We must economise and make a little looting go a long way in these straitened times.
Health Minister Obadiah Moyo, facing charges of corruption, appears to have allowed overpayment of millions of dollars on Covid-19 equipment, benefitting Mnangagwa’s son Collins. No sooner do we get rid of Mugabe’s kids washing their watches in champagne and driving Lamborghinis than we get this ‘new dispensation’ . . . (See: https://www.thezimbabwean.co/2020/06/zimbabwe-arrests-health-minister-in-covid-19-procurement-scandal/).
The scandal follows revelations that Mnangagwa’s ‘advisor’, tycoon Kuda Tagwirei, has made millions of dollars from a dodgy government deal involving buses bought from China (see: https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2020/06/19/mnangagwas-ally-pockets-us54m-in-fresh-bus-deal/).
As for our valiant doctors and nurses and other civil servants, the latest ludicrous pay proposals can only encourage them to join in the looting since soon there will be no other way of surviving. The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition has expressed its full support for the healthcare workers and called on the government to ‘seriously address the rampant corruption that has caused devastating effects on the country’s economy’. (See: https://www.thezimbabwean.co/2020/06/crisis-in-zimbabwe-coalition-supports-the-strike-by-healthcare-workers-in-zimbabwe/).
With corruption and economic chaos, combined with social and health problems, it might surprise some that Zimbabwe has been elected to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, which, in the words of the Herald, ‘is responsible for promoting higher standards of living, full employment and economic and social progress; identifying solutions to international economic, social and health problems; facilitating international cultural and educational cooperation and encouraging universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.’ (See: https://www.herald.co.zw/zimbabwe-elected-to-key-united-nations-body/).
Don’t’ be surprised: the UN works in a mysterious way. Not so long ago it chose Saudi Arabia to chair a committee on human rights!
- For those puzzled by the government’s proposals for civil service pay, we suggest they may be interested in reading an article by Tendai Ruben Mbofana (see: https://www.thezimbabwean.co/2020/06/when-govt-steals-your-car-and-gives-you-back-only-one-wheel-the-charade-of-civil-servants-salary-increments/).
- Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the lockdown continues. 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.
- 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.
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