Exiled former Zanu PF cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo says only the United Nations is able to mediate a resolution of the crisis in Zimbabwe, which he described as a de facto military state.
Speaking in an online Zoom discussion organised by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Moyo said soldiers were in control and human rights had, in effect, been suspended after the Constitutional Court had stolen the 2018 elections. Now the parliamentary vote of MDC Alliance was also being targeted.
South Africa, SADC and the AU were all part of the problem as they had endorsed the military coup which overthrew Mugabe and so had no moral authority to ‘broker the demilitarisation of the state and the restitution of constitutionalism’.
Moyo said ‘like in 2017 the critical flare-up in 2020 is within the system and not between it and the opposition’. He thought Foreign Minister General Sibusiso Moyo had emerged as a centre of power in the government and Zanu PF, and he dismissed Vice-President Chiwenga’s chances of taking over from Mnangagwa because of Chiwenga’s health problems.
Professor Moyo maintained that Mnangagwa did not have real political influence in Zanu PF, which was unhappy over his handling of the economy. But he controlled ‘the Ferret Force which was abducting, torturing and sexually assaulting and murdering targeted citizens to enforce Mnangagwa’s power’.
The maverick former minister, now in Kenya, said that there was a case for a negotiated settlement between MDC A, Zanu PF and the army which would involve the demilitarisation of the state and the restoration of constitutionalism. He described the army as ‘ the elephant in the room’ but said there was evidence of disgruntlement in the armed forces with junior soldiers increasingly sharing the views of the public.
He concluded that Zimbabwe is a threat to regional stability so it was a candidate for UN intervention, perhaps involving the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame (see: https://www.facebook.com/crisiscoalition/videos/303229967409899/).
Professor Moyo said that the denial of bail to those arrested as a threat to Zanu PF was clear evidence of the disregard of the constitution. Among the latest to be arrested and denied bail is the MDC A Vice-Chair Job Sikhala, who was accused of incitement to commit public violence. He is being held in the Chikurubi maximum security prison, where prisoners are dying of coronavirus. He said through his lawyers that he had been told by prison officers that he would die in prison.
- Sikhala, in a letter from prison, said he was grieving the death of the activist Patson Dzamara from colon cancer. Patson was thrust into the limelight following the abduction and disappearance 5 years ago of his brother Itai, a friend of the Vigil. Patson could not be treated by the country’s failed health system but well-wishers raised money for private treatment. However he died before he could have surgery (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/letter-from-chikurubi-maximum-prison-job-wiwa-sikhala/).
- Western diplomats in Harare have jointly expressed concern at the deteriorating political and economic situation in Zimbabwe. They said the government should stop using the Covid-19 pandemic to curtail freedoms. The diplomats include representatives of three of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the US, UK and France (see: https://www.news24.com/news24/africa/news/zimbabwe-crisis-western-diplomats-express-deep-concern-20200828).
- The paranoia of Zanu PF is shown by the hysterical attack on a senior South Africa official Lindiwe Zulu who said there is a crisis in Zimbabwe. Zanu PF Information Director Tafadzwa Mugwadi said she was being used by Zimbabwe’s detractors in her eagerness to get global attention. Zulu said South Africa could not afford to fold its arms while Zimbabwe was burning and called on SADC to be more proactive on Zimbabwe see: https://www.thezimbabwemail.com/zimbabwe/zanu-pf-blasts-ancs-stupid-and-idiotic-street-girl/).
- Thanks to the five valiant activists who completed the ROHR and Vigil fundraising walk from Redbridge Station to the Zimbabwe Embassy today: Rangarirai Chivaviro, Garikai Mananje, Charles Mararirakwenda, Margaret Munenge and Ephraim Tapa. For photos see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157715776546702.
- 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: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157715776546702. Our virtual Vigil activist today was Sithobekile Sikhosana 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.
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|Full circle – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 22nd August 2020||Sunday, 23 August 2020 12:37|
People can sleep soundly in Zimbabwe confident that our guardians the police are ever watchful for enemies of the state, such as human rights lawyers and trade unionists.
A diligent policeman arrested five such suspects, including prominent lawyer Doug Coltart, for attending a workshop and reading the incriminatingly-titled book ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’ by Paulo Freire. An open and shut case obviously: it was clearly a training manual for sedition provided by the American Embassy . . .
The state told the magistrate that intelligence had been received that the accused were planning to go around the country encouraging civil disobedience.
Unfortunately the naïve five had fallen into the clutches of the notorious western-funded legal provocateur Beatrice Mtetwa. Under questioning, the first state witness, the policeman who confiscated the book, said he believed it was subversive after exhaustive research involving checking the meaning of pedagogy (teaching).
The wily Mtetwa – no doubt briefed by dark forces – asked the last state witness: ‘so there is nothing in the materials you can point us to that links the accused persons to the offence?’ The witness agreed and the magistrate had to rule that the state had failed to prove its case.
The wheel has turned full circle since the Smith regime banned a children’s book about a horse on the basis of its suspicious title: ‘Black Beauty’ . . .
The full panoply of Zanu PF’s paranoid delusions were displayed in the government’s hysterical response to the corruscating criticism of the situation by the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference in a pastoral letter titled ‘The march is not ended’. (See: http://kubatana.net/2020/08/14/the-march-is-not-ended-pastoral-letter-of-the-zimbabwe-catholic-bishops-conference-on-the-current-situation-in-zimbabwe/.)
The pastoral letter spoke of a ‘convergence of economic collapse, deepening poverty, food insecurity, corruption and human rights abuses among other crises’ . . . ‘some of our people continue to live in hideouts, with some incarcerated while others are on the run. Fear runs down the spine of many of our people today’ . . . ‘all we hear from them is blame our woes on foreigners, colonialism, white settlers and so-called internal detractors. When are we going to take responsibility for our own affairs?’
Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa described Archbishop Ndlovu of Harare as ‘errant and evil’ and said he was seeking to lead Zimbabwe’s Catholics into ‘the darkest dungeons of Rwanda-type genocide’. Minister of Justice Ziyambi said the pastoral letter was an outright insult to President Mnangagwa.
The pastoral letter was however supported by Catholic bishops throughout Southern Africa as well as the World Council of Churches and many non-Catholics (see: https://catholicherald.co.uk/nuncio-meets-zimbabwe-government-minister-after-clash-over-catholic-bishops-letter/).
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