Police were called to Chatham House in London when a group of Vigil supporters staged a demonstration on Friday protesting at the recognition given to Mugabe’s visiting Tourism Minister (and farm looter) Walter Mzembi.
The Royal Institute of International Affairs, otherwise known as Chatham House, had invited Mzembi to speak during his visit to London for an international tourism conference. African diplomats in dapper black suits and shiny black shoes glared poison at the demonstrators as they went into the venue.
Soon afterwards a police van arrived and a policeman went into Chatham House. He quickly re-emerged and gave us a friendly wave before driving off. (We had arranged police permission for the protest.) 1 – 0 to the Vigil.
At no stage did we impede passage into the building. After all there were only eight of us (Bridget Zhakata, Cephas Maswoswa, Dennis Benton, Gift Mushariwa, Grace Rukure, Ishmael Makina, Penelope Murewa and Rosemary Maponga) displaying posters such as: ‘Mugabe stooge: Mzembi’, ’Zim diaspora rejects the stolen elections’, ‘Who poisoned the elephants?’, ‘Who is destroying the forests?’, ‘Who is stealing the diamonds?’ and ‘Say No to Zanu PF Mafia’.
Or perhaps they didn’t like our twelve-foot-long Vigil banner draped over their railings: ‘No to Mugabe, No to Starvation’. Or maybe it was the leaflet we handed out: Zimbabwe’s Cyanide Tourism: Walter Mzembi presents himself as the reasonable face of Mugabe’s Zanu-PF mafia. But he cannot distance himself from the ruination that Mugabe has brought upon Zimbabwe . . . the poverty, starvation, despair, the enslavement of the people to Chinese colonisers.. Ask Mzembi ‘Where is the diamond money going?’, ‘Why do the forests have no trees?’ It’s not ‘illegal’ sanctions that have poisoned hundreds of elephants.
Why should the Vigil worry about this inflated Zanu PF thief? The answer is that as far as the Vigil knows he is the first of Mugabe’s illegitimate ministers to surface in the UK since the stolen elections. His message at the tourism conference was: Zanu PF wants to re-engage with the UK (in other words wants money) but you must learn your place. There must be no more master / servant relationship – we are equals (never mind that we have made ourselves one of the poorest countries in the world and you are one of the richest . . .) We pay tribute to Penelope Murewa for coming to the demonstration despite feeling very shaky after medical treatment.
In line with the resolutions passed at the Zimbabwe Action Forum’s meeting last week, we are compiling a dossier of evidence of the rigging of the 31st July elections. We already have the evidence that Sokwanele and the Solidarity Peace Trust have collected. We are pleased that Nehanda Radio is now publishing the comprehensive evidence collected by MDC T.
It is already clear that manipulation by the mercenary Israeli company Nikuv was a decisive factor in Mugabe’s ‘victory’. The Vigil is sending the following open letter to the Israeli Prime Minister and the people of Israel:
‘Leaders like Robert Mugabe have a fundamental weakness that can be traced back to the days of the slave trade; they will happily sell their own kith and kin into slavery for a piece of calico cloth and a handful of beads! The slave trade was abolished over a century ago, thank God. Yet millions in Africa continue to suffer and die in dumb anguish, denied their basic rights and human dignity by their fellow blacks just as happened during the dark days of slavery.
For the last 33 years Zimbabweans have been fighting to end the Mugabe dictatorship so they too can enjoy the fruits of democracy and good governance. It is wholly unacceptable that their hopes for a better future were once again ruthlessly dashed because Mugabe had help from an Israeli company Nikuv.
Nikuv corrupted the voters roll so that nearly one million voters were denied the right to vote on election-day. It is no exaggeration to say it was Nikuv which delivered election victory to Mugabe considering the tyrant’s winning margin was one million.
What chance does the impoverished ordinary Zimbabwean voter have against a tyrant like Mugabe with all the looted national wealth at his disposal and all the State institutions to back him. The David vs Goliath contest becomes an impossible one when companies like Nikuv throw their technical clout behind the tyrant.
This is not the first time an Israeli company has been involved in Zimbabwe’s politics on the side of Mugabe. This is simply intolerable and it must stop!
The Israeli government and people are always talking of Israel as an island of democracy in the middle of a troubled region. They are always condemning others for autocratic rule and the threat they pose to Israel. Why is it then that Israel has no qualms when it comes to sponsoring the same autocracy in countries such as Zimbabwe?
It is inconceivable that the Israeli government and people are not aware of how Israeli companies like Nikuv have sold our national hopes for a democratic government for thirty pieces of silver. And yet both the Israeli government and people have said nothing. They would be up in arms if any other nation was involved in such criminal activities affecting them.
What Nikuv, the Israeli government and people must realise is that the people of Zimbabwe know they have tyrants selling the nation’s hopes and dreams for a piece of calico cloth. They also know that there are unscrupulous companies and nations propping up these tyrants. The people are poor, powerless but they are not stupid!’
Wilbert Mukori on behalf of the ‘Restore Zimbabwe’ Task Force.
- An overcast threatening sky greeted the Lord Mayor’s annual parade but we were thrilled to see mounted troops cantering down the Strand with a gun carriage.
- Revelation of the week: Finance Minister Chinamasa’s disclosure that the Treasury received no diamond revenue in the nine months to September this year…..
- Thanks to Tendai Chadehumbe and Rose Maponga for arriving early to help set up the Vigil. Thanks also to Nicodemus Maganhu who worked hard putting up the tarpaulin.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.
FOR THE RECORD: 32 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
- 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.
- 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 is http://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.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts
- ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515
- 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.