In a week which saw another brutal violation of human rights in Zimbabwe, South Africa offered a glimmer of hope that it could help resolve the crisis.
South Africa’s International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor identified Zimbabwe’s political and economic crisis as being caused by the hostility between its political leaders. Addressing a symposium on Zimbabwe in Pretoria, he said: ‘We would be greatly assisted in playing a positive role if we knew there was a shared notion in Zimbabwe of what must be done.’
He continued: ‘This is an extremely important point for us because, while indeed as the South African government, we work very closely with the government of Zimbabwe, it would be difficult for us to be seen as playing a role only with the government . . . We need to be provided with a path that indicates that as we enter to provide support, all the parties, all groups and all stakeholders in Zimbabwe are at one with that assistance that support must be.’
MDC leader Nelson Chamisa said he was heartened by Dr Pandor’s ‘correct diagnosis of the major problem in Zimbabwe as toxic politics’. He said: ‘We, in the MDC, stand ready to welcome South Africa and SADC’s mediation in Zimbabwe to end the suffering that has gone on for far too long, and give our people hope. In the face of provocation and persecution, our commitment to a sustainable, peaceful outcome has not shrunk.’ (See: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2019/11/ed-chamisa-must-talk-sa/.)
Chamisa was speaking just hours after police used teargas to disperse party supporters who had gathered at the MDC’s headquarters in Harare. Many people were savagely beaten with baton sticks. A senior American official, Tibor Nagy condemned what he described as the ‘unprovoked use of force against peaceably assembled Zimbabweans’.
- A report tabled in Parliament by the Public Accounts Committee said the government had taken US$3.2 billion from depositors’ bank accounts before introducing the bond notes in 2016. The Committee, chaired by former MDC Finance Minister Tendai Biti said the Central Bank used the money to finance government operations without parliament’s approval (see: https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2019/11/22/rbz-raids-us32bn-in-depositors-funds/).
- In another embarrassment for the government, China has complained that the recent budget understated Chinese aid to Zimbabwe. The budget said China had provided US$3.6 million in the first 9 months of the year while the real figure was closer to US$137 million.
- The government has decided to name roads in in all the provinces after President Mnangagwa. Other Zanu PF leaders are also being honoured. Tendai Biti tweeted: ‘The public hospital system has collapsed. Citizens are dying like flies. The power blackouts are now permanent. Hyperinflation has spiralled out of control. But they sat and named roads after themselves. Easily the worst government in the history of governments.’ (See: https://www.zimlive.com/2019/11/22/in-hurry-to-secure-space-in-history-mnangagwa-names-10-roads-after-himself/.)
- Another week another demonstration. Thousands of people – many of them Chinese – staged a protest in London over China’s heavy-handed treatment of Hong Kong. Many of them stopped at the Vigil.
- The Vigil gazebo arrived today and was put up without mishap. Thanks for further contributions from Alice Majola and Casper Nyamakura.
- Thanks to those who came early to help set up the front table and put up the banners: Yvonne Jacobs, Alice Majola, Chido Makawa, Benjamin Molife, Richard Munyama, Esther Munyira, Fungisai Mupandira and Casper Nyamakura. Thanks to Alice and Benjamin for looking after the front table, to Fungisai for handing out flyers, to Chido for drumming and photos.
- For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimb88abwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.
FOR THE RECORD: 13 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
- ROHR Reading Christmas Party Fundraiser. Saturday 30th November from 6.30 – 11 pm. Venue: The Spice Oven Buffet Restaurant, 2 – 4 Church Street, Reading RG4 8AT. Theme: to restore dignity to the suffering people of Zimbabwe. Tickets: £20 per adult, free entry for children under 5 years. For more information, contact: Deborah Harry 07578894896, Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Joshua Kahari 07877246251, Josephine Jombe 07455166668.
- ROHR fundraising dinner dance in aid of women living with HIV/AIDS in rural Zimbabwe. Saturday 7th December from 7 pm till late. Venue: Lee Chapel South Community Centre, The Knares, Basildon SS16 5SA. Formal dress code. Tickets £30. Contact organisers: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Simbarashi Jingo 07722998848, Rangarirai Chivaviro 07378429599 and Patience Chimba 07896496379.
- 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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The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 17.00 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.