The two faces of Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary

Source: The two faces of Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 6th July 2019

Zanu PF popped the champagne to celebrate Zimbabwe’s promotion by the World Bank from a lower income country to a lower middle economy. Apparently we now have an average annual income of $1,790.

The champagne went flat when it dawned on people that the World Bank might be assuming that we were all soon to be millionaires like in the days of the last Zim dollar. Or, more likely, the World Bank was not factoring in the vast disparity in income between the Zanu PF elite and the ordinary people living on an income far less that $1,790.

This ‘private opulence and public squalor’ was illustrated in the boastful display of wealth by Zanu PF MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena, who reportedly paid $420,000 for a Lamborghini, which he presumably is stupid enough to use on the pot-holed roads of Zimbabwe.

Anyway, it was business as normal for Finance Minister Ncube and Central Bank governor Mangudya who flew off to China in the hope of getting a financial bailout to ease the liquidity crisis, no doubt assuring the Chinese that we would soon start clearing our long overdue debts to them.

The problem is that the Chinese are not amused by the difficulties experienced by one of its investors in Zimbabwe, Sunny Yi Feng Tiles which has ploughed $50 million into its Norton factory which exports 70% of its tiles to SADC countries. The company says it has decided to abandon plans to expand because of persistent harassment and demands for bribes by politicians and government officials. It had been thinking of investing $1.2 billion in Zimbabwe but might now look to Zambia, Angola or Mozambique.

The new Chair of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, Loice Matanda-Moyo, says unbridled corruption is a major cause of the country’s economic crisis. She said she wanted the commission to deal with high profile members of society who had been putting up resistance.

The Vigil wishes Ms Matanda-Moyo luck. Apart from the big players, she won’t have far to look for corruption cases, given the suspension of the Masvingo Provincial Hospital Superintendent and his entire management committee in a scandal over the alleged direction of critical drugs to private pharmacies for resale in foreign currency (see: 

Other points

  • On a lovely sunny day London was crowded for Gay Pride day. Many people signed our petition.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up the front table today and put up the banners: Miriam Gasho, Beaulah Gore, Deborah Harry, Dambudzo Marimira, Margaret Munenge, Lucia Mungwari, Collen Mupazviriho, Hazvinei Saili and Ephraim Tapa. Thanks to Margaret, Lucia and Miriam for looking after the front table, to Hazvinei, Beaulah and Bridget Mupotsa for handing out flyers, to Margaret and Beaulah for drumming and to Deborah for photos.
  • For latest Vigil pictures check: Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. 

FOR THE RECORD: 17 signed the register.


  • ROHR sponsored walk. Saturday 27th July. Contact: Esther Munyira 07492058109, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013, Patricia Masamba and Farai Muroiwa 07365431776. More information as plans progress.
  • 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 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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