In the old days rulers would have fools or jesters to keep them amused. But we doubt that President Mnangagwa will be laughing much over the latest ravings of his hired fool George Charamba.
While Mnangagwa was in Zambia pretending to welcome the election of the opposition leader President Hakainde Hichilema as the new President, his spokesman was ranting at home that HH was a ‘sell-out’.
Why was the new Zambian President a sell-out? Charamba was angry because HH had warmly welcomed the MDC leader Nelson Chamisa to the inauguration – as he did the opposition leaders of a number of other countries.
He said he had invited them because ‘they chose the hard path of supporting of our party’s struggles when others refused to associate with us in the opposition’.
Also welcomed was the leader of the One South Africa Movement Mmusi Maimane who later tweeted ‘there is a wind blowing across SADC, across Africa’. (See: https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/africa/2021-08-24-zimbabwean-political-rivals-put-on-a-show-at-hichilema-inauguration/.)
The spokesman for the new Zambian President’s party, United Party for National Development, Joseph Kalimbwe, described Charamba’s comments as ‘catastrophic’ and said they would not be taken lightly.
The prominent lawyer and MDC supporter Alex Magaisa said: ‘It is undiplomatic for a presidential spokesperson to attack a fellow head of State on baseless accusations’, adding ‘The fact is that there is fear and panic within the ruling party Zanu PF over the perceived close association between Chamisa and Hichilema.’ (See: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/charamba-labels-hichilema-sellout/.)
No doubt Zanu PF is worried by the Zambian President’s inaugural address at the packed Heroes’ Stadium in Lusaka.
He told the crowd: ‘Democracy is the way to go — for Zambia, the people of Africa and the world.’ He pledged to root out corruption, invest in education and rebuild an economy buckling under a $12 billion debt mountain (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1164-hakainde-hichilema-vows-to-free-zambia-from-corruption).
The Zimbabwe government will be further annoyed that the Zambian state broadcaster has offered to give Chamisa a platform if he continues to be side-lined by television back home.
- Chamisa’s MDC Alliance Party has expressed fears that President Mnangagwa might misuse the US$961 million Zimbabwe has received from the International Monetary Fund. The party’s spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere, said that Zanu PF was likely to use the money for electioneering if not held to account (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/08/chamisa-raises-alarm-over-imf-funds/).
- Joshua Nkomo’s son, Sibangilizwe Nkomo, has dismissed suggestions that the Gukurahundi issue has been resolved after President Mnangagwa’s talks with tribal chiefs. The government said it had agreed to discussions about compensation for victims of the Gukurahundi massacre in the 1980s. But Nkomo said the chiefs had left out key issues such as accountability and justice. ‘Without these, the genocide will still be unresolved, missing in the key issues is an acknowledgment and apology’. (See: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/late-vp-nkomos-son-says-chiefs-cannot-resolve-gukurahundi/.)
- Today we met outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. For the moment we are meeting outside the Embassy every other week and our next gathering will be on 11th September 2021. On the other Saturdays we will continue with the virtual Vigil. However, it was agreed that because we are now able to meet physically and the Vigil is about making the effort to join together in protest, it is not appropriate to continue the virtual Vigils in the same way as they were conducted when we weren’t able to meet. To be recorded as participating in a virtual Vigil your photo, taken with a poster with a message reflecting the situation in Zimbabwe, must be taken at one of the actual Vigils. There will be a small charge to cover admin costs, the ongoing upkeep of the Vigil and our support for the human rights work of ROHR, our sister organisation in Zimbabwe. The photos will then be labelled with your name, uploaded on our website, Flickr site and Facebook pages. Thanks to those who came today: Amina Matewele, Babula Gwatiringa, Ephraim Tapa, Esther Munyira. Farayi Chikowore, Jonathan Kariwo, Joyce Mbairatsunga, Lorrein Gumise and Rose Benton. Photos of today’s Vigil can be accessed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157719740966053.
- For all Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.
Events and Notices:
- The next Vigil. Saturday 11th September from 2 – 5 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London.
- The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation 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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