Zimbabwe on ‘list of shame’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary

Source: Zimbabwe on ‘list of shame’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 22nd May 2021

Zimbabwe was among a small group of countries who voted against a UN resolution aimed at protecting vulnerable people against genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

One hundred and fifteen countries voted in favour, including South Africa and Botswana, and twenty-eight abstained, while 15 voted against, including China, Russia and North Korea as well as Zimbabwe.

The UN said the resolution came ‘amidst an historic weakening of the laws and norms that safeguard humanity and at a time when a record 80 million people around the world have been displaced by persecution, conflict, and atrocities.’

It continued: ‘In far too many situations around the world, civilian populations are experiencing indiscriminate attacks on schools and medical facilities, widespread rape and sexual violence perpetrated as a weapon of war, disproportionate and deadly force being used against peaceful protesters, and institutionalized persecution of minority groups.’ (See: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/zimbabwe-in-shame-vote-against-un-resolution-to-stop-genocide/.)

UN Watch, a Swiss-based human rights group, described the list of countries which voted against the resolution as ‘a list of shame’. MDC Alliance Vice President Tendai Biti asked ‘Why would a right-thinking person and a right-thinking country reject a convention against genocide, ethnic cleansing and war crimes?’ He added that President Mnangagwa was ‘a national embarrassment’.

The director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum, Musa Kika, said Zimbabwe voted against the resolution because Mnangagwa was trying to escape responsibility for past atrocities, including the Gukurahundi massacre of more than 20,000 people, mainly Ndebeles, in the 1980s (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/05/zim-votes-to-perpetuate-genocide/).

Talking about lists of shame, the Zimbabwean has published what it describes as ‘a full list of Reserve Bank looters’. As you would expect, it’s a long list indeed. Among prominent Zanu PF people included who received Reserve Bank loans they never repaid is former President Mugabe (US$2,239,109) and President Mnangagwa (US$411,728). (See: https://www.thezimbabwean.co/2021/05/breaking-full-list-of-rbz-looters-finally-released/.)

Other Points:

  • A traditional court has ordered Grace Mugabe to give away five cows and two goats for improperly burying her husband at her birthplace rather than at a family gravesite where his mother is buried. Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao has accused Zanu PF of trying to get control of Mugabe’s remains.
  • Newsday says British Ambassador Melanie Robinson was summoned to a meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister Frederick Shava and reprimanded for meddling in national affairs. She is said to have mobilised several ambassadors for a meeting with Vice President Chiwenga, the Health Minister, to discuss Covid-19. For the life of us, we can’t see what’s undiplomatic about that. It just appears paranoid. For her part, Robinson says she was delighted to have a meeting with Shava to discuss UK-Zimbabwe relations, trade and how they could work together on climate change (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/05/govt-summons-meddlesome-uk-envoy/).
  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. 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.
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  • 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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