Zimbabwe Vigil Diary 20th January 2024

Source: Zimbabwe Vigil Diary 20th January 2024

Saturday saw activists braving another chilly outing for the Vigil outside the Zimbabwe House in London.



Special mention goes to Lynnett Chido Tsoka for travelling all the way from Scotland to join the Vigil from start to finish, to Munashe Madziyauswa, Chido Makawa and Heather Chitate for making the ROHR meeting as well as the Vigil and to Patricia who came to the Vigil after work. In the face of such courage and determination from our activists, we cannot help but wonder at the nature of a prize deserving such sacrifice.

Far from any reward, our activists insist that all they want is to be able to go back to a free and democratic Zimbabwe, where all citizens have equal access to justice, opportunities and human rights. But to demand such is dangerous as Zanu PF feels entitled to act and plunder as they wish. They do not expect to be challenged as to do so would, in their eyes, be akin to being a puppet of the West – a sell-out!

This reminds us of the Zimbabwe Patriotic Act, a law that was passed by the Zanu PF dominated Parliament and signed into law by President Mnangagwa in the run-up to the 23 August 2023 election. The Patriotic Act created a new crime, ‘wilfully injuring the sovereignty and national interests of Zimbabwe’ and is punishable by a maximum penalty of death.

However, the new law was outrightly condemned by Amnesty international’s Khanyo Farise who described it as ‘a grave attack on the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association’, adding that the signing into law by Mnangagwa ‘is strong evidence that the Zimbabwe authorities are bent on further shrinking civic space and silencing dissent’. Suffice is to say this new law has been roundly condemned by civil society organisations in Zimbabwe and internationally.

To Vigil activists, this gives them purpose together with those in other safer countries to unite and call the Mnangagwa dictatorship out, as to do nothing is not an option. Thanks to those who came today: Munashe Madziyauswa, Chido Makawam Heather Makawa Chitate, Patricia Masamba, Ephraim Tapa and Lynnett Chido Tsoka. For photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72177720314239688.


For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.


Events and Notices:

  • Next Vigil meeting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. Saturday 3rd February from 2 – 5 pm. We meet on the first and third Saturdays of every month. On other Saturdays the virtual Vigil will run.

ROHR general members’ meeting. Saturday 17th February from 11 am. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. Contact: Ephraim Tapa 07940793090.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Facebook pages:  

Vigil : https ://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/

ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515


The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London meets regularly on Saturdays 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/.