via End of Mugabe Era – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 19th September 2015 20 September 2015
The fiasco of 91-year-old Mugabe reading the wrong speech at the opening of Parliament cannot be dismissed as ‘a common era’ as the Herald put it (before correcting its spelling error!).
No, the pantomime of the President reading out a speech he had already delivered a month ago – indeed, the State of the Nation Address – without seeming to notice that it was familiar says something about our ruling elite.
Zanu PF MPs clapped sagely during the speech, suggesting that anything Mugabe said is alright with them. It didn’t really matter if it was the same speech he had delivered for the past 35 years . . .
The opposition, which had heckled the State of the Nation Address when it was first delivered, had received death warnings to behave this time so they tried to keep a straight face. They knew what to expect: the predictable threats against the free press the next day when Mugabe realised he had been exposed as a stuffed dummy.
We in the diaspora find it difficult to keep a straight face ourselves when we are asked about the situation in Zimbabwe. We will be demonstrating at a Mugabe fundraiser in the City of London on Tuesday 22nd September to try to explain the tragi-comedy to any investors naïve enough to attend. We notice that, since we first announced our intention to demonstrate there, Obert Mpofu, allegedly Zimbabwe’s most corrupt politician, has decided not to attend.
The Zanu PF delegation, led by Minister of Industry and Commerce Mike Bimha, will also be attending a meeting at the Zimbabwe Embassy on Wednesday 23rd September aimed at attracting investment from the diaspora. We can’t afford the £40 or so he charges people to attend the event but we will be outside looking through the window licking our lips at his prawn sandwiches. See ‘Events and Notices’ for details of our protests.
· Attempts to undermine the Vigil continue as the CIO reacts against the spreading wings of our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR). After last week’s demonstrations in Harare and Bulawayo, ROHR has constituted provincial structures in Manicaland, Mashonaland West, Harare, Masvingo and Midlands. It appears people are responding to the simple demand for respect for human rights as provided for in the unimplemented constitution. For reports taken from WhatsApp messages, see:
· A meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil discussed ways to combat disruption at the Vigil by elements we believe are trying to exploit asylum seekers at the instigation of the CIO. We advise people not to pay lots of money at their tribunal hearings to bogus representatives.
· Zimbabwe Yes We Can President Ephraim Tapa congratulated a senior ROHR official and committed Vigil supporter on the favourable decision she received after a court hearing on her asylum appeal at which he and Zimbabwe Vigil Co-ordinator Rose Benton gave evidence.
· Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Eunice Mucherechedzo, Humphrey Dube, Livert Zhuwao, Chrispen Ndlovu, Michael Tinarwo, Heather Chitate, Eugenia Mushonga and Fungayi Mabhunu. Thanks to Eunice, Humphrey and Patricia Masamba for looking after the front table. Thanks also to Sister Bev Mutandiro for once again leading prayers. She asked that the following be included in the diary to hearten the Vigil while it is under attack: ‘Listen to me, you that know what is right, who have my teaching fixed in your hearts. Do not be afraid when people taunt and insult you; they will vanish like moth-eaten clothing! But the deliverance I bring will last forever; my victory will endure for all time.’ – Isaiah 51, v7-8.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website
FOR THE RECORD: 30 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
· Protest at Zimbabwe Investment Event. Tuesday 22nd September from 9.30 – 11 am. Venue: outside the offices of Stephenson Harwood LLP, 1 Finsbury Circus, London EC2M 7SH. Nearest Stations: Moorgate and Liverpool Street. Please join us as guests arrive to hand out information about the real situation in Zimbabwe. For more information about the event and the delegates from Zimbabwe, check: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/zimbabwe-trade-and-investment-forum-london-uk-tickets-18233317343.
· Protest at Zimbabwe Diaspora Forum. Wednesday 23rd September from 2.30 pm. Venue: outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London WC2R 0JR. Please join us as guests arrive to hand out information about the real situation in Zimbabwe. The event is scheduled from 3.1.5 – 6.15 pm.
· ROHR Middlesbrough branch general meeting. Saturday 26th September from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Teesside University, Student Centre, Clarendon Building, Middlesbrough TS1 3BA. For more information please contact Angeline Huni (Chairperson) on 07871367239 Levinia S Ncube (Secretary) 07404772407, Ndumiso Ncue (Organising Secretary) 07532080247.
· 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.
· Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 26th September at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.
· Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
· Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 3rd October from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a ten minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It’s between a newsagent and an optician. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
· Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
· Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 3rd October from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
· Zimbabwe Vigil’s 13th Anniversary and monthly Itai Dzamara protest. Saturday 10th October from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark seven months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
· Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2014 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/642-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2014. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2014 Highlights page.
· Facebook pages:
· SW Radio Africa’s website and sound archive is being hosted on www.archive.org. Go to the site and type in swradioafrica which will link you to snapshots of their site over the years and at the top of that page a link to their website where, under podcasts, you will find the audio.