via Mugabe’s ‘hit and run’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 19th March 2016 20 March 2016
President Mugabe, stung by the growing opposition of war veterans, complained at a rally in Bindura ‘some of you are going as far as China telling them that we need a new leader’.
The comment is ironic given reports that the nonagenarian is soon to go on yet another jaunt to the Far East – this time to Tokyo – which some might think shows that Zimbabwe does not need this leader at all.
The Herald will no doubt tell us that the trip is as important as the Indian cultural festival that Mugabe used as a pretext last week to go to Singapore to see his doctors. But what credulity has the Herald? This week it splashed a story that a majority of Zimbabweans approve of Mugabe’s leadership – only for it to emerge a day later that the paper was repeating a two-year-old report. It was like reading thesame speech to Parliament twice. But who would possibly do that?
And anyway, what is there to keep Mugabe in Zimbabwe? Contrary to the Herald’s delayed ‘scoop’, it is clear that even the war veterans have fallen out of love with him. And it is not as ifthere is anything for him to do in Zimbabwe. All is under control. No one will starve he assured supporters at the rally.
‘The food is there and what is slowing distribution is the challenge we are facing in transportation’, he said. ‘To alleviate the transport problem the district development fund has adopted a‘hit and run’ concept and has ten trucks going around the country moving food from the grain marketing board depots to the public (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-president-reassures-nation-no-one-will-be-denied-food-the-herald/).
Ten trucks? All solved then!
· The Vigil’s quote of the week is from war veteran and former Zanu PF bigwig Margaret Dongo. ‘I left Zanu PF in 1995 and watching from the terraces I am seeing people fighting for a dwindling gravy puddle. The party is a sinking ship and it’s all about who has power now to access more of the little loot left before the inevitable big bang’ (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit-m-mugabe-zanu-pf-are-gone-dongo-dailynews-live/).
· Vigil co-ordinator Fungayi Mabhunu drove to Leeds on Friday to pay our last respects to Gladys Nyathi who died this week. She was a great supporter of the Vigil and very active in the Leeds community. Many people gathered at her home to mourn. Fungayi was very moved by the beautiful singing of a Roman Catholic group which was accompanied by two Congo drums. A collection was taken for her at the Vigil. We were particularly distressed to hear that she had lost 3 children. We are sad to record there have been 4 deaths affecting Vigil supporters in the last few weeks.
· In view of Mugabe’s approaching demise we are having a clearance sale of our wristbands ‘Mugabe must go / has gone’. We are now selling them for only 50p. Get them while you can they are bound to be collectors’ items. Supporters posted one under the Embassy door to greet any staff who may possibly turn up on Monday (the place never seems to be open as far as we can establish).
· Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Anna Mafunga, Beverley Mutandiro, Catherine Musa, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Eletha Mpofu, Esther Munyira, Fungayi Mabhunu, Maxwell Kudita, Michael Sirewu, Phillip Mahlahla, Roseline Mukucha, Tafadzwa Buka and Tatonga Gutah. Thanks to Roseline and Eletha for looking after the front table and to Chipo for overseeing the lucky dip and energetically selling Vigil wristbands. Thanks to Philip for leading the team which put up the high banners.
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: 24 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
· Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 2nd April from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
· Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 9th April from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark thirteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
· ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 16th April from 11 am to 1.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see below.
· 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 Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 16th April from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 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.
· Play: ‘After Independence’. 4th – 28th May at the Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL. The play is by May Sumbwanyambe and tackles the issues of independence and government in Zimbabwe. More information is available here: http://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/after-independence/2016-05-04/. The producer has contacted the Vigil for our input and plans to visit us to discuss this.
Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
· Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2015 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/746-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2015. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.