Pinocchio paper – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 24th September 2016

Source: Pinocchio paper – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 24th September 2016

Botswana’s President Ian Khama deserves the Nobel prize for doing the unthinkable: telling an African leader to step down because he has passed his sell-by date

The Herald’s reaction is that it is un-African for a fellow African president to criticise Mugabe. So it responds by calling President Khama ‘queer’. That really is ‘un-African’ . . . (see:

The Vigil, on behalf of Zimbabweans, apologises to President Khama, who has helped to make his country an island of good governance and prosperity in an ocean of corruption and inefficiency.

President Khama will no doubt already know that Mugabe’s mouthpiece the Herald is like Pinocchio, the puppet in the children’s story whose nose grows longer every time he tells a lie. So he will not be surprised if the Herald’s nose is now so long as to stretch all the way to Botswana.

We believe the Herald would be a worthy winner of the Ig Nobel Prize awarded every year at Harvard university as an alternative to the Nobel Prize. After all,this year an award went to a team for their psychology paper ‘From Junior to Senior Pinocchio; a Cross-Sectional Life Span Investigation of Deception’. They were chosen for ‘asking a thousand liars how often they lie and for deciding whether to believe those answers’.

In fact, the Herald would qualify for two Ig Nobel awards. A second one went to Japanese researchers ‘for investigating whether things looked different when you bend over and view them between your legs’.

British Ambassador Catriona Laing might think that the Herald report on her remarks about the police’s handling of the Harare demonstrations came from between their correspondent’s legs (see: So might the UN view the paper’s report of Mugabe’s ‘mega success’ at the recent New York meeting.

The Ig awards for the Herald would be suitable (and timely) – they carry a cash prize of a Zimbabwean ten trillion dollar note (see

Other points

  • The Vigil’s petition is now on the petition parliament website: ‘Raise issue of persecution of political activists with Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe. We ask the UK govt to raise the issue of persecution of activists with the Zimbabwe govt. The last election was hugely rigged. Misgovernance & corruption have destroyed the economy resulting in starvation & 90% unemployment. Civil unrest is growing & protesters refused bail & jailed without trial. Linda Masarira, locked up since 6 July on trumped-up charges, has health problems & is the mother of 5 children (youngest 2 yrs). Accused of inciting riots in the female section of Chikurubi prison on 10/9, she was moved to solitary confinement in the dangerous male section – we fear for her safety. Other activists are also still incarcerated, many needing medical care after violent treatment by the police. Both Gift Siziba’s hands are believed to be broken. This vicious persecution must stop.’ You can sign if you are resident in the UK.
  • The Matabeleland South Province of our sister organisation ROHR has been working hard to help the Matobo villagers who are being evicted from their homes to make way for an extension of an Agricultural and Rural Development Authority farm. At least 40 are in police custody after an attempted demonstration against the evictions (for ROHR statement and updates, see: and news story, see:
  • The next Zimbabwe Action Forum has been postponed to 8th October at 6.15 pm. It will discuss a diaspora initiative on achieving a level playing field for free and fair elections in 2018. We are collecting ideas and you are welcome to email with any. The feeling at the Vigil was that any interim authority should not include politicians.
  • We are working on a history of the Vigil. Photos of the Vigil will be taken next week for the book. Please come and take part. Also photos from the earlier years of the Vigil (2002 – 2006) are no longer available. Anyone who has photos from this time please email them to We are looking particularly for photos of Archbishop Pius Ncube’s visit on 24th July 2004 and Roy Bennett’s visit on 6th August 2005.
  • Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Shylette Chipangura, Munyaradzi Garikayi, Kevin Gondo, Isabell Gwatidzo, Josephine Jombe, Jonathan Kariwo, Fungayi Mabhunu, Honest Madondo, Emmanuel Magarira, Phillip Mahlahla, Marian Mangani, Jenniffer Maritsa, Shiella Matiza, Praisego Moyo, Bianca Mpawaenda, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Tracy Mupeti, Cathrine Musa, Emilia Nyamhandu, Tawanda Rusape, Alice Shimika and Maureen and Douglas Tavengwa. Thanks to Roseline, Cathrine, Josephine and Praisego for helping at the front table, to Alfredy, Phillip, Kevin, Honest and Gift Moyo for putting up the banners and preparing the new tarpaulin for the next time it rains and to Bianca and Marian for handing out flyers.

For latest Vigil pictures check: Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. For videos of Vigils and other events, check the ROHR facebook page:

FOR THE RECORD: 42 signed the register.


  • ROHR Birmingham branch meeting. Tuesday 27th September from 11 am – 2 pm. Venue: Strathallan Hotel, 225 Hagley Road, Birmingham B16 9RJ. Contact: Chair: Gladys Muduve 07956430115, Info & Publicity: Tecla Bandawe 074 50507650 and Organising Sec: Janemary Mapfumo 07412310429.
  • Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 1st October from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 8th October from 12 noon. 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 Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 8th October 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 a shop. 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 achievetrue democracy.
  • Monthly Itai Dzamara protest Saturday 8th October. From 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark nineteen months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil’s 14th Anniversary. On Saturday 15th October we will mark the Vigil’s 14th anniversary.
  • Mike Campbell Foundation Fifth anniversary: Taking Effective Steps to Fight Dictatorship – Restoring Justice, Restoring People.  Wednesday 26th October at 6.30 pm. Venue: the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. For tickets:
  • Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2015 can be viewed on this link: Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2015 Highlights page.
  • Facebook pages:


  • comment-avatar
    Joe Cool 6 years ago

    Zimbabwe Vigil appears to me to be a sterile organisation with a lot of mouth and not much else, all securely located in UK and shouting from the hilltops. Botswana is as corrupt as Zimbabwe, but everyone turns a blind eye – because it is politically expedient.

    The ‘Vigil’ is quite clearly (well)written by a white with a flair for prose, but whom I would otherwise assess as gutless and an attention-seeker. None of you is under threat of ‘death or detention’ by Mugabe, so, as you are in UK and enjoying it, why not just shut up and stop your pious pretense of trying to save the nation – because it’s really become a boring pantomime.

    And of course you indignantly won’t like hearing this.