via Where’s the Pie? – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 1st August 2015 02 August 2015
The second anniversary of the last stolen elections passed with little remark – though Zanu PF acknowledged for the first time the hollowness of its ZimAsset election manifesto.
At the time it was unveiled the Vigil described the five-year economic programme as ‘Pie in the Sky’. Now it’s clear there is indeed no pie in prospect and Zanu PF doesn’t even know the recipe to bake one.
Economic planning minister and Zanu PF spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo admitted ZimAsset had missed its targets. The growth rate was supposed to increase from 3.4% a year in 2013 to 9.9% a year in 2018, an average annual growth of 7.3%. Instead last year it remained at 3.4%, about half the forecast rate for the year. This year will be even more dismal, with finance minister Chinamasa saying he expected growth to be only 1.5%. Others put it even lower (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_moyo-admits-zimasset-failure-newsday-zimbabwe/).
As for ZimAsset’s promise of 2.2 million new jobs, the reality is that people are being sacked at an increasing rate as the economy continues its death spiral.
Chinamasa – in his mid-term review – lamented that agricultural performance was below expectations. So much for the promise to regain our ‘bread-basket’ status. He also mentioned the failure to attract foreign direct investment, noting ‘failure to speak with one voice over critical policies’ and ‘failure to honour obligations’ (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_economy-expected-to-grow-15pc-the-herald/).
This reflected the chilling message for Zanu PF from China, which bluntly told Vice President Mnangagwa it was not going to bail out the bankrupt party. In fact, it said it wanted to see arrangements in place to repay the billion dollars or so it has already advanced to Zimbabwe (see: https://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_repay-us15bn-china-tells-zim-the-zimbabwe-independent/).
As far as the Vigil can see, Zimbabweans – apart from Dr Grace – have little to celebrate from the rigging of the elections two years ago. The embittered people expelled from Zanu PF’s inner circle certainly feel so as their farms and businesses come under threat. They are eager to spill the beans about vote rigging, violence and corruption. Mugabe, of course, ‘knew nothing about it’.
We take a different view. But Mugabe and his mafia must be relieved that international attention is diverted from what the Chinese rightly identified as Zimbabwean corruption by the sad case of Cecil the lion. His death has prompted outrage around the world. The Vigil thinks it is a pity that the same interest has not been shown in the plight of the people suffering from Mugabe’s misrule. Someone who passed by the Vigil today asked us whether we were a protest about what had happened to Cecil.
In a recent article the Japanese scholar Ken Yamamoto said only Zimbabwean children now under the age of 10 could have any expectation of a better life (see: http://www.newzimbabwe.com/news-23813-Yamamoto+Six+areas+of+misplaced+hope+in+Zim/news.aspx). The Vigil believes the prospects are indeed grim. We understand the British government expects the regime to last for another decade.
As the MDC-T again flipflops and decides after all to contest elections, the Vigil begs them to insist this time that foolproof reforms are in place before 2018. No repeat of 2013.
· Vigil supporters were happy to hear that President Obama’s comments at the AU condemning African dictators were punctuated with applause. Nevertheless, we cannot forgive the organisation for electing Mugabe as AU chairman and know that he is still greeted as a hero in South Africa and elsewhere
· ROHR members organised a protest at the Vigil today in support of workers back home and the many job losses resulting from recent legislation on the termination of contracts.
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: more than 50 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
· Exiled Writers Ink – ‘Sounds of Africa’. Monday 3rd August at 7.30 pm. Venue: Poetry Place, 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX. Featuring Zimbabwean writers Bart Wolffe and Blessing Mamvura and will be hosted by HandsenChikowore. Tickets £5 or £3 for asylum seekers.
· Itai Dzamara and Second Murambatsvina Protest. Friday 7th August at 10.30 am outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London.
· Vigil’s Itai Dzamara Protest. Saturday 8th August from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark 5 months since Dzamara’s abduction by the CIO.
· ROHR Reading branch hosts the Afro Cultural Fundraiser Southern Region. Saturday 8th August from 1 – 11 pm. Venue: Pakistan Community Centre, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA. Theme: Afro cultural event interacting with other people from all corners of the world. We will be donating food purchased through our fundraising to local foodbanks. The Mayor of Reading will attend as well as other local leaders, performing groups from different parts of Africa and a well-known DJ. Prizes: tablet, digital camera, gift vouchers and many more. African food. For further information contact: Charles D Ndlovu 07413879590, Eric Eluwasi 07888310582, Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Deborah Harry 07748723974 and Shylette Chipangura 07828929806.
· 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.
· Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 8th August from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
· Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 29thAugust July 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). Date of next meeting to be advised. ZAF meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
· 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.