via Craven Europe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 19th April 2014 April 20, 2014 at 7:34pm
As Zimbabwe marked 34 years of independence amid deepening hopelessness, the Vigil received a letter from the European Union which confirmed our worst fears about their pusillanimous policy towards Mugabe.
We had put the following simple question to Baroness Ashton, the EU foreign affairs chief: ‘We have read your statement on EU-Zimbabwe relations and are surprised at your comment that there has been progress in Zimbabwe. We Zimbabweans forced into exile closely follow events at home and have seen no progress whatsoever. President Ian Khama of Botswana supports our view that the July elections were rigged by Mugabe. The new constitution is not being observed, as the recent beating up of peaceful demonstrators confirms. There has been no improvement in the economy and instead we have official admission of widespread corruption. We ask you: What is the good news from Zimbabwe that the EU uses to justify the suspension of targeted measures against the Mugabe regime?’
In their reply to our letter the EU cannot think of any progress beyond ‘the generally peaceful manner in which the 2013 elections were conducted’ – no matter that there was overwhelming evidence that the elections were massively rigged, as President Khama of Botswana believes. It’s rather like commending the generally peaceful manner in which the Nazis gassed millions of Jews.
The EU letter says: ‘Normalising the relationship with the government will enable the EU to play a stronger role in supporting the return to economic stability, improving the democratic environment, rule of law, respect for human rights, and the living conditions for ordinary Zimbabweans.’ We ask: how?
Despite the EU being the biggest aid donor to Zimbabwe Mugabe recently said that Europe has an ‘evil heart’. His hatred of the West was again expressed in a fawning BBC interview. The cut and paste programme was a disgrace to the BBC, making little effort to show the conditions to which Zimbabweans have been reduced (see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0404bjf – 7 days left to watch).
The Vigil believes Europe’s aid money would be better spent in promoting desperately needed change in Zimbabwe – not in propping up this geriatric mafia which will never relinquish power unless it is forced to. (For the full text of the EU letter see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/582-letter-from-the-eu.)
- People are getting desperate for change in Zimbabwe. One of our supporters, Erick Eluwasi, voices this in an article on our campaigns page (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/581-zimbabwe-time-for-uprising-t4u). He is not alone with these views.
- Our condolences to Vigil supporter Peter Sidindi. The body of his nephew, Donovan Weale, was found in the River Avon. Donovan’s family is waiting for the results of an inquest. The family is raising funds to repatriate the body to Zimbabwe. Those who want to contribute should check: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/bkAjf/sh/93EcCe
- We were sorry to hear that Vigil supporter Cephas Moswoswa was in hospital. We wish him a speedy recovery.
- Thanks to Ishmael Makina, Bridget Zhakata, Sihle Sibanda and Fungayi Mabhunu who came early to help set up.
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: 28 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
- ROHR Middlesbrough Branch general meeting. Saturday 26th April from 12 – 4 pm. Venue: Humanah CIC Unit 5, BBC Broadcasting House, Brentnall Street, Middlesbrough TS1 5JA. For more information please contact: Masimba Musodza (Chairman) 07581887359, Xoliso Sithole (Treasurer) 07449005447, Ndumiso Ncube (Organising Secretary) 07448522328.
- Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 3rd May from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. 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 Pizza Express. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
- Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 3rd May from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
- Zimbabwe Yes We Can Meeting – Saturday 17th May at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.
- ROHR Reading Branch outreach and general meeting. Saturday 24th May. Times: outreach 11 am – 2 pm, general meeting 2:30 – 5 pm. Venue: RISC, 35-39 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS. For further enquiries contact: Charles D Ndlovu (Organising Secretary) 07413879590, Mary Eluwasi (Vice Organising Secretary) 07888310582, Nicodimus Muganhu (Chair) 07877386792, Shylette Chipangura (Secretary) 07828929806.
- ‘The Rain that Washes’ national tour: Sat 24, Sun 25 & Mon 26 May – Brighton Fringe Festival, Marlborough Theatre, 4 Princes Street, Brighton BN2 1RD. Booking details can be found at www.chickenshed.org.uk/whatsson.
- Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2013 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/560-vigil-highlights-2013. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2013 Highlights page.
- 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 the views and opinions of ROHR.
- Facebook pages:
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 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.