via The Missing link – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 3rd May 2014 May 4, 2014 at 7:59pm
A well-attended meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) held after the Vigil appointed an interim committee to further the diaspora initiative offering an alternative political programme alongside the progressive forces in Zimbabwe. The 10-member committee will build on the resolutions of the Vigil’s all-stakeholders’ conference last October (see Vigil diary of 12th April: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/579-vigil-welcomes-new-path-zimbabwe-vigil-diary-12th-april-2014). The committee’s aim is to reach out to the diaspora with a view to agreeing a common voice and mobilize for action, liaise with progressive forces in Zimbabwe and take the change agenda forward. The committee was also mandated to organise an all-inclusive, elective diaspora convention.
ZAF Chair, Ephraim Tapa, said the diaspora had been excluded from the political debate in Zimbabwe but internal processes there had failed to dislodge Mugabe. The ZAF noted that the MDC, as it stands today, had run its course and the diaspora must help create a vehicle to fill the political vacuum and bring an end to the crisis. ‘We are the missing link’, Ephraim said.
Members of the committee are: Arnold Magwanyata, Benjamin Semwayo, Ephraim Tapa, Fungayi Mabhunu, Michelle Dube, Patricia Masamba, Rose Benton, Walter Nhliziyo, Walter Shoko and Wilbert Mukori.
The ZAF meeting went on to discuss sending a delegation to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to discuss the treatment of Zimbabweans seeking asylum. The following were appointed to the delegation: Ephraim Tapa, Fungayi Mabhunu, Peter Sidindi, Rose Benton and Walter Nhliziyo. We are sending a letter to Theresa May asking for an appointment.
An insight into daily life in rural Zimbabwe (which some people sent back may encounter) came in a message from a pastor whose work in the Bulawayo area is supported by some Vigil people. ‘Although we do relief work at Mazwi, it is never enough. There is always hunger there. So women and families have to walk a long way through the bush to the municipal dump site to scavenge for food (18 km). Some of these women have been raped as they walk home and their gleanings have been taken away. I have reported this to the police. They have told us that two robbers escaped from Khame Prison and have been reported being seen in this area. They say they are investigating all the cases. Last week three women all carrying babies on their back, and fat they had gathered from the dump site, came across a man wielding a long knife. They ran away but one woman was caught and raped. When she came back home, one of the women who had been with her started to laugh at her, accusing her, saying that she should have run as fast as the others. She said that since she was a widow she was probably looking for a man and that’s why she got what she got. This did not go well with the raped woman and she called on the elders; I was also called in to attend to the case. I ministered to her.’
- The Vigil welcomes Morgan Tsvangirai’s call for action to pressurise Mugabe to address the economic challenges. Why has the MDC waited so long? We are disappointed that politicians are spending their time discussing the 2018 elections. The country can’t wait that long. Time for action is now (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/526-challenge-mugabe-to-deliver–zimbabwe-vigil-diary-31st-august-2013 – Challenge Mugabe to deliver – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 31st August 2013).
- A group of Nigerians came to see us at the Vigil on their way from a protest outside the Nigerian High Commission against government inaction over the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls by Islamic terrorists in Northern Nigeria.
- We were surprised to see horses charging down the Strand and back again pulling sulkies (light carriages).
- Thanks to Bridget Zhakata and Fungayi Mabhunu who were there at the start to help set up. Supporters came from far afield – Nicodimus Muganhu caught the bus from Manchester at 4 am and Walter Nhliziyo came from Scotland.
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: 48 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
- Mass for Migrants. Monday 5th May at 10.30 am. Westminster Cathedral, 42 Francis Street, London SW1P 1QW.
- ROHR Birmingham Branch general meeting. Saturday 10th May from 1 – 5 pm. Venue; Malaika House, 81 George Street, Lozells B19 1NS. For more information contact Chairperson Thandiwe Gwarumba 07503512308; Secretary Janemary Mapfumo 07412310429; Info & Publicity Team Tino Mashonganyika 07463272078 & Tecla Bandawe 07450507650
- ROHR Southampton Branch general meeting. Saturday 10th May from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: Age Concern Building 20 Romsey Road, Eastleigh S050 9AL. For further enquiries contact: Sally Mutseyami (Chair) 07448730581, Wellington Mukucha (Vice Chair), 07450264733, Sekayi Mwenye (Secretary 07428570134, Chipo Mtetwa (Organising Secretary) 07403341214.
- Zimbabwe’s International Re-engagement: The Long Haul to Recovery. Wednesday 14th May from 10 – 11 am. Venue: The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, 10 St James’s Square, London SW1Y 4LE. To register interest in the meeting, check: http://www.chathamhouse.org/events/view/199120.
- Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 17th May 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 Pizza Express. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
- Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 17th 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 Slough general meeting. Saturday 17th May 2014 from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: Upton Lea Community Hall, Wexham road, Slough SL2 5JW. For further information please contact Patricia Masamba (Vice Chairperson) 07708116625, Sharon Zimuto (Information and Publicity) 07988165394 and Tichaona Mafokosho (Secretary) 0793969652.
- 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.
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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.