The Riggers Rigged

via The Riggers Rigged – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary November 24, 2013

The Vigil congratulates the Herald on at long last succeeding in one of its three declared objectives: ‘to be entertaining’. Tuesday’s front-page editorial was certainly entertaining – lifting the lid on the brazen rigging of Zanu PF’s provincial elections.

Despite Zanu PF’s insistence that the national elections of 31st July were free and fair, many in Zanu PF have complained that their own party provincial elections were anything but free and fair. Their complaints, unsurprisingly, echo those made by the MDC about the national elections. The Herald said: ‘There are some in Zanu PF who didn’t want the chaos that ravaged provincial elections in the Midlands, Manicaland and Mashonaland Central exposed. They wanted the allegations of rigging and irregularities, the shambolic party registers and disenfranchisement of hundreds of party supporters to be hidden behind mouth-washed platitudes. But we are not in the business of public relations. Our duty is to educate, inform and entertain our readers.’ (see: – COMMENT: This is not how Comrades behave).

The defeated Mnangagwa faction repeated more of the MDC’s complaints: vote buying, intimidation . . . all the abuses of the stolen July elections which were rubber-stamped by South Africa, SADC, the AU and the UN.

The victorious Mujuru faction responded in authentic Zanu PF style. A ‘highly placed’ source told the Daily News: ‘We have rules and regulations that govern elections in Zanu PF. Those people who feel cheated should learn to accept defeat. MDC takaidya wani saka chii chinoshamisira pakudyiwa’ (we defeated the MDC so what’s the fuss about losing?)  (  – Party infighting frightens Mugabe).

As winter closes in on us at the Vigil, we are in despair at Zimbabwe’s hopeless government. We read that MDC MP Eddie Cross says that nothing is being done to tackle corruption. He says: ‘I cannot think of a single Minister (perhaps one and even he is questionable) that is not guilty of gross corruption.’ He continued: ‘The harsh reality is that no single Zanu PF leader of any stature could stand up to an audit of their assets and sources of the income that supports their lavish lifestyles. This exercise would have to be extended to senior Civil Servants and many senior Army Officers and other members of the security services. In days after they took power, I heard of new corrupt deals in key sectors by Ministers. If Zanu PF does not get on top of all of these issues they simply cannot deliver what they have promised or even need to do to survive’ (see: – The First 100 Days – Eddie Cross).

Talking of poor leadership, a Vigil supporter received a long and threatening text message viciously attacking her participation in a demonstration against the recent visit by Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi. It was further evidence of how active Zanu PF is in London. The fact they had her phone number was worrying. We notice that Mzembi has been telling the media back home how successful his visit was. You can judge what the British attitude to Zanu PF is from a leading article in today’s Times newspaper titled ‘Not just a Hitler moustache / Zimbabwe’s anti-foreigner policy evokes the worst of times’.

The article condemns Mugabe’s indigenization policy and in particular the announcement that non-indigenous businessmen have been given a month to shut up shop. ‘In human rights terms this is a disgrace. It is also staggeringly and tragically stupid. It makes Zimbabwe a place where it would literally be madness to invest or start a business, even if you were a native Zimbabwean. For who knows when the Government, for expedient or populist reasons — citing some invented imperative — might not demand your business be turned over to the State? (see:

Perhaps it would be a good thing for MPs on the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee to be given their wish to join in the government foreign travel bonanza, already costing twice the budget for education. They could come here and be educated on how thoroughly the reputation of Zimbabwe has been tarnished by Mugabe and his cronies.

Other points

  • We have now sent off our open letter to the Prime Minister and people of Israel complaining of the role played by the Israeli company Nikuv in rigging the July elections.  We have also sent it to the Jewish press. (We would like to know if Nikuv received royalties for the rigging of the Zanu PF provincial elections . . . ) You can see this letter at
  • We were sorry to hear that Vigil supporter Batson Chapata had a heart attack on Tuesday.  He is now back home and we wish him well for a speedy recovery.
  • Thanks to Joseph Chivayo and Sihle Sibanda for arriving early and setting up the Vigil.

For latest Vigil pictures check: Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website. 

FOR THE RECORD: 29 signed the register.



  • Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 30th November from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
  • ROHR Reading Branch meeting. Saturday 30th November from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: the Pakistan Community Centre, Park Hall, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA. Contact: Charles D. Ndlovu 07413879590, Eric Eluwasi 07531853066, Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792.
  • ROHR Central London Branch general meeting. Saturday 7th December from 11 am – 1 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 big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It’s next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.
  • Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 7th December from 6.15. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA.
  • Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2012 can be viewed on this link: Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2012 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 Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.
  • Facebook pages:
  • Vigil:
  • ZAF:
  • ROHR:
  • Useful where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.


Vigil co-ordinators

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.


  • comment-avatar

    The vigil deserves much more support and attention. The zanu embassy in London fear them. Eddie cross is highly informed and very intelligent with a patriotic future but he must check under his car for bombs and his brakes before he drives off. Sadly the criminal murderers still have impunity

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 10 years ago