via Khama save Zimbabwe – The Zimbabwean 11.10.2015
To mark the Vigil’s 13th anniversary we launched a new petition warning the world that the situation in Zimbabwe is on a knife-edge because of threats by the army to wield ‘the Zanu PF axe’ against Mugabe’s opponents.
The petition reads:
To the Chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), President Ian Khama of Botswana
We wish to alert you to alarming threats by the military in Zimbabwe to employ violence against people opposed to the Zanu PF regime. The threats come amid worsening splits in the party and rising popular outrage at the demolition of the homes of the poor and the imposition of pre-paid water meters for an unreliable supply.
The Commander of the Presidential Guard Brigadier-General Anselem Sanyatwe has threatened force to stop ousted Vice-President Joice Mujuru from opposing Mugabe. He told his troops ‘Professionalism is over . . . Zanu PF should rule forever’. The national army commander Lieutenant-General Phillip Sibanda later warned that ‘the Zanu PF axe’ could be wielded again.
You will be aware that Zimbabwe has recently been judged the worst governed country in SADC. Bad governance hasdestroyed the economy, reducing people to desperation while the ruling elite drive past in their luxury cars from their mansions to the expensive restaurants.
There is growing resentment. Provocative moves by the military could cause an explosion of anger. We call on SADC toprepare to intervene to stop a meltdown.
It was good to see old friends turning up for our anniversary, which coincided with our monthly demonstration over the disappearance of the civil rights activist Itai Dzamara who was abducted by intelligence agents seven months ago and has not been heard of since.
We were sorry to see that about ten Zimbabweans saw fit to hold their own ‘vigil’ outside the Embassy at the same time as us. They drummed in discord with us – a sad example of how Zimbabweans can’t seem to work together.
We had pointed out to them that there are 168 hours in the week and for 13 years we have been taking a mere 4 hours of these to mount our protest. If they want to hold their own there is plenty of time for it. Our view is that if you are not for us you are for Zanu PF. Our supporter Esther Nyambi has written an article looking at why the breakaway group is behaving like this which can be found on our campaigns page: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/724-lets-not-forget-who-our-enemy-is.
Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu for donning our Mugabe mask to be pictured standing in front of the ‘anti-vigil’ holdng a poster ‘thanks to Zanu PF Vigil for your support’.
- Thanks to Cephas Maswoswa and Mercy Chapepa who both turned up with magnificent cakes to mark our anniversary.
- The Vigil suspects that increased efforts to destabilise us may be prompted by the growing visibility in Zimbabwe of our sister organisation Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR). As we reported last week ROHR has launched structures in all 10 Zimbabwe provinces. Reports on these launches can now be found on our campaigns page: Check: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/723-launch-of-rohr-provinces-in-zimbabwe. ROHR Matabeleland South reports that the planned demo in Gwanda against pre-paid water meters did not take place: ‘on 7th (October) we travelled to Gwanda for a demo which never happened because the chairman of the residents’ association was deceived. He was called by the police and council officials who claimed there was a letter from theminister stating that the situation was under control and the town would have its water – hence the demo was cancelled. Later the other members were called and the council offered their car which went around the town telling the residents about the cancellation of the demo. However we agreed that ROHR will meet with other civic organisations and map the way forward. Gwanda has a big crisis – there is no water.’
- Thanks to Esther Nyambi, Sally Mutseyami, Humphrey Dube, Lipi Mhlope, Virginia Mutyambisi, Sharon Moyo, Joseph Chivayo, Jonathan Kariwoh and Fungayi Mabhunu for arriving early to help set up. Thanks also as always to Sister Bev Mutandiro for her prayers for the Vigil on its 13th anniversary and for her advice.
- We liked this response to an article on newzimbabwe.com about the government ordering the police, army and big mining companies to make power cuts: ‘Minister, give each war vet, green bomber and chief a bicycle with a dynamo. Remove the back wheel and attach to the main grid. Have them spin for 6 hours a day and you’ll have all the power you need. Pay them a dollar a day and there’s your 2 million jobs. Tax the income too. They ain’t doing anything right now.’
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: 50 signed the register.