Exiled Zimbabweans and friends demonstrated outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London to mark 4 months since the abduction of the civil rights activist Itai Dzamara. A letter accusing Mugabe of Itai’s murder was pushed under the front door of the Embassy by Patricia Masamba and Danny Kadiki. The letter read:
We hope this letter finds you at home.
Given the failure of your regime to account for the fate of human rights activist Itai Dzamara, we have no hesitation in accusing you of responsibility for his murder.
The facts are clear. Mr Dzamara was abducted on 9th March from a barbershop in Glen View, Harare, by obvious agents of the Central Intelligence Organisation in their usual vehicles with obscured number plates. He has not been seen again.
In the face of the subsequent international outcry, a court ordered that the police search for him and make regular reports on their progress.
Predictably, there has been no search and certainly no progress. Every policeman in Zimbabwe knows what happened to brave Itai Dzamara. Like those of so many others, his remains will not be found – not at least until there is a change of government.
We call on you to step down from office and allow the truth to emerge of what happened to a man murdered for calling on you to step down.
From the Zimbabwe Vigil
Everyone at the demonstration signed the letter.
The Vigil was joined for the demonstration by Tendai Kwari, head of the UK Chapter of Itai Dzamara’s Occupy Africa Unity Square group, who spoke of the need for all opposition groups to come together to work for change. He recalled Itai saying that he didn’t want to form a political party but wanted a people’s movement.
During the demonstration, Tendai received a message from Itai’s brother Patson, who encouraged us in our protest and reported on a prayer meeting for Itai in Harare earlier in the day.
Tendai appealed to the Zanu PF regime to release Itai’s body to the family. ‘We want his soul to be at rest’, he said. ‘His children need to know where he is. Only then can his wife move forward.’
Vigil founder member and President of ROHR Ephraim Tapa announced that the Vigil would mark Itai’s abduction every month on the nearest Saturday to the 9th of the month until his family’s demands were satisfied.
· Our new petition to the International Criminal Court announced last week was launched today and was signed by many passers-by. It reads: ‘Zimbabweans driven into exile by genocidal tyrant Robert Mugabe, and our friends visiting the Zimbabwe Vigil, call for Mugabe’s arraignment before the International Criminal Court in the Hague to answer for his crimes. Despite Mugabe’s responsibility for the Gukuruhundi massacre of some 20,000 Ndebele people in the 1980s (he acknowledged ‘a moment of madness’), his destruction of the homes and livelihoods of a million urban opposition supporters in the bulldozing Murambatsvina of 2005 and his Zanu PF’s rigging of all elections, Mugabe has been chosen as Chairman of the African Union. He used this position to enable President al Bashir of Sudan to flee an AU Summit meeting in South Africa in June after a court there ordered his arrest to answer an indictment by the International Criminal Court for genocide in the Darfur region.’
· Representatives of the Vigil attended a meeting in London on Friday of the charity ZANE (Zimbabwe a National Emergency) which does wonderful work with its limited resources, all scrupulously accounted for. On the platform were a former British cabinet minister, an ambassador and an Africa pundit. We were sorry to hear that the British government is apparently resigned to Zanu PF remaining in power for another decade. We were even sorrier to hear Mugabe pictured as a charming cricket and Queen-loving Anglophile rather than a psychotic genocidaire and we felt impelled to point out that the takeover of commercial farms was for Mugabe’s political salvation following the vote against his 2000 proposed constitutional amendment rather than his claim of British betrayal.
· The Vigil was interested to note that government ministries in Harare are soon to be required to report weekly on the implementation of ZimAsset – the latest of what the Herald describes as ‘many brilliant economic blueprints’. The paper adds that this will allow the President to take early action if necessary to put the programme ‘back on curse (sic)’ (see: http://allafrica.com/stories/201507080322.html – Zimbabwe: Zim-Asset Weekly Diaries Progressive). Zanu PF’s latest ‘brilliant’ move to further impoverish the poor was shown graphically in pictures of the burning of vendors’ clothing bales in Harare (see: http://nehandaradio.com/2015/07/10/vendors-clothing-bales-burnt-in-early-morning-raid/).
· Thanks to the large number of supporters who arrived early to help set up: Yvonne Bonde, Patricia Masamba, Winnie Festo. Eunice Mucherechedzo, Esther Nyambyi, Virginia Mutyambizi, Manuel Moyo, Maria Tanyanyiwa, Grace Rukure, Mavis Mutanga, Danny Kadiki, Nobukhosi Moyo, Euliter Mutami, John Burke, Ephraim Tapa, Fungayi Mabhunu and young Chenelle. Thanks also to Eunice and Esther for looking after the front table and to Patricia for getting people to sign the letter to Mugabe. Thanks to Cephas Moswoswa for bringing biscuits for everyone.
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: 65 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
· ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 18th July from 12 noon – 2 pm. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.Contact: Fungayi Mabhunu 07907089899, Esther Nyambi 07446210391, Mavis Chisvo 07944612944.
· ROHR Reading branch general meeting and outreach. Saturday 18th July. Outreach awareness campaign on the deteriorating human rights situation in Zimbabwe from 11 am – 1.30 pm on Broad Street followed by a general members’ meeting from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Reading International Solidarity Centre, 35 – 39 London Street, Reading RG1 3PS. For further information contact: Charles D Ndlovu 07413879590, Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Andrew Benyure 07847386599 and Shylette Chipangura 07828929806
· ROHR Southampton branch celebrates cultural fusion. Sunday 19th July 2015 from 11 am – 6 pm. Venue: Leigh Road, Recreation Ground, Eastleigh SO50 9DE. ROHR Southampton cordially invites supporters to join them as branch members participate in Eastleigh Mela 2015: Celebrating Cultural Fusion with Guest of Honour Sally Taylor, BBC South Today. For further enquiries contact: Sally Mutseyami (Chairperson) on 07448730581, Grace Rukure (Secretary) on 07462103397 and Edward Mukuze (Info & Publicity Officer) on 07463975108.
· ROHR Southampton branch participates in community event. Saturday 25th July 2015 from 12 noon – 6 pm. Venue: Pavilion on the Park, 1 Kingfisher Road, Eastleigh SO50 9LH. ROHR Southampton invites supporters to join them as branch members participate in community event to encourage participation in grass roots sports and arts. For further enquiries contact: Sally Mutseyami (Chairperson) on 07448730581, Grace Rukure (Secretary) on 07462103397 and Edward Mukuze (Info & Publicity Officer) on 07463975108.
· 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.
· Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 25th 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.
· Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 25th July from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.
· 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.
· Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Date of next meeting (dependent on availability of venue) 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.